Last month, America’s favorite power couple announced that their time on television was coming to an end.
Chip and Joanna Gaines shocked fans when they announced that the soon-to-air season five of Fixer Upper would be their last.
In a post on the Magnolia blog, Joanna explained that the decision to end filming was “bittersweet,” and ultimately what they feel is best for their family at this time.
“While we are confident that this is the right choice for us, it has for sure not been an easy one to come to terms with,” Joanna writes. “Our family has grown up alongside yours, and we have felt you rooting us on from the other side of the screen. How bittersweet to say goodbye to the very thing that introduced us all in the first place.”
But in the latest cover story of People Magazine, Chip and JoJo give the world a little more insight as to what brought forth their decision.
Leaving the future open to what God has planned, the Gaineses say their goal right now is to step back, breathe and appreciate the series that changed their lives.
“We really want to focus on this break and take a step back to let this all soak in,” she added. “Regardless of what the future holds, we are hopeful for what God has for us and our family in this next season.”
In the article, the couple reveals that since Fixer Upper debuted in 2013, they have been going non-stop, filming the show 11 months out of the year while also managing the Magnolia empire which boasts more than 500 employees, a real estate division, multiple retail shops, wallpaper and furniture lines, luxury vacation rentals, an upcoming restaurant, two books as well as a quarterly magazine and a product line for Target.
“I realized the show was demanding time from me, and I needed to be giving it to our businesses, to our relationship and my family,” Chip explained. “How far can you push it before something really does break down? And that’s kind of where we landed.”
The kids would ask, “Mom and Dad, do you guys have to film again today? When is this going to be over?” Chip recalls.
“The kids were so young when we started,” added Joanna. “Fast-forward to today and our oldest is almost a teenager—they’re all growing up so quickly.”
Although the show is what changed their lives and spearheaded that laundry list of successful endeavors, it will never come before the thing that matters most—their relationship with each other, and the family they’ve created.
“Anybody gets exhausted, and you say or do things you don’t mean,” he continued. “Jo and I don’t want to find ourselves years from now realizing there were warning signs letting us know we were exhausted. We would rather stop here, where we still feel we’re in a really good place.”
It might seem crazy, as the show and Magnolia businesses are at the height of success, but this wouldn’t be the first time Joanna followed God’s lead in running Magnolia, even when it didn’t make sense to the world.
In 2015, Joanna shared her testimony with The Gathering at Baylor University about how God told her to walk away from Magnolia the first time.
She explains that after she and Chip got married, they made her dream of opening a retail business, a reality with the first Magnolia Market.
But as quickly as that dream came to fruition, God put Joanna’s faith to the test, and the Gaineses complied—closing the market, despite their desire and ability to keep it open.
“I remember the last day,” Joanna recalls. “We’re closing the shop down, and I’m crying because again I feel like it’s the end of a dream, and I hear God say very clearly, he said, ‘Joanna, if you trust me with your dreams, I’m gonna take Magnolia further than you could’ve ever dreamed. So just trust me.’ And I remember hearing that and feeling completely peaceful about it, and I walked away.”
Their faith and commitment to family are the principles that led us to love Chip and Joanna in the first place. (Though their undying love for demo and shiplap didn’t hurt the relationship either).
It’s their level-headedness and faithful pursuit of the Lord that has led them to a healthy place with their decisions, time and time again.
“We would rather stop here, where we still feel we’re in a really good place,” Chip explained. “We have the chance to regroup and refresh and find out in two years, thank God we stopped and gave each other time and energy and loved our family more than we would’ve had the resources to do otherwise. Hopefully, that will pay dividends down the road.”
We’re going to miss seeing their faces on TV every week, but there’s no doubt that God has—and will continue to—live up to his promise to Joanna. Magnolia will be greater than anything she could ever imagine, and I have no doubt that their obedience in following Him will be an example for those who don’t yet know Him.