Like millions of other people, I love Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Their show on HGTV, “Fixer Upper,” is one of the things I look forward to every week.  In addition to how they bring beauty to the world through their home renovations, I like them because they like each other!  It’s a pretty simple formula, and thankfully one that I think HGTV is picking up on: It’s delightful to watch people who love their work, love each other, and have loving, simple fun.

{The hosts on their other shows are starting to pick up on this a bit – I have noticed that the “Love It or List It” hosts and the “Property Brothers” guys are starting to pick at each other a little less and compliment each other a little more.  Props to Chip and Jojo for leading the way in this shift!}

The other day, I unexpectedly got a preview of Joanna’s new magazine in the mail (The Magnolia Journal).  The cover touted articles about “The Myth of Simplicity” from both Joanna and Chip.  I was curious.  Their lives look anything but simple – 4 kids, a working farm, and oh, you know, just starting and maintaining like 100 high-energy businesses.  OK, I don’t know how many businesses they run, but it’s a lot.  In our culture, “simplicity” generally has the connotation of down-sizing, not continuing to add.

I flipped through the magazine, and I loved what they were saying – not just in the articles, but throughout the publication.  Simplicity is not necessarily giving everything you own away so you can taste the joys of the simple things in life more freely.  True simplicity is simply tasting the joys of the simple things in life.

Sometimes we may undergo the drastic measures of being stripped of our many distractions in life.  But for most of us, walking in true simplicity means taking joy in the simple tasks of the day in the midst of a busy, productive life.

I’m with them in this reality.  I’m happiest when I give myself space to water and weed my back-deck garden, take a few minutes out of my afternoon for a cup of tea, clean my house, eat a real dinner with my husband, and find a bit of quietness in my day to just be with the Lord and process life.

This favorite old Shaker hymn performed by Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss has been coming up on my iTunes a lot lately.  Between the song, The Magnolia Journal, and the daily need I’ve had lately to count my blessings in order to avoid being overtaken by anxiety, God has been refreshing my spirit in the wilderness by giving me pleasure in life’s simple things.

May He do the same for you today.

‘Tis a gift to be simple; ’tis a gift to be free;
‘Tis a gift to come ’round where you ought to be.
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight!

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we will not be ashamed.
To turn, turn, will be our delight
‘Til by turning, turning, we come ’round right.

(The YouTube video I chose, out of thousands of options, is a portrait of a random family whom I don’t know.  But they have a red-headed kid, so, you know… Plus, their depictions of family are beautiful.)