That one time I gave Joanna Gaines a copy of my book…

Here’s the story.

On Saturday I went to Magnolia and I was just a regular shopper. The weather was perfect, the whole place absolutely as charming as you might expect. Then, I saw it. The perfect special something for me to buy. I almost choked up it was so sweet. It is a small roll of tape with “bless your home” printed in black. (I know it’s just tape. I’m highly sentimental. Love me anyway.)

I knew my huge shipment of books were set to arrive Monday or Tuesday. I imagined this as being the sweetest touch, mailing out books and using this tape on the outside of my packages.

I had taken a book with me Saturday in case I wanted to ask about selling it in the Magnolia store, perhaps inquire with a store manager but I didn’t feel quite right about it. I’m so glad I hesitated because once Tuesday rolled around, I took one look at this tape, this shipment, the stack of books and got really excited to go back to Waco and give my book.

Wednesday morning came. Scott and I got the kids fed and dressed and then surprised them with “No school today! We’re going on a fun little day trip.” My girls are HUGE fans of Fixer Upper and they knew exactly what we meant when I said I was going to give Chip and Joanna a book.

On the drive there, I signed the book and wrote a note to go along with it. I guess this is a true mark of a writer, because I didn’t hold anything back. My pen was moving 100 mph and wanted to share my heart. (I’ve never been a woman of few words!)

I had my notebook with me in my bag and what was supposed to be a few kind words became a heartfelt letter, front and back. I didn’t waste an inch of the note paper. I folded it in thirds, tucked a blank paper around it and sealed it, appropriately with her “bless your home” tape.

“Dear Joanna,

On Saturday some friends and I drove down from Dallas to visit Magnolia. I don’t know if it was the way the sun beat down on the lawn, the impeccable service from every person on staff, or the best cookie I’ve ever had- but I was IN LOVE with it all. I just wanted to thank you.

Just yesterday, UPS delivered boxes of books to my doorstep. It was a dream come true to hold a book I wrote. The whole “dreams come to life” thing God does for me, leaves me astounded every time.

When I saw your simple “bless your home” tape for sale on Saturday, I think I even chocked up. It was precious. I mean, imagine every reader getting my book in the mail taped with ‘bless your home”? It’s perfect. In my mind, it’s perfect and I’m so thankful.

On a whim, I just had it in my heart to bring you a signed book and thank you for the little, sticky blessing tape for how it completes my dream. It’s just tape, yes, but it comes from your heart.

I have always believed that if we elevated the value of home, it would surprisingly elevate everyone’s value. After all, home is where the heart is formed.

Thank you- not just for your design and creativity but for being one more voice in today’s culture that says, “Home matters”. I just want every mom and wife to thrive at home, to do home well, know that she was able and it was worth it.

I thought the book was the dream until I was holding it and meeting my readers and followers and then, I realized: that was the real dream. The people God wants to bless just because I was willing to be a vessel, those women were the dream. A generation of thriving at home people- that was the dream.

It takes all of us doing our part, I think.

This book I’m leaving here for you isn’t an agenda- it’s a thank you. After all, home and family was God’s idea. I’m thankful for all the big and small, seen and unseen things you do to bless our homes. Thanks for the tape that wraps my dreams and delivers it with love and care.

From one homebody to another, one mama of 4 to another, one busy homemaker, a grateful stranger and fan,

Thank you,

Brooke Sailer,
author of This Thing Called Home”

And just like that, we parked, jumped on the trolly, I put the book and letter in a kraft paper bag and off we went to Magnolia.

Of course, it was sunny and perfect. 76 degrees and we spent a couple of hours: lunch on the lawn, football, swings, cupcakes and cookies, and then, delivering the book before hopping back on the trolley.

Here’s how I feel now.

So, we’ve been working hard at redefining our success vs. failure grids with the “contribution” framework, right? (See previous posts “This ride is going nowhere and other thoughts on success vs. failure” and “When your friend dies and you promise you’ll do hard things”) The whole little-trip-to-Waco-to-deliver-my-book was simply a small way for me express gratitude to someone (successful by any standard) by honoring my value for her contribution.

When I took my bag/book/letter, I was given a form to fill out. It was for people who bring gifts. You sign off that you understand that you will not receive anything in return. The sweet worker let me know they want to be sure my gift was valued and doesn’t get lost, more than the legality of it.

For me it wasn’t about seeing her success or projecting an agenda to endorse or sell, it was about valuing her contribution as human, celebrating her for more than achievements. Let’s be women that celebrate one another, thank one another, work together, and set sights on contributions that are valuable. 

Hashtag MILESTOMAGNOLIA today was Hashtag 105 miles + 208 pages.

Hashtag one roll of tape/a notebook/favorite black pen/one suburban/four kids/super supportive husband.

Hashtag grateful for that one time I gave Joanna Gaines a copy of my book.

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9 responses to “That one time I gave Joanna Gaines a copy of my book…”

  1. Ashlyn Simon says:

    Love this story and I love you!

  2. Kami Cullum says:

    Hashtag:you are awesome and an amazing writer and this post made me feel like I was with you!!
    Thanks for sharing your super, fun day!! I really, really hope she writes you back!!

  3. Taylor Zuilkowski says:

    This is wonderful! I love reading about people taking leaps on behalf of their dreams. What a great story, and what an example to your kiddos 🙂

  4. Way to put yourself out there and actually Be the DOER you encourage all of us to be!

  5. Catherine Cosenza says:

    So proud of you Brooke❤️ And I love this journey you are on and pray many Blessings over you❤️

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