In an exclusive cover story interview with Closer Weekly, Fixer Upper star Chip Gaines’ mother, Gayle Gaines, and friends of Chip and Joanna Gaines speak out for the first time about their choice to end the hit HGTV show. “They earned some time to rest,” Gayle told Closer of the Christian couple’s devotion to what they truly value most: faith and family.

“As far as I’ve known, they’ve always planned on stepping out to make sure their kids got to enjoy part of their childhood out of the spotlight,” Sydney Noh, a former Fixer Upper associate producer, told Closer. “Their ability to know when it’s time to step out and move into a new part of their lives is a testament to what amazing people they are.”

Still, their timing caught a lot of people off-guard, including friend and former Fixer Upper director of photography Roger Woodruff. “It’s always surprising when anyone, whether it’s an athlete or an HGTV star, pulls away at the height of their popularity,” he said.

“They care very much about how their children turn out, and they are very well aware that spending time with them and investing in their lives is important,” Chip’s mom explained to Closer. “All I know is that I’m sure they’re making the right decision for them,” Rogers added.

For more on Chip and Jo, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and sign up for our newsletter!