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The Outstanding Reality of Being a Fixer Upper

By May 13, 2015October 23rd, 20232 Comments

I’ll admit it. I love watching HGTV. In fact, I’ll most likely choose that channel over other options when I choose to watch any television.

What is it about Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, Rehab Addict, and other similar shows that draws a large following? In fact, shows such as these helped HGTV have its best rating month ever in January of this year.

The common thread through all these shows is taking a house that is in pretty bad shape and bringing it back to livability and beauty. The effort, expense, creativity, and willingness needed to complete each project results in a restored and renovated home.

Sometimes literally from the brink of destruction.

I believe we are drawn to shows and stories like this because we identify deeply.

I am a fixer upper. And so are you.

In Disney’s movie, Frozen, the trolls comment that Kristoff is a fixer upper who just needs a little bit of love. It’s a fun, catchy tune that got me thinking.

While we can’t “fix” up anyone but ourselves, how do we handle fixer uppers we encounter everyday? And, by the way, everyone we meet is a fixer upper.

  1. Extend grace. When I make a mess of something, which happens regularly, I’m deeply blessed when others extend grace. The harder lesson is learning to extend grace to myself. Both are necessary.
  2. Show compassion. When you and I realize that we are fixer uppers, we have the ability to be compassionate to others when they make mistakes. One of the best ways we can show compassion is to try to understand the situation from their perspective. Failure is often our best teacher.
  3. Don’t jump to judgment. It’s really easy to identify the areas that need fixing up — especially in someone else. It’s far more difficult to willingly aide in the solution and restoration. It may mean we have to enter into the other person’s messiness. And, jumping to conclusions without taking the time to understand the issues doesn’t help at all.

As parents, our primary role is to train our children to be productive people — to contribute value to their world.

A fallacy that will trip is up is that we believe our children have to be perfect.

One of the best pieces of parenting advice my sweet husband and I ever received is this:

How can you as imperfect parents expect to raise a perfect child?

Chew on that for a while.

Mull it over.

Absorb it into your thought pattern.

If you are a person of faith, pray about it.

That question isn’t an excuse to check out as a parent. It IS a reminder that being a parent doesn’t mean you are or have to be perfect. You are a fixer upper just like your children. Do your best, be willing to learn, and admit your mistakes when you make them. It’s not about perfection.

So, don’t fear admitting you’re a fixer upper. The wonderful truth is we all are!

And that’s where the extraordinary happens. Recognizing our own “fixer-upper-ness” allows us to extend grace, compassion, and imperfection to ourselves and all we cross paths with each day.


  • Kirsten D Samuel

    I empower Christian wives to discover they are seen, loved, and heard. These women find the freedom to be who they are beyond their partner’s struggles, and find hope that there is a life worth living.