Why I Don't Watch Fixer Upper
After just one episode of the super popular home improvement show, Fixer Upper, and I was hooked. That's right, I was an official, card-carrying member of the "I heart Chip and Joanna Gaines Club." I mean, what's not to love about the charming couple? Their devotion to God, each other and their family is pretty incredible, not to mention their ability to turn the most run down, eyesore of a house into the envy of the neighborhood!
So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a blog post by Mary Carver titled "Why I Don't Watch Fixer Upper." I was ready to disagree with everything Miss Mary had to say. But then I actually read the post, and what she said made a whole lot of sense.
Don't get me wrong. I am still a member of the Chip and Joanna Fan Club, and will continue to faithfully watch Fixer Upper. Mary's not trying to change that. But her explanation as to why she doesn't watch the show carries an eye opening message that made me take a second look at some of the things in my life.
"If you adore Fixer Upper and the Gaines and wish you could watch HGTV all your waking hours, that’s awesome! I don’t blame anyone else for watching what used to be – and may someday be again – fun shows for me. I just can’t handle them right now."
And her explanation as to why she doesn't watch the show carries an eye opening message that inspired me take a second look at some of the things in my life.
Credit: Giving Up On Perfect Blog
Mary's blog post details the seemingly endless problems she and her husband have had with what was supposed to be their "starter home." As she explains,
"When we first bought this house thirteen years ago, we considered it our “starter house.” We’d heard that’s what your first house was; it was the way the real market world was back then. Young people bought a small house, fixed it up, and sold it to make a bunch of money for the down payment on their REAL HOUSE."
That's how it was supposed to work out.
Mary and her husband, Mark, spent several years pouring their time, sweat and tears into home projects. But then life happened. Things got busy, and their family started to expand. With kids in the picture, it was time to move on to the "real house." Which meant focusing on the less-than-glamorous repairs. As Mary amusingly points out,
"Why isn’t there a TV show about fixing broken closet doors and installing outlets to meet code?"
But the list of necessary repairs just kept stacking up, from crumbling pipes to sagging siding to a flooded backyard and so on. All demanded time, energy and money which was in short supply for the busy family that had doubled in size since the purchase of the home. The couple tried to sell, but it just wasn't happening.
As things around the house continued to break, and the bills for the repairs that could not be ignored stacked up, popular home improvement shows suddenly were no longer a form of inspiration and entertainment, like they are for most of us. Mary writes,
"I struggle with contentment. And frustration. And disappointment. And, well, entitlement. I’m a mess. This house is a mess. And watching Fixer Upper isn’t going to fix up any part of that."
Mary came to the realization that shows like Fixer Upper, as wonderful as they may be, simply were not helping her overcome the discontentment she was battling in her life, but instead were only perpetuating it. She says,
"Rather than allowing us to dream about the possibilities our cozy little house held, it just reminded us of the money pit we were stuck with."
And so, Mary realized she needed to get away from those negative feelings, even if it meant being "the only middle-aged, female Christian person who does not watch Fixer Upper." Be sure to read Mary's amusing and insightful post in its entirety at Giving Up On Perfect.
I don't have the same struggle Mary does when watching Fixer Upper. But like Mary, I do struggle with contentment in other areas of my life. We all do. And sometimes, we just need to actively avoid the things we know will trigger those unhealthy feelings of discontent. And when we can't avoid them, we need to turn it over to God.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can't carry anything out. But having food and clothing, we will be content with that. But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness." 1 Timothy 6:6-11
Here are 10 things we do to ourselves that we should STOP right now!
h/t: For Every Mom