We’re All Fixer Uppers


I am an avid fan of the hit TV show “Fixer Upper” featuring Chip and JoAnna Gaines. Part of my love for the show is the fact that it is great to see a healthy, godly marriage modeled on TV. Part of my affinity for the show has to do with my desire to buy an old farmhouse on at least ten acres of land, fix it up, have animals… the whole country, farm life thing.

But part of my fascination has to do with the potential they see in the houses they fix up. The tagline in the opening theme of the show each week says, “We find the worst house in the best neighborhood and turn it into our clients’ dream home.” I love that!

It’s all about finding something that has potential, could be great, but has simply been left outdated and deteriorated out of neglect and time. Then they turn that house into something really special… more than a fixed-up version of the same thing… they turn it into a home.

Demo Day

In tonight’s episode, Chip said of demo day… his favorite part of every job… “Things gotta get ugly before they can get pretty again.”  Sure enough, they tore that house down to the foundation before they did anything to make it look amazing.  They tore down walls, took out plumbing fixtures, removed siding… they gutted the place to the subfloor.

The truth was, at some point, someone had thought they were doing okay on that house by themselves. But they didn’t know what it really took for it to become all it could. Some stuff had to look uglier than it was before it could be made prettier than could be imagined.

Finished Product

Bam! Those reveal segments are always spectacular. The clients can’t believe their eyes. I’ve been watching the whole show and I’m still blown away each time.

As they tour the clients through the house they bought which has been turned into the home of their dreams, the explain what they did and why they did it. They show how they had done all the tearing out and replacing to make the person’s home express all it’s hidden potential.

The ooh’s and ahh’s from the clients are always worth every effort made to get the job done. From jaw drops to tears of joy to the sheer inability to speak to jumping up and down, the clients who trusted the Gaines’ expertise reveal just how great a job they did on the clients’ Fixer upper.

A Bunch of Fixer Uppers

There’s one more reason I love this show… It’s because it reminds me that I am also a fixer upper whom God saw as having potential, but needing some work. He saw past what needed to be demo’d in my life to what the finished design might look like.

And trust me, there is major renovation going on in my life.  I have not yet arrived, but God is working on me and has done so much already that you wouldn’t recognize me if you saw me before His work began.

And one day, He’ll reveal me as one of His finished projects. It may get uglier before it gets prettier, but prettier is coming. The way I think, talk and behave will be so much better than before. Just getting rid of some of the old stuff in me makes me look better and gives Him room to add His touches to my life.

For the record, as He surveys the neighborhood, He sees you, too, and all your potential… and He asks that question, “Do you have what it takes to take on a fixer upper?”

Trust me, this is no DIY. God will guide the process, and in the end you will be more amazing than you ever dreamed possible.


Author: Allen Chapin

- Christian, husband, dad, friend, leader, author and speaker - Life Purpose = Love & Encourage, Offering Grace & Hope - Life Motto = Living for the applause of nail-scarred hands - Life Verse = Matthew 25:21

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