AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Surviving or Thriving?

June 1, 2013

Today was our 10 year wedding Anniversary. Hard to believe it has been that long! You know you are getting old when all you want for your Anniversary is a nap. Three out of my four children spilled their lemonade tonight and I was so frustrated. Lemonade is sticky and I was in my date night dress scrubbing the floors on my knees. I had to apologize to my children for losing it over spilled lemonade. It wasn’t worth it.

For the weekend, I wanted to share an older post from 2 years ago. It’s a good reminder for me. Happy Weekend!

I love to work, I got it from my dad. My job is fun and fulfilling and I get to work with my best friend and husband, Chip. We get to see houses come to life everyday and get the benefit of knowing wonderful families are filling their spaces in these places we helped create.

I have been balancing (or so I say) work part of the day with being a mother the other part. Since I see my life in a grid, kids are on one side and work is on the other. Marriage fits happily in both places because we work together well and play together too. For a while, it was working just great and then the stress of work started spilling over on the “mother” side and I noticed even when I was home, my mind was always at work. I noticed some things coming up in their hearts and even in mine that were red flags. They needed their mom in this season of life and honestly I needed my kids.

Now that I juggle work at home and raising children I realized I needed to first stop compartmentalizing my life and start letting it FLOW. I want to be a mother who flows with things instead of FrEaKiNg out over sticky floors and interrupted nap times. I have such a tight grip on schedules and expectations that I rarely get to just sit back and enjoy being present. 

It’s the challenge set before all of us. How do we give up control in areas so we don’t smother our little ones? How do we take advantage of teachable moments when sometimes we’d rather a clean kitchen? I don’t want to be the mom that just goes through the day and survives it. I want to truly know that everyday is a gift and that I only have these little ducklings for so long and then they are off.
Let’s not let our days just pass us by, whether you have kids or no kids, married or single, evaluate your life and position yourself so that you are thriving. Ask God the question, “What is my purpose for today?” and then boldly walk out into that reality. The thought of living on survival mode is exhausting and it makes life go by too fast. Slow down, relax, and enjoy where you are and what’s all around you. Embrace this gift of today.


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  • Shelly
    1:48 am, February 26, 2017
    I really appreciate what you just said about surviving as a mom. I am a mom of 2 disabled young adults. Love them both but they can be challenging. I have changed my whole decor after watching your program, partly to keep my sanity I am a stay home mom. I love what you say about balance I think t hat is what I am lacking. Thank you for sharing your belief in God your family is an encouragement to ours. My son loves watching Chip. Thank you again for your encouragement.
  • Beverly Massey
    5:53 pm, February 8, 2017
    When I first watched fixer upper, I liked the way the two of you interacted on the set. Then I was told that you know SomeOne I know. And He makes all the difference. Keep up the God work and good work.
  • Kimberly Davis
    1:02 pm, June 29, 2015
    Joanna you are such an inspiration to so many people. You and Chip embody such a great relationship. I love watching "Fixer Upper". What you 2 do to all of the homes is so amazing!!! I love your style, it is just exactly what I love so much. The problem is that non of it is really in my house:(. I really want to come visit your shop sometime, I really wish my husband and I could work on a house with you and Chip. I drive through Waco parents live in Temple and my family is right outside of Dallas. I think I get teary eyed at the end of every one of your shows because I want to live in a beautiful space like what I see. I just don't know how to make it happen. I don't have the vision. Thank you for having such a great family and loving the Lord and being such an inspiration to me!!!!!
  • Judy Johns
    12:37 pm, December 27, 2014
    I heard from my sister you were located in Ft Worth. Have watched your remodel designs on HGTV and love them. I want to make a few changes to accommodate elderly parent. Finding quality remodelers can be tiring with horror stories. Can you help.
  • Yolanda
    7:59 pm, August 8, 2014
    Joanna, I came here to just marvel at your talent, your style, your wholesomeness...

    I know this post is a year old, but God used you to minister to me!

    I am a teacher who WAS going back to work dreading the demands... terrified of them, really, but your words have inspired me to just follow the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit just be present and available for the mighty works He wants to do through me. Thank you for, without espousing your religious beliefs on TV, living a life that glorifies God and inspires your audience. God's love radiates through you, Chip, and your stunningly beautiful children. You're so authentic. I know your loving relationship with your husband is real because I have been married for 26 1/2 years to a wonderful man, myself.

    I simply wanted to thank you and to tell you how beautiful you are, inside and out, and how I pray
    God will continue to bless you!
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