AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Becoming a Responder

August 7, 2014

With summer coming to an end and the school year quickly approaching, I can’t help but think how fast time has flown by. It’s almost time for me to send my kiddos back to school, which means routines and schedules are going to require us to stay on top of things so we don’t get pummeled by every day life. Whether it’s packing four lunches every day or having school projects due on a Friday, transition is coming quickly around the corner.

I want to think ahead and prepare, rather than letting this next season sneak up on me. It’s easy to live reacting to present circumstances, but I can’t live in that mindset forever. Instead, I want to anticipate, plan , and respond. I want to be a responder rather than a reactor. With our crazy schedule I’m finding that even though this is typically not my nature, I have to plan ahead in order to thrive.

I can tell I’ve entered into survival mode when I start getting frustrated easily or get upset at little things. When I’m not preparing for what’s coming, it’s easy for me to get sidetracked, distracted or caught off guard. This leaves me in a vulnerable position. It allows insecurity to creep in and the feeling of defeat to sink deep. And if I let that rule my life, then I’m never going to make the impact I was made to make. Reactors survive, they don’t thrive.

Instead, I can be a responder. I can prepare for what’s coming the best I can and get vision for where I’m going.  This starts by pausing to think about what’s next and how I want to get there. What is my purpose and what am I called to do in this season of my life? I’ve got to set aside time to go over my goals, calendar, meal plans, projects and due dates. I confess I’m one of those people who get giddy about new organization tools, whether it’s a new app or a clipboard system. But I rarely have a perfect follow-through record. So that’s why this year my goal is to maintain a place of planning and thinking ahead. The key is staying on top of it so there are real results. So go ahead and buy the cute new planner, but gather a support system and ask them to encourage you in your goals.

When I take time on the front end to plan, identify goals and vision and gather a support system, then I know where I’m headed, even when surprises come. I’m focused. Sure, there are curve balls, but at least it won’t feel like ten are coming my way every hour. I want to make a greater impact by becoming a responder with my husband, my children, employees, and clients. When I respond to circumstances, there is a movement of grace that follows behind and this is where growth happens.


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  • Colleen
    9:57 pm, January 6, 2015
    This was perfect.
  • Darcy
    4:20 am, October 5, 2014
    Every individual will discover their own personal way while in the planet of organization coaching but encounter is necessary.
    At meetings towards the end of 2008, the FIH Executive Board agreed on proposals from the Hockey Rules
    Board for rule changes in 2009. “There is major significance here,” Huyghue told the
  • robin renaldo
    10:51 pm, August 27, 2014
    Inspiration...its a gift you have given us...not only in business, design and creating homes....but in the most important feature of your show...a loving couple nourishing a family of "littles" in the midst of it all....that's what made your show my instant number one...
  • Deborah
    6:38 pm, August 21, 2014
    Chip and Joanna, I saw your show for the first time while recuperating at home after surgery--and I loved it! I love that you live in Texas, and that you treasure the love of God and family! My daughter-in-law and I get together for "Fixer Upper" marathons--sometimes the guys even watch! Thank you for sharing your lives and your ideas with us. God Bless Y'all!
  • Maggie daniel
    6:14 pm, August 21, 2014
    Love your show. Its so refreshing to see the love and fun between you too. Hope you will continue to film many more shows. God bless you and your family.
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