Painting, Marriage and Criticism.

This gold mirror (before) was posted a few posts ago and I thought I`d follow up with the afters.

The AFTERS– whatever that is. Sounds ominous.

After: Kinda cool how this one is focused on the view, not the frame.

…And this one is focused on the frame.

I wish I could say I tried that.

This gold, gilded frame was $8. Actually it was tagged $10, I casually offered $8. She seemed pumped. I tried to feign boredom– and not claw her as I lunged for the mirror.

It came from a little stand at Antiques in the Alley here in town. I was SO HAPPY with my find. I had been looking for something like this to balance out the other side of this room, and all the gold frames I was finding (with cool details like this)ย  were still $35-40.

Obviously I`m not the only one that likes them. All I did was CAREFULLY take it apart, took the frame, and primed, then spray painted it. White, matte finish.


First thing G said when he saw it was,

“It looks so (ugh) old, and the glass is not clear…”

(Me) Uh, HELLO? That`s what made it a FIND. I can find a clear mirror at WALMART.

See, how I don`t let him intimidate me. He tries. ๐Ÿ™‚

He is really sweet too, in that he really does let me have full reign of what I do around the house here. He really does trust me. Which is huge, since it is his house too.

The other day he said to me, after we had a bit a tiff about some minor things,

“You know, even when I come home on those days when you have things all tore up and there are painting projects all over the table, and supper might not be ready, I am till so proud you`re my wife. Everything you do is so cool around here.”

To me, that`s love. It`s not perfect, but it understands and sees. I love feeling understood.

There White Mirror hangs guarding the left side of the playroom. The playroom is my favorite room in this house. It has tall walls and is comfy. It has pocket doors on the one side that close it off from the living room. Whenever G is gone in the evenings the girls and I play/sit in this room. I always say it`s impossible to feel scared in that room.

The little light blue chair there (foreground), was in the basement, used as my stand for spray painting things. The underside of it was a home for spider webs. Ugly old thing. Probably half the original electric blue paint was gone. It was splitting in half.

Elle had a chair, Laila did not. So I glued it back together with Gorilla glue, cleaned it and painted it light blue for her. Using the free paint samples I got from Glidden awhile back.

Thanks Aimee, for that tip off.

Little blue chair project: FREE


New subject: Criticism.

Lately I have been thinking,

As a follower of Jesus, is it ever and I mean EVER okay to be critical of another person? Any person– sinner or saint.

The definition of Critic is:

Someone who frequently finds fault or makes harsh and unfair judgments.

God is so convicting me of this in my life.

I am seeing that when I pass judgment on others, whether in big or little things, it always lifts up my own spirituality above theirs. It also reveals a lot of insecurity about the thinker of criticism. Even when it seems like a just judgment. Whatever that is.

It really stinks. And I know God hates it.

Thoughts like,

Nice skimpy outfit. Don`t you know people won`t respect you when you wear junk like that.

How pious. Don`t they know their brand of religion is reaching no one?

[My kind of religion is so much more balanced.]

Why does she talk like that? It`s so fake.

Does anyone really still do that? It`s so unnecessary.

Searching for love. Sad. It`s so obvious.

Get off that bandwagon. It`s so trendy and overused.

I just made these up, but yes, I`m sure I have had thoughtsย  along these veins before. Haven`t you?

I am so ashamed. I want a heart that isn`t kind to people just because it`s nice to be nice.

Or because being nice makes me feel… nice.

I want a heart that sees what God sees. I want a love for people just wells up, and out of my heart. I want the scales on my eyes can be removed so that I can see more clearly what God`s plan for me is in an average day. That Me in my life, would fade and grow smaller and smaller.

I started asking myself whenever I felt judgmental of someone:Is there any root of jealousy in this? And when I said, no, I asked myself one. more. time, probing a little deeper and allowing a lit-tle more honesty….

As it turns out. Generally, jealousy is involved. That little

In Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller says,

“I found myself trying toย  love the right things without God`s help, and it was impossible. I tried to go one week without a negative thought about another human being, and I couldn`t do it.

Before that experiment, I thought I was a nice person, but after trying it, I realized I thought bad things about people all day long, and that, like Tony says, my natural desire was to love darkness…”

Love that book, by the way.

John 13:34 NCV,

“I give you a new command: LOVE each other. You must love each other as I (Jesus) have loved you.

All people will know you are my followers if you love each other.

I sat back down from cleaning up mayo and relish off the kitchen floor (Elle). Yes, this applies to children and husbands too.

Keep convicting me, God.


Target plant markers from the $1 section.

Wow. They really do say some tacky things.

Red One is pretty cute though. And so true for me. My thumb is not green, it`s well, whatever color is opposite of green.

They got painted and wrote on with perm markers.

It was supposed to be an herb garden. It was a complete failure.

All summer my husband has been scraping this old house.

He has progressed a LOT since this picture. It`s hard work. Not that I would know. When he comes in from scraping, usually even his pants are soaking wet.

SWEAT, people!!

Long way to go. It`s okay. I`m getting used to the constant mess (paint dust and chips everywhere) outside and I know one day it will be done.

When? Who knows.


Does anyone else do this?

After weeks.

No. months.

Of blowing the dust out of this open cupboard and brushing out crumbs with my fingers… and in general, feeling sadness any time I thought of running all the dusty dishes up top through the dishwasher to again reveal that they were indeed, clear glass….

I finally did it! I cleaned it!

Now it`s my “shining success area” in my house and always makes me go


when i see it.

Oh, course I had to snap a picture. Small thrills for small people.


Working on refinishing the top of my heirloom table.

Above, you can see the 3 stages going on.

Left, done.

Middle, 1 coat stain done.

Right, needs sanded.

I don`t finish with a gloss. I personally, hate glossy anything. I want it to look like it`s still old and unfancy.

After pictures later. I love that table so much it makes me feel funny inside. The combination of it`s special background [I bet 10 year old G sat there to eat a peach shake] and the fact that I re-did it myself.

Plus, it`s just so stinkin` gorgeous!


I LOVE my LOLLA (Laila).

Laila: I am just so in the mood to get into some good old fashioned trouble again…

Yup, some nights we plunk the pan on the table, straight from the stove. Not proud of it.

Aw, relief. When momma has the camera out, it always means she can`t be mad at me. I`m too cute, it seems.

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  1. Rachal says:

    SOME nights you plunk the pan on the table????? We do that every night. I never make more dishes than absolutely necessary. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Di says:

    you my dear speak wisdom. I love how you want to listen to what the Lord has for you, I love how you desire to think/be like Jesus. I see a beautiful heart.

    It’s been awhile since I visited here and I enjoyed EVERY moment. If you have any idea’s for a dress that is too short and too low-cut for “yellow-modesty” (see my blog) then I would LOVE to hear from you. Your sewing knocked me out, well…. close.

  3. Esther says:

    i’m so w/ you on the judgmental/critical thinking stuff! i’m CONSTANTLY needing to guard against it – to reclaim that piece of my mind. one would think @ 61 yrs of age it would become ‘automatic’ but i need to contiually guard against it. on a funny note: i missread the G part & in my mind i read it as God & i’m thinking ‘God tries to intimidate…?’ lol! good post!

  4. Lemmo says:

    I came to your site not really expecting to find a new post, but really needed to hear the criticism piece. I really struggle with this in my thought life, but hope that people aren’t seeing it coming out of my mouth. I have a MIL that always seems to see the good in people, that is what I am trying to learn to do. My mother seems to focus on the negative, and it shows.
    Thank you.
    The mirror is so cute!

  5. I love the mirror. Great find for $8!
    Your house is beautiful – be good to this man of yours – he is doing some hard labour ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. terri says:

    my word. i am so bad at the negative thoughts. and i would never EVER want people to hear what is in my head. i hate to admit that. but i have been thinking lately that i think we act out of the kind of love we feel from God. which means i don’t think i’ve gotten very far in understanding how God feels about me. isn’t that terribly sad? so i’m trying to be quiet and listen for once. i really think he wants us to know–and then to live out of that understanding towards other people. would love to talk with you about this one in person! i love your spirit and just you so much!

  7. drusilla says:

    LOVE this post!! and your writing has a way of giving me my giggle for the day:) The part about being critical is so what God has been dealing wth me about! My hearts cry has been(let me be energized by the good in people not the negative!) I think its even bigger to me since we have kids, they will so develop either a positive or negative spirit toward people based alot on what they see in us…

  8. Dawn says:

    what a great post. i remember the first time i read that book, and thinking wow, i am really not a nice person at all! and now i’m still not a nice person. man. i needed this reminder so much- who do i think i am to be so critical (even if its just in my own head) of anyone, really? you have a beautiful spirit, jenny, and have taught me so much!
    also- first thing i did this morning was go hold my (ok, lily’s) new blanket. i am so in love. and the headband- cuteness!! can’t wait.

  9. You have such a beautiful heart, Jenny. I think this topic of love/judgment challenges every one of us. That is a work that Christ is all about redeeming, and one that seems to be a hard way to think differently about. I’ve thought a lot about all this the past year and a half because of a particular situation that we’re facing. Love is easy when you’re loved in return, when everyone loves God and wants to live for God. Love is hard when the opposite relationship doesn’t care what God wants, yet still want to be in relationship with you. That is hard stuff, and I feel like I’m just in the beginning stages of loving. Kindergarten, maybe. I read something last week that was talking about sin/love: “Hate every trace of their sin, but LOVE the sinner.” And wow, is that ever hard to separate. So often I lump them together… Really good thoughts, Jenny.

    Your redone mirror is gorgeous. Laughed at your line about “not clawing the woman as you lunged for the mirror.” :)) I can relate. Like, “Man, I sure hope I don’t show how excited I am about this BARGAIN, because she’ll surely raise the price, and think I’m acting like a little kid!!”

    Your kids play room looks so cozy and inviting. Love the cool color in there. Speaks “calm” even in a play area – a place that can get messy quick, at least at our house! And your old house, just loving it. There is such a fulfilling feeling that comes from taking something old and making it feel loved again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. julana says:

    we always plunk the pan on the table straight from the stove. ๐Ÿ™‚ (less dishes)

  11. Shannon says:

    So with you on the criticism deal. To many times I say it then wish so badly to be able to back track!

    We plunk the pan a LOT around here! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a blessed day!

  12. Aug says:

    Loved this post. Especially the criticism part. Ouch. I can tend to be way too critical and “blow off” about things…especially to Jeremy.

    And about plunking the kettle down on the table. We also do this EVERY night. I don’t even feel bad about it.

  13. Shannon says:

    Good words on the criticism – Big struggle of mine.

  14. Rachel says:

    where to start….

    the mirror turned out smashing! gorgeous! and WHAT a deal!! i just love that sort of thing; it’s like it energizes and rejuvenates my…spirit? that sounds really carnal, but i think you know what i mean…

    the whole criticism…o, i could have wrote so much of that. and in answer to your question on whether or not it is ever right for a child of God to be critical of another person…i don’t have the ‘answer’ per se’, but i too know that God is/has been speaking to my heart on that matter as well, and for me, it comes down to looking at people as God sees them. Seeing HIS image in every soul, not just the ones that *i* think look like they have it all together…the ones that are not Christians were created in His image the same as me, and when God looks down upon all His creatures…what must He think when we do not regard and love each other for who He made us to be….i’d love to sit over coffee with you and chat on this subject….ThaT! would do my heart well…:)

    and lastly, the house scraping.
    i shall not let my husband see these pictures and read these words of how LoNg it is taking.
    he will totally despair, because all too soon, that will be him/us…and we already are not exactly excited about the prospect.
    the joy? of an all wood-sided house?

    love ya!

  15. diane says:

    aw honey i don’t know if i will ever be done thinking or struggling with this subject. but i love how you said it. i want it for everyone. all scales to be taken off. to love like Jesus. thing is we can’t know what Jesus would have done in our situation all the time so we have to do the best we can. listen to the spirit. i don’t know. but i try really hard.

    the afters are a band. is a band.

  16. Jenny, when will you come do my interior decorating and dress my kids? Please… know you want to visit me! I’ll make you really good food and do your laundry ;), I’ll keep a cold beverage in your hand and might even stir one up for G too. I’m so blown away with your ideas and what you get sewn up. Now I have to start watching the sheets at Goodwill too.
    As for the negative thoughts…..I so want to learn to know the Holy Spirit’s voice and His thoughts about others. I don’t want to pass judgement on anyone, and I want the first thought on my mind to be one of compassion and care for them. I read a book that so helped me think about the verse that says with what judgement we use for others that’s how we’ll be judged….very convicting and thought changing.

    Love you girl, Jess

  17. jennie z says:

    great post. and just what i need to hear on criticism. i wasn’t here in awhile so i needed to catch up. the diner pictures totally rock!

  18. Sandi says:

    great pictures and a wonderful reminded about loving people….but the part that really got me was what your man said about you! that is exactly like you said – not perfect but understood and appreciated. thanks again for writing!

  19. Kay says:

    Awww, Jenny, you never cease to amaze me. Seems like you’ve had every brilliant idea possible… and then you come along with another one! The plant stick one impressed me even more than the mirror because beautifying a mirror is one thing, but transforming ugly plant sticks, well, that’s a whole nother level of creativity.
    I thought of you yesterday. I was broooooooooooowsing JoAnn Fabrics, but not the fabric part. I walked up and down the aisles in the Clearance section and wondered what treasures you’d see that I wasn’t seeing. Then I wandered thro the unfinished wood section and wondered how your brain would be going 60 mph picturing lovely things with a little paint and some TLC. Then, I walked past the part where they sell individual letters and I wondered what abstract word you’d think of to buy letters for and put up somewhere. And on and on my browsing experience went. Which actually seemed like OUR browsing experience because I was trying to look at things thro your eyes.
    Oh, and the critical subject… my toes are black and blue! thanks for writing that and stepping on them!

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