When Someone Else Winnows

I love my home.  I mean, we junk it up and make a mess in it.  We spill things and stain the carpets.  Sometimes we grit our teeth and growl a little because of the crowdedness of five bodies inhabiting our 1,100 square feet.  But when I look around at the things that make our house a home (mind you, not all those intangibles that prove "home" could be on the dark side of the moon and our Fab Five be nearly perfectly content - but, rather, the "stuff"), I feel this deep pulsating sense of satisfaction and contentment.  The reality is that our home is comprised nearly completely of furnishings and finishings that have come as a result of someone else winnowing their own items and bestowing them on us. Amazingly, everything comes together and makes our home unique and comfortable, and, I hope, warm to anyone who enters.

Most recently we have been given a leather sectional sofa, a dining room table and chairs, and a hutch.  Our former couch (one of the only furniture items we have had to purchase ever in our nearly 14 years of marriage and family) is covered in fabric that is light ivory and yellow.  As a result, we have a pictorial history of our child-rearing finger painted into the cushions by tiny fingers.  The new sectional sofa is lovely and also ivory, but it can be cleaned up in seconds with soap and water or diluted bleach.  Fabulous.  It also came with a big ottoman that has been functioning as a coffee table/homework desk/superhero launching pad since it arrived in our home.

The dining room table hasn't yet been put to use, but the chairs that came with it are nearly a perfect match to the chairs that sit around our kitchen table which once belonged to my great grandmother.  Our chairs are in less-than-perfect condition and have rungs that continually fall out, so the new chairs are an ideal substitute for some of the more beat-up kitchen chairs.

The final piece, the hutch, has brought me so much joy this past week.  I decided to paint/distress it and I am so stoked with the results.  Here is a little before-and-after:

 (I forgot to take a picture of the bottom, dresser portion of the hutch before I painted it.)
I chose to use paint leftover from painting our kitchen five years ago rather than buying new paint, and a little bottle of ivory acrylic from my crafting supplies.

These next two are after I painted it, but before I distressed it.  I thought it looked nice, but since everything around our house naturally, er, distresses, I thought I would beat the years of wear and tear to the punch.

I painted these doors on two separate nights, the right one first and the left second.  There is definitely a difference in the two doors since I was just free-handing a design from the top of my head, but I intend to chalk the variations up to the "beauty of hand-made" instead of feeling bad about inconsistency.

I discovered when I got to the point where I was ready to distress it that I didn't have any sandpaper.  So, I grabbed an emery board and tried to do as much damage as I could.  Eventually I bought some sandpaper to finish the job.  Way better idea, I might add.

So here's the finished result . . .

I had such a great time working on this.  In the middle of painting it, while the kids were quietly napping, I realized how peaceful I felt.  I thought some, found my mind in neutral some, and prayed.  It was so nice.

So, thank you, T. and J.K., for winnowing your own possessions and thinking to bless us with them.  That is just what you've done.  And you have also reminded me to continue winnowing mindfully and generously.  In all seriousness, every time we have received another thing that fits so perfectly in our home-life it reminds me that God absolutely cares about the details; more evidence that if he can think to dress the flowers of the field he can surely take care of us.

P.S. And thanks to S and B for letting me stand you up on Tuesday to keep on painting.  I'll see you Tuesday.


  1. Michele5:00:00 PM

    Wow, Jessi...that is beautiful.

  2. Um, how did I miss this post? That is AMAZING!!!!


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