Friday, April 29, 2016

Permission or Encouragement

I wrote this little post back in January about how I squashed my husband's dream.  I got a lot of response on that one.  (And by response, I mean several people went out of their way to tell me they appreciated it--people I didn't even know read my blog--which was really cool.) I always enjoy feedback, so I want to delve a little deeper into this subject because it seemed to touch a nerve.

I want to be clear on something.  I didn't give my husband permission to leave his job last year.  He wasn't asking for permission from me, his wife.  He asked my opinion.  He asked for my input.  But more than anything else, he asked for my support...he wanted my encouragement.  For me to encourage my husband is not the same thing as giving him permission.  Permission implies that I have control over the head of my household.  Permission implies that I rule over my husband.  I don't. While I won't argue that I am directionally gifted, at times (a.k.a. "bossy"), the final decision--and accountability--rest on my husband.

Get your own "My love" expression here

To encourage him, though, is another animal entirely.  To encourage him gives him confidence.  To encourage him frees his mind to know that he is not creating conflict in his home while he pursues his dream.  To encourage my husband empowers him to do what he needs to do to build his business.  To encourage him allows him the freedom to grow and learn.  I know this because that's what it does for me when he encourages me.

How are you supporting your spouse today?

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

Thanks for sharing and subscribing.  You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  I'm @JensWallsTalk.  See you around.

Monday, April 25, 2016

I Miss Sweating

I've been nursing a foot injury.  It's nothing major, but it is slow healing and very annoying.  As a result, I haven't been CrossFitting as much as I'd like.  In fact, I took about a month off.  It's kind of funny, and when I started CrossFit 5 years ago I never thought I'd say this, but...I've missed it. 

I was feeling sorry for myself a bit and thinking that I have a legit reason to miss my workout sessions at my box (aka. a CrossFit gym).  I was thinking I am letting my foot heal, so I shouldn't do much to push it.  And then I did push it a little while at karate class and my body felt so good.  But that was one night and it didn't get me going back to my early morning workouts.  Then I read this little article from my friend, Ian, over at  Darn it.  I hate when that guy is right.  (Not really "hate," per just happens more than I'd like.)  I was losing ground.  Then the realization hit me: I wasn't skipping the gym because my foot was hurt; I was skipping because I didn't want to look like a super wimp after all the gains I've made. Hello, ugly ego monster.  You're making me move backwards.  So to the gym I went.

 UL Italian turquoise
"To be great" expression available here.

And I sweated...and I loved it.  Yes, I had to scale my workout.  No box jumps for this girl, yet. That's okay.  I'll get back there in due time.  In the meantime, I will keep moving forward because doing something--even scaled and not as big--is always better than doing nothing.  Suck it up, buttercup.  I'll see you at the box in the morning...or you can stay home so I can keep moving forward while you go backwards.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

Thank you for subscribing to this blog!  You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (@JensWallsTalk).

Friday, April 22, 2016

I'm a SECRET Ninja

If you've been following me for any length of time, chances are that you've heard me mention that I do karate.  You probably know I have my black belt, and if you've been following me for a while, then you know it took me a while (6 1/2 years!) to get it and I had to work through quite a bit of stuff in my head before I could get it.  It's not a secret.  But since my school was featured in my local paper for an upcoming Women's Self-Defense class we are hosting, I've had at least 3 people that I know come up and tell me they had no idea that I did karate. got me thinking: how do they not know that I do karate when I spend at 4-5 hours a week at the karate school and I promote it on Facebook frequently?

Granted that each of these three people are not besties of mine, but they are people I interact with on a fairly regular basis.  I see them at the store or church and chat for a few minutes, but apparently, nothing beyond the weather and other light conversation topics.  I'm not upset they didn't know about me doing karate.  That's not it at all.  I'm just concerned that I about what level of superficial am I living in when people don't know that I have been doing karate for over 7 years now?

The next thought that came to me was that outside of occupation and who their family members are, I couldn't tell you a single thing that any of those people do.  Ouch.  So here is my new goal: instead of just interacting with people on a relatively superficial level, I want to get to know them better.  I know that I won't know everyone in their deepest, darkest places, but it will be fun to get to know them more...what do they like to do?  What are their hobbies?  Etc.

We were put on this earth to be in relationship with other people.  So let's go do it, friends.  Join me in moving past the surface.  

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

I'd love to have you subscribe to this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@JensWallsTalk).  See you around!  And feel free to introduce yourself when you stop by.

Monday, April 18, 2016

I Know Why Artists Are Starving

Because it's personal.  More than any other creative medium, art is personal.  Writing is personal, too, but it can be easily dismissed as being one's opinion...whereas art is a piece of me.  It comes 100% from within me.  There are no pre-formed strokes that one combines to make a picture like you do with words.  Granted, there some some that combine those words better than others.  They are the storytellers.  We love to read their work.  It entertains, educates, and challenges us, but that is usually the goal from the beginning.  

Creating art is an outward expression of something inside of me.  If, for one reason or another, you don't like it, it feels like you don't like a piece of me.  Ouch.  I'm sure (in my logical mind) that isn't truly the case, but that's how it feels to my creative mind.  Vulnerable. That's why artists are starving.  It can be painful if the given audience doesn't like their artwork...unless I'm doing it for me.  So I just don't put it out there in the first place.  No work.  No pay.

 UL warm stone & sugared plum

Friends, I share this idea not because I have figured out how to push past artist/writer's block.  I share it because I struggle with it.  I have to give myself a deadline.  That's the trick for me.  Someone has contracted with me to do something, so I must do it...whether I'm scared or not.  Start somewhere and work from there.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  That seems to be a common theme for me lately.  It's a growing season for me right now.  So grow I must.  The alternative is to wither and stagnate.

What do you need to grow through?

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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You can also follow me @JensWallsTalk on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to sneak a peek on what projects I'm currently working on.

Friday, April 15, 2016

When To Be Thankful for Hard Conversations

When restoration is the goal.  When you know you will have a deeper relationship when it's done. When it pushes you past superficial.  When it makes you take a deeper look in the mirror.  Because you'll be stronger on the other side.  Because your relationship will be stronger on the other side. Because you'll be more real with another human being when you get past it.  Because you'll be more real with yourself, too.  Because I love that person despite the hurt my words caused them.  Because it's the right, mature, vulnerable, loving, honest thing to do.

UL spring hyacinth
Get your "strong" expression here.

All these are real reasons why to go have that hard conversation.  I never said it would be easy.  In fact, it will probably be tremendously difficult...but it's so worth it.  I get to talk about this because I got to have 2 of these conversations last week.  I'm not proud that I hurt two of my dearest friends, but I'm glad we are working to make it better.  Truly, it was awful.  And beautiful.  I do not deserve the friends I have.  They are amazing, grace-filled, forgiving people.  Beautiful friends.  Beautiful humans.

Make it a beautiful day.

Stop by and see me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@JensWallsTalk). 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Get Out!

Spring is finally here in my lovely state of Colorado.  Do you know how I know?  The topper is off our Jeep Wrangler.  That's when it's officially spring.  So out we went yesterday.  

We weren't the only ones with that idea.  On the trail we chose for our quick drive, (which also happens to be a fantastic rock climbing area,) there were at least 30 other cars out there.  People were camping.  People were hiking.  People were 4-wheeling.  People were rock climbing.  It was beautiful.  It reminded me of why I love living in Colorado.  I've now lived here longer than all the other places I've lived combined.  Maybe that means I'm getting old.  Maybe it means I actually like it here.  No.  I love it here.

 UL hollyhock & Italian Turquoise
Your "Bloom" expression is waiting here.

Wherever it is you choose to live, get out.  Go for a walk.  Play in your garden.  Go for a drive with the windows down or the top off.  It's beautiful!  It's such a gift, this world in which we live.  I'm so thankful to be able to partake in the outdoors.  Enjoy it. Today.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@JensWallsTalk).  See you outside!

Friday, April 8, 2016

5 Tips So You Can Watch Paint Dry Happily

I don't often offer technical posts even though part of my business is painting, but this one does come with a lesson and hopefully a little bit of humor learned in hindsight.  One would think that painting is a fairly simple enterprise, but apparently it's not.  A bad paint job is a bad paint job, and even an untrained eye can see it.  As a result, here are my tips for a good painting job.  

#0: Primer.  If you have any spots on the wall that you had to fix before you paint, you must user primer on it or you will be able to see it f-o-r-e-v-e-r.  It's called flashing.  Please trust me on this.  I speak the truth.  

#1: Color.  Make your color selection.  If you are touching up because your child happened to color on the wall with marker, then you should have invested in washable markers to begin with. But if it has already happened, it's time to move on.  Choose either the same color, from the same can, or plan to repaint the whole wall.  Even if you are using paint from the same can, if the room receives natural sunlight, chances are it's faded...and you need to repaint the whole wall.  

#2: Check your finish.  I don't mean the end of the paint job.  Finish refers to the sheen of the paint.  As a general rule, the shinier the finish, the more cleanable it is.  (See tip #1 regarding why you would need a scrubbable finish in the first place.) While flat paint hides a multitude of texture flaws, it is not very cleanable.  I don't recommend this finish for kids' rooms...

#3: Please use tape.  Unless you are a professional painter, plan to spend a little bit on tape.  You'll thank me in the end.  And don't get the cheap stuff.  It doesn't work.  That's why it's cheap.  A good quality tape will save you a whole lot of hassle in the end.  Honestly, pulling tape is my favorite part of painting.  Also, here's a pro tip for you: pull the tape off while the paint is still wet.  If you happen to not be done and need to pull tape after it's dry, then run along the seam with an exacto blade before you pull the tape.  You're welcome.

 UL mulberry wine
Get your "birdie welcome" here

#4: Plan to touch up.  Oopsies happen.  I get it.  But you and I both know that if you don't fix that runner spot right away, you will definitely not take the time to sand it down, retexture, and repaint later.  If paint drips onto the trim, wipe it off right away.  It's okay that it happened, but don't leave it.

What you do affects other people.  If you do a bad paint job, at some point, someone else will have to fix it, so please do it right in the first place.  It's called having integrity, being accountable (even to yourself), being mature, etc.  It matters.  This time it's paint.  Next time it will probably be something else.  Do it right.

This is your painting public service announcement.  You (and your landlord) can thank me later.  In the meantime, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@JensWallsTalk).  You might just catch a sneak peak of what I'm currently painting.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Lies

I wanted to cry and run away.  I was doing what I believe I'm supposed to be doing...but that doesn't mean it's perfect every time.  In fact, it was really hard for a bit.  So much for "if your doing something you love, you'll never work a day in your life."  This is what I love and, believe me, I was working.

What was this terrible task, you might be wondering?  I was painting. Not only painting (which can be done poorly, but that's a story for another day), but faux painting. It's what I do. It's part of my business.  I've done this particular finish several times, in various shades, but for some reason this time was different. Without going into too much technical detail, it was just wrong, bad, terrible, not right, and I had a choice to make.  I could crawl out the window (yes, that thought crossed my mind!), or I could put my big girl panties on and figure out a way to fix it--terrifying though it may be.  Let me be really clear in saying that my client is an amazingly sweet person and this pressure was all self-inflicted. I had told her I could do something.  Now I needed to do it.

Fast forward to an hour later, 15 texts to my apparently busy husband, another 10 vague texts to friends asking for prayers, where I came up with an alternate plan...and she really liked it.  It almost seems silly in hindsight.  I was praying about paint.  I know in the grand scheme of things paint is unimportant, but this was bigger than paint.  This is my word.  This is my reputation.  This is my business.  This has my name on it.  So it matters. 

In the end it worked out.  It was actually really nice and it's what I believe my client wanted. The hard part was the lies. You know the ones I'm talking about because I'm sure you've heard them, too.  They are the lies Satan whispers in our ears when we're not paying attention: you can't do this; you don't know what you're doing; who do you think you are to do this without formal training in a classroom; you can't really run a business of doing this; you're not good enough; you're not as talented as the lady who taught you. Here was my response that I actually said out loud as I was painting at a stranger's house: I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME. And that, friends, is the truth.

What do you do when you get stuck? Cry, pray, call for help? All of the above? I believe I couldn't reach my hubby on purpose. It forced me to pray more, rely on God, and to humble myself and reach out to others to pray for me.

 UL Caribbean Blue
Get your "Life is fragile" expression here.

If this post has resonated with you, if love to hear about it in the comments below, but I'd also ask you to share. Sharing is caring. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram (where you might also get a peak of current painting projects!), and Facebook. @JensWallsTalk

Make it a beautiful day, friends.


Friday, April 1, 2016

I Hate TV

I didn't say I don't watch it or enjoy it, but I hate it.  I do watch...and I get sucked in.  

The problem is that we don't just watch a show and then be done.  We watch one show and then another, and another... In the "olden" days, we watched a show and then had to wait until next week to watch the next episode and heaven forbid if we missed an episode--we'd have to wait until summer to watch it on re-runs.  With the advent of Netflix, Hulu, Kodi, and the like, we can sit and watch for hours (and just because it's on your computer doesn't mean you're not watching TV).  We can watch an entire season of one show.  If we've watched all the current episodes, we can go back and watch from the beginning--to catch all the subtle foreshadowing we missed when we watched it the first time, of course.  So what's the problem with binge watching TV?

Besides the obvious (lack of movement; not actually looking at and interacting with real, live humans; lack of actual brain stimulation; etc...), I believe there are a few bigger problems.  Before I lay into the entertainment status quo, understand that I am guilty of all of these.  I come to you not as a know-it-all-never-done-wrong person, but as someone that doesn't-like-it-but-does-it-anyway-and-please-make-it-go-away.  I truly believe that TV is not only an escape, but an addiction.  Just because we don't put something in our body, like a drug or alcohol addiction, doesn't mean our brain doesn't like it just the same.  

Get your In This Home expression here

Here's the real cost of watching TV, though.  It's the opportunity cost.  If you're not familiar with what opportunity cost is, it works like this: I watch TV instead of going outside and playing catch with my kids.  I gain weight because I do this on a regular basis.  I don't feel as well as I used to, so I am active less and less.  The cost in the long run is not only my health, but better and deeper relationship with my kids, self-confidence, and family memories.  Instead of my kids looking back and saying, 
"My mom didn't play much with me, but we watched a lot of TV shows together," 
I'd much rather them say,
" My mom loved to play with us.  We would go outside and do _____ at least once a week.  It was cool."
I am really struggling with this right now, friends.  It's easy to sit and veg for hours and then all of a sudden the night is gone and I've done nothing to engage with my kids and hubby.  That's a gross feeling because we only get one shot at this life.  I don't want to look back and see all that we didn't do because we were current on our shows. 

I think it's time for a TV fast.  Now to see how hubby feels about this...Who else is in??  Comment below if you will take the next 30 days off of TV, Hulu, Netflix, Kodi, etc.

If this post has resonated with you, please share on your favorite social media outlet and subscribe to each new post by entering your email in subscribe box.  You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@JensWallsTalk).  See you soon and thanks for stopping by.

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