I got a new coat this summer. Wait, what? I can hear your questions now. Do you even need a coat in Florida during the winter, let alone the summer? The answer to your first question is an undeniable ‘yes’. It doesn’t take long to acclimate to the heat and humidity of summer, so when the temperatures fall below sixty degrees, you see most Floridians bundled up like Eskimos in the Arctic.
The answer to your second question, as you might expect, is ‘no’. We don’t need a coat in summer, but I suppose I tried to pull a fast one on you with that statement. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that our house got a new coat this summer. After nearly 25 years of severe storms, hail, and hurricane winds battering the exterior walls, the paint on our house was wearing thin.
I never knew how much went into the painting of a home. I was naïve to think it was as simple as slapping a coat or two of fresh paint over what was already there and calling it a day. And it’s these thoughts that explain why I’m better suited typing words in front of a computer screen than handling most handyman projects.
The process began with a thorough pressure wash of the exterior, clearing away all the dirt, grime, and mildew that accumulated over the years. This revealed cracks between each cinder block that opened over time, as the home shifted and settled, doing its best to find a comfortable position. Only after these cracks were sealed and a bonding agent applied, could the two coats of new paint be applied to create the stunning new structure we call home.
As you might expect, this caused me to pause and think, how painting a home can be so much like our own human existence. We sometimes get worn down and stained by self-doubt or circumstances over time. And when we do our best to cleanse ourselves of those extra things we don’t want to carry with us any longer, it can reveal cracks in our outer shell. And if we just slap a metaphorical fresh coat of paint over the top of these cracks, they will show again, sooner rather than later. But if we take the time to fill them in, with loving relationships and self-care, that new paint we apply afterwards will create a beautiful exterior.
And that external beauty comes, not from what is seen on the outside, but rather from all the attention we provide to the much more important details—our foundation—just beneath the surface.
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