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Peeling Paint and Rotten Trim – Don’t Dwell On the Past

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Have you ever undertaken a huge project on a whim?  Three years ago, my #2 son, John, and I were blacktopping the driveway when I began staring at the house.

The white paint on the south side was in bad shape and peeling.  The trim on one of the windows was so rotten that we had duct tape over it and a few wooden slats of siding needed to be replaced.

The trim of the house was an outdated country blue from the early 90’s.  We couldn’t afford vinyl siding or to even hire someone to paint it.  The wheels in my head began spinning.

Thinking.

Contemplating.

Light bulb moment.

The kids and I are gonna paint this house!

I rallied my kids together and said, “We can do this!”

The next day we bought paint, repair supplies, hauled out our ladder and borrowed an extra one.

John was 14 and would head up the project and do all the trim and siding repairs.

Our oldest, then 18, although busy with his first week of college and work, would paint the peaks.

My 11 year old daughter would be in charge of painting the porch.

Our two youngest were 3 and 7 and just needed to stay out from under the ladders.

We worked every day for two weeks and transformed this old, peeling, run down, white house into a nicely repaired, freshly painted, light grey house.

I even painted the porch swing to match the front door – I came up with that idea all by myself and my name isn’t Martha Stewart!

But you know what?

After all that work, I still think of this house as being that same old white house in need of repair.  Even when I give directions I’ll say, “We’re the white house on the left.”

Don’t we do that to ourselves sometimes?

We look into our past at who we once were and still define ourselves that way.  We cling to old beliefs about ourselves.

Or we allow others to define us.

We drag our past around and it inhibits our future.  Examine the past, learn from it, then let it go.

I’m starting to catch myself now. “We’re the dumpy, white house…umm, no, we’re the beautiful, light grey house on the left.”

“Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.” ~ Isaiah 43:18

Yolanda DeLoach (@YolandaDeLoach) is a member of Wesley UMC and through her writing, tries to remind herself to keep life light.

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