Integrity and Elmer’s Glue

Finally! Virtues now grace my dining room walls.

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Years ago, I was touring West Point and came upon stones engraved with values. This deeply impressed me and I started wondering how I could put these values on display in my home. I wanted to expose our grandchildren to these words because I doubted they were common to their vocabulary. I came up with a bright idea and, although I argued my case succinctly, my husband would not agree to engrave words of virtue on the backs of our dining room chairs.

Fast forward to our recent kitchen renovation. My dream to display virtues was still alive so, with the help of my granddaughter, Zoe, we cut out letters on her mother’s Cricut and I mounted them above the window and door sills in our dining room.

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It was more work than I expected – peeling the adhesive letters, climbing up and down from the chair, stretching to reach – but the result was just what I wanted… until I came back in the room an hour later and found my faith falling apart. I only had fai_h. I got back up on the chair, Elmer’s glue in hand and, in moments, my faith was restored. But then there was “int_grity” and “_iscipline” and “coura_e”. Elmer’s glue again. These babies are there to stay! But each morning, and throughout the day, I check to see if my virtues are intact.

This challenged me to think beyond the virtues on my wall to the virtues in my heart. I’m not as diligent about checking my heart as I am my walls, but now my daily inspection of virtues in the dining room reminds me to perform a personal checkup. Do I embrace compassion? Do I compromise my honesty? Do I demonstrate humility? This brings me to another question, one you may be able to help me with:

Is there a glue that can keep my personal virtues from slipping?

I’ve considered a few adhesives – simply paying attention to my heart, noticing virtues present in others, and paying attention to them in my Bible reading. Is there something you can add to my glue list?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gretchen
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 13:11:15

    What a great reminder Barbara! Thank you for sharing!

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    Reply

  2. Doug Higby
    Jan 23, 2016 @ 15:54:53

    I think that serving others keeps virtues alive. If you look at the words, most of them are relational. Working at these while staring at a printed page can only go so far. You have to practice virtues and that always happens when you serve others.

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    Reply

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