Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Deck Of Integrity

A Deck of Integrity

When Mike and I married this past April, we purchased a house. We went through all of the steps for the purchase. We had it inspected thoroughly. There were a few items to address. Nothing major.

We moved into the house in May. We haven’t painted or changed much inside. Yet


The back of the house has a large screened porch. We enjoy sitting on the porch looking out over the backyard and the lake just beyond. Off of the screened porch is a deck.


Sunset on the Lake
A View From the Deck

The deck came with a ramp. I suppose it was built for someone who simply couldn’t climb steps or was relegated to a wheelchair. 

It doesn't matter. Our dog, Honeybee, thinks we built it just for her. Not dealing with steps to go outside has breathed new life into the fifteen-year-old “pup.”


The deck was made of wood. We wanted to replace the wood top with Trex, a composite material designed to last much longer than wood. We found a good contractor through our local hardware store, picked out the color we wanted, and set the date.


The first task facing our contractor was to remove the old decking boards making up the top surface. He and his assistant put in a full day deconstructing the existing deck. 


Midway through the process, he called us out to “see something.” One of the supports beneath the deck top…the board connecting the deck to the ramp… had rotted. Someone had attached a new two by four (2X4) to strengthen the connection. 


The problem? Of course the damage to the existing support was extensive. But the real problem was that whoever tried to fix it, did not use pressure treated wood. The 2X4 was the sort you might use for an interior wall in a house. Not for a deck intended to survive the elements. 

Reminds me of Jesus talking
about putting new cloth
on an old garment.

The experience made me think about how we often try to put a band-aide on our own flaws. 


It is a matter of integrity. 

My maternal grandfather once defined integrity to me as being the same on the outside as you are on the inside. While we may look fine on the outside, those internal problems weaken us. Left unaddressed, they compromise our integrity. 


Like the deck, we may look great. We may pass the “home inspection.” But if we are crumbling inside, the fa├žade will fail.


It isn’t that we should seek perfection. Not at all.

The simple truth is that we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. 


One of the characteristics that drew me to both my sweet husband, Mike, and my late husband, Tom, is integrity. Neither man ever claimed to be perfect. 


Mike is who he says he is. He is a good, honest, and caring man. 

He has never suggested he knows everything. He admits to himself and others where he falls short. He isn’t interested in his “image.” He is interested in being the best person he can be with the limitations he possesses. 


I get it. I appreciate it. That defines a man of integrity.


I contend that when we acknowledge who we are with all our flaws, our strength may prove to be our weakness and our weakness may prove to be our strength. 

There is truth in that as long as you recognize it. (Actually, you can read a post on strengths and weaknesses HERE if you like.)


The bottom line is this: When we not only recognize our weaknesses, but also own up to them and use them in ways that benefit others, we can truly be recognized as people of integrity.


Oh…and by the way... the new deck is looking great.





  1. You do have a way with words !

    1. Well...Thank you! I don't see a name here, but thanks anyway!

  2. From Susan Smith. This is a really enjoyable and thoughtful read.


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