Old Grout

How’s Your Grout?

I am proud to say that I’m still willing to learn at the ripe old age of 48! Yesterday my horizons were expanded by learning how to regrout the tile around our tub. What a job, and what a mess I made, but what sweet sleep I got last night after a several-hours-long serious workout! I now have some ideas and pictures to share, but if you’re a professional, forgive me for any mistakes you see! Remember, I’m just learning!

What’s it for?

So why grout around the tile in the first place? The grout keeps water from leaking between the tiles and seeping into the wall behind them. The first picture shows the space between two tiles before I started working. It looks like new grout was just put on top of old, and because the old grout was falling apart, the new didn’t have much to adhere to. The new ended up falling out as well, leaving little spaces for water to go where it’s not supposed to.

What’s the process?

We didn’t want to repeat the same mistake made by the previous grout applier, so first I had to scrape out any broken bits, scrape down the surface of the unbroken sections, and make room for fresh grout.

Space between tiles

Next I had to spread the new grout, pushing it into the seams and scraping off the excess. The new grout has sand in it to help hold it together, so scraping off the excess still left quite a bit on the walls!

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What a mess.

After cleaning things up with a damp sponge, things looked quite a bit better.

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What’s this have to do with me?

That grout can signify our spiritual nature. Paul tells us, “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:21-24).

We have to get rid of the old life to make room for the new. What about our old life needs to go? He gives us quite a list in the next several verses:

  • Stop telling lies
  • Don’t be controlled by anger
  • Quit stealing
  • Don’t use foul or abusive language
  • Do not live in such a way that you bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit,
  • And finally, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” (verse 31)

He doesn’t say “cut back on,” or “do these things less.” All of these things are to disappear! Scrape them out of your life! What would happen if you tried to build a new life on the foundations of your old one? I’m thinking it wouldn’t work out too well!

What new things are we to focus on instead? Paul gives us a great list of replacements:

  • Tell the truth
  • Use your hands to work hard, and then be generous with those in need
  • “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (verse 29)
  • “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (verse 32)

How are all of these changes possible?

The biggest piece of this puzzle is found in verse 23:  let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” You can have all of the help you need, all you have to do is ask and then make way for Him to do His work in you!

With the Holy Spirit’s help renewing our minds, we then get to work on the nitty gritty and start cleaning house. It’s not all up to Him, we’ve got to put in some effort, too. Peter tells us, “So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen.” (2 Peter 1:10). The world is watching…how are you portraying your faith to them? Are you proving that you really believe what you say by the way you live?

Perhaps the next time you see tile grout, it will prompt you to take a quick spiritual inventory and ask yourself, “How’s my grout?”

Onward and upward, friends!

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