New Gardens, Front Doors, Guns, & Throwing Knives

New Gardens, Front Doors, Guns & Throwing Knives

Cover Photo 2

“Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.” –Revelation 3:8, ESV

I’m thinking about front doors today . . . I had a birthday in September. I am now thirty-two years old. As a child, I had imagined who and where I would be by now. I’ve had several front doors; and there’s a story behind each one. I hate to sound like Forrest Gump, “I’ve worn lots of shoes . . .”

I remember my first front door at our family farm. It held the view of baby ducks on the pond and the apple trees in bloom. It was the door my little brother locked me out of the house with. And soon after became the same door I would hold him against while I threatened his life. The door we opened with smiles when our distant family would visit at Christmas. The door I saw my Dad violently shove my mother out of, preceding their divorce. The door I cleaned with Windex because of the dusty gravel road. The door our dog would sleep in front of to alert us of strangers. The old door Chandra painted red after our sister died. The very door they carried my father’s body out of in the middle of the night one year later. And finally, the door my brother removed, officially making the house Chad’s house.

My next front door was on Nate’s parents’ house when Dad kicked me out at 19. Then came the townhome I rented from a teacher while engaged to Nate, proving to myself I can be independent. Afterwards came the slamming front door of our first apartment as a married couple. Then the exciting door of adulthood that was attached to our very first house in the tiny town of Slater. Then the squeaky front door of an RV that Nate and I traveled in for 5 months until we opened the front door of the island house we lived in for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for 4 months. Then came the heavy front door of a mansion we were housesitting for 6 months. And lastly we opened the door to our current three bedroom house 8 months ago, signifying another fresh start.

It’s amazing how a door can say so little and so much about a journey. Where it led to, what it protected you from, what you saw through it, who you were with behind it . . . including the doors we never open and should.

“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” –John 10:9, ESV

I have heard this verse my whole life. Jesus is the door to heaven and joy on Earth. But I couldn’t get this Jesus-Door to work for me. So what does He mean, and how do we open it?

  • “I am the door.”- the only way to heaven is through Jesus. Not by believing He existed, but by believing He is who He said, your personal Savior and Lord. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • “If anyone enters by me,”- Jesus starts a promise to those who choose to believe in Him as Savior (from your sins and destination to hell) AND Lord (of your entire life and eternity). This invitation is for everyone. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
  • “ . . . he will saved . . .”- We can be certain that by faith in Jesus we are saved. And after faith, repentance or your sins follows. Repentance means that you have a change in direction; it means so much more than saying, “Oh, sorry.” But your salvation is also confirmed by the way you live your life. If you are living in a way that reflects that Jesus is not your Lord, He may not be. I encourage you to examine your life for your true beliefs. Then work on changing your beliefs, and the behaviors come later. Romans 10:9 “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
  • “ . . . and go in and out and find pasture.” Not only will He provide us with what we need and the freedom that comes with His grace, but nobody is able to take it from us. Revelation 3:8 “Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.”

We have no idea which door will be our last. You have to admit irony is not why Jesus says, “I AM THE DOOR.” “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”- Rev. 22:13, ESV.

So far I have lived to be 32. My first door was my father’s last door. My sister, Christel, lived to be 27. She died 10 years ago in her apartment. My father lived to be 67 (I’m half way there), he died 9 years ago. My mother has survived two types of cancer and my sister, Chandra, just survived a bad car accident last weekend.

 I didn’t get to choose my first door, but Jesus appeals to us that we can choose Him to be our last. And if you really believe that He is holding that open for you; know that once you accept it is yours forever.

“Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.” –Revelation 3:8, ESV

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38, ESV

New Gardens, Front Doors, Guns & Throwing Knives


This is what our house looked like when we moved in last February. We have made lots of updates to the yard since this photo. Next year we plan to tackle the windows and siding, Lord willing. I see potential under all of that blue and white!

The patio is still in progress (our rock order is coming tomorrow!!). But before the rock delivery, I had some flowers to move and things to paint. I decide to take the gravel of the patio all the way up to the house, so I needed to move all of the plants that were residing there (I can’t kill flowers intentionally, I just can’t. Too sad.). So I needed to create a home for them.

Large window before

First step to creating a new garden area- make your shape with spray paint or with an edger (I have an edger shovel that rocks bananas).

Sod Removal

After all the sod is cleared and the soil is turned, you can put your plants in.

Start Planting

In this bed, I moved in catmint, 2 Rose of Sharon trees, different grasses, a peony bush, a butterfly bush, and a couple other small plants. They will have different heights, blooming times, and textures when they start filling in. The Rose of Sharon will become larger (a bit larger than a lilac bush) that will provide privacy for the patio some day.

Crescent Garden- Sideways

I made a couple more gardens off to the side. When they fill in this will look excellent. I mulched everything from the pine tree we had taken down in the spring.

Both Gardens

I left a 4 ft path of grass between all of the beds for uniformity. Again, this will make more sense later when things grow up around it. And it will only take Nate two zips with the lawn mower to cut (always consider the lawn mower).

Grass Pathway

It’s hard to see the crescent shape of this next bed because there is a patch of grass we are trying to grow from an old bed that was there.

New Bush Garden

This is what the patio looked like after removing the bed next to the house. Not to mention moving a ton more dirt and rebuilding the rock wall so it ends on the side. I’m not quite back to my old self, so I was really thankful that Nate helped me quite a bit.

Bush Removal

This is a close up of the front door before I took the screen door off and faux painted the wood finish.

Front Door Before

The concrete has definitely seen better days.

Concrete Damage

I wanted to repaint before the rock came so I wouldn’t drip all over and make a mess. These are my supplies. Concrete paint, brushes, broom, painting tool (scraper), and a water hose for cleaning. Scrape off any loose chips of paint or concrete and clean the surface well with a broom and water. Let dry, then paint with two coats (let dry between coats).

Concrete Supplies

This is the front after I painted over the blue trim with white paint around the door and the window. Also taken while the paint is still wet on the concrete. The paint is a slate gray, but disappointingly it looks pretty similar to the country blue at a distance. This will be remedied when we remove the blue entirely next year.

Porch Painted

The second coat of paint dried nicely. I found an old welcome mat that matched a little better. I also dug out some fall décor in the basement and grabbed some dried Joe Pye Weed from the yard. And that tiny little pumpkin is from the garden. The others I already cooked up and froze.

Front Door After-1

Much better, for the cost of some paint, anyway.

Front Door After- 2

Follow this link to see my birthday wish! Nate and I have had quite a bit of fun already. 🙂 His birthday is tomorrow; he’s already submitted his request.


Yep, that’s the whole package. 😉


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