The Finer Life

The front door at our beach cottage sticks.  It sticks terribly.  Every morning I take my toddler boy out to play and I pull the door with all my strength, foot braced against the old door frame.  The sound of the release of wood, humidity and humility sounds out like thunder down our quiet street.

I dream of a new door and a new frame and a return to the finer things in life.  But my toddler boy races free into the morning sunshine and my husband, home at ten o’clock on a Tuesday morning hands me a cup of hot coffee and I think I might just be living the finer life?  But then I walk outside and the door slams like thunder behind me and it might just sound like the stinging echo of regret.

. . .

When we built our dream home four years ago the very last of months of custom choices was the selection of a front door.  Like many other choices it ended up being a splurge, falling neatly in the category of “more than we budgeted for but we are two young professionals with no kids and what difference does a little extra make when financed over thirty years anyway?”  I remember sitting at the desk of my lawyer job, on the phone, making the final front door decision with our builder who assured me that the front door would “absolutely make the whole house.”  Well who was I to ruin the whole house with that one final decision?  I bought the door, the pitch.  I bought the life.  Turns out the door was indeed lovely and it didn’t cost that much financially financed out over 30 long years.

That door, it never stuck.

In reality, we rarely used the front door at all.  Like most hardworking suburbanites, we parked in the garage, came in the back door and exited the same way every morning.  We were tired and in a hurry with our hour long commutes into the city that started and ended in darkness, cups of Venti breakfast blend in our cup holders.  I don’t remember ever standing with the front door open on a random Tuesday morning, having coffee with my best friend in the middle of a work day.  There weren’t any children dancing in the front yard.  It would have taken a solid month to walk to the beach.

. . .

On the morning that the door sticks for the thousandth time, I pour buttermilk into a glass bowl and my toddler boy calls me sweetheart.  I make pancakes for weekday brunch and my two year-old picks up terms of endearment from my husband because we now spend a lifetime of hours together.  We are rarely in a hurry.  There are no more commutes, unless you count the five minute walk to the beach.  We are a one car family.

But the front door- it does stick.  Years from now when it is replaced, there will be something else that tempts me to look back and question, if even for the briefest of moments, whether we made the right choice.

Whether we heard God right.

It was the Enemy’s first lie in the Garden when he taunted Eve, “Are you sure that God said that???

We went from two young professionals living “the American Dream” to a stay-at-home, self-employed family-by choice.  It was a tremendous life-style change, from the good to the bad to all the little things in between.


I get a blessed amount of encouraging email from readers, but the thing I hear the most is interest in our lifestyle change, following my post, The Harvest.  I hope to write more about this, from the heart, as God gives me the words as to our unique walk with Him.  Please know that I have nothing against traditional 9-5 jobs or big houses in the suburbs.  I encourage you to listen to His awesome plan for your life.  And I warn you that once you do step out in faith, you will probably have a sticky door of your own.  It is all a part of the journey.

Jesus himself promised that He came so that we would have life and have it to the full.

As for me and my family, we’ll be enjoying buttermilk pancakes by the beach, abiding in this promise.

Sticky door and all.

Our hope is in Christ alone.


  1. Erin, I’ve been reading your blog since that Harvest post … somehow I found you via someone else. So glad I did, and your blog is one of the handful that I keep on my blog reader.

    Yes, I understand the temptation to believe lies. Giving up a convenient and new house is an adjustment, certainly. I grumble daily at my rental. 😛

    We’ve just gone through a major wildfire around and on our ranch … the one we sold everything for, felt unsettled for the past 4 years in order to build roots for our family … and God is good, he kept me feeling a peace and settling through it all this week even before we knew what the outcome would be.

    Our unfinished cabin, my parents’ house, our cattle … all safe. The ranch did burn in parts, and there is work to be done. I don’t even have photos of its new appearance yet; my husband is there tonight for his first view of it.

    Thanks for writing from the heart!

    • Oh Christie, my prayers are with you and your family. So glad that your homes and cattle are safe. I have family who was affected by the wildfires in CO last month, it’s devastating.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your story. I hope that others will pray for you as well.


  2. Hello Erin! I recently discovered your blog and love it. It has created many new thoughts for me, and many conversations between my husband and I. Thank you for causing me to recognize my blessings from God!

    • thank you, debbie. that is truly the highest compliment-to God be the glory. so glad to have you as a new reader!

  3. Thank you Erin for this post. My family is in the midst of changes, some which we wanted to make, and others which we did not really anticipate at all. Your post is a blessed reminder of God’s loving presence and guidance in the midst of it – squeaky doors and all.

  4. I would happily take the sticky door, imperfections add character and it would probably be like a pinch every morning to me to see if I am dreaming or not. Don’t let the enemy lie to you and say you missed God, the smiles beaming from the faces of your two boys assure me you didn’t.

  5. You are indeed living the finer life! I admire your courage to take the plunge into your new lifestyle. I often ask my husband if all is long hours are worth it. I started following from your staircase reveal, but have found so much more. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Lately the Lord has been encouraging me from unexpected places and interactions and today it was you! I am dealing with a “sticky front door” of my own and what you wrote has encouraged me to just look at it for what it is and move on. I would rather dwell on His blessings instead!

  7. so beautiful erin. you are a fabulous writer! i just wish your sticky front door was still in the same town as me!

  8. This post is awesome. I think you made the right choice. Your old house was gorgeous, but what’s even more gorgeous is the fact that you and your husband have time to spend together with your son. I am always dreaming of our “forever” house, with perfect trim, siding that isn’t dented, and crisp new windows. But the reality is that we probably won’t ever have a perfect house, because to me, time is more important than money. I only want to work (very) part time when we have kids. So maybe we won’t have the best of everything, but we will have each other. Wow, didn’t mean to write a book ! Lol this post just really hit home for me!

  9. Love this!! What a blessing to hear God and obey. What a blessing to be able to live a simpler, fuller life with your family!! You will NEVER regret leaving “the finer things” behind. 🙂

  10. so beautiful – and clearly from the heart. thank you for sharing, and for putting me back in the right frame of mind. I enjoy following your stories and life. God bless you and your family…and your choices!!! Praise God

  11. I loved this post, Erin! I think no matter where we are there is always a voice tempting us to believe that maybe we somehow made a mistake causing us to look to our past or question where we are.

    Before marrying my husband, my life sounded pretty much like yours-hurrying about, coffee in the cup holder leaving and arriving home when the sun was down. I took a big chance leaving my job, my country (Canada) and moving to FL after we married. We are a one car family also and I realized that we really don’t need two. We both work from home as I began an Interior Design & Staging business upon moving here. While I often sigh when I think back to having my own car, a much more extensive wardrobe and many more dinner nights on the town, I feel more at peace today and I know what is truly important. Like you, I love enjoying time with my hubby and going to a water park on a Wednesday afternoon if we feel like it. One of the greatest lessons learned was seeing how faithful the Lord truly is. I can honestly say that the last 6 yrs of my life have been walking by faith, and not by sight. He always provides what we need and I am so blessed to have REALLY learned that lesson sooner vs. later.

  12. Love it! We also choose to forego the finer things to have the time with each other. We have several things that would be great if they were new or in better order… but it’s amazing what a bar of soap can do for a sticky door in the meantime, just rub the dry soap on all the edges that touch.
    Love your newfound life and beautiful perspective on it.

  13. I want to begin by saying that I am brought to tears by your posts. Your heart is so reflective,soft and open. I love how you are able to see God’s hand in your everyday life. It is a precious and powerful thing. Your words hit my spirit and I can feel God speaking to me and many others through them. God didn’t say He would make it easy for us. He said He would make it worth it. Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

    1 Corinthians2:9 But as it is written:“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” What a beautiful promise! This place is only a stepping stone to the Harvest He has prepared for us in the Promised Land.And we all know our God is one who keeps every single one of His promises. Blessings to you and your sweet family.

  14. Hi – for all of you who love Sarah Richardson and would like to see her shows on HGTV in the USA – go to the HGTV website and choose feedback – then tell HGTV what you want. It’s the only way that we can get all of her fabulous shows here!!! 🙂

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