Friday, October 1, 2010


Our bedroom door has been without a knob since we moved in--over two years ago.  Being the parents of five children is challenge enough, but to try to find "alone time" without a door knob is nearly impossible.  We're constantly shoving socks or pillowcases in the hole and bracing the door closed with sneakers wedged underneath.  It is a problem.

Tonight, I wanted to lock myself in my room and read some design magazine with pages filled with things I could never own (because of their whiteness or silkness or shininess as much as because of their cost).   I wanted quiet, I wanted the whole bed and I wanted to eat my candy without sharing.

What?!  You never want an evening like that?

So I decided to finally fix the thing.  We live in an old house and the knob has several parts that modern knobs do not.  No problem.  I've been fixing this house for over five years, now.  I knew it wouldn't be a big deal.

Wrong.  Why do I ever think a project in this house will only take five minutes?  There is always a catch.  Always.

After drilling and chiseling and fitting everything just right, I put the deadlatch (I totally had to google that because the little metal part that goes into the door jam sounded confusing) into the hollowed out section of the door.

This is a modern door knob.  Mine doesn't look quite like this, but the picture will help with the telling of the story.  It actually looks like this on the inside:

I screwed it all in place.

At this point, I shut the door to make sure it will close easily.  It closed.  

And stayed closed.

And stayed closed.

I took off the door knob. I tried every trick I have learned since moving here.  Nothing.  I hollered up at my husband to come down and help me.  He did whatever he could think to do from his side.  My three youngest daughters are in the room with me.  They are laughing and singing and turning the light off and on and off and on.  I want to take a chainsaw to the door so you know I wasn't patient with my girls.  I yelled at them to STOP turning the light off.  This is a minor emergency.  Do not make me turn this into a major emergency.  I sat on the bed, despairing.  My four year old comes up behind me and . . . per Murphy's Law . . .

THROWS UP on my back.  

Now, I am locked in my room, I have yelled at my smallest children, I have belittled my husband, my sheets are spoiled and there is vomit running down my back and into my jeans.  It 9:30 p.m. and my nice, peaceful evening alone has been shredded.

I take the screen out of the window and the girls crawl out and go upstairs.  I strip my bed, change my clothes and sit on the floor by the door with no idea how I am going to get that door open.  

Just then, my nearly seven year old comes to the door and has just enough time to instruct, "Mom!  Pray!" before she is hustled back upstairs.

Mom!  Pray!  Why does it take a child to remind me of the very thing that should have been my first thought?

I did.  I didn't know what to do.  I didn't know how to get that door open.  I could not get the latch to release.  We had removed the pins, but it would not pop off it's hinges.  After I prayed, I got this clarity of sight and I knew that if I held the screwdriver this way and slipped the chisel in that way and worried the thing for a bit that . . .

yes.  There we go.  It was open and I wasn't surprised.  I knew that would work.  But, of course, that is the trick, isn't it?  I didn't know how to do it, but I knew that He did and if I followed His instructions, it would work.  

Faith.  Faith opened that door.  I am so glad I have these children in my life who remind me that my father wants to help me, but I have to be ready to listen.

When I removed the parts and looked them over, there were two major parts of the mechanism that had completely snapped in two.  That door was never going to open.  Unless I did it His way.


  1. What an inspiring story on faith! I hope I won't get in trouble - I posted a link to your blog on my Facebook profile. Hope your day is happy!

  2. Oh, give me these kinds of miracles any day... Thank you for sharing the whole awful, wonderful story.

  3. Thank you for sharing that story. I cracked up at the throw up part. Such is motherhood.

    You must be teaching those kids right, so that they could teach you back when you need it.

  4. Now THAT is a story. You tell it well, too. Glad you got out.