Why the Color of My Front Door Matters

by | May 7, 2015 | Encouragement, Trust


One year ago, I sat on an aluminum bench with a journal on my lap, under the live oak of Brookgreen Gardens in my southern hometown. Leaves were twirling from high branches like confetti being poured from skyscraper windows, collecting in puddles of color around my feet.

As I surveyed the landscape of this place where beauty haunts and history speaks through swaying tails of moss, the distant sound of an ambulance mingles with the rit-rit-rit of bird chatter. A gray sky yawns; a backdrop to my unanswered questions.

H was an ocean away walking the streets of London on a scouting trip while I stayed behind, pondering our Macedonian call to England. My journal tells the true tale of my heart.

This place of fountains, statues and flowers, it was a respite of hope during a long, lonely waiting season. And this particular Sunday stroll, as spring buds were just unfurling, I said goodbye to what I came to know as a safe oasis.

Is it a coincidence that the neighborhood we call home now in London is known as Brook Green?

Only if you are callous to the ways of wonder and God’s imagination.




London is a city of colorful doors and small garden spaces. A few weeks ago I snapped a photo of our front door and asked people to help me pick a new color for it. And I learned you are all some opinionated people with good taste.

When I sat on that park bench a year ago, I dreamt of what I didn’t have but longed for often. True community characterized by hospitality that transforms people from an address to real stories that matter in the Kingdom.

We want to be front door people. Inviting. Intentional. Relational. That’s why we chose turquoise for the color of our front door.

When my friend Kristin Schell started the Turquoise Table movement, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. She painted a picnic table turquoise and placed it in her front yard under a magnolia tree as a gathering place for her community.

Kristin says, “The turquoise table has become a meeting place—kind of like the old village well—for neighbors, friends, and even strangers, to hang out and do life together. The table has spurred a front yard revival in our neighborhood and had become a welcome place to gather and love.”

Turquoise tables are popping up all over the US and beyond.

H and I have talked long about how the turquoise table translates in the UK context because picnic tables and front yards are sparse in London, especially because they aren’t called yards, they’re gardens.


Last week, I met my new friend Elaine for tea and she handed me a book of matches as we were finishing our conversation. She said God often leads her to give people random objects that result in significant meaning for the recipient.

As she slid them in front of me she admitted she had two and nearly kept this one because it was her favorite color. The one she kept was pink.

When I looked closely, I saw that they were from a local Mexican restaurant called Wahaca and they weren’t matches, they were seed sticks. And the color? Turquoise.

How is this significant? I met H in Phoenix and during the early years of our marriage, our favorite restaurant happened to be called Qaxaca (Wahaca). And the color? I don’t really need to explain that, do I?

While we are waiting, God is planting seeds, not only in us but in the people who He wants us to meet.



The day I met Elaine, we sat on the concrete wall in front of my house instead of a lonely park bench and I told her why we painted our front door turquoise. She prayed a beautiful prayer of blessing as busy people walked past and puddles of petals swirled in the streets.

Brook Green was always God’s heart for us, in the winter of waiting and the springtime of fulfillment. He stands at the door and knocks waiting for us to answer. (Revelation 3:20) How can we not be front door people?



How is God stringing the color, design and details of your life together? There are no random doors in the playground of God’s imagination.

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  1. Jessica White

    I love the color of your door….such glory in His taking you by hand from one Brook to another.

    • Shelly Miller

      Thanks Jessica, we are loving it too. God is good.

  2. Jennifer Camp

    Shelly, my memory still lingers to that wonderful, precious time–too fleeting–in the coffeeshop in London last month. I am so grateful I got to sit with you in the new city you call home. I love this post. I love your story. I love your heart. I love your door! Turquoise is, hands down, my favorite color. Good choice, kind friend. 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      Our meeting was such an unexpected gift Jennifer and a sweet memory. Love YOU!!

  3. Rose

    Shelly, when I asked you what color you would choose, what your preference would be for your front door instead of giving you my thought, it was evident that God, as He has continually revealed His will, plan, and purpose to you for this season in the life journey, was already speaking to you with clarity and depth and was waiting for you to seize the joy of new freedom and holy expression. Your door is a door of hope, Dear Friend.

    • Shelly Miller

      Thank you for your wise words Rose, they are always a generous gift I’m thankful for. And “a door of hope” has a lovely ring to it, yes?

  4. Lynn D. Morrissey

    I loved that post about the turquoise table, Shelly. I have always wanted a red door, but ours is now more of a sagey green. The color scheme in my house is rose, sage, and golds and taupes. I don’t really have a door story, but I have a house story–two really, but in a way, the first is most dramatic, because it represents God’s lavish answer to my prayer of surrender to Him…..long story for another time, but that house (as this one is) was a gift. In our present house, we have hearths–3 of them, which represent warmth and love to me. Whether opening doors or sitting fireside, the point is to be open to the Spirit’s hospitality and to be generous with it. Love that door!

    • Shelly Miller

      You exude hospitality Lynn, in all your expressions. The door of your life looks like the beautiful color of love to everyone who knows you.

  5. Beth

    Loved this Shelly. Love your turquoise door. Always blessed by your heart. xoxo

    • Shelly Miller

      Thanks for being here Beth. The feeling is mutual. xxx

  6. Glenda Childers

    Many blessings on everyone who comes in and out of that torquoise door.


  7. Leslie Durham

    The words you share from your heart are as beautiful as your front door. You have been inviting people into your heart for several years now through your blog. So it isn’t hard to believe that God will continue to honor your prayers for relationship. You are such a blessing to me. Thanks so much.

    • Shelly Miller

      You were there in the beginning Leslie. Kaelen and Ashley, the reason we connected, are going to walk through that door for a few days with us. I’ve been thinking about you ever since we found out.

  8. Veronica

    What a stunning color for your front door. I recently painted our inside kitchen door a soothing shade of light turquoise, and I love it! And along the vein of planting seeds, I was thinking about the turquoise table movement this past week. But, I couldn’t remember the name of the blogger or the color of her table, only that she had placed a communal table in her front yard. And then today, I read your post. Wow, is my word for today! Have a wonderful weekend Shelly.

    • Shelly Miller

      Love knowing you have a turquoise door in your kitchen Veronica, the place where so much organic hospitality happens. Glad to connect you with Kristen, shes a good one.

  9. Vicki

    I remember thinking a number of years ago how I wished you and Kristin could know one another. Look what God (and only God) has done, and doing from Texas to London and beyond. His grace is magnified beyond words. My hope is for a knock on the Turquoise Door one day from your two friends in Texas. God is so good!

    • Shelly Miller

      I had those same thoughts this week Vicki, remembering that email exchange you and I were having about meeting Kristen and look what happened. So thankful. I’m counting on you walking through our door one day. *wink* xxx

  10. pastordt

    Love this, love this, love this. There is no room in my new front yard (if we get loan approval – please pray!) for a table. BUT the front gate and the garage door are already . . . you guessed it . . . a soft turquoise. Oh, yeah. I get this one.

    • Shelly Miller

      Oh, how fun that you already have a turquoise door on your (hopefully) new house Diana! Yay!

  11. Sheila Dailie

    Love seeing God in the small details. Thanks for sharing. (And I LOVE the “after” photo!)

    • Shelly Miller

      The small ones are the best aren’t they Sheila?

  12. Caryn Jenkins Christensen

    Love, Love, Love this…and God…and you…and your turquoise door!

    • Shelly Miller

      So glad to have you and your generous heart on this journey with me Caryn! Love you too.

  13. Kristin Smith

    Love how God brings all things together!

    • Shelly Miller

      Kristin, the way he brings all the details of life together astounds me daily. So glad you stopped by today, thank you for letting me know you were here!

  14. Shirley Ross Craig

    A beautiful, touching story. With eyes to see, and a heart to understand, God speaks in so many, many ways. …love the color of the newly painted door….and just coincidentally… I asked my husband just yesterday about painting our front door.

    • Shelly Miller

      Thanks Shirley. There are so many amazing color palettes to choose from out there, I hope this little story might’ve inspired you.

  15. Nancy Ruegg

    That turquoise door is a lovely contrast to the red brick surrounding it. Very inviting–and easy to find as people come calling for a cup o’ tea! I love your observation, Shelly, that only those who are callous to the ways of wonder and God’s imagination would discount the coincidence of Brook Green in your old neighborhood stateside, and your new neighborhood in London. Surely God receives as much pleasure from orchestrating such surprises as we do in receiving them!

    • Shelly Miller

      Yes, I hope we’ll be known or spotted for our turquoise door Nancy. And the surprises he is giving to me lately are overwhelming I tell you. I’m picturing him smiling down on me daily and chuckling.

  16. Dolly @ Soulstops.com

    What a gorgeous color and I love reading how God orchestrates and surprises…may God give you the desires of your heart as you build community and friendships in London 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      Dolly, I’ve enjoyed seeing your sweet face among many others in the pictures I’m seeing scroll through my feed on Facebook from Jumping Tandem. So wish I could’ve been there. It’s lovely to see your words here, thank you for the blessing.

  17. Holy Vacation Queen

    How I love this post, turquoise is my favorite color and so welcoming on a door, or front yard table or front garden tables. How we need more turquoise in the world!

  18. lorie

    Oh my, I’m coming to this post late. I’m fairly a newcomer to the Sabbath Society and your writings Shelly. But I love this! I love how it leaves the hugest of lumps in my throat with a yearning holding on so tight to have such a beautiful, personal, hospitable, restful experience. Thank you for sharing. I am moved with the challenge to chase hard after this Sabbath rest. May this be the year.

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