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31 May 2007


Dana Smith

This exact topic came up in our home yesterday. We have a Nancy Thomas(Folk Artist in VA) Noah's ark and added animals to... that we bought 19 years ago. At the time it was a huge financial deal as we didn't have 2 pennies to rub together(my husband was a LTJG in the Coast Guard). It's moved all over the East Coast with us and always rested on an old family ice box in the kitchen....until yesterday. I needed a change and replaced it with an old compote and vaseline glass Teabury gum stand both my gggrandmothers. My 18 year old daughter freaked out! She said she didn't remember a time that it wasn't on the ice box...it was part of our family life and why did I move it? I really didn't think she even noticed! So today....back it goes to it's original spot. Change is not always a good thing...at least in our family.

Amber Benton

Trendy does get boring. My poor, sweet boyfriend is always pushing me to stay in the fringes of trends, and I am always so reluctant to change my personal style to meet a style that is so fleeting. But as my pastor wrote in the bulletin this past Sunday, change is continually occuring and the only thing that remains unchanging is God...still, that's a really pretty wreath and if you have the power not to change that one little thing, maybe you should leave it just for a little while longer...because heaven knows, everything else in your life will change...your kids will grow (even more), your yard will evolve, your hair won't do what it's supposed to a week from now and your body will wake you up exactly on the morning you want to sleep in! Let it be your little reminder that God is unchanging, even if you move the rest of your house around to your heart's delight!

:) I'm a huge fan of yours...


SUCH good food for thought!!

Lori S.

I agree because I have been doing the whole " my art in my home" and "everything having a bit of meaning" things lately. It is true. Back to basics. Back to what you love. Keep what is familiar. That is what I LOVE about visiting my parents...the familiarity. I am desperate to create that for my 4 children and teach them to do the same. As always, thanks for the inspiration!


Thank you for sharing your life with us. Your thoughts are so grounding. They don't inflate me. I am so tired for trying to keep up. Your words give me the courage to say "no lets just slow down". Thanks!


I am Lisa Leonard's twin sister, and she just told me about your blog. I love that you posted this thought. It is so countercultural! I find myself getting so caught up with the newer, bigger, faster, better mentality, and I just want to rebel against it. My 1999 Honda works great, why do I need to change it? Our house is small, but it suits all our needs and way more. Plus, we can afford it! There are so many other things that are worthwhile to think about and spend money on, I don't want to get caught up in appearances.


Love that quote!
So true about Grandma's house being constant and you're right, it was comforting to know that things would be the same each time I went there. I enjoy moving things around and repurposing them...but am really SLOW to get rid of anything. I love having things in our home that have a story...new things picked up in design centers or furniture/accessory stores don't typically have a story to tell.
Great post, Rebecca!


I completely agree with your ideas on needing to be more purposeful and mindful about all those objects we surround ourselves with. There is always pressure for more, more, more. The pressure itself gets overwhelming, not to mention all the extra (and often unnecessary) choices that brings to our lives. I have been thinking about these issues a lot lately as I strive to stay balanced and somewhat organized in my own space. The amount of things that are getting donated, recycled, and ready for the yard sale is absurdly large. I'm in that place where I keep asking myself how I got so much stuff - especially as I'm in my early 30s and don't have kids!
So I'm working with all those organizing mantras that say, in various ways, if you don't love it, use it, or need it, get rid of it. I find that the things I'm getting rid of are often the "cool" things. One of the best benefits of this is that the physical purge is also freeing up some creative/thinking space too and giving me enough room to see what I do really need.
I think it's all a process and you have to be comfortable with your own choices. But knowing why we make certain choices never hurts either! By the way, I love the wreath.

Vickie Coonfare

I enjoy change, but I also like familiar things. Usually change involve a different spot in the house. What I have learned is often in my rush to have newness, I didn't figure out why. Now I've been disposing of some of the new things because it wasn't what I was looking for. Surprisingly, I'm not the most sentimental person but I like things that evoke a sense of being welcome and wanted, a sense of joy and comfort of tranquility and comfort. Now I look at will this change help me obtain that or is it a change for change's sake.


The value of change depends on one's motivation for change...it can either be good (dropping bad habits, strengthening your faith life) or it can be bad (changing the exterior when the interior really needs change, trying to impress others). Re: your other topic, a few years ago I purged tons of stuff (that I don't miss at all) from our home for various reasons. I now LOVE the simplicity of our home and the few but meaningful furnishings and decor. My husband really encouraged me to decorate with my own photographs and artwork, saying that's what would mean the most to him. (thanks for sharing your thoughts!)




When I was younger, I ached for new things and felt so left out when I had to make do. But now my home is filled with things of my grandmothers and my mother and father. They bring such wonderful memories. Photos cover many flat spaces and even the art work is from family and friends. Love your meditative thoughts on change and how it really doesn't serve a purpose just for the sake of change.
Love the post above about the Noah's ark.


I quite agree with you - Grandmother never changed a thing. Her small home was quaint and exquisite all at the same time. And everything had it's place and that was it's place. And then I remember my Aunt in the City (I grew up on a farm). Her place was like that too ... and the place through all my life ... even into my 40s ... was the end of her kitchen counter. There sat a small china bowl with a cover and inside were English mints. All those years ... until she passed away. My heart is in those things UNchanged.

Emily S.

A nice idea to ponder... Thanks!

So, here's my take: Yes, we need to avoid change if it is simply to satisfy that worldly urge to be "current", "hip", or "cutting edge". That takes away from a soulful purpose. I love the traditions, the comforts and the heartwarming feeling I get in things that are truly "treasures" to my family or to myself.

That said: As "artistic types", we NEED to shuffle things around, to take things down, to have empty spots for a while, and to lovingly find new places for old things and new things for old places. It's just really necessary for our ongoing inspiration engine. I learned this from an amazingly creative roommate who was an interior design major. She changed her decor ALL THE TIME! Not with new purchases, but with the rearranging of a vast supply of "treasures" she'd rotate through. What a paradigm shift!

I still try to remember that that kind of change is HEALTHY.

(sorry I rambled.)



I totally agree! I have sentiments for many things, and I love things with soul - you know, not this shine, new thing you can buy whenever you want if you go to store. But things with character, and story to tell.

Sally in Mass

ahhh, Rebecca! You invoke such thoughtfulness. Here at my house we are slow to any change. My son has an autism spectrum disorder and he really doesn't like change. It has a been good for us to find comfort in sameness.

Blessings to you,

tracy whitney

My grandparents' home did not change one little bit. I never thought about that, really. Every little thing was in it's place for as long as I can remember -and before that. Redecorate? Nah... I'll admit I change things around our home with the seasons. It makes me smile to bring out the fall things after a long, hot summer or to put away the snowmen as we enter the Easter season, but I do like to keep it simple. Not only do I dislike clutter, having less to dust is a good thing!


Thank you for giving me reason to stop & think today, Miss Rebecca!

mary w

After losing everything we owned in a house fire 4 years ago I can say that the only things that mean anything are the things with a history-a story to tell of your family. We don't miss the set of mugs from Walmart but we do miss the jelly jar glasses we collected over the years and we don't miss that expensive chenille throw from the sofa(too pretty to be useful) but we REALLy miss the old heavy quilts that formed to your body perfectly while you were curled up reading or watching a movie.And at Christmas...no tears have been shed over the lost tangle of twinkle lights but Oh my heart aches to think of all of the elementary school/handmade ornaments that are gone.So yes, I agree-surround yourself with what YOUR family treasures.what makes your home your HOME.
Thank you for always posting such thought provoking posts. maryw

suzi finer

So, I took a peek at your blog; very good stuff here! I am totally linking you up as a recommended read. Thanks for the ideas...


Thank you for your thoughts. Your observations about our grandparent's house made me think of something I learned this year. A few of my family members meet once a month to talk family history. It was shared that my grandpa's mother, a Spanish-speaking, poor tough woman, would get the hankering for change. So every month or so, when she'd be cleaning out the flour bin, she'd paint the inside of the metal bin a bright color - aqua, yellow, orange. She'd add this splash of color somewhere where she'd see it every day, several times a day. I think about it as her own color garden that was her very own. But the house outside of the floor bin remained untouched by change.


This is such an interesting point...I have slowly reached the point where I just rotate what I have, arranging things in new ways...yet at the same time, there are certain things that my family would freak out about if I changed (much like Dana's point about the ark on top of the freezer). What I often get "new" (or at least, new to me) is linens. Slipcovers, table linens, etc. Course, I have toddlers, so things have to be durable. When I get bored with how the living room looks, I get a new slipcover.
But mostly, nothing changes except little changes with the seasons.

Of course, if everything one owns is ridiculously trendy (clothing or home)...it will get old quick. My home (and my wardrobe) work because they are classic lines, with the occasional piece of trendy thrown in (jewelry or a belt, or, in my home, a different paint color or linen).


I love your blog. I check it every day and am so excited when there is a new post. Thank you so much for being the one that makes us step back and look at things with a simpler view. I love that you help me remember what is really important! Hope you are feeling better, you cute thing!

Kelly V

Dear Rebecca,
I am so happy to find you though this virtual world of blogs makes me feel I have a connection to people I've never had the pleasure of actually meeting. I found your book (Moments) while searching through a scrapbooking shop looking for something more. I have really been trying to connect with this hobby but I have been quite discouraged by what I see as artificial memorabilia with which people new to the hobby are encouraged to decorate their pages. I am a sewer and stitcher and quilter and yet I do feel a pull toward scrapbooks and art journals in order to record my thoughts in a way I am unable to do with my quilts. When I found your book I had a wonderful feeling, like that one receives at the thought of a letter from a good friend arriving in the post. I also thought of some stickers I had purchased years ago (Nostalgiques). Connections. Anyway, all of this explanation is in order to thank you for the permission (I'm not sure why I felt I needed it but it is apparent that I did) to go against the trends in this hobby. Why shouldn't I stitch my pages and embellish them with bits and pieces from my own collections rather than with trends that will soon look dated?
I realize I am really saying too much but I hope you realize how valuable your book is to at least one reader. I am only sorry that I cannot manage to locate a copy of your earlier book (Treasures). I'll keep my eyes open. Also, thanks for the information about Victoria Magazine. My mum has each and every issue of the former publication and she, my sister, and I have read and re-read them countless times. I just ordered a gift subscription for her.
I wish you every success in pursuing and nurturing your God given talents.
Kelly Vandermolen


even when my Grandmother did cycle things through, they were the same things. The same centerpiece for Easter. She bought us the same candy eggs each year. The same menu for holidays, with minor changes.
This helped her too, she didn't have to agonize over all the minutae of her life, she just did it. Then she could enjoy the moment or plan a party, if she wanted "change."

But.. on that thought. She would wear the same old housecoats and nightgowns. One mother's day her daily helper got out a beautiful blue velvet housecoat/robe and said... "here wear this, it's gorgeous."
Grandma said.."Well, I'm saving that for something special." (she was 99 at the time... ;)) That still makes me giggle.

I guess what I'm saying, is I enjoy the "regular" but don't save the "special" things just because their new, they might become "regulars" too.

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