Wednesday, November 19

It's a good thing there was no Pinterest back then

Holiday preparations are kicking into full gear around here.  I'll bet that's true at your house, too.

As I was gathering everything I need for Thanksgiving, my eyes fell on an item that took me back over 20 years.

It was fall of 1991, and I was looking forward to my very first Thanksgiving as a mom.  I had recently resigned from my full-time job so that I could be a stay-at-home mom, and our budget was tight.  But when I saw these Thanksgiving cookie cutters at a V&S Variety Store, I was smitten.  I carefully counted out the few dollars to purchase them, certain of how I would use them.

I bore those cookie cutters home and tied them onto a grapevine wreath that hung in my kitchen. Then I fashioned a bow from ribbon of some autumnal color and stepped back to survey my work.

Honestly, I don't think my wreath was particularly beautiful.  But I was so pleased to have created a decorative accent that was just right for the season.

As I think now about that moment of homemaking satisfaction and pride, I'm grateful that there was no Pinterest.

It's not that I don't like social media; I do like it very much.  I've often wished that I'd had all that easy-to-access inspiration back when I was a young mom.

But I know myself better than that. I've always been terribly prone to comparing myself to others. And if I'd had all the beautiful inspiration of Pinterest back then, I'm guessing that I would have been ashamed of my wreath.  I might have noted that the cookie cutters were just cheap ornaments from the variety store or that the grapevine wreath wasn't the right size and shape or that the bow wasn't quite fluffy enough.

I might have weighed my efforts in the balance and found them sadly wanting.

And I might very well have taken my little wreath off the wall, cut down the cookie cutters, and put them back in the box.

Since I didn't have anything to compare it to, I simply enjoyed my wreath, that first year and for several years after. My little boys delighted in the cookie cutters, and we built lovely Thanksgiving memories.

I like to think I've grown a lot since then.  I love getting inspiration from Pinterest, and I enjoy sharing my own projects there.

But sometimes I wonder if I end up gathering more inspiration or insecurity from perusing all the pretty pictures.

What about you?  Do you ever find yourself feeling discontent as you compare your things to pictures on Pinterest, or do you just find inspiration there?

"I have learned to be content with whatever I have."
(Philippians 4:11b, NRSV)

Joining Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now


  1. I can become so overwhelmed on Pinterest. It sometimes confuses me more than helps me. I love, love, love the cookie cutters, they are fabulous and that box is worth a million too.

  2. Hi Richella,

    Your cookie cutters are so cute.. and your wreathe sounds like it was special and creative! And it was made with love for your family AND it was original! Things were definitely much simpler then. Before social media. I understand what you mean about the pressure and feeling insecure while browsing Pinterest. I'm a "comparer" as well and have felt that way often there with all the most popular blogs and creative souls posting their lovely and fun projects. Martha Stewart for one! Haha. But she's awesome. That reminds me of the quote from Anne of Avonlea while the ladies are decorating for the hospital benefit. "You have more creativity in your pinky finger than I have altogether!" :) I've been blogging for many years and have 20 followers! LOL But God and many wonderful bloggers like you (and artists) have encouraged and helped me to continue on through the doubt and insecurities. (Even though it feels risky at times!) And all that's out there has actually forced me to grow. Helped me decide what I really want and challenged me to discipline myself to create a plan. I'm learning to trust Him more and follow my heart. But even so, it's been very hard at times and I've fought waves of discouragement and overwhelming thoughts of being inferior. I'm 53 and just starting a new business. My focus has been on raising my children, schooling them at home and serving. Just starting out has been discouraging as well but I found a quote from Barbara Rainey who has an amazing business that reflects her strong beliefs. The quote was "Trust the timing of your life. There is a Designer that makes no mistakes." Isn't that beautiful? And so centering for me. Focus. On Him.Trust Him to speak to my heart and lead my hands to create. Put my blinders on, follow my heart AND ENJOY! I'm very grateful to all that have encouraged me in my journey. I have made a list so I don't ever forget. We're all learning and at different places. You have a beautiful blog with creative and original ideas and you encourage people like me. Thank you so much for sharing your heart, faith and gifts with us! (I hope this wasn't too long! and BTW, I have my first craft show this weekend.)
    Have a beautiful week,

  3. Oh Richella, isn't it wonderful to be able to open that box and be flooded with memories. I'm not really a comparer. I enjoy browsing Pinterest, and over time I think my boards reflect both nostalgia and my desire to have idyllic gardens and tea parties. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  4. I have to say it completely enjoyed your story. You made something that gave you memories with your family. The most important thing.

    I agree that at times social media adds pressure to projects and can have the ability to make you feel that you have to achieve more and better. I find myself getting anxious at times. My dear hubby always steps in and reminds me this is not a competition and do what I love and enjoy


  5. I love that you still have those precious cookie cutters from so long ago! Special memories, indeed! I agree that sometimes we all tend to gather a little more insecurity than inspiration from all the social media sites. Then I remember a quote a friend posted on IG the other day..."Gratitude turns what we have into enough." Well said, I think. :) Oh, by the way, when you left me that sweet comment on my grocery sign, you showed up as a "no reply blogger." Just wanted to let you know I responded in the comments section. Sometimes blogger reverts me to a "no reply blogger" without my knowledge so I thought I'd let you know. :)

  6. I love your cookie cutters and the sweet memories! Loved the story. Time passes much too quickly with our little ones. Looking back at making our house a home and good times with our kiddos is what life is all about. I think Pinterest, blogging, and Instagram, etc. are really the same as the magazines of our day. We were inspired, but knew ours really didn't always look exactly like that. Either designers had a hand in it, or the pictures were staged when really there was a pile of something or other right out of the picture or at least there by the next day. I always enjoyed and still do searching for inspiration, but life is just not picture perfect. It is quite messy sometimes, and in those messy moments are some of the greatest life lessons.
    It is kind of similar to our family portraits. We were just not the photogenic family!!!!!! However, we had some friends who were. Their portraits could have gone in the ads for the photographer. I don't think we have one that there isn't something amiss or a story behind it. But, oh the photo albums are full of sweet memories with the not so photogenic family.

  7. What sweet memories lie inside that little cookie cutter box! I'm sure your wreath was just adorable too. I agree with you about overwhelms me too and to be perfectly honest, I rarely get on it unless I am looking for something specific.

  8. Thank you for sharing this precious memory, Richella. I am learning not to let Pinterest work feelings of discontentment or inadequacy in me, because I really do love all the inspiration that exists there. Your post serves as a good reminder that my family doesn't care about Pinterest perfect!

  9. Many years ago...before the Internet I remember my friends and I gathering to teach each other projects and crafting that we had come across through going to fairs, etc....we were all proud of our little projects no matter how silly or actually beautiful they turned out...i remember way back when, having a macrame party...many of us getting together with our supplies and teaching each other how to tie those knots and making our hanging baskets pretty....Today with all of the Social Media venues, we do get somewhat intimidated of what others can do....however, remember some of these people are those with art degrees and creating definite works of art...with that, most of us cannot compete...We should be proud of what we set out to do just as you said, because we love it and it was made with love...Just like those little projects that our children make for us some made from popsicle sticks and pinecones...we so treasure them as they were made with love..Love those cookie cutters!!!...

  10. I wish I could see your wreath! I love that an moment of inspiration hit and you went with it, your family love it, and you had nothing to compare it to -- sometimes I long for those days, but I do love Pinterest too. Love/hate relationship for sure! Happy Thanksgiving, Richella!!


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