It’s just stuff.

I have a friend named Erika. Last week her house burned down. It was hard to process everything when reading Erika’s account of what happened. Surreal.

A few days after hearing the news, I picked up my guitar to learn a new chord and thought of Erika, and her profound love of music.

But her instruments are gone.

The next day, I made a batch of ice cream and remembered Erika recently purchasing an ice cream maker, just like mine, to make her tasty creations, yummy treats that made me drool.

I wondered when she’ll be able to make her next batch.

Out of habit, I reached for my camera. Erika is an incredibly talented photographer.

But now, that’s been put on hold, even if for short while.

I soon began to realize how very much I take for granted. And while Erika and her family lost everything, I mean everything, she’ll be the first to tell you that, even though it hurts to lose so much, her most precious thing, her family, remains. The other is just stuff.

It’s just stuff.

Much love and support has been poured out to Erika and her family, by friends near and far, to help them get back to a new “normal.” If you’d like to learn about how to help Erika and her family, check out Friends of The Ivory Hut.

I’m so very thankful that she and her sweet family are still with us. I’m sure you agree. Please pray for them, and that, with each day that passes, they will grow a little stronger. I look forward to that next frozen treat Erika shares with us, and maybe, if we’re lucky, accompanied by song.

Don’t miss a thing!

Subscribe right here to have all new articles delivered directly to your email.


  1. 1

    Robyn says

    You are so precious, Amy. Amazing how it is just stuff, but it represents us so much.

  2. 2

    polwig says

    We do start appreciting the real things in life once we are stripped of the extras, sometimes even of things that are our basic needs. If you ask anyone that survived agony the most important things (other then family members) can not be taken away: her love, her frendship, her photography skills,her knowledge and her incredible talent. However rough this time is for her and her family will only make her eye and appreciation of beauty keener and therefore making her a real success story.

  3. 4


    It’s sad how we’re only grateful for what we had when it’s gone. It’s little reminders like these that reminds me I have to be thankful for what I have.

  4. 9


    Thanks for writing this. I am so proud of how this community of bloggers and twitterers have come together so quickly and so generously for Erika and her family.
    Many long days of rebuilding yet ahead for them but they will be encouraged and inspired I’m sure, by friends such as you and posts such as this.

  5. 10


    I’m so sad. Is this Ivory Hut from PW’s blog? If so, I “met” Erika through Ree’s photography site and loved what she did with a point ans shoot camera. Then when she made the Filippino recipe and shared, I realized she was from the Philippines. My parents have a ministry there. Anyway, I had no idea. Thank you for this touching post and the link. We’ll pray for Erika and her family.

  6. 11

    Miss Wisabus says

    I hate that it takes things like this to make us take an account of our lives.

    So kind of you and other bloggers to come together and support her.

  7. 12


    Years ago, I made ceramics. Things I don’t even like now were precious to me then. I made a beautiful real-life-size pumpkin to keep halloween candy in and would bring it out around the first of October every year. I loved that pumpkin. This particular year, my daughters were small and, as children do, were “fighting” playing around in our family room. There was my precious pumpkin sitting on the hearth and as would happen, it got caught in the squabble and was broken. I remember crying immediately…scared my girls to death and they cried too. Of course, as a mom, I wanted to soothe their hurt feelings and the first words out of my mouth as I hugged them was, “it’s just stuff. Stuff can be replaced.” To this day, they remind me of that. I truly strive to live my life with open hands because stuff can be replaced. After all, “it’s just stuff.”

    Thanks for this beautiful post. Many prayers going up for Ivory Hut and her family. That has to be the most helpless feeling to watch everything, especially the irreplaceable, go up in flames.

  8. 14


    Amy, your kind heart shows through your blog. Erika and her family will be in all our thoughts and prayers as they rebuild.

    And let’s all remember that material things in our lives are only temporary “treasures” but the real treasures that last a lifetime are the fond memories we have made with family and friends.

  9. 16

    Nanny J says

    I’ve always loved you and this is just one example of why. You are so loving and caring and always have others and their welfare in your heart. You are a special lady who keeps us reminded of the important things in life. Thanks!

  10. 17


    It is just stuff, but it is also a fabric of our lives. The kids photo albums, the doll collection of my grown daughters that is still stored here, my oldest and favorite cookbook handed down from Mom, my grandmother’s rolling pin. I spent the entire first day after reading Erika’s post often just looking at my ‘stuff’ and though knowing that what Erika and everyone says is true; that her family being safe is paramount, I know that I would miss my stuff and the history each one of those things brings to it.

    I think it is in thinking of the magnitude of that loss that pulls at everyone’s heartstrings and has seen such an outpouring of generosity. We can never replace the memories of her stuff, but maybe collectively we can help them better move forward in creating a new home with new stuff. Including an ice cream maker.

  11. 19


    Reading about what happened to Erika and her family and how she has been coping with it has really put many things in perspective for me and my own family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>