A new movement is widely welcomed into décor magazines, homes and some businesses. After years of struggling to rise above “Early American Auction House,” “Creative Cast Offs” and “Fruit Crate Furnishings,” I realize that I needn’t have tried so hard to make everything go together.

Shabby Chic and eclectic collections are not just in the home anymore. At a restaurant, I savored the beautiful grilled fish, and noticed that my round white patterned plate didn’t match my friend’s square brown plate. On closer inspection, the silverware did not match, either. Nor did the chairs around the tables!“What is this?” I asked my friend. “Nothing matches.”

“Eclectic decorating! Shabby Chic! Isn’t it charming?”

“Her thinking is warped by the country cottage décor magazine she gets,” I thought. On second thought, maybe not warped, but improved. It’s interesting and diverse.

For engaged and newlyweds and guests searching for gifts, the pressure is off. No need for matched sets of china and flatware. Now a few of this and a few of that will do. Families can rejoice that the original set for service for eight is nowhere near thirty-two pieces any longer. Wear-worn dishes have survived children, craft projects, tea parties, sandboxes, dogs, cats, earthquakes, numerous moves, reunions, and family dinners. Mismatching is in! What a relief!

Thinking beyond home décor, I see the human race is as varied as eclectic decorating and sometimes as worn as Shabby Chic. But it’s God’s design and plan. We are cast individually, and then He throws away the mold. But in spite of differences, we can all pull together into one with a common ingredient: love.

Here are the instructions: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3: 12-14 [NIV].

Shabby Chic celebrates diversity in decor. Love celebrates diversity in people.

What a great idea! I’m beginning to like it!

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on Button-to-God.com.]