Update 12.15.13: The winner was Melinda of The Refeathered Roost! Thanks to all who entered!
Every year since 2009, I have had great success on Etsy with my burlap and linen ragball ornaments. I am so blessed that year after year so many people want to buy them. I start getting requests in August usually! Since having children, I haven't had much time to work on my Etsy shop, but I always make sure to offer some of these babies for people to adorn their trees.
This year, however, something disheartening happened. Two new shops popped up on Etsy using the photograph above to list in their shops. My mom found the stolen images while searching on the site and quickly alerted me to this. I was dumbfounded by the first one. Angry even. I immediately went to facebook to protest. How dare someone steal my photograph! The outrage! I wrote to the shop owner telling her to immediately remove it or I would report her. She did. But I couldn't stop thinking about it and feeling frustrated and angry.
After a few hours with that...I felt God urging me to remain calm. To trust that he was in charge. To remember that he is my defender and all of my gifts, talents and success only come from him anyway. He also showed me how much I "enjoy the drama" of situations like this. All of the friends and relatives chiming in with similar disgust at the theft. I realized then...that is not how I want to live. I want to live in peace. Not drama.
So..when the second shop popped up again selling with my photograph (although slightly cropped)...I had a very different reaction. I could hear in my spirit the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Maybe, God was going to remove the success of these ragballs from my life since I held on to it so tightly? I didn't know. But I prayed and thanked him for all the success for the previous years. I wrote the second shop asking that the image be removed and within a little while it was (although she had already sold some of them with my photo).
I am not certain what the lesson is in all of this...maybe to watermark everything (oh the inconvenience! and this image has been out there and all over pinterest now for so many years)? Maybe...though...the true lesson is to know that our gifts and success are all to glorify God. And in every action give him the praise. So in, honor of that, I have decided to have a little giveaway this holiday season. I will be giving away one of my sets of 9 ragball ornaments (a $45 value) in white linen, natural linen and burlap. You can enter a variety of ways, and I truly hope, whoever wins enjoys these on your tree!
To enter you need only...
1.) Leave a comment here :)
for additional entries you can also....
2.) Share this post on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest (I will count each as an entry so let me know if you do more than one!)
3.) Sign up to follow my blog with Google Friend Connect on the sidebar (If you already do, just let me know and I will count you in as well!)
You must leave a comment though to let me know you have shared this post and/or signed up to follow my blog...otherwise your entries won't be included. Thank you!
The giveaway will end at midnight (EST) on December 11th and the winner will be notified the following day - be sure to leave an email address if you do not have a blog for me to contact you should you win.
And please feel free to share and use the image above just so long as a link is included back to this post! Thank you for spreading the cheer!
Happy Holiday Season and Merry Christmas!
P.S. Next post...I will be sharing my Christmas decor! Come back to get a tour both inside and out!