Friday, March 13, 2015

Sticks and Stones: Dealing with the Ugly Side of Social Media as a Blogger and Person of Faith

If you are a blogger, designer, or creative type who puts yourself out there on the internet, you may have had a negative run in or two (or three, or four...) on social media. Most of us have. It is "to be expected." Normal. Happens all the time. Something to "get over." But what if you can't? What if the hurtful words cut deep? How can we manage to keep our self-worth and value in tact while subjecting ourselves to the possibility of rudeness and ridicule?
A painful Facebook experience that happened to me a couple of weeks ago, left me contemplating this blog and what I am doing here. Whether it is something I can continue for the long haul with social media the way that it is. An ugly cesspool of hurt people hurting people.

Let me preface this by saying I am a sensitive person. No doubt about that {queue up that Jewel song...I'm sensistive and I'd like to stay that way}. I take things personally and wear my heart on my sleeve. I pour myself into all that I do. My love language is Words of Affirmation. I can be built up and brought down in a single word. You get my drift...

So, let me take you back. A blogging friend found a photo of her own shared on a very popular Facebook page. This page has over a million followers, but the person who owns the page does not share their own work. They steal photos, crop off watermarks and give no proper credit. (That alone drives me nuts about social media, but is a topic for another day.)

She later, also happened to find one of mine: a photograph of my living room. She tagged me in it so that at least one person was giving proper credit, even if it would largely go unnoticed. Hesitantly, I went to the post to take a peek at what had been shared without permission. (It was an image from this post.)
Sure enough, there it was, watermark cropped and no credit given. Just a remark from the page owner about how they "would like to cozy up on my couch." Then I did what I dread most on social media, scrolled down to read the comments. And immediately regretted that decision.

"Ugh. I don't like this at all."

"Not styled well. Looks like they just threw together what was lying around or given to them."

"Brown doesn't say cozy to me."

"Ick. Gross."

"So ugly"

"I hate it."

"This is terrible."

"Hideous"

I stopped reading at some point. Definitely did not want to click to "read more comments." Sheesh. Those were enough for me. The words cut like a knife. It was late, and I was tired...just about to go to bed. Once in bed in the dark, the words punched at my soul. "Hideous" seemed to do the most damage. I woke up the next morning feeling like my soul had been beaten up.

There were several other comments on the picture...lots of people loved my rug, and there were some "I love this look!" comments thrown in. But those did not settle in like the negative ones. It was as if those ones didn't matter at all, because the mean ones overpowered them. And this is a photograph that has been pinned thousands of times. It's just a hunch, but I don't think most of them are pinning it to their "Hideous" board? Even still, hideous it was. At least, that is what I started to believe.

Even though these were random strangers who didn't know me, the words hurt. Deeply. It was my living room after all. That I have styled to be cozy and comfortable for my little family. I don't have a ton of money for decorating, so I do the best that I can and share it here. I enjoy that...for the most part.

But this other aspect of blogging - the negative Nellies and rude folks on social media - makes me question my ability to withstand it long term. I have been blogging since 2007, but with a small, and 99.99999% courteous audience. As my blog has grown and social media has changed, I live with a small fear of my work being shared on these larger sites. Even when proper credit is given because you know the meanies will be out in full force.
This wasn't the first time I have experienced this, of course, but it was probably the most painful thus far (although they all feel that way at the time. This is just the most recent, so it's fresh). It made me realize how much my home and how I "style" it are an extension of me. Who I am. Or at least, how I have allowed that to become a determining factor in my self-worth.

So for those of us who are sensitive, yet put ourselves out there like this, how are we to cope when "the worst" happens. People telling ya what they think even if you didn't ask.

I wrestled with this for days. Thought about cutting back to just being a casual blogger like I used to be a couple of years ago. Maybe diminishing myself was the answer? Avoid being hurt at all costs.

Days went by. And I won't lie, a few tears were shed. I happen to be currently going through a low period, so this did not help in any way. Eventually, though, I found myself once again, where God always brings me back to: teaching me that my worth and value are in Him. What he has done for me. Not people. Their opinions. Not my gifts. My abilities. My home. My accomplishments (or lack there of). Just in the fact that he made me and he loves me and Jesus gave himself up for me.

I know to some, all of this might seem to be taking those Facebook comments too seriously. Putting too much stock in them. (And you would be right on that note.) What's the big deal? "They are just dumb people." Yeah, I get it. 

But for us sensitive souls out there, it can wound. It can reflect who we are on the inside...if we let it. I could allow something like this to hold me back, keep me from sharing my home, my style, my heart. I could allow it to change me. The way I decorate. The way I share posts. The way I strive to be myself. Literally thoughts like, "Maybe if had more of a "Pottery Barn" style this wouldn't happen." But the truth is no matter what my style or how perfect or imperfect it is, somebody somewhere isn't going to like it. I know this. I do know this. (I just secretly hope I don't have to hear about it!)

The great reminder here is, at the end of this life, it won't matter if my living room was perfect or hideous. If people "like me" on social media or they don't. If my house looks like an interior decorator styled it, or I just threw together what I had and what people gave me (there was some truth in that comment...that is what I like to do ;).

It will only matter what I did with my time here. If I chose to love when I could have hated. If I offered grace, when rudeness in return, would have been easier.

If I held a grudge, or forgave.

This experience reminded me of a specific time in college, when God showed me point blank what his thoughts are of me. And I have never forgotten. At that time in my life, much of my value and self-worth came from what other people thought of how I looked. Even though I received compliments on my looks often, I was still filled with low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness. I never looked in the mirror and saw what others did. I didn't even believe them. I was cruel to myself.

One particular day, when I was sitting in an Old Testament class where we were required to bring our bibles, I was waiting for the professor to begin the day's lecture. The worst feelings of shame and unworthiness came over me. I felt so ugly in that moment. I don't even know why other than Satan must have been attacking me something fierce. I felt an urge to open my bible, that I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit leading me, and when I did, I opened directly to a page in Song of Solomon and my eyes locked on this verse (4:7) -

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you."

Tears welled in my eyes. I could feel the Father's love for me. Just as I was.

So that my friends, is where we need to be. Where our value and worth lie. In His eyes. In His heart. in His love. And in that, we are beautiful.

When these situations on social media arise, our first call should be to God. Calling out to him to quickly take hold of our hearts and remind us where our value lies. Then pray against these words. Pray against them getting a foothold. Letting them creep their way into our hearts.

We also need to go further and BE PREPARED for when these situations happen, because unfortunately, they will. The bible tells us to, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it" (Proverbs 4:23).We need to pray before these events happen, so that when they do, they can't bring us down quickly and easily or allow us to diminish ourselves or become bitter.

I was weak when my situation happened. Hadn't been reading God's word regularly or praying often. It was easy for me to be "taken down" by those words. If we prepare our hearts prior to them happening and are relying on God's truth, we can put these words in their proper perspective. It will likely still hurt, but it doesn't have to take hold.

I know that this situation will happen again as much as I hope it doesn't. But I will choose to not let it diminish me, change me, keep me from sharing my home, my life or my heart here with you. I am not here to share a "picture perfect idealistic" world with you. That is not me nor my reality. My hope is that what I share here, might inspire another. And if it doesn't that is okay too. My value cannot be measured by that. Our value is not measured in other people's opinions.

Just in the One who sees us knows us through and through.
I created a couple of free printables to be reminders of this, not only for myself, but for you also if it is an area where you might need encouragement from time to time. We all do right? Whatever the case may be...other people's hurtful words, your home, your gifts, your accomplishments, your looks, your weight. None of those are things that will matter in the end or that can be measures of your worthiness. Only in God's love. His beautiful and perfect love.

To download, click on the link for the version you want below. You will be taken to the image in  Google Drive where you can select to download it to your computer. Then print and enjoy! Please take note that these are offered for PERSONAL USE ONLY. No reselling in any format or offering as free printables for download on your own site. Thanks for respecting the hard work and effort that goes into these!






Well, my hope is that you never have to face this situation, but if you are reading this post and have, I am so sorry. Truly, I am. Let's strive today to remember where our worth and value rest and go out and meet the ugliness of the world with beauty, grace and love.

Till next time...
~Alice W.

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79 comments :

  1. I think you have a style all your own that appeals to women of all ages, Alice, as is evident by the success of your blog! I've seen a few negative comments about photos that have been pinned from my blog and wondered myself why anybody would bother to pin something just to say they didn't like it. Obviously they have way too much time on their hands!! My feelings are easily hurt, so I know how you feel about reading those ugly comments. I hope you can forget them and enjoy the creative aspect of your blogging and all the inspiration you provide to your many readers. By the way, I love your cozy style. :o)
    Vickie

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    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words Vickie!

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  2. i have had my share of negative nellies- especially on apartment therapy. the first time it happened i was really hurt and sad, but then i thought about how sad that poor person was that it makes them feel powerful to hurt someone anonymously on the internet. and i just started to feel sorry for them.... so my point is, if they have to hurt you with words and they don't even know you, their self esteem is very low and their lives are very sad. so with that in mind i learn to let go of the negative comments.

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    1. Yes, I am learning that Cassie! Thanks for the encouragement.

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  3. Alice, I love your style and your blog! I love what you share and your images are very inspiring to me! As a blogger I haven't had this happen yet or I haven't came across it yet, but I agree with Cassie their hurtful words are a reflection of them... not of your work. I believe your work is fabulous and would miss it if you did not share it with us!

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  4. Oh, Alice! I am so sorry what this experience has done to you. I also am a very sensitive person and it has caused me much angst over the years, but God is helping me. Words do hurt and sometimes they wound so deep that you think you will never get over it. I will never understand why there are so many cruel people out there and they don't even keep it to themselves, but they have to shout it from the rooftops. Just remember my dear, you are very loved by many of us and by God!! You are His beautiful one!! I have to be reminded of that every so often even at 56 years old. I try to be so kind to people and sometimes go out of my way to do things to surprise and I was shocked when I got shot down by a family member. That took me a LONG time to get over, but I think I am pretty much okay now about that. haha...I will quit blathering and get to the point. YOU ARE LOVED and YOU ARE AMAZING...keep doing what you do and hold your head up high. You are a daughter of the most high God!!
    Hugs~

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    1. Thank you Sandi! I am always blessed by your encouragement :)

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  5. I'm speechless Alice........... I'm so sorry for your pain firstly and I often worry about what I may feel when this happens to me. We live in a sin-filled world filled with sin-filled people and even though we know that in our minds, it still rocks us to the core of our hearts when those folks spew their hatred and anger onto us. I'm so sensitive too, I know it'll break me a little one day when it happens to me and yes, tears will flow for a while. You have an awesome, successful blog filled with dreamy images and you are soooo talented, and this happened because someone STOLE your content first, nothing pretty is going to come of that. Know that you are loved by God and lots of other folks that respect both your voice and your work here on this blog. Grieve and then pick yourself right back up and shine again. Sending a great big virtual hug your way this morning!

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    1. Thank you Amy! I appreciate you and your kind heart so much!

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  6. Sorry that happened to you Alice-I love reading your blog!

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  7. Alice, I am so sorry that you have felt the effects of negative and rude people on social media. Sadly, people who make these comments would never have the courage to say these things to someone's face. They feel untouchable sitting behind their computer or mobile device. However, the way you have responded to that in such grace and out of love for others is inspiring and encouraging. Despite being hurt, you have opened your heart to us and have risen above the adversity. I have been following your blog for a while and I love your style but more importantly, I love who you are and what you stand for. I see more than your style and your home when I read your blog. I see you and the ONE that lives inside of you. I have learned that those who hurt others are hurting themselves just as you mentioned in this post. We must love those who persecute us and by sharing this post you have. Thank you for sharing your heart. I hope that you are encouraged and will continue to do what you love and share that on your blog. Don't let the negative comments of a few silence you from doing what you have been called to do. Love and prayers.

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    1. Thank you SO much Renee! I appreciate your encouragement!

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  8. PS Thanks for the printables also! They are beautiful! :)

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  9. Have you thought about having a comment free blog? I love those!

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    1. The comments were actually on someone else's facebook page ;) Not my blog. I love the comments I receive here...they are almost always positive and I love connecting with my readers through them!

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  10. Well that just sucks. I've never understood why someone wants to take the time out of their day and waste their personal energy on being negative and cutting other's down. I see plenty of things online that I don't care for but do I actually go and SAY that? No!

    I totally get what you are saying about your Love Language. I am also positive affirmations (and small gifts) too!

    I love your style as do many, many other people! :o]

    I hope you have a better day today.

    Tania

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  11. You have talent, and that was a wonderful verse to share. In my experience, I've observed FB to be mean place, and I don't use it for my blog. I think people think they are responding to advertising.

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    1. Thank you! I've been grateful to only have a positive experience (thus far) on my own FB page but I know when the numbers get bigger (like on the page that shared the photo) the negative and rude people are all over it :/ I think you are right - they don't think about it being a real person's home, etc. or care!

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  12. Such a beautiful reminder here. Thank you for sharing Jesus' words through yours. You are incredibly talented and articulate, Alice. I have wondered at times why people would take the time to leave a mean comment. If you and I don't think something is our style, don't we just move on? Why spread negativity and risk making someone feel bad? They must be in a tough place.

    Being strong and tender is hard, but we are learning day-by-day, aren't we? Sorry for the pain - but look at the beauty and encouragement that has already come from it! Hope you have a wonderful weekend (and maybe play T. Swift's Shake it Off and dance with your kiddos - - just for good measure! :) xo, ~julie

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    1. Thank you Julie! You made me smile when I read this :) will do!

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  13. Just a note to let you know, I just looked at the photo of your living room. I, for one anyway, LOVE,,,LOVE it. Don't let the "ugly" people get you down. Their bad comments tell you and others, what kind of person they are, not what kind of person you are..Your blog is a joy!!!

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  14. I'm so sorry that you had such an awful experience, dear Alice. You are such a sweet person. I can imagine how much those comments must have hurt you. Your style is adorable and you are such an inspiration. Please don't let anybody tell you that this is not the case. Homes, that contain only the newest store bought items are boring and interchangeable. I wouldn't like to live in one of those. Your kids can be happy to have such a creative mom with a great sense of style.
    It's such a shame that people who steal other people's content can accumulate so many followers who don't care where the pictures etc. come from.
    Please keep up being yourself.
    Sending you love and a big hug,
    Julia

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  15. hmm... this post really got me thinking.

    "Bullying" is usually a term we associate with children and confrontations in the school yard. I believe in the adult world, negatively commenting on social media, blogs, etc. is also a form of harassment. And it's really, really sad this is happening.

    Here's something Alice. I love your blog. Your eye for style, photography and writing is truly inspiring. You set the blogging bar so high - it makes me feel empowered, inspired, striving to one day be lucky enough to have such a beautiful little corner of the interweb like you do. :)

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  16. Hi Alice, I'm a fairly new follower of your blog and your hideous boho living room is the post that got me hooked! I had a similar experience not so long ago and my husband kept telling me not to take it personally. It's hard though. If only the internet would only follow the rule we learn in grade school "if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all!" Some people enjoy being mean I guess. I love your style and your blog, and I find it to be a great source of inspiration for my own style.
    xo Sally

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  17. Ok, first, I love your blog. A few years ago I searched for info on milk paint which lead me to Miss Mustard Seeds blog. I really didn't even know how a blog worked but I soon found out and really enjoyed it. Through her blog I started following others and now I follow about 25 really beautiful talented women. What I get out of it are great home decor ideas and how to tips but there is so much more to it. You and others who do what you do make me smile, make me think sometimes too. I am not on Facebook and I hear things like what has happened to you from others too. I choose not to be a part of something that is so negative and hurtful to others. Believe me your home is warm, inviting and welcoming. You have a beautiful space to share with your family and I appreciate your sharing it with me. Thank you.

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  18. I feel so bad about this, Alice, because I've always seen you as a sweet and kind soul who creates straight from the heart. People are cruel and I think we see it more in social media because these cowardly people can hide while they try to shock people. Even so, I would have reacted the same way you did. And I would eventually get over it. I think the more popular you are in the blog world or social media...the demographics alone will make you a target. But know...those of us who know and love you, know that your home, your family, YOU, are about love and faith. The happiness that abounds in that pretty living room is something these terrible people may never know in their own lives.

    Jane xxx

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  19. Alice, what a GREAT post. I recently found you on Instagram somehow, which lead me to your blog. It says so much about you as a person, that you turned this ugly situation around and handled it with true grace. And you're even offering us all a gorgeous printable, thank you! That quote is wonderful. I'm going to print this and put it in my daughter's room...she is struggling with being a 13 year old and I think she will love this. It is really incredible to me how there can be so much negativity, criticism and ugliness out on the Internet. And that people feel free to say what they want, without thinking about others' feelings. I'm sure the fact that they can be relatively anonymous and can "hide", has much to do with their feeling like they can give anyone a tongue lashing with no consequences. There are just haters out there. Period. BUT there are so, so many lovely people out there, too. I love your blog, your IG feed makes me happy, and your style is just gorgeous. Please ignore the haters. Keep spreading your joy and your creativity, you are such an inspiration. I'm in the process of getting my creative work out into the world, and I really appreciated this post today. Blessings to you and your family!

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  20. I also am a sensitive person. I think that is why I have nto shared a lot of my poetry on my blog. I do share in my Emerging Women Writers group, so they all have heard most of it and given wonderfully helpful feedback. I would cry if someone said "this is crap." The feedback I get from the group is gentle and helps me make each poem better.
    I have my blog set so no one can right click on a picture or anything on it and steal it. Also set each photo so no one can open a link to it and copy it. Since I do sell copies of my photos, I do not want anyone stealing them.
    Do contact that person and ask them to remove your photo, but in a kind way. They should always ask permission first and credit you as well!
    But be forgiving and know they did not mean to cause you any anguish.

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  21. I am a designer and I just looked at your home tour. Not only is your family room amazing - so is the rest of your home! You just have to ignore poor manners with no taste. You probably wouldn't like their house either - but you would be respectable enough not to tell them.


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  22. This was so well written Alice. Even though I haven't experienced this yet, I could relate to every emotion you went through, especially your sweet experience of realizing God's love for you. You are right- holding fast to that is the only way to get over those hurtful comments, and there is nothing more empowering than God's love. I adore you and your creativity and your style and your blog, but mostly YOU. Thank you for putting this experience out there; I'm sure I will refer back when that inevitable hateful comment comes.

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  23. There will always be haters. Don't let them get you down. You have a beautiful living room (home). It is comfortable and lived in and is not totally sterile white. The important thing is that you like and so do we!

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  24. Your room is lovely, and so cozy looking. Granted, brown may not be for everyone (as one of the commentors stated), but what's REALLY hideous is that people think they can make those kind of comments at the expense of other people's feelings. Keep on keeping on. Haters are gonna hate. Wish they could have an ounce of the JOY you have in styling that room for your sweet family. Thanks for sharing the encouraging words that you did today!

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  25. Alice, I can't even believe this would happen to you. First, I'm totally appalled that someone would dare steal your work (I swear I could pick it out from a line up) and secondly that people would dare say such mean and hateful things about someone that is so amazing. I agree with all of the cheerleaders that have come before me YOU ARE AWESOME! I'm so sorry this happened to you and that it hurt you. You're a great mom and fantastic artist and we are blessed you share your creativity with us. I look forward to your posts every week. Chin up buttercup you're way better than those haters will ever be! Hugs, Coco

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  26. First of all, I'm so sorry you had to deal with someone taking credit for your LOVELY home. That is awful and I'm just waiting for the day, when it will happen to me, ugh. Secondly, people are harsh and cruel and say things on social media they were never say to someone's face. There is NOTHING about you, your style or anyone's style for that matter that should receive comments like that. I can't imagine the hurt, but I'm so proud you're moving forward and going to God for your acceptance! That's so hard to do, especially as a blogger who gets some of our validation from comments, likes, tweets, etc. He alone can fill that void. Keep pushing on, girl!

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  27. Alice I really liked your post today and I can totally relate to how you feel. I'm a Sensitive and I live with Fibromyalgia so I wear my heart on my shirt sleeve as well. It is good to see that you have the faith to turn those bad feelings into something positive. I truly believe that some people are hear to love and some to test us. It's how we deal with these tester on our journey that counts. I feel that you are a strong, loving women. Please do not give up on your blog you inspire me. Hugs, Jo

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  28. I am so sorry that you had to go through this. I came over to read the post because someone mentioned it on Instagram.

    I am glad you are strong enough to get beyond this and share with others. Your kind and positive words might be just what another person needs to get beyond a negative in their life.

    Have a lovely weekend and bathe yourself in the positive comments.

    I about to publish and I decided to add what my husband and I do when we get negative thoughts in our conversations. One of us stops and says, "that's not in our script!" It's amazing how lovely our conversations are when we avoid negativity.

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  29. Amen, sister. What a beautiful gift He gave you that day in class. I touch on this a bit on my blog time to time. The most recent here: http://www.jillruth.com/2015/01/our-cloak-room-make-over.html The scripture from Philippians comes to mind about the putting on the breastplate of salvation and such...and at one point it says to guard against the "flaming arrows". These arrows were flaming indeed.

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  30. Thanks so much for what you shared. I can't relate to others taking my pictures cause I'm just a casual blogger with few followers. But, I've been feeling a bit weak, attacked, however you want to call it and the scripture verse you shared was the verse that God gave me when I got saved at the age of 9 (many years ago!). I shared that verse with some girls at a faith-based addiction centre where I volunteer. It was just before Valentine's Day. God told me to talk about Cinderella. (A new movie just came out too!) If you have time you can read my post about that under my Talk on Tuesday tab. If you keep your attitude right, God will bring justice and will reward you. Chin up Miss Alice...you have God on your side!!! Have a blessed day!! Blessings, Diane

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  31. Precious post! God's grace is a sweet healing balm; and as it has been freely given to us- so are we to do the same. But it's hard. This broken world can destroy us in mere seconds. You, my friend, have done just what He would want. And He will honor you in that. I remember the first time I saw something of yours, and I said, "Finally, a real soul who I can relate to!" And I do. You are genuine. Hugs to you from Texas! You have encouraged me today!!!!

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  32. Thank you for this post and the printables. Beautiful words from a beautiful person with a beautiful home :)

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  33. Proud of you Alice! Keep strong and faithful, you can get through anything, you are amazing!

    Love you,
    Mom

    Love your inspirational printables too!!

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  34. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I had someone say horrible things about my child. Ever since, my children are rarely on my blog. It's a shame that the power of a few can make us stop sharing what we love. It was so powerful, I even took myself offline for a few months. Until I felt braver.

    Your room is beautiful. You're style is beautiful. You are a beautiful person. It's so easy for someone to say mean things anonymously. Not caring about how it could hurt another. Don't let them get you down.

    As far as that site snagging your image and cropping out your name. Ugh. I hate it when that happens. I'm glad you've made your way past this, but I'm so sorry it hurt you.

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  35. Okay, reading this post was an emotional roller coaster for me (in a good way). Becauseee...I'm pretty sensitive too. In the beginning, as I was reading I felt like I was experiencing all the feelings you had. I was so ready to comment my shared anger of all the stupid, classless people in the world lol like I was just thinking, "anyone that would comment things like that is not a classy person, and un-classy people DO NOT have any sort of taste whatsoever, so forget about those losers." But then, you started to get to the good (happy) stuff. And I realized that my face was burning, my heart was racing, and I had just let myself get so worked up about the pain you went through (reminding me of situations of others hurting me in my life and me feeling the same way). I started to feel convicted once I started reading about how you know that the cure is to go talk with God and read His word. I felt convicted because I know that too, yet a lot of times I literally just choose to be lazy and not do it, and I sit around feeling bad for myself. It sounds silly now that I write it out. I know what will make me feel better and yet I choose not to go read/pray? haha dumb. So what I'm getting at is that I really enjoyed this post and needed to read it. I'm not going to do that the next time I'm feeling hurt, I think I'll turn to Song of Solomon 4:7 :) ...Sorry for the novel, I really just wanted to say THANK YOU! It is so nice to have Christian blogging sisters and to come be encouraged on your blog. You have a beautiful home and style, and I've always enjoyed following along oh here. You are an amazing decorator, writer, photographer, mother, etc. etc. etc. :)

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  36. Alice,
    I also am a sensitive person, which makes it hard for us to take negativity/meanness/bullying/whatever it is being called these days. What happened to what we were taught - if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all! I pray about it, but I will be honest in saying that sometimes I carry that weight around for a very long time. Doing so only hurts us, not them. God made each of us unique and beautiful in His eyes! Stay sensitive - it is a great trait for your children to see.
    Hugs,
    Lori

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  37. lots of beauty in this post and more importantly... in YOU.

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  38. My heart aches for you in reading this. Being a sensitive soul is something that I feel is a special gift from God. Like you and obviously many others that have posted here, I am in good company! First of all, one of the main reasons that I follow your blog is how the beauty you share soothes my soul. Another reason is that you are transparent. Please don't let the enemy steal your ability to share beauty here on this earth with others. God has given you a talent & gift for decorating. Share that & let His light continue to shine through you! Praying for peace & comfort for you.

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  39. I have experienced this as well. I have found the blogging community to be so gracious and encouraging, so to see the hateful and hurtful words so freely thrown around on some of the other social venues was such a jolt to my heart! I'm so glad you are making the decision to let your true value {and your charming home} continue to shine. I'm sorry you had to experience this pain, but I think it's really beautiful that you are using it to spread God's love and light. I love the printables you created. Bless you, Alice!

    Jeanette

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  40. Alice I have followed you since Flickr..About 5 years now..I have seen your style evolve and change over the years..Perhaps those negative people prefer your original decorating style..Or they simply have no taste..Either way it does not matter what they think..I know it is cliché to say this, but as you get older what others think will not hold such importance..I am 47 and I remember when I was in my late twenties early thirties I would think the same things you are now..And trust me,now what others think, is irrelevant to me..Kind words, lovely words, encouraging words..They hold meaning, but negativity.I have no time for that..And I know about hurtful words..My own mother verbally abused my brother and I our entire childhood, and she still does so..I just politely tell her I love her and hang up the phone..I have always known my self worth, even when the most important person in my life was trying to make me feel worthless at times..I credit my faith in helping me overcome this.. Perhaps due to such abuse one might think I have become tolerant ..Its never ok to demean someone with words.. Your right..We are all human..And it hurts to be told something negative..I have had this happen on HGTV Rate my Space....You post pics of your home and people make comments..And some were negative..But has their home been published in a national magazine?..You and I both have had the honor of this..Which for me was a dream come true..I just considered the source..You are a loving lady who has a great faith..But also remember this, some do not think the way we do..I have posted captures of my Blessed Mother statues, and have lost followers that day..I still post photographs of my Blessed Mother statues..If what I am doing, what I believe in, how I decorate my home, how I live my life, how I treat others pleases me, that is more than enough for "me"..And by putting our lives out there the way we do, we do set ourselves up for possible criticism..Do not focus on the bullies..They mean nothing to you or your life..We may not inspire everyone, I may not inspire anyone, but what I do inspires me..Everyday..And those I have inspired, have told me so, and that makes me happy and fulfilled in what I do here on the net..When a woman tells me she has been sick with Cancer and captures of my home, or words I have spoken has helped her that day after a chemo treatment, or that she was depressed and my vignette inspired her to go out and buy a bouquet of flowers, which made her feel better..I know God has worked through me that day to help someone else..And in turn, that helps me, and feeds my soul...I am saying all of these things to help you..You create beauty here, you inspire people, you do great things here, your a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend..That is what is truly important...Know it,own it, and be at peace with it..xo..Karen~

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    1. "But what I do inspires me . . . everyday."

      Yes! That is so true! We post from our hearts, from our own joys. Readers can like it or not, and if they don't, they can find another blog that is more their style.

      Your comment is so inspiring Karen!

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  41. Thank you so much for sharing this. This comes at a great time for me to read. If there's one thing I've learned in blogging, it's that with every high, there's a low to keep the roller coaster of emotions going! The way you described yourself sounds like me to a T. From the feelings of self worth in college, to the words of affirmation. I tend to focus on the black speck on the wall rather than the giant wall around the black speck! ;) I was very depressed a couple weeks ago and realized I kept telling myself howI must really suck. I've been doing this since 2008, and struggling with the numbers game. I am no where near all the likes and followers of my cohorts that started around the same time. To make matters worse, a friend who just started surpassed me 10x over in 2 1/2 months. All I could think of was that it just proved that I am not connecting with people, and that even though I love our home and what we've created, others must really not like it. I was devastated. It sounds silly, but as women, I think we equate our home with who we are! And that is just wrong. I knew the only thing that truly mattered was how God saw me, that he created me... But it was so hard to get my focus back on that. I finally used my bible app and listened to Psalm 23-30. Even though I know that passage well, it comforted me. I thank you for sharing your heart. I LOVE your style and you constantly inspire me. Thank you for the printable. I'm hanging it where I can see it daily. I needed this!

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  42. Alice, you are such a gift! A good friend, a creative soul and wonderful mother. I also wear my heart on my sleeve and have had negative comments (thankfully not on my blog directly) but on social media. It is very hurtful. Someone said my dining room looked like an insane asylum. Hmmm. Hard to take as it is a favorite room in my house. I'm so glad you've found comfort. I'm going to pin these beautiful quotes and also share today. x

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  43. Oh Sweetie I just hate when this happens to the lovely people of the world and you've had more than your fair share of it. As many others here I've been reading your blog from the early days, always so appreciative of your talent in ALL areas of your life and the fact that you shared with us...basically strangers until you got to know us too. My biggest fear, and I've said this before...is I would hate to see you go the way of so many bloggers who got tired of it all and only allowed certain folks to view their blog by invitation. There are a couple of ladies I really miss, but I never commented, so how would they have known I existed? (Lol). Take strength and heart from all those who have posted before and after me. You are right, nearly 100% of your readers adore you, take heart dear girl! Hugs, Fay

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  44. Alice, this post is profound and inspiring! It takes a lot of strength and courage to share the ugliness that was directed at you, and the place of vulnerability you were in at the time. I so appreciate your strong words of faith and self worth as a child of God. Yes, we often lose sight of that and listen to voices in the world that try to bring us down. Thank you for these wonderful reminders that as Christians, we are beautiful in the sight of God because he has made us and gifted us and he delights when we use those abilities for his glory!

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  45. You are beautiful--inside and out. I am so glad you talked (wrote) yourself through the pain and realized what is truly important. Please, please don't give in to the happiness suckers of the world. The rest of us need your thoughts as well as the inspiration of your uniquely beautiful decorating style. <3

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  46. So sorry to hear about this... People just feel like they can say anything on the Internet these days as if no one was behind the blog they are reading. I hope you will just block out the negativity and focus on your God given talent to be creative. Not everyone will like what we do out here in blog land... The most important thing to remember is that if you like it and it makes you happy who cares what anybody else thinks.
    Hugs to you my friend
    Karin

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  47. I found this such an interesting post......

    Here is my 2 cents on it....

    The internet is a wonderful thing but by using the internet and social media forms, we put ourselves "out there" to every "Tom, Dick and Harry" that wants to take a peak into our worlds. By doing this, we have to realize that there are people in this world who have been brought up with no manners, no respect for other people and people that take every opportunity to voice their own self serving opinion because they can now hide behind anonymity.( spelling, sorry).
    Having worked full time for 37 years in a profession dominated by women ( Nursing), I have learned the Women are their own worst enemy and can be very cruel to each other. I developed a thick skin early on in my career but that was easy for me as my Dad always taught me "Do Not let anyone use You as a door mat". I am also the major bread winner in our household making far more money than most of my male counter parts can ever make.
    I have always been a strong individual dealing with bullying early in life because of being an over weight child. I do what I want, have my own style and honestly, do not care much about what other people, especially people who I do not know or who I will never meet in my life, have to say about it. I usually do not care about what my own family thinks as I had a Mother who hated my Victorian Style that I so love. That was her problem and not mine.
    What ever happened to the old adage of "If you do not have something nice to say, then do not say it"?
    I grew up with a mother who did not subscribe to that philosophy with her 2 daughters. Again, I became thick skinned and did my own thing
    As a Cancer survivor, you realize fast that these type of things are incidental in life and what people, who you do not even know, say are not the most important things in life... Believe me!!
    My style is Victorian and I KNOW that it only appeals to a chosen few and I am good with that because it is what I LOVE and that is all that is important. If you and your family love your home then pretty much, tell everyone else to "Piss Off'. Excuse me but that is 37 years of full time work talking!!
    There are many styles that do not appeal to me but I can appreciate them.
    The people who commented with rude remarks are usually the people who lack self esteem and have to make themselves feel good by making other people feel bad.
    When someone has commented that my style is too busy, I have commented back " I know and that is what i like. And I may find your style too plain and boring". That usually nips it in the bud!! LOL!
    Blogging, Social Media forms enable us to put ourselves out there but it also enables rude and crude people to steal our photos and our posts and judge us like we have never been judged before. Those are just the rules of a new game. Nothing is safe on the internet so my recommendation is if you do not want something to be stolen and labeled as someone else's, only put out there what you will not care about if that happens.
    Nothing can be totally protected on the internet so you just have to go with that thought. Watermarking photos is pretty much a useless tool in trying to credit photos so I do not even bother with it. I have had my facebook site hacked along with email addy's. Everything is up for grabs on the Internet and we have to learn that privacy, ownership and decency does not exist on the internet.
    So my advice to you is YOU DO WHAT YOU WANT and WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU and DO NOT WORRY ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE WHO MEAN NOTHING TO YOU HAVE TO SAY!!!!
    Hope you have a great weekend and please put this all out of your mind...

    Hugs,
    Deb

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  48. I'm in awe of your honest and heartfelt post. You don't have to travel far to feel the unhappiness in most people. When I read or hear about such hurtful and negative comments left, I assume the person leaving them is unhappy and insensitive. Your blog and home is by far one of the most comfortable and welcoming I've seen. Shame on mean people who simply cannot appreciate what may not be their style. Makes one wonder what their home looks like. Believe me, you have my style and talent than these insensitive people will ever have.

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  49. Oops, I meant to say "you have MORE style and talent than.....

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  50. Thank you for sharing the beautiful printables! Very generous of you! In regards to social media, I think sometimes people's fingers work faster than their brains...and without a watermark, they possibly didn't think it was a personal attack?? Who knows...probably best we don't know what motivates mean spirited people. ps Your Holy Spirit story gave me goosebumps and was a great reminder--THANK YOU!

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  51. I read this and every comment. Hang in there. Thoughtless people are, well, thoughtless. Your printables say it all.

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  52. This is such a courageous post, Alice. People are so thoughtless. You are an amazing bright light.
    Love ya ;)
    Jamie

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  53. Alice you've been through traumatic losses in the past few months, maybe on a different day at another time the negativity wouldn't have found its way into your heart, maybe the hurt you were feeling wasn't about the comments as much as your need to grieve. You are a blessed woman with a loving family and a beautiful soul, maybe you just need to hear how amazing you are in all that you do. Give yourself a break, because you are beautiful and your world won't fall apart if you let go for a little while. God Bless. Linda
    Smile and the world will smile back at you!

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  54. I have seen this over and over to many bloggers' work. By the time it came to me, I was hardened by it. I laughed at the comments. A friend asked me to delete the negative comments and I said no, as they have a right to their opinions. Even if it makes them feel better about themselves, we have to realize these types of people are envious and are easily motivated by inappropriate remarks. Most of us refrain from commenting if we don't like something. We are defined differently.

    You are talented and you share not only your creative work, but others' too. Your success supersedes the negativity of those small minds that have the audacity to belittle you. Don't take it to heart. Realize that you are in a much better frame of mind. You are amazing and you have all of us that adore and support you.

    Hugs~
    Robin

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  55. Amen Alice!! Please know I was so thrilled to find your blog. When I saw your mantle vignettes I thought they were (especially) absolutely stunning. Your love for Christ is beautiful too:) "The Eternal is with me, so I will not be afraid of anything. If God is on my side, how can anyone hurt me?" Psalm 118:6 love, beth

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  56. Alice, my sweet friend, you are a beautiful witness for our Lord and your words will encourage and inspire others.

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  57. I love this post, your blog, and your FB page. I'm so sorry this happened to you and I thank you for your honesty and for pouring your feelings out. Most of us, including myself would have been really bothered by this, so please know you're not alone. I was always taught that if I had nothing good to say, then say nothing at all.

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  58. How sad that this happened to you. Your decor style is simply beautiful, warm and inviting. You generously share your ideas on your lovely blog and to all of us. As others suggested, please do not allow the negative words to bring you down. Follow the wisdom behind your printables and be true to yourself. Sending you prayers and hugs.
    Suzanne
    Pieced Pastimes

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  59. I have dealt with this & I delete the comment immediately. Wether it be about something of mine, or something I shared of someone else's. I have zero tolerance for bullying & rudeness. I say use the old adage, if you can't say something nice.
    I have never understood why people even feel the need to waste those moments of their day to be cruel to another human being. I say don't ever stop doing wbat you love. Do it for YOU, not anyone else, other than God. Always remember, he thinks you & everything about you, are worth dying for.
    I'm sorry you had to deal with such hatred. One more thing, that hatred is a reflection of them, not you.
    Stop by & see me sometime. If it's ok, I would love to share you on my page & you will ALWAYS get full credit.
    God Bless ~ Dawn @ Sun Baked Treasures

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  60. I love your last line~ "Let's strive today to remember where our worth and value rest and go out and meet the ugliness of the world with beauty, grace and love." I heart that!

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  61. You must watch Brene Brown -- "Why your critics aren't the ones who count". And thank you for the printables -- how beautiful! xo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-JXOnFOXQk

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  62. I have been through much the same that's why I'm no longer on social media ... Being called unrepeatable names by strangers hurts more than people that actually know you ... It's very sad people get kicks from making others miserable... It's called personal style for a reason I love that your home has personality! It's much better than cookie cutter I bought this all in one store looks!!! You have collected things that make you happy and that is all that matters at the end of the day! Your home is quite beautiful and perfectly imperfect !

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  63. Hi Alice. I am new to following blogs but have been back to yours time and time again. I was so happy to read how you handled this situation; how you remembered your purpose and worth in Christ. No-one person's style is like another's. I find yours so uniquely beautiful and gentle. I feel that if I walked into your house I would be welcomed with open arms and would feel so cared about. That is what I see in your pictures. Thank you for being willing to blog and give us a peek into your home. I find it so refreshingly gorgeous! I have a daughter going to college and I suggested she check out your blog for her ideas for her dorm room! I hope you will continue to share the beautiful life that God has given you with all of us.

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  64. Hi Alice. I am new to following blogs but have been back to yours time and time again. I was so happy to read how you handled this situation; how you remembered your purpose and worth in Christ. No-one person's style is like another's. I find yours so uniquely beautiful and gentle. I feel that if I walked into your house I would be welcomed with open arms and would feel so cared about. That is what I see in your pictures. Thank you for being willing to blog and give us a peek into your home. I find it so refreshingly gorgeous! I have a daughter going to college and I suggested she check out your blog for her ideas for her dorm room! I hope you will continue to share the beautiful life that God has given you with all of us.

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Thank you for your comments! I love to hear from you! Due to an increase in spam comments, I have had to enable word verification. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes. ~Alice W.