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Tuesday Tea..Are You a Giver or a Taker?



Welcome to Tuesday Tea! I do hope you will join all of us at Comin’ Home for a little girl talk! (Or maybe this week I should say a BIG girl talk.)  This is the one time each week, where we gather around our computers with lovely cups of hot tea..or cocoa..or coffee…to chat about matters of the heart. I’m always open to any topic. :o) If you would like to show us a tea time post..either what’s on your heart or just photos of your tea cup and or favorite tea, just link to this post. There is a linky party list at the bottom  for you to use. (No, you don't have to pay anything. :o)

Sooo….what shall we chat about today?  I know what I was going to talk about—it was about the Stylish Blogger award that The Clip Cafe gave me..and seven things that you don’t know about me…things God had to show me..that I used to NOT know…  (Thanks Clip Cafe!!--You are so awesome!)

…but a little issue came up that I’m almost afraid to broach!  I truly don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and pray the Lord will direct my thoughts here as I type.
 Really, it all started last week when I happened upon an article called Giver or a Taker? by Denise Schatt. Wow..I sOooo didn’t enjoy that article! Pegged…I was so pegged! 
Here I am always trying so hard to be a giver…and yet I felt that..at least in the area that she mentioned, I was really being a taker.  With one friend in particular, I tend to share everything on my ‘proverbial plate’ without asking what might be on hers.  Yipes!!  Well..I went to bed red-faced that night…and uncomfortably introspective. I repented..  I hope to be a better friend from now on! :o) 

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It’s so EASY to be a taker without even meaning to. Looking out for number one comes naturally to me and I suspect to all of us if we aren’t being attentive to our spiritual or mental state.  Hopefully, we Christian women, in particular, are known across bloggy land as being givers. I mean..that is what we want to be right? If that is the case, and we want to be ‘like Him’..then we will be putting others needs before our own…giving generously…and not being easily offended.  

But I’m afraid that in our efforts to be ‘good stewards’ and to live frugally, we may go just a wee bit too far.  Is it possible that we have slipped into expecting something…for nothing? 

I do hope very much that that is not the case. The scripture says clearly that the workman is worthy of his hire.  This includes the creators of intellectual property like art, music, photography, programming, internet use, and publicity.  I’ve been in the awkward position, more times than I care to be, of having to refuse a CD or a photo because I hadn’t paid for it, when some well meaning friend was offering it. Our present culture has almost completely refused to honor copyrights or the rights of any intellectual property because we don’t value the time, effort, and investment of others who live by their creative abilities.  I’m afraid that modern culture has affected the Christian community more than we realize.


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My interior decorator friend, Maria, of Colour Me Happy learned the hard way, that many people don’t understand the value of what they can’t see being done or the costs involved. Some people want her advice and assistance for free or think she should give it for free. Like Dear Hubby the computer programmer, she invests all of her available time making a living off of developing her expertise as a color and design consultant. Should she do it for free for family..what about friends…what about bloggy friends? Or not..and if so..how much? The fire storm that broke out on her blog that day was personal and sometimes very unkind. Thank goodness, most of the comments were very understanding. :o)

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I  anguished over the reactions that Nikki, the sweet host of Wardrobe Refashion went through! Her blog was internationally famous and the way she contributed to the blogging community was incalcuable. She committed the unpardonable sin of asking for …heaven forbid…money!  I can’t even tell you how high the volume of traffic was that flowed to my blog for my occasional submissions.  It was my main source of traffic for my first few months as an obscure blogger. 

I don’t personally know what the charges are for the amount of photos and usage that was occurring on that blog but it must have been a lot.  

Many bloggers understood but many did not. Not only did a lot of bloggers pretty much skewer her for asking for a subscription…but I noticed that she did indeed shut down.  We all lost out…the community…the traffic…the great ideas… You can still see the older posts..but there’s no more interaction to encourage us to be frugal now.   Here’s her ‘good-bye post’. Good bye, Nikki! Thanks for your generosity to all of us seamstresses! We will miss you!

Rebekah 2

My own daughter was an administrator on a home school social network called Jibe Now made of mostly homeschooled kids and debaters. She and six other college aged kids managed this facebook-like website. It was a marvel of ingenuity…the software was written and developed by these kids.

Jibe Now

 They gave it their all for a year..but it got too popular and garnered too much traffic. They were Givers!

They would have had to pay a developer $30,000 for a band aid approach to fixing it for maybe another year to $80,000 dollars  to pay a developer for a few months (for a major development overhaul) to make it able to keep running because the service they were using could not allow them to stay. Their 'safe alternative' to Facebook for students was a GENIUS idea! Sadly, they couldn't afford the time investment any more either. Running a site like that takes HUGE amounts of time.
  There really IS a cost to hosting a website, friends…
Their readers, high school and college age kids, are heartbroken that their community is breaking up..but blogging does indeed cost money and five college kids don’t have enough to keep it going.


Put money in envelopes according to budget

I have invested plenty of my own money to make Comin’ Home work. I have personally paid for a $40.00 critique by Brent to improve my blog (worth every penny!! Happy birthday to me!!)  and I’ve paid Hot Bliggity Blog about $40.00 over the last year to do things like make my ‘unique’ navigation bar, my own special font, changing my post font so that it is bigger than my sidebar font (not an option for most people on Blogger) and other tweaks so that I can make Comin’ Home easy to read and lovely. Yes, there are free resources…but I wanted Comin’ Home to be a truly wonderful and unique place to visit especially in regards to appearance. I wanted something you can’t easily get for free.  I don’t mind investing in the success of my blog. I know that in real life you really do get what you pay for!
When you see gorgeous blogs…well..I can tell you that unless they are professionals in web design or photography…they may very well have chosen to pay someone like I did.
I also pay a monthly fee to store my songs, documents etc at Box.net and because I share so many photos on my posts, I will soon have to pay an annual fee for space on Blogger.  But I don’t mind… I want you to have plenty of photos for my tutorials!! Yes, I’m working..as we speak on deleting photos to save space and changing how much and how heavy the resolution on my photos…but still…it all adds up! Some day I will have to pay.

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So now, I pay a whole 2 quarters per Linky party, so we can keep having our tea party. That’s nothing in my opinion…  I can’t even get a soda for that except for Kroger brand.
Why did I send $24.00 for an annual subscription ( the price of a good magazine subscription) to Brent? If it weren’t for other people’s linky parties..I would have only a fraction of the visitors I do. Thank you Cindy at My Romantic Home!!  And all the rest of my dear friends who host linky parties.  No doubt I could go somewhere else..for now..and get this service free of charge. But I bet you they will end up in the same boat eventually…because internet service is NOT free. If Brent weren’t so generous to teach new bloggers on his blog, On Building a Better Blog, I would not have the lovely blog look I do or write as well as I do now. I owe that to him.

 

Brent has been one of my most beloved blogging mentors. His articles on how to blog are phenomenal!  He has an adopted daughter with cancer. He’s a pastor who writes wonderful articles on Christian Living.  And he’s a man who is a GIVER in every sense of the word.

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Meet Brent’s kids…

  I donated $20.00 to him last year out of sheer gratitude for the help his posts  have given me.  He didn’t have to ask me…I just did. I also donated a little bit of money to Hot Bliggity Blog because I was using their background and so appreciated it.  I want TRAFFIC…because well…who wants to blog to ‘nobody’?  You may not feel as I do about paying this fee for linky parties..and you may be in such difficult financial circumstances that you can’t, and that’s fine. I’m sure some people were truly in that position at Wardrobe Refashion too.  But we can be polite…and gracious…and supportive.  

We can try to put ourselves in the shoes of people like Brent, Maria, Cindy, and Wardrobe Refashion who…give on their blogs every single day. They give free advice about blogging, decorating, Christian living. They host HUGE linky parties and give us TRAFFIC! Woo-hoo!
They are GIVERS and I feel that we should show our appreciation in any way we can. :o)
At the least, we can assume the best..that they are not charging what they don’t have to charge. We can choose NOT to criticize them for asking for financial help to bless us.  We want to be givers and not takers…don’t we? Let’s give in whatever way WE can! It makes the world a better place! I’m determined to err on the side of generosity. It’s what Jesus would do…I think…  :o)

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Here are some good scriptures to meditate on this week:

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. New Living Translation (©2007)

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  James 1:19

For the Scripture says, "You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain." And in another place, "Those who work deserve their pay!" I Timothy 5:18

1 Corinthians 9:14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

New International Version (©1984)
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Well..Gee! I guess I got that off my chest..tee-hee! I hope I didn’t upset anyone…I just wanted to put in my two cents (or is that fifty cents?) about this topic before it gets all around bloggy-land.  I’ve been chatting back and forth with Brent almost the entire year..so I feel I know what I’m talking about..at least in terms of vouching for his character. It’s something any friend would do. I’d do it for you too!! 

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On a lighter note…I wanted to thank all my sweet friends who joined our tea party via Mr. Linky. The most amazing tea post of last week was Faith,Hope, and Cherrytea’s Tea Cup Swap. She hosted the tea party of the century and everyone linked up their posts about packages received and cups they now had. I wrote all about that here. Today, I’m sipping tea out the loveliest Rose covered cup featured today from Kim at  Kim's Treasures and Collectibles and it all started FHC’s teacup swap.  Tracie at Fishtail Cottage joined our party last week too as she was also a participant in the tea cup swap. She sent a beautiful cup in a LOVELY box. Wow..wish I’d thought of that! LoL!   My long time blogging friend Over Yonder, who writes the most insightful posts about parenting her special needs child, ‘A’ man, joined me too and I was so pleased. She’s so excited about joining our tea party and wrote about it here.



And last but not least..the sweet lady..who is a lady in every sense of the word and who STARTED this wonderful Tuesday Tea party tradition…Rayanne of A Lovely Thought. I’m always entranced when I visit her blog. She is an inspiration!! You will feel swept away when you visit her blog. She’s an artist, a photographer, and a model homemaker! Thanks Rayanne for making this all possible!
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And now..won’t you join our Tea Party? Let’s chat… I’m drinking…Earl Grey..decaffinated..but my secret sister sent me lots of new teas to try and a new tea cup in blues!!! Ah..but that’s for next week…

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13 comments:

Babbs said...

Lovely post Donna, very thought provoking..I hope all of the family is feeling better!! Love your pretty little tea cup!!! Love it. I would love to link up to your Tea Party, possibly next week with a better post than just my tables reveal. :) Thanks for the invite...I'd be delighted!! Have a wonderful day sweetie!!

Between you, me and the Fencepost said...

I am drinking coffee out of my beautiful porcelain cup Maria gave me for Christmas and nodding as I read you post. It's interesting when paying someone hourly for a service or even a flat fee. All one sees on the paying end is the bill. Not the years of study, time and effort it took to provide the service in record time.

I see this a lot in my 'industry' of birth. I had taught prenatal classes and was a doula for about 15 years and there were often people who didn't want to pay the full fee for my doula services.

So, yes, good post Donna. xox

Kerrie said...

You said a whopping tea cup full that time! Ha! Good for you! Some people are just takers and we should pray for them... When I was very active in crafting sock dolls (when my children were little) and trying to sell them to supplement income for a mear $3-5 a piece, someone borrowed one to show their aunt and when I got it back, they had picked it all apart, breaking the stitching to get the pattern! Sometimes, people are downright pathetic! The dolls had cute little dresses and sun bonnets sewn right onto the body so they were safe for little ones to play with. Sad! God Bless!♥

Maria Killam said...

Hey, I second what my sister said. I am still trying to figure out a way to articulate it better in a post (so that people get the money saving aspect of hiring expertise) instead of the bill at the end as she said. Thanks for the mention :) I was going to tweet it but then I thought I'd better let sleeping dogs lie :)
xoxo
Maria

Donna said...

Amen to that Maria. :o) But it's a good topic for all of us to think about. Really, I just wanted to encourage us all really to think just a little bit more...before reacting because we are asking to dole out a bit to help make blogging a wonderful place for all of us. Those who give so much shouldn't have to feel bad about asking for some financial assistance.

Our of sight really is out of mind sometimes. :o) I hoped to bring some of that behind the scenes contribution..to the forefront so we could have a little wider perspective on the subject. Sometimes we just don't understand the whole history behind a topic. Understanding brings mutual benefit to all of us..and more patience I think.

Caroline said...

oooh, Donna. Alot of these things I didn't know had costs associated with them. Like lots of photos or a linky party. hmmm ... This was a great explanation.

Two things "hit me where I live" :

1. not being easily offended. oooh, yeah, this is me. for sure.

and

2. ... I’m afraid that in our efforts ... to live frugally, we may go just a wee bit too far. Is it possible that we have slipped into expecting something…for nothing? Oh, I know I do this!!

Thanks for the effort you put into your blog. And on commenting on others! My blog doesn't get comments like yours, but every comment makes me happy. The one hint about Legos on a sheet for easy cleanup is worth its weight in GOLD and I use it daily. :) about to go do that in a little while here in fact.

Have a great afternoon! it'll be cold again tomorrow. :)

Rayanne said...

Oh Donna, I do understand about being behind the scene and people not getting the whole picture. When I worked I ran into this all the time. I believe that Christians should be the "biggest" givers.
I can tell you work your blog...and I'm happy for that. Sometimes I feel like I'm on a far-away island in blogland because I just "happen". My blog makes me happy, it is a hobby. I control it , it does not control me.I just post whatever. But, you are right, we do want others to at least look at our blogs and maybe let us know what they are thinking about.
Your sweetness pours into your posts...keep speaking your mind.

nanasknoll said...

This was an eye opener for sure. I am new to the blog world and had no idea about any of this.
You assume that internet blogging is free.
I now have more of an appreciation for those who ask for subscriptions. I enjoy sites like "Living on A Dime" "Hillbilly Housewife." etc. Never knew why different sites had these subscriptions.
Yes I agree we should be more giving as Christians.
THANKS DONNA-from a very new blogger and reader of blogs.

Donna said...

Dear friends, I can't tell you just how nervous I was to post this. My poor tummy was just in knots! I had to ask dear daughter to read it just to let me know..is it as kind as I want it to be..while helping to build an understanding of why some bloggers advertise or ask for subscriptions..etc. I know we all mean well..we just don't always know the whole story. Neither do I for that matter.. There are so many sides to every issue. :o)

Thanks for understanding. :o) If I hadn't seen the furor over Wardrobe Refashion...before I might not have said anything about Brent. I'm think we forget real people are hosting these things. Once they build traffic..we all get blessed. But it's just at that point that they start to get bogged down. I don't want to see another blog death if you know what I mean. :o)

Donna said...

So soo true Anita! These days so many people are working on their own in various professional capacity..sort of as 'contract'. It's not as easy to get or keep a traditional job as it used to be. Home industries are many people's bread and butter..and blogging is a great way to get the word out on your home business. But many years of training and formal work have usually been invested before they get to that point. ETSY is a perfect example. Whatever we can do to support each other...is great. :o)

Jill said...

This is a wonderful post Donna! I enjoyed reading all of it. I also love your teacup and saucer! :-)

Have a great week!!

blessings,
Jill

Over Yonder said...

You really educated me! Like another blogger I didn't know that some blogs paid extra...but it really makes sense. If someone put forth such expertise..they should get something for their efforts!

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Thank you for mentioning me! I too have paid for things on my blog, I paid to have it professionaly designed and just this week, after 6 years of blogging I've used up all my photo storage and had to pay a whopping $5 a year for more storage! haha! I also pay for my link parties. It's all well worth it to me!

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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