I wrote this... I have had a sad, heavy heart and an icky feeling in my tummy for almost a week now. Stampin' Up! recently released news that as of Sept. 30th all demonstrators must sign a new Independent Demo Agreement or their demoship would be terminated. This new IDA restricts me from being on any Design Team (or at least the ones where I am supposed to promote their products...uhhh, That's any DT) , it restricts me from linking to anyone (even friends and family) who may work, promote, market for or link to any competitors of SU! "that offer similar products, including decorative stamps in any form, stamp art accessories, scrapbooking products, digital art solutions, and vinyl wall art." In other words i must agree to have a SU! Only blog, no emails about cool deals here and there, no facebooking about my latest "cool find" at Hobby Lobby or Micheal's, no twittering a link to an awesome sale at Hanna Stamps or The Greeting Farm, etc etc etc!! No posting links to any product I may really enjoy creating with or any companies I may design for... NO links except to SU!
Although, I was shocked and had tons of thoughts and questions, I wanted to pray about and think on everything before leaping...leaping to judge, leaping to be defense, leaping to decisions or leaping to leave SU! I have always loved SU! (just the last week of August 2 new girls signed up under me & joined my team and I would never promote something I don't believe in) I have always loved their products and while I understand that SU! is trying to protect their company and their more business minded demonstrators, I can't with the right heart or in good faith bring myself to sign that new IDA. I don't have a peace about this at all. Something in my spirit tells me to leave, but I am so torn. I keep thinking I should be able to do whatever I want with my own personal blog. I should be able to promote a friend's new business venture if I choose to. I should be able to enjoy my own "creative" life any way I choose to!! Really the only restrictions I want put on my life are those that my Lord and Savior puts there!!!! I would rather quit my blog completely than to push my creativity into a box. I would rather STOP demoing for SU! than to let another tell me what I can and can't do with my own blog. I didn't start this blog to help get SU! sales (I am ONLY a hobby demo), I started it because it seemed like a fun idea and I continued because it has brought me so much joy!!! I almost feel like closing up shop COMPLETELY my blogs, SU!, SU! Website (that I pay for monthly), handing over The Pink Elephant completely to Robin and walking away from this whole papercraft world. I feel very disheartened. I feel like just focusing on the Lord and my family!! Really I want NOTHING to do with the JUNK that causes me to worry over these unimportant issues. Today, at 3 o'clock a friend of mine will bury her sweet little girl who died in utero and was delivered via c- section on Thursday at 7 months gestation. As we were all praying for her this morning at church I couldn't help but think I bet Mattie (who was or is still a SU! demo) wishes that the only thing she had to grieve over was the decision to continue with SU! or not!!! I know there is no comparison between the two, but why waste a second on things that don't REALLY matter. I know that for SU! their $ does matter and on a smaller but equally important scale our $ matters to us, BUT you can't take it with you. However, the joy and fun that comes with crafting and creating, the friendship shared and newly formed through stamping, the excitedness you feel when some says Beautiful Card, the happiness one feels when your little card makes someones heart smile....those things DO matter!! This is the day the Lord made, I will rejoice and be glad in it...not this is a great day to make $, if I make a lot I will be happier!!!! I have made several commitments to companies such as: Die Cuts R Us Guest Designer - 3rd and 4th week of Sept '09, Hanna Stamps Guest Designer - December '09 and January '10, Your Next Stamp Guest Designer - Jan. '09 and a new "yet to be announced" company DT. Not to mention, the Design Teams I am currently on... I WILL fulfill my commitments with them. I want to continue with The Pink Elephant (under the new IDA I couldn't, because we promote our sponsors who are competitive companies to SU!). If I leave SU! I will no longer buy their products (I have 5 kids... I need the discount lol!), I have talked to my Stamp Club that meets monthly and offered them the choice to go to one of my downlines here in town, but they want me and said we don't HAVE to have a SU! Club we can have a regular ole' craft club!! That made me feel good because I felt if I left SU! I would be letting my girls down!! But nope...I discovered it was me they loved not just SU!... my heart smiled!!
As I talked to my husband, Eric, he reminded me that we had prayed about our finances the morning before the evening I learned of SU!'s New IDA. I have been praying about going to work. I LOVE being able to stay at home and homeschool the kids, but I want what God wants for my family. Eric said, " A lot of people have emailed and asked you to start your own stamp line (I always said No because 1. I don't know where to start and 2. I was loyal to SU!) well, maybe that is God's answer...leave SU! and start you own SMALL Stamp Co. I have also been asked by 2 different stamp companies to illustrate for them, but never wanted to loose SU! I don't know what to do, BUT I do know that God cares about even the small stuff and If we put Him in the middle of it all, it will surely work out!! When we put Him before anything else, He works ALL things together for those who love Him!!! And I surely do!!! I need to remember to be Thankful for Him, for family, for friends and for FREEDOM. Once again I know there is no comparison, but this whole SU! ordeal has given me a little taste of what people in different countries who do not have freedom of speech, freedom to vote or freedom to choose, may feel. It is sad!!
Ok, I have gotten way too personal (so not like me) and rambled on...Please forgive me!! Thanks for listening!! If you feel like giving me your opinion I am open to hearing it!!! This has been a bit therapeutic!!
If you find a moment sometime today please say a little pray for Mattie and her husband. A prayer for God to wrap His arms around them and fill them with supernatural peace and strength that only He can give!!!
Love and Blessing to you all,