a place for "kwilty" friends to meet!
Well, it all started in 1958 when I was blessed to be born into a loving, Christian family in Long Beach, CA and had the added bonus of growing up next door to a seamstress.
My neighbor would amuse me with her left-over fabrics, needles, and threads and I would make all kinds of little interesting creations. Much later in Junior High School, I took Home Economics and learned how to "officially" sew on my mother's old Singer...(the one that weighed half a ton. I know you remember those machines!)
At that point, I started sewing for myself and family, and when I married a Navy man I met at church at age 19, and had my own daughter and son, I continued to sew for them as well. I remember one fine sunny day in San Diego, waiting for my Sweetheart and his ship to pull in after a 7 month deployment in the Persian Gulf and Western Pacific... the kids were all dolled up in red, white, and blue sailor outfits that I had made.
We were transferred in 1986 to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois. Unfortunately, when we initially couldn't find a church we wanted to attend, we stopped going altogether. I started a wonderful 10 year career at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society on the Naval Base, and we thought we were doing just fine without God in our lives.
In 1994, a retired Chief Petty Officer joined our small office and we bonded immediately and became close friends. After a year went by we began to confide in each other about our marital problems. An affair began, and we both ended our marriages. I threw 17 years away and devastated my husband. I thought my new love was "THE ANSWER TO ALL OF MY PROBLEMS", so we married 4 1/2 months after my divorce was final.
Well, things were great for awhile. We worked together and enjoyed the same activities, and my teenaged children accepted and loved their new step-dad. Then my world started to come apart in 1998...
I had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Sept of 1997, but was given nothing more than pain relievers. My pain and immobility increased each day. I felt I could no longer work, so I quit my job. I was so depressed. I lost my 10 year career, my personal income, my status, and self-esteem. It was an extremely difficult time for me, especially facing it without turning to a loving and merciful God. Remember the old song, "He Was There All the Time?" Well, He was, and He continued to wait for me to submit myself to Him.
Later, I found a wonderful doctor who put me on disease modifying drugs and I began the journey of managing my pain and chronic illness. I applied for a long-term disability through my former workplace, but was intitially denied. There were many months of adjustment, as my income had been crucial to our budget.
On Dec. 18, 1998, my world finished caving in, as my husband of just 3 1/2 years, decided he wanted a divorce. This was 9 days after my 40th birthday, and a week before Christmas. I can't tell you how shocked I was. I begged and pleaded for another chance, but he had made up his mind. My world was spinning out of control. I had hit rock bottom. I had lost just about everything, and now was facing a divorce and an uncertain financial future. Without my military spouse's I.D. card and benefits, I would even lose my medical care.
FINALLY, I FELL TO MY KNEES IN PRAYER. I confessed my years of selfish sin, and asked Jesus to forgive and redeem me and make me new again. I needed His help to carry on, and a faith that I could count on. I turned to the book of Psalms in the Bible and starting reading. God brought back the words of a favorite hymn to strengthen me..."Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds my future, then life is worth the living, just because He lives." God lead me to a church, and I started attending again. God helped me find a place to rent with my then teenaged son, Mark, and lo and behold, my long term disability was approved. God began to bless me as I became obedient and sought Him through prayer and Bible study.
A nagging thought continued to eat at me though, while I was working through the painful divorce process: I was still full of love to give, but who would ever want me; married and divorced twice with a chronic illness and no job? I cried to my Mother about it, and she said, "When you meet the right one, it won't matter to him at all." Do you know what? She was right!
I met Tom, a 55 year old bachelor at church and we fell in love. God makes everything beautiful in His time. We were married in June of 2000, and there hasn't been a dull moment since. The diagnosis of Sjögren's Syndrome and Lupus came after our marriage. But, I have a Godly husband now, and that makes all the difference in the world. He loves me for me, despite my physical problems. We rely on Christ as the head of our home, and that makes for a pretty nice place to live. Oh yeah, I guess I shouldn't forget to mention that he loves and fully supports my quilting, and thinks I'm the best quilter in the whole world! God's mercies are new each morning, and He continues to bless us beyond measure!
"A Tale Of Two Kitties...And Then Some"
My life story as told by my cats and the people who love me. This summer of 2004 photo quilt was a class project at my local Bernina shop. We used the book, "Creating Scrapbook Quilts," by Ami Simms.
This piece is not for sale
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