I have been blessed to have inherited several beautiful handmade heirloom quilts. One was given to my grandmother by her grandmother on the day of her graduation. I love the delicate, perfect stitches, the pattern and lovely hues. It was designed by my great-grandmother to all fit together, and stitched with love for a purpose-- to wrap my grandmother, to remind her of home. I also have another quilt that's very different (pictured above). Made by Ida, it's heavy, and dark. There are deeply colored velvets, bumpy corduroys and other pieces and scraps. There's no pattern to speak of and the stitches are a little larger and irregular. In fact, it looks like a test quilt for stitchery techniques. As much as I love the clean lines and design of the graduation quilt, the "crazy quilt" is much more beautiful. The crafter took throw aways-- bits and pieces that were torn or cut from a worn garment, and creatively stitched them together . . . for a purpose.
As a young bride, I said, "Til death do us part" and meant it. Eighteen years and four babies later, I found out that not everyone else means what they say. My family was shattered by adultery, my husband gone, refusing to reconcile. I had been struggling with my health and now, faced raising my sons on my own. Everyone has a defining moment in their life. The kind that shows you what your faith is made of and reminds you that you really control NOTHING. The kind that forces you to choose to be bitter, or to walk in freedom of forgiveness. I chose freedom, I chose praise. I chose faith in spite of impossible circumstances. I knew if Jesus was all I had, He would be enough. He was. I reassured my boys that the God that I had taught them about their entire lives would not forsake us. He didn't. God spoke a promise to my heart to restore my family. Though I had no idea what that meant, I trusted Him. I wasn't sure how my heart could ever trust again, but it did. I met the one whom my soul loves.
"Here's the story..."
We're kind of like the Brady family, plus Cousin Oliver. Nine in all.
After much prayer, confirmation, and a relocation, the Lord fulfilled his promise, restored my family and made it a little larger. I mean, a "ten pounds of mac and cheese" kind of "larger." He has mended hurting hearts, restored peace to our household, and blessed us with the godly husband and father that we always needed. We were cautioned about the difficulties of "blending" a family and we faced the challenge head on, as a united front. No, it's not easy, but yes, it is amazing. I've found that most "experts" have never even walked this path. I have a lot to say on that subject-- another time. We accept that we're a little worn from what we've been through, and show grace. We know that we are all still learning and will make mistakes, but we love. We're a testimony to God's grace. No, we're not from an original "whole cloth," but we are pieces, stitched together by a loving creator, for a purpose.