All my life, I have done what is right.
From the time I was twelve, I began working babysitting, ironing, cleaning houses. When I was fifteen I got my first job making seventy-five cents an hour and I put some in savings and bought my own clothes. When I turned sixteen, I took another job and I was making $1.25 an hour.
I have always worked and as long as I can remember, I have always volunteered from being a Candy Striper at a local hospital, to a PTA president, parent/teacher class aide, working for an organization that helped women, volunteering at church and this quilting ministry that is my heart and soul!
My husband and I have spent thousands of dollars purchasing fabrics, thread, batting, sewing machines and supplies not to mention the money spent on shipping quilts out across the country and at times the world, gas spent delivering quilts, food while on our trips, the upkeep of our vehicles and NOT once has my husband honestly complained.
Over the years he has teased me about being careful what he opens because he knows fabric will fall out, not turning on the oven because fabric would catch on fire and the best is find a frozen fabricycle in the freezer.
My husband endured many years of coming home to a sewing machine on the dining table, pins in his feet and yes, his butt as he has sat on a few, but he has always bragged to others about this ministry and how proud he is of what I do.
In late January, our family was literally torn apart, destroyed by lies and hatefulness. During this time, my husband and I gave up our dream of owing the home we were leasing to own, he sold his boat, his workshop was left behind, all our furniture with the exception of our bedroom set and the children's bedroom furniture was sold and we were left with thirty-five years of memories either sold or packed away in a storage unit while our grandchildren moved in with their father and his girlfriend.
My van which I had just purchased the year before because the seats sat into the floor so no more moving seats to do quilt deliveries was traded in for a small SUV with lower miles and much less room. It still holds seven people but not very comfortably as the grands tell me when I pick them up for church.
My hubby and I are now living in a thirty-seven foot fifth wheel. We do our laundry once a week at a laundromat, I no longer can fruits or veggies from our garden because I no longer have one nor do I have the space to store anything. Which also means, I can no longer quilt, there is no space.
I miss quilting so much, I was thinking the other day of purchasing a Singer Featherweight and seeing if I could set it up on a tv tray to do quilting, but honestly, it just wouldn't work. I have even given a passing thought to locating an office space to rent, but that would be quite expensive. My dream of having my own studio, has dissipated into the wind.
Recently, there has been an upsurge of hits on Layers of Hope's Facebook page and I could not figure out why. My husband told me, the quilters who have supported and loved you for so long are looking to see if you are collecting quilts for the flood victims or the fire victims right now because that is what you have done for so many years.
I have thought fleetingly about collecting them, but I have no place any longer to keep them until delivery. I have thought of heading to Louisiana to make quilts, but I have no place to stay. In the past I have begged dealers with 5th wheel toy haulers to donate one so I could travel and set the back up for quilting.
As of yet, no one has stepped up and said, here is a truck and here is an RV and go out and bless the masses. I have however, been blessed in the past with sewing machine, fabric, batting, postage, stamps for thank you and Christmas cards and so many quilts to bless others with. You have all blessed me and warmed my heart.
My husband is an amazing man of love, character and honor. He works while he is sick, he works overtime, he takes care of me when I can barely move and he never complains. My husband is my rock.
All of you, the quilters, the sponsors, the recipients of quilts are all my hope in humanity when the days become so dark I can't see the stars, because I am literally drowning in fear. I can open this blog or Pinterest and see how each one of you contributed to making this ministry amazing.
I wish I could hug you all and thank you for all the amazing years you have surprised me with your generosity and kindness. I guess right now, all I can do is know that I was doing what was right and no matter what happens, I will always do my best to do what is right and to help others.
I am praying for a blessing, a miracle that soon, I will be quilting again and that my life will once again have balance. I know God is good, I know many people who suffer silently with anxiety and depression and I know, I am being stretched to trust in God and rest right now.
I truly thank all of you for always doing what is right and in the words of my beautiful, amazing, wonderful fourteen year old granddaughter Aly:
'Don't Let the Storms Stop You!'