Carl and Ruth met on eHarmony in late July 2017. Both felt a strong leading from God that this was the relationship He had been preparing their hearts for over the course of many years, struggles and heartache. Just five months after their first correspondence, they were married in Brookville, Pa., in the pavilion where they had their first date, Scripture Rocks Park.
Our blog is an ongoing story of God’s forgiveness, mercy, redemption and hope through Jesus Christ. Our goal is to help others who are INFJ and Christian find peace with their unique personality that often makes it difficult to fit into groups and trends and makes them vulnerable to narcissists and others who would exploit their empathy.
Our union brought together Carl’s two dogs, a 100-pound black Lab named Brody and 60-pound long-haired mutt named Polly, and his cat, Kitty Mew Mew, and Ruth’s two ragdoll cats, Max and Ruby. Never a dull moment!
In the past, if you asked the question, “who is Ruth?” you would get the following answer.
Ruth is a wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, aunt, friend, and coworker. It’s interesting that my first thought about myself has always been, who I am to everyone else. I think of myself in terms of relationships rather than talents or skills. Most of my life has been lived for others. So it would not be surprising to see that this is how I still see myself most of the time. In my life I have worn many hats and I believe that my greatest gift is problem solving or putting out fires as I like to say.
I was born into a loving family that grew to 8 children in about 20 years. I was born 4th in order and I was the oldest daughter to very loving parents. I actually remember people asking my parents why they had so many children. I remember my mother answering that somewhat rude question by saying, “every one of my children were wanted and loved”. I like to joke that I was/am the favorite child. But the truth is that my parents had no favorites. We were raised to care for each other and to work hard at whatever we had to do. It reminds of Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” With so many in the home we all had “work” to do and chores were considered part of a being in a family. We watched our parents work hard to provide for our family and it was an example to us of what adults did. We had hand-me-down clothes and toys, such as bicycles, and we appreciated everything. We may not have had everything we wanted, but we always had everything that we needed and some times more.
We had a large dining room table so we could all be together at mealtime. I still remember my friends’ reactions when they saw the big table. Most came from small families and could not imagine so many siblings. But we didn’t know any different. It was life in our household. We shared bedrooms and we had to share 1 bathroom. I really don’t remember that being a big problem either. There were always dishes to be done and laundry that needed to be washed and hung on the line. Then there was the ironing. This is a topic for another time.
I married young and thought my life was perfect. We had 2 beautiful children by the time I was 21 and my family was my life. I think this is when I started thinking of myself in terms of what I was to everyone else. I was responsible for 2 small babies and a husband and I loved every part of it. But life doesn’t always work out the way we think it will or should for that matter.
The death of my husband at a young age made my working outside the home necessary while my children were young. I have worked hard all of my life and sometimes the work became my life. I became very busy with working. I was doing things and taking care of everyone that I held dear. I lost sight of those things that are meaningful and important. I overlooked the most important relationship we can have in this life. The relationship with a marriage partner. I was single for so long that it took a major life event to get me to see what God wanted me to understand. It was during a recovery from a major surgery that God allowed me to see exactly how I was filling up my life with doing things, good things and keeping myself busy. Once I was quiet, I realized that I was lonely and in need of companionship. You see, my children and grandchildren were grown and growing and I was alone a great deal of the time.
Fast forward and you will find a very different Ruth today. This new person is not afraid to take a chance and try something new. This present day Ruth is trying very hard to figure out the person she was designed to be. The person that God wants her to be. Life lessons and trials have made me into this Ruth. In my search I have found that I was not truly happy being the person that everyone needed me to be. I have realized that God has a plan for my life and I am just beginning to see that come into focus. I found LOVE again after many years as a widow, or a “singleton” as I like to say. I found my husband, Carl, and we are perfectly imperfect for each other. We have both loved and lost. We have both made mistakes in our lives. In the process of living we have both learned what it means to really love.
I do not know what God has in store for me for the remaining years of my life but I am ready and excited to find out. What are my dreams? Where will the road take me? How can I impact this fallen world? This much I know, whatever I do, I will work at it with all my heart, as working for the Lord. It is the least I can do for Him. After all He gave His life for me.
I am writer, photographer and filmmaker and have been as long as I can remember (about 50 years). I am still figuring out what I want to do with my life and am open to suggestions.
My focus has always been on the historical, the whimsical and prosaic, not that anything in life is truly prosaic, with the possible exception of hot dogs, macaroni salad, dollar/big box stores, and broadcast media.
My interest in filmmaking goes back to my childhood, when I drew films on long strips of paper and fed them through an opaque projector, and wore out a couple of Give-A-Show Projectors. These interests eventually led to collecting classic films on 16mm, a hobby I no longer participate in as a buyer but I do enjoy watching what I have in my collection.
I have been a professional photographer, which is to say I had a full-time job so I could pursue a photography as a money-losing proposition. These days, my passion for photography has been replaced by filmmaking, although both tend intersect in my multi-media work. BTW, for many years I made “slide shows” with three or four projectors controlled by a computerized dissolve interface. Some of the themes and images from those days, which ended nearly two decades ago, live on in my videos.
Writing always paid the bills and fed the livestock; I worked for the Ashtabula Star Beacon Newspaper for more than 20 years. A divorce in 2013 sent me on a new trajectory and path of discovery that eventually led me to Ruth.
Our “cottage” is a stone house nestled among oak trees off a long driveway in the City of Geneva. Built by Clarence Helwig, the house is on land that was once part of a sprawling orchard that included apple trees, vineyards and berry bushes. Clarence managed this orchard and as he worked the land he’d come across large rocks, which he saved for a future home. He also collected rocks that farmers from the southern section of Ashtabula County pulled from their fields. These rocks had traveled great distances from the north, having been carried to the county by glaciers. Section by section, Mr. Helwig built the house of boulders and rocks. It includes a stone fireplace in the basement, now our movie theater. The second floor was added to the original stone house in the early 1980s. The original structure dates to the early 1950s with the two-room addition coming along in the 1960s. It is likely the garage and former cold-storage room for the orchard was the first rock structure on the property. A rock wall, which was never completed, ties the house and garage together.
Carl acquired the property in an extremely distressed condition (both the house and Carl) in the winter of 2015. It had been vacant for more than four years and had extensive water damage and black mold throughout; all of the copper plumbing had been stolen. Through more than two years of painstaking work, long weekends, late nights and “vacations,” Carl brought the house back to its country farmhouse heritage. Throughout the long months of restoration and struggle (his wife divorced him during this time), Carl was motivated by a vision of providing a comfortable repose for his next and last wife. He had no idea who it would be, but knew that God would provide as he “waited productively.” And then he met Ruth.
The Feather Cottage
Carl E. & Ruth E. Feather
1355 Sherman St.
Geneva OH 44041