October 15: Saint Teresa of Ávila!!

Once again it’s the feast day of one of my favorite saints affectionately known as Saint Teresa of Jesus. I am a huge groupie of this amazing woman who lived long ago (1515-1582) but who continues 500+ years later to impact people around the world through her writings, dynamic faith, dedicated courage, and passionate love of Jesus Christ. Saint Teresa loved Jesus with her whole being, everything of hers was His.

She put her trust and her life in His keeping during tense times of the Inquisition. Her writings endured rigorous scrutiny (one investigator priest consulted a tall stack of theological books “to understand an hour with Teresa.”) She also pushed for reform of her contemplative order amidst massive challenges.

“The Lord does not look so much at the magnitude of anything we do as at the love with which we do it.” ~ Saint Teresa of Ávila

Reading Saint Teresa of Ávila’s books, “The Interior Castle” and “My Life” in my early 20s strengthened and deepened my faith in new ways.

Saint Teresa’s images are still relevant today as she likens our faith journey to a castle we enter level by level, dealing with internal clutter and debris along the way. Her “Way of Perfection” is also excellent, and anything else of hers you can let your mind read and your heart contemplate. Her words have a way of opening our hearts for Christ and His love for us and for everyone.

Saint Teresa’s strong sense of humor helped infuse joy in joyless times, like when she organized a formal street procession with musical instruments after a lice infestation to mock the unwelcome critters out of her nuns’ hair.

“May God protect me from gloomy saints.” ~ St. Teresa of Ávila

Saint Teresa had a tough go of it as a woman in times when women had little recourse to realize their dreams and initiatives. She had plenty of gumption, though! Her father didn’t want her to be a nun, but she managed to become a nun anyway. She served as spiritual director for Saint John of the Cross, totally radical for that time. Today, Teresa of Ávila is a Doctor of the Church – the first woman so named, and one of only four with St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and St. Hildegard of Bingen.

Here is one of my favorite quotes:

“Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world.”

~ Saint Teresa of Ávila ~

grace, peace & inspirational saints

Virginia : )

The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.~ Saint Teresa of Ávila

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Snapshots & Whatnot: Foggy Day Clarity

My older sister Shere & her husband live on a farm not far from Williamsburg where Virginia (the person) lives in Virginia (the state.) Last fall when they needed to be off somewhere I stayed over to look after my niece’s doggie, BB (as posted about previously here.) One morning when I took him out to do his business thick fog made it hard to see where to go. Once BB was settled nice & comfy back under his blanky (he’s now 18!) I went back out to take a few foggy pics, then took the same-ish pics later in the day…

“Beyond the fog lies clarity.” Anonymous (Isn’t that comforting to know?)

A little later sunlight dissipated swaths of fog…

By midday everything was totally sunny & clear!

Dusk eventually rolled in as the sun went elsewhere for the evening…

grace, peace & foggy day clarity

Virginia : )

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”  Thomas Merton

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Blogging Grooves & Life Updates!

Once again Virginia the blogger has been off the blogosphere for two weeks. Now she’s trying to get her blogging grooves back while juggling new things in her life that require massive amounts of time and attention. New opportunities + exciting goings-on = less blogging time    

As a few of you know, Virginia started a new job in June with a nonprofit that’s located in our nearest big city. Without traffic (& minimal traffic lights) Virginia can zoom there in 45 minutes, but with traffic it usually takes an hour. Techie glitches keeping up with WP blogs on her iPad have also been a challenge, but now she’s equipped with a new iPhone (her old version 6 upgraded to 11 with tons more memory space) and hopes to keep up with everyone a bit more expeditiously.

So what is Virginia doing exactly? In September I wrote a blog for our organization’s website. You can check it out by clicking here – Sexual Assault: The Healing Journey, Triggers & Self Care.  

Years ago here on WP many of you reached out with support when I shared my #MeToo blog. I feel privileged now to work for an agency that supports survivors of sexual assault on their healing journeys and empowers students & communities to Be The Change – to combat sexual violence in all its forms.

Of course, Roses in the Rubble is my personal blog (& it’s good to keep things separate since you know how hilarious Virginia’s posts can be!) but I thought you might appreciate a quick life update. Oh, and yes, passing through September Virginia is a now a year older. Yikes.

Life is a Gift!

grace, peace & life updates

Virginia

“Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.” Regina Brett

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‘Tis the Season…for CHOCOLATE!!

As we enter the fall season (today is the first day of fall!) it’s still hot and steamy in Williamsburg, Virginia. Not many fall colors to go on about, especially when remnants of August crepe myrtles are still blooming in these parts. So, instead of sharing pictures of fall trees from Autumns past, Virginia came across this seasonal quote that deserves deep contemplation and sharing…

“As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate.” Sandra Boynton, Chocolate: The Consuming Passion

If you use Sandra Boynton’s simple memory aid, you will discover that ‘Tis the season for chocolate in Autumn… (& winter & spring & summer, too!)

grace, peace & seasonal CHOCOLATE(S)

Virginia : )

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September 11, 2001: 20 Years

Most Americans will never forget where they were on September 11th, 2001 when planes hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NYC, and later the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. As shocked sorrow flowed over us in waves, we reached out to see if friends, family, colleagues and loved ones survived.

Hundreds more sacrificed their lives that day. First responders and firefighters died as they kept going back to rescue others from burning buildings.

Amidst the horror, courage lived. Those acts of terror did not kill our hope.

I saw this quote on Instagram today:

I will never forget seeing what hate can destroy. I will never forget seeing what love can heal. Steve Maraboli

In the 20 years since 9/11 our country has faced more sorrows of many shapes and devastating hues – not the least the COVID-19 pandemic the past two years that continues to decimate our hope reserves.

Please let’s take lessons from September 11th and let LOVE LIVE.

Let our love be stronger than hate. It’s a choice.

On this day remember the loss of those who died on September 11, 2001. Remember those who courageously died trying to save others – and let LOVE WIN.

grace, peace & remembrance

Virginia

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Labor Day Nap : )

Greetings to everyone on this steamy September day! Virginia is trying to get her blogging grooves back on (after taking an extended August blogcation) but it’s Labor Day here in the U.S. so here’s a quick laugh – as spotted last week on the law firm door across the hall from from her office.

“Currently in a meeting, video call, or napping (kidding!)”

Hope everyone is having a grand Labor Day – here’s to adding a nap to the schedule!

grace, peace & Labor Day naps

Virginia : )

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Flowery Blooming Grooves

It’s Friday. I don’t know about you, but Virginia (the person) is so ready for the weekend! Until it starts, here are a few Friday flowers and quotes to keep our hearts blooming…

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” Zen Shin

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” Jim Carrey

“Flowers are like friends; they bring color to your world.” Unknown

All the flowers of the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”– Indian Proverb

grace, peace & blooming grooves

Virginia

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Turning Tides…

Virginia is back from her blogcation with a contemplative thought about tides. No, she’s not going on about how tides come in and go out (although sometimes that’s cool to watch) but about the point where the tide turns. The water gets lower and lower, emptying out the shallows by a beach or river.

Things may seem a bit stagnant, empty, and a little smelly, too.

Then the tide turns and water begins to flow back in filling the emptiness with freshness teaming with opportunities for marine life (like this starfish) to do their thing.

Sometimes life’s tide turns the shores of our dreams into stagnant pools. Here are a few encouraging quotes for when things are at the lowest ebb…

“The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems that you cannot hold on a minute longer… Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”  Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time.”  Leo F. Buscaglia

Sometimes on the way to a dream, you get lost and find a better one.”  (Unknown)

grace, peace & turning tides

Virginia : )

Photos: Pemba, Tanzania

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Blogcation Grooves

Hey everyone, Virginia is taking a two week blogcation (in case you wondered where she’s been hiding in the Blogosphere.) She will be back next week, so until then here’s a pic and a quote to contemplate…

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” Anne Lamott

grace, peace & blogcation grooves

Virginia : )

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Euro Cup Life Grooves

“The Rules of soccer are very simple: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does.”  Phillip Abraham Woosnam (1932-2013)

Italy and England kicked their way into the Euro Cup final yesterday. Just making it to the final is a HUGE achievement! This year’s tournament saw tense matches with overtimes, penalty kicks, and stellar soccer moments to savor.

So, it’s just a game. Soccer, or football (as most of the world calls it!) 22 players kickin’ it for 90 minutes.

“The thing about football… the important thing about football… is that it is not just about football.”  Terry Pratchett

Therein lies the rub. On the day, the best team wins. “Best” on the international stage does not necessarily mean highest ranked, or most professionally qualified, or having the best player in the world. Sure, that helps. But, not always.

Take for instance the Italian team. They did not even qualify in 2018 for the last World Cup – a humiliating disappointment not just for the team, but the whole country of Italy (where folks take their football seriously.)

But, after loads of hard work here they are 3 years later as the new Euro Cup champions.

Life can be like a football match. Sometimes we try (and try) to reach our goals, but miss. And, sometimes it’s not just one missed goal, but a whole match of mess-ups.

When we miss our goals and jumble our life grooves, do we give up?

We’ve got to put ourselves out there if we want to reach our goals. We can’t sit on the sidelines of our lives and expect to achieve …anything. We may want to quit. At those times good life grooves involve “hanging in there,” showing up each day, praying for the grace to meet each challenge as it comes.

Being faithful even when things seem impossible.

Getting help also helps. Like, we need each other. Football is a team sport – it takes good teamwork setting up a goal.

Sometimes we don’t see those around us, willing to assist our life grooves. Maybe we need to look around and have a go at things with help from others.

Developing good life grooves can be tough, especially when the going gets gritty. Courage helps. Like favorite author Terry Pratchett said, it’s not just about Football. How teams play, matters. How we choose to play our individual life grooves matters.

Yesterday both England and Italy played their hearts out into overtime, then penalty kicks. Although England led by one goal a good chunk of the game, Italy never gave up their relentless pursuit to the final moment…

Viva Italia!

grace, peace & Euro Cup life grooves

   Virginia

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