Roses in the Rubble (How to Find…)

As June winds down blogger Virginia is getting ready for a celebration: Roses in the Rubble turns 8 on 30th June. Can’t believe it’s been 8 years of blogging! To honor the occasion, here is the original post (set up as a page) of why “Roses in the Rubble?” that really is  all about how to find Roses in the Rubble of our lives…

As a relief & development worker I documented sobering issues: child victims of war, the ravages of HIV/AIDS, and injustices (mass graves inclusive) in conflict zones and places of poverty all over the world. After collecting flower photographs during my first posting in the Middle East, what began as a hobby (making cards out of flower pics) became something more, especially during the Kosovo relief program. Finding roses in the rubble and capturing them on film.

Finding beauty –HOPE – in a disaster zone.

I love flowers, our Creator’s heavenly paintbrush splashing beauty around us. In Tanzania jacaranda trees lined a street near our main office. Every December lavender flowers canopied in giant trees fluttered everywhere. It reminded me of elven Lothlorien in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. When I went on (and on) about the beauty of these trees, my African boss said, “the flowers mess up your windshield and make a mess all over your car!”

But, hey, they were still a beautiful, inspiring mess!

Sometimes our lives are filled with messy mistakes, failures and piles of rubble. But the thing about finding roses in rubble, you have to look for them. Sometimes they’re hiding behind our fears, insecurities, anger and bitterness.

But God can do the impossible, and God is rather good at bringing good out of impossibly challenging circumstances.

Think of Joseph, thrown down a well and sold into slavery by his MEAN brothers. Never say it can’t get worse: he ended up in the rubble of an Egyptian prison (they are notoriously bad now – imagine what it must have been like 5,000 or so years ago?)

Keeping the faith, however, years later he became the second most powerful man in Egypt and saved not only Jacob and his family but the whole region from starvation. Joseph became a powerfully strong rose amidst debilitating and devastating rubble. As he later told his brothers, “what you meant for evil, God used for good.”

I know that God has grown roses out of my personal rubble in impossible-to-comprehend ways and those around me (especially my bed-fast quadriplegic Papa.) I’ve also met many inspiring roses living in the rubble of conflict zones who reflect the beauty of hope to shattered hearts and broken dreams around them.

Their scarred blooms are filled with petals of faith, hope, peace and love as they exude the bitter-to-sweet scent of joy amidst suffering.

Living roses inspire us to be more of who we are meant to be: beloved sons and daughters of our Almighty Heavenly Father, regardless of whether we are red, yellow, pink or purple: we all come from the same human stem of life created in God’s image.

If you are bogged down looking at the rubble around you, Heads Up! Look around, the sun still rises and the sun still sets (keeping Heavenly paintbrushes busy.) If God clothes the flowers of the field so beautifully, will He not take care of us?

Have faith…and COURAGE.

It takes courage to be a rose when rubble surrounds you!

“The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? One thing I desire, and that I will seek after: to behold the beauty of the Lord and inquire in His temple.”  Psalm 27:1&4

grace, peace & resilient roses

Virginia : )

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

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32 Responses to Roses in the Rubble (How to Find…)

  1. Mama Duck says:

    Beautiful and congratulations on your blog-anniversary🎉.

  2. Debbie says:

    Happy anniversary, Virginia! Nice to see how far you’ve come, right? And it’s nice for those of us who weren’t there at the beginning to play catch-up!

    • Virginia says:

      Thanks, Debbie – it’s been fun finding you in the blogosphere & all your cool posts (‘cool’ not just in winter!) Blessings! 🤣🎊🌹🎊🤣

  3. janowrite says:

    Congrats on this delightful anniversary! 💕😊🥂🎈

  4. WHat a beautiful blog post and introduction to your journey. I have never been to the places you describe, but along my walks around my neighborhood are small weeds and random flowers growing out of cracks in sidewalks and stone walls. I love the colors and the delicacy. I began taking photos of them. Then photos of the ones in yards that were grown to be beautiful. First I found the beauty in the random, unnatural places of beauty and that helped me appreciate what was meant to be noticed all along.
    Thank you for sharing this post for those of us who have been following you only a short time.

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Kate, for your lovely words of encouragement. It’s been a real blessing finding kindred spirits like you in the blogosphere. Blessings! 🎊🌷🎊

  5. arlene says:

    Happy eight anniversary. We’ve been friends for that long? Amazing. Keep on blogging Virginia, I love your thoughts.

  6. Cindy Kranich says:

    It’s an amazing milestone … congrats, Ginny❣️ 🍾🎈🎉🎊

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, sis! You have been the biggest cheerleader since the very beginning 8 years ago. Can’t thank you enough! Big hugs, 🎊🌹🎊🤗🎊🌹

  7. My Carmel says:

    Congrats dear Virginia! Beautiful post! Thank you! Thank you! God’s blessings always! ❤

  8. Eight amazing years?! Wow…lovely! Glad to have you here…glad to have found your blog.
    This was a very encouraging post. Thanks for that timely reminder about the story of Jospeh and the wonders of God.
    Here’s many flowers to celebrate with you: 🌺💐🌸🌷🌹🌸🌺💐🌼🌻🌸🌺💐 hope you like them ? 🙂💝

    • Virginia says:

      Hey Sunshine – love the celebratory flowers in their beauteous-ness! 🌷🌸🌷 So grateful for your (many) encouraging words that have been spirit-lifter-uppers when (especially) needed. Blessings & hugs! 🎊🌹🎊🤗🎊🌹

  9. Garfield Hug says:

    Happy blog anniversary and I admire your work of doing so much good for society and taking in all the stressors that come with it! Bless your kind heart Virginia.

  10. janesig says:

    Coming in late to the party as I’m just back from holiday. Happy Eighth Blogiversary, and here’s to the next eight years!🥀🌷💐

    • Virginia says:

      Thanks so much, Jane. Many times I considered giving blogging up, but ‘hanging out’ in the blogosphere with folks like you has made it more so a blessing Hope you had a nice holiday! 🌹🎊🌟🎊🌹

  11. neatnik2009 says:

    Happy anniversary!

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