ROSES IN THE RUBBLE TURNS TEN!!

There are celebratory grooves going on here at Roses in the Rubble!

Today Virginia commemorates TEN YEARS of blogging. Bring out the chocolate cake, light those candles, it’s time to celebrate! Can’t believe it’s been 10 years since Virginia tentatively launched her first blog post entitled “Inspiration” out into the blogosphere.

Here are bits from that first effort:

“TO INSPIRE…

to provide the embers of creativity – to educate – to reflect – to ACT

What inspires us?

Art, beauty, faith, the lives of those who have gone before us

inspire us to believe, to hope, to act.”

“Finding inspiration in Rubble, books, movies, music & more…”

Since then there have been many posts (@ 1,000!) about many things, the kind of things that interest Virginia (and she hopes others, too!) Inspirational quotes (lots & lots of those), photographs, personal reflections, travel, books, movies, flowers, several post-a-day Advent & Lent gigs and more (teatime anyone? humor? tree groupies of the world unite?)

It took awhile to figure out things like “tagging” but the most fun part of blogging these ten years has been meeting other blogging buddies around the world. You have made – and continue to make – the blogosphere a fun place to hang out.

HaPpY BIRTHDAY ROSES IN THE RUBBLE!

A big THANK YOU to faithful readers (family, friends, blogging buddies inclusive) who inspire and encourage me in so MANY WAYS.

grace, peace & celebratory grooves

Virginia : )

“Imagine. Create. Inspire.”

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RAPTUROUS ROSES!!

Faithful readers know that Virginia loves roses so much she named her blog Roses in the Rubble. As the month of June winds down, there’s a special celebration headed this way on the 30th. Virginia’s not divulging much yet, so you will have to stay on tenterhooks till Wednesday. Until then, here are a few favorite rose pics to get the party started… (hint, hint, party infers there is something momentous to celebrate!!!)

A red rose @ Norfolk Botanical Garden

The rose arbor @ Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

A plethora of roses @ Butchart Gardens

The Italian Rose Garden @ Maymont Park

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

grace, peace & ROSES

Virginia : )

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Quickie Quote: Courage to Soar

“If we insist on being as sure as is conceivable… we must be content to creep along the ground, and never soar.” St. John Henry Newman

Sometimes we get so mired in making sure we’re sure about whatever we’re doing that we forget to engage eyes of faith to look up (and around) for soaring opportunities.

grace, peace & courageous soaring

Virginia : )

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SUMMERTIME (SUNSETTY) SUNSHINE

Today is the first official day of summer in this part of the globe! Contemplating summertime usually sunshine enters the picture along with heat and humidity – especially where Virginia (the person) lives in Virginia (the state.)

Virginia doesn’t like hot humid heat, especially sunshiny burn-redheads-up in the middle of the day kind. Thus today to honor the first day of summer, I am sharing one of my favorite parts of summer days: THE SUNSET.

Usually things cool down a bit by then?  Here’s a memorable gentle sunset captured on camera in the Outer Banks of North Carolina a few years ago…

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” Walt Whitman

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

grace, peace & sunsetty sunshine

Virginia : )

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FRIDAY FLOWERS!!

To perk up the end of the week, Virginia is sharing a few of her favorite cloudy day flower pics…

Blue flowers @ Butchart Gardens

A menagerie of joy @ Norfolk Botanical Gardens

An iris @ Colonial Williamsburg

Water lilies @ Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”  Claude Monet

grace, peace & Friday flowers

Virginia : )

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Quickie Quote: Powerful Dreamers!

Here’s a little midweek inspiration….

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman

grace, peace & (powerful) dreamers

Virginia : )

Photo: Monument Valley, UT

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Open to SURPRISE(S)

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” Henri Nouwen

Yesterday morning two bluebirds surprised me. I glanced out our living room window in passing and stopped, arrested by the sight of two female bluebirds splashing around in our birdbath. Sitting on the edge of the sofa I stayed a good five minutes watching them flit back and forth from the ground to the birdbath, up to the trees then back to the birdbath. Diving in, splashing merrily about, enjoying themselves immensely.

I didn’t run grab my camera, instead I just sat there enjoying them enjoying themselves. A few minutes later they flew away leaving me surprised by their joy.

Faithful readers know bluebird sightings remind me of my precious mama. How she loved bluebirds, her favorite! Watching those two female bluebirds having such a grand time reminded me of special times shared with Mama before she passed. We didn’t flit in and out of birdbaths, but during the caregiving gig we did splash about singing hymns when I took her through “the Beauty Shop.”

Oh how I miss her! But I am grateful for precious memories, moments of shared joy.

Henri Nouwen’s quote struck a chord. Yesterday’s surprise seeing those bluebirds opened up a sad/glad place in my heart: sad missing mama, and glad remembering moments of joy with her. It’s a weird place navigating the space between sorrow and joy (bittersweet doesn’t quite describe it) but yesterday that place in my heart got big for a bit.

So glad I looked out the window!

grace, peace & surprises

Virginia

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PAIN AND (OPTIONAL) MISERY

Someone once said, “Pain and suffering are inevitable; misery is optional.”  ‘Tis true methinks (unless you are suffering from kidney stones when misery is a sure thing.)

Still, misery can be a choice.  Which means not being miserable is also a choice.

Sometimes a bit of suffering enters our lives and disrupts things a little. Other times (WHAM!) suffering grinds us into bits. Whether it’s physical pain, heart pain, life pain – pain, is, well, PAIN. It hurts, a lot. It comes in all shapes and sizes.

Physical pain manifests in many ways and places: sharp, tingling, zinging, aching, mind-numbing, and nauseating pain in our tummies, backs, necks, knees, shoulders, elbows, ankles… (ouch!)

Heart pain runs rampant when our hopes for love are trampled, relationships run askew, partners let us down (or leave us), friends desert us, maybe our parents disappoint us, perhaps our children reject us or become a source of angst?

Life pain erupts when our dreams go off the rails, failure hounds us, we move three steps forward only to fall eight steps back, and nothing turns out like we hoped (or planned?)

Pain of loss catches us by the throat when the holes in our hearts and lives are so deep we feel like they will never be filled.

There’s the pain of unknowing, when fear looms larger than the best coping mechanisms we can muster and it hurts deep in the recesses of our bewildered minds.

Certainly, there are more kinds of pain, but that’s an initial go at it.

Pain can be humbling. Asking others to help us with simple tasks? Another challenge is how to maintain “nice” in the throes of it. Pain tends to make certain redheads grumpy. Although we may give others in our living spheres advice like SHIELDS UP (in Star Trek parlance) we may need to adapt our shields to prevent leaky pain valves decimating others with steaming frustration.

We pray. And pray. And pray (some more.)

It doesn’t mean our pain goes away. Sometimes, as God wills, we are healed. Other times not. That’s the thing about prayer and pain. After we pray we may still hurt, but God is good about filling us with peace to face whatever comes. Amidst the hurt and pain swirling around us and within us, God is with us.

In the pain.

As we walk (or crawl) through our pain, one tiny step at a time, God’s Hands are there to hold the hands of our hearts with Divine Love, the kind that never ends.

In this life, pain and suffering are inevitable, but misery is a choice (especially not being miserable.) It’s not easy with body aches, heart aches, and life aches. But it is possible, if we let the love of God touch us in our swampy achey-places.

 grace, peace & optional misery

   Virginia : )

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis

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Quickie Quote: Setting our Sail(s)

Here’s a quickie quote to contemplate in the middle of the week (especially if winds are blowing us off our course!)

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean

grace, peace & sail adjustment(s)

Virginia : )

Photo: Seabrook Island, SC

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Keep On CARING!!

During last month’s staycation Virginia (the person) and her brother visited Yorktown in Virginia (the state.) I know, I know – it’s confusing that Virginia (the person) lives in Virginia (the state!) But, since Virginia was born and raised in Virginia, she doesn’t mind the confusion since Virginia is a lovely state and NAME. (It was my precious Mama’s name, too, so don’t dare knock it!)

“Spread out and smile. This is only for awhile.”

Wherever we live, some folks are getting tired caring about COVID-19. Here in the U.S. places are opening back up, vaccinated folks can go mask-less in many establishments (including church last Sunday!) But, even though we may be doing oh-so-much-better, folks are still getting sick and dying around the globe.

“Six feet apart is smart!”

The point is, we still need to care and be careful. Not everyone is vaccinated yet. We don’t know who may be at risk, so let’s be gracious. If a store or establishment still requires a mask, don’t be a beanhead about it. WEAR YOUR MASK.

“Life’s a Beach. Play responsibly.”

This sign reminds me of a letter Papa sent when I was a first year student at the University of Virginia many moons ago. In it he wrote, “Study hard and play very carefully.” Ahem. (UVA at that time had a reputation as a party school.) Here’s to being responsible and careful… and caring.

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead

grace, peace & continued CARING

Virginia : )

Photos: Yorktown, Virginia (the state!)

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