“I am only one; but I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do; and what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do.” (Helen Keller, 1880-1968)

Helen Keller, an inspiring woman of courageous grit and faith, overcame the dark of her blindness and the silence of her deafness to bring the light of knowledge to millions around the world.

What strikes me about Helen Keller’s story is the perseverance of her tutor, Anne Mansfield Sullivan. She took an unruly child lost in a dark and silent internal hell and gave her the gifts of love, communication, and education. When Helen eventually attended prestigious Radcliffe College, Miss Sullivan spelled textbooks out letter by letter into Helen’s hands for FOUR YEARS. Helen graduated magna cum laude.

Miss Sullivan was just one person, who helped one child, who helped millions.

When so much need exists in our world, sometimes what we can do as one person seems like a drop in a fountain. But, as individual drops of love and courage pile up they will overflow into waterfalls cascading with hope, change and opportunity.

Like Helen Keller and Anne Mansfield Sullivan we have a choice to do something we can do, however big or small, to be part of this waterfall.

“The welfare of each is bound up in the welfare of all.” Helen Keller

grace, peace & fountains of HOPE

Virginia : )

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”  Helen Keller

Photos: Butchart Gardens, BC (Canada)

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Although Virginia is a Trekkie, she has been an avid groupie of Star Wars since the first movie came out in 1977. Yes, she is that old to remember watching the first Star Wars film in the theater, enthralled with Luke Skywalker, Obi-wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-P30 and of course, Princess Leia. (Not to forget Darth Vader and his cronies…) Virginia remembers buying the sound track record, reading the books that eventually appeared, seeing the other films as they came out…

HaPpY Star Wars Day! May the Fourth (& Fork) be with you!!

grace, peace & galactic Star Wars groupies

Virginia : )

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering…” Yoda

The Force will be with you. Always.” Obi-Wan Kenobi

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(nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Spring Flowers!

“Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.” (Anonymous)

“A great beginning is sometimes at the point of what you thought would be the end of something.” Dodinsky

“Love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow.” John Lennon

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Audrey Hepburn

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.” Lady Bird Johnson

grace, peace & flowery perspective(s)

Virginia : )

Photos: Spring flowers in Williamsburg, Virginia (the state)

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Quickie Quote: Step by Step

Sometimes we have to take the step of cleaning out a bit of old stuff in our lives to make room for new ideas, new opportunities, and new ways of seeing things. Reading the following quote yesterday resonated with Virginia, maybe contemplating it will touch your heart today, too…

“Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that. You cannot hold onto the old all the while declaring that you want something new. The old will defy the new; the old will deny the new; the old will decry the new. There is only one way to bring in the new. You must make room for it.” Neale Donald Walsch

My sis sent another quote yesterday that also resonated. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with big picture challenges and uncertainties we give up before trying. Here’s to moving along – step by step – even if we can’t know for certain where the path will take us.

“You don’t need to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

grace, peace & first steps

Virginia : )

Photos: Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

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This week we celebrated Earth Day. Virginia has posted numerous times on the day (click here to read last year’s #EarthDay post) but today here’s a celebration of trees from this tree groupie to tree groupies around the world…

“Be like a tree. Stay grounded, keep growing, and know when to let go.” Anonymous

In springtime trees do their happy green thing, like this Fringe Tree spotted last week in Colonial Williamsburg (front and back view, leaves were doing their happy green dance!)

“Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.” Albert Schweitzer

Spring in the Japanese Garden @ Maymont Park in Richmond, Virginia

Standing under the sprawling branches of Angel Oak on Johns Island (South Carolina) a few years ago was truly a marvel for this tree groupie!

Pink Dogwood spotted last week in Williamsburg, Virginia (the state.)

This is one of Virginia’s favorite tree pics taken @ Banff National Park in Canada. It reminds me of these favorite verses:

“You shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)

grace, peace & HaPpY trees

Virginia : )

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Sleepy Sheep Saturday (time for a nap!)

Virginia and her brother have been on a “staycation” zipping out and about the past week, so she has been off the blogosphere (yet again!) Not to worry, she will return this week to her normal sporadic blogging schedule. Until then, here are a few sleepy sheep spotted today in downtown Colonial Williamsburg…

Sleepy sheep napping on a sunny spring day in Williamsburg, Virginia (the state!)

Mama sheep and her sleepy lamb (too cute for words!)

Mama sheep looks a bit sleepy, too…

It’s time for a Saturday nap!!

grace, peace & sleepy sheep

Virginia : )

“When the going gets tough, the tough take a nap.” Tom Hodgkison

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Something Wisterious This Way Comes…

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'” Robin Williams

Greetings everyone! After her post-a-day Lent gig Virginia has taken a blogging break this week. But today she’s back sharing something “wisteriously springy” sighted by her iPhone walking around town yesterday…

The wisteria is “in” at our local library in downtown Williamsburg! When the wisteria blossom at our beloved library, it’s a sign spring has fully arrived in our town.

A plethora of gorgeous wisteria blooms smell just as nice as they look. (You will just have to imagine that as I don’t know how to encapsulate smell in a blog post. Imagine lovely sweet purple delight – and inhale.)

Now that spring is here, it’s time to take a book outside and read under the wisteria. So incredibly inviting (but do watch out for the bees!)

Early morning walk captured fountain and blooms before crowds descended (and library opened.) The early bird gets the worm? Blah. Not the best motivation, but this early bird is glad she caught the wisteria in bloom.

Walking around Colonial Williamsburg more wisteria popped up in the most charming places. So incredibly beautiful, especially for folks like Virginia who love purple!


grace, peace & wisteria

Virginia : )

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Hope everyone had a lovely Easter. Now that Lent is done and chocolate is back on the menu (Virginia baked a decadent vegan chocolate cake for Easter, YUM!) we are now in the waiting game liturgically speaking until Pentecost. After giving up stuff and doing extra spiritual things during Lent, today we go back to our normal routines.

Saturday night while waiting for the Easter Vigil to begin at church, I contemplated this state of affairs. All the extra spiritual things I did for Lent, why don’t I do them more often? I thought why not do them not just as a Lent check-list but for the joy of doing them? Like, surprise God, here’s me doing this extra prayer practice at night (vs. watching more Netflix) just for the joy of it…

Well, it’s a thought. How often does God surprise us with joy and God’s Heavenly paintbrushes busy at work? As we move forward why not surprise God with a little extra faithfulness?

Speaking of busy Heavenly paintbrushes, a week or so ago our Japanese cherry tree barely had a bud on it. Nada. Sunshine and warm temps breezed in. The next day our tree blossomed fully, affording us joyful views for over a week. To wrap up her Lent to Easter post-a-day gig, Virginia thought a few pics might help keep our Easter joy and peace grooves going.

A plethora of cherry blossom joy!

“I rest beneath the Almighty’s shade;
My griefs expire, my troubles cease;
Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed,
Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.”   Charles Wesley

Cherry blossoms doing God’s joy and peace thing!

grace, peace & cherry blossom joy

Virginia  : )

p.s. Thank you for all the encouragement during the post-a-day Lent gig. The comments, likes, texts, emails, calls (and prayers!) helped keep Virginia going! She will now go back to her sporadic blogging schedule – one or two posts a week (three if she’s feeling prolific!)

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“He is not here – He is risen!”  (Matthew 28:6)

“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting Him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her since no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.” Pope Francis

May we open our hearts (a little wider) to encounter the Risen Christ and His Resurrected love and joy on this Easter Sunday and all throughout the year! 

HaPpPY Easter from Virginia @ Roses in the Rubble!

grace, peace & Resurrection Joy

Virginia : )

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

At the end of Good Friday’s crucifixion Jesus is laid to rest in a tomb. Imagine what it must have been like for Mary and His followers who stood at the cross and those, like Peter, who failed Jesus and fled. Although Jesus told them about the Resurrection, they didn’t get it. All they saw was His suffering and death – an executed exhibition of rejection.

It’s hard to stand betwixt and between our hopes and dreams when we don’t understand what’s going on around us. When crosses of suffering in our lives are too much to bear we may ask, “Where are you, God?”

We may lose hope. Maybe we’re stuck in suffering mode and can’t see when Easter hallelujahs will dawn on our horizon. Maybe we’re in a holding pattern, waiting for opportunities. Maybe we’re between a rock and a hard place in our relationships at work, home, wherever.

Sometimes the challenge of being betwixt and between is the unknown, not being able to clearly see the path ahead. That’s when full-on TRUSTING GOD is important. Maybe things may not turn out as we hoped (prayed, wailed) but God’s got us firmly ensconced in His Everlasting Arms of Divine Love that will lead, push (help carry us limping along) through our challenges.

Not our will, but God’s will be done?

Remember, Jesus didn’t stay in the grave, He rose. That’s what Easter is about: Resurrected Love, Resurrection Joy and Hope.

Hope that is a gift of God. Hope packaged with grace to keep us standing like Mary at the foot of the cross. Hope wrapped with mercy and forgiveness, since on the cross Jesus atoned for our transgressions, failures, stumbles and falls. Hope that lifted Peter who failed Jesus miserably, yet forgiven became the rock upon which Jesus built His church.

Whenever we are betwixt and between, Christ is with us. If we believe and accept the gift God has given us, we can hope in Christ and let His sacrificial love lift the despairing bits of our hearts and lives.


grace, peace + betwixt & between Hope

Virginia : )

“Hope is not some vague belief that ‘all will work out well,’ but biblical hope is the certainty that things finally have a victorious meaning no matter how they turn out. We learn that from Jesus, which gives us the courage to live our lives forward.”   Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM

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