Motherless (again) on Mother’s Day

Once again it’s Mother’s Day, a time to honor and love on our mothers with a little extra pizazz. For some of us this is also a day we miss our mamas (a little more than usual.)

It’s not easy being motherless on Mother’s Day when our mothers have gone on to Heaven.

Last week a new-ish colleague in my sister’s office in Wilmington (NC) announced, “Cindy is going to visit her mom this weekend.”

Another colleague piped up, “That will be a very long trip!”

As long and far away as Heaven seems, the memories and legacy of my precious Mama’s life are instantly close filling my heart and with her love, hope and joy. Last year I shared a letter written to Mama @ her Heavenly address (you can read it by clicking here: A Letter to Mama on Mother’s Day.)

This year to honor Mama here’s a poem I wrote for Mother’s Day years ago while working overseas. I sent it to my sister who printed it out & put it in a frame as a giftie for the actual day. Several folks requested a copy after I shared it @ Mama’s Memorial Celebration service (under sibling pressure that we all share something) so here it is again today.

The Woodward Family (a long time ago!)

The Mystery of Magnificent Motherhood

On Mother’s Day we celebrate the mystery of Motherhood. From the outside, Motherhood doesn’t seem all that mysterious but just simply mastering of responsibilities and physical tasks.  Responsibilities that include raising children to know right and wrong, not to hurt themselves, to study, and to grow from turbulent twos through the terrifying teens into functioning adults. Physical tasks involve delivering babies (washing them, carrying them, helping them walk) cooking, cleaning…

These, admittedly, amount to a great deal of work.

Magnificent Motherhood, however, is a mystery that involves more than just responsibilities and tasks. To understand this mystery, special qualities are required:

Magnificent Motherhood is SACRIFICE.

Selflessly sacrificing (all the time) & the last piece of chocolate cake.

Magnificent Motherhood is JOY.

Joy even when illness strikes, the pots overflow, & we act unruly.

Magnificent Motherhood is BEAUTY.

Beauty seen in us (even with pimples) & nurtured in our surroundings.

Magnificent Motherhood is GENEROSITY.

Generously sharing special gifts, checks, and Mr. Madison’s fudge.

Magnificent Motherhood is MUSIC.

Music composed in a heart overflowing with the joy of Jesus.

Magnificent Motherhood is ACTION.

Hugging us, holding our hands, and helping us through each crisis. 

Magnificent Motherhood is PRAYER.

Unceasing prayer – faithful communion with God (often on our behalf.)

Magnificent Motherhood is FAITHFULNESS.

Faithfulness to God (1st) and 58 years (!) with the Fabulous Fossil (our Papa!)

Magnificent Motherhood is LOVE.

Love shared from an inner spring that never diminishes…

It’s actually very simple.

The Mystery of Magnificent Motherhood is


Virginia Francis Johnson Woodward

With love & appreciation from her daughter,

Virginia : )

p.s. As many of you know, my precious Mama loved chocolate (where my chocoholic genes come from?) Wish I could bake a big chocolate cake for her, but here’s a memory of sharing one of our favorite chocolate desserts – Carrabba’s Sogno di Cioccolata.

A daunting chocolate challenge…

Not too much for MY Mama!

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Snapshots & Whatnot: AMOOSING (A MOOSE!)

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” Dr. Seuss

With chaotic challenges the world over, here’s to looking for opportunities to smile wherever & whenever we can (even in unexpected places.)

During a visit to Canada awhile ago my brother and I decided to go for a scenic walk in Banff National Park. Starting out on a such a journey, you never know what (or who) you might encounter…

a birdie (or two?)

a chipmunk (munching away)

with a buddy (at play.)

Traipsing along there was often more than one way to go (straight up the mountain or with the easy path flow?)

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” Dr. Seuss

There were trees to see & places to rest, but then…

an unexpected EYE-FEST OF BEST!!

A MOOSE (on the LOOSE!)

AMOOSING as it was for us to see, we decided to to take care and (with littlest fanfare) we hightailed it out of there!

grace, peace & unexpected Amoosement

: )   Virginia  : )

“So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life is a great balancing act.” Dr. Seuss

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Scattering Seeds (quickie quote!)

Quickie quote today also presents a challenge –  do we have courage to continue scattering seeds of hope even when the wind gets fierce?

”I must set my face to the wind & scatter my handful of seeds. It is no big thing to scatter seeds, but I must have the courage to keep on facing the wind.”  Arab proverb

82DA83E7-55F6-4D04-AA42-9C4F4C30FCD6Scattering seeds of hope (possible @ sunset of our lives, too!)

grace, peace & seeds of hope

Virginia : )

p.s. Pics today via Virginia’s iPhone

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Snapshots & Whatnot: Snowy Egrets (& #HOPE!)

Whilst away visiting Chincoteague a few weeks ago, my brother & I enjoyed stalking all kinds of birds, but especially the egrets.

This snowy egret is playing hard to get…

okay, now why don’t you have a seat?

Making it easy for you – grab your close ups!

Great egrets (with their bright yellow beaks) are graceful and beautiful – yet the snowy egret with its black beak can be a bit on the quirky side. For some reason this trip snowy egrets captivated my attention.

They may look a little funky, but they open their wings just like great egrets spreading hope (& a little humor) around.

“Hope is the thing with feathers 

That perches in the soul, 

And sings the tune without the words, 

And never stops at all…” 

Emily Dickinson

Time for Mr. Snowy Egret to spread a little hope in other places…

grace, peace & snowy egret HOPE

Virginia : )

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Easter Monday Wrap-Up

“Do not dare not to dare.” C.S. Lewis

One last blog for Virginia to wrap up this year’s Lenten post-a-day gig. First of all, celebratory chocolate morsels are on hand because Virginia made it to Easter, thanks be to God and all the encouragers who helped cheer her along.

Many thanks for the comments, likes, shares, emails, texts, cards & calls – all greatly appreciated! Now Virginia will get back to her regularly sporadic blogging schedule of one post (or two, if she’s feeling really prolific) per week.

“To say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.” C.S. Lewis

grace, peace & (words of) gratitude

Virginia  : )


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#EASTER: Joy (everlasting) Joy, Joy, Joy!!!

A blessed Easter to one and all:

Let us rejoice & be glad!

Easter love to all from

Virginia @ Roses in the Rubble!

“Jesus no longer belongs to the past but lives in the present and is projected toward the future; Jesus is the everlasting ‘today’ of God.'” Pope Francis

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#Easter: Holy Saturday (betwixt & between) Faith

On Holy Saturday we are betwixt & between the crucifixion and the resurrection, waiting for Easter hallelujahs.

Being betwixt & between is not always an easy place to be as it usually entails WAITING (something impatient redheads are not so good at.)

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 & a hard place in our relationships at work, home, wherever.

Sometimes the challenge of being betwixt & between is the unknown – not being able to clearly see the path ahead. (Perhaps just a few steps are illuminated, that’s often how God works in our lives.)

The biggest betwixt & between challenge in our lives of faith is trusting God, full-on TRUSTING GOD.

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?

Here are a few of my lifelong favorite betwixt & between Scripture verses that have been HUGE in letting go of my fears (that seem to strangle forward momentum in crisis times.)

“But now thus says the Lord,
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

(Isaiah 43:1-3)

grace, peace & FAITH (betwixt & between)

Virginia : )

“What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.” Hans Urs von Balthasar

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