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  • by Barb Edtl Shelton

A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons

I have a garden growing throughout my home that requires no watering, but that has provided me with many little treasures and sweet pleasures throughout the years. It's "growing" because it keeps getting bigger. (Evidently there are many besides me who are aware of my not-so-secret garden.) I want to share a dozen of my little rosey treasures with you here today, along with some mini lessons they have to offer.


1) Decoupaged Mirror/Frame

Decoupaged Mirror / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: Our daughter, Sharnessa, made this mirror/frame for me using pieces of color and words she cut out of magazines! All of these words and colors reminded Sharnessa of [GULP!] ME!!!! There are only a couple of roses (or maybe they're peonies ~ close enough for me!) adorning it, but all it takes is one to "qualify."

LESSON: My girl loves me a LOT. But this mirror/frame actually says much more about her than it does about me. She is full of grace and chooses to see the good in me ~ and everyone in her life ~ over the not-so-good. "Love covers a multitude of sin" ~ and faults, and imperfections. I want to be more like my daughter when I grow up.


2) My "Be-Rosed" Teddy Bears

Bears with roses / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: I have a collection of about twenty Teddy Bears, a few of which ~ pictured here ~ have roses somewhere on them. I love all of my little bears, be-rosed or not, but I am somewhat partial to the ones with roses upon their person.

LESSON: If you want me to be partial to you, wear roses. ... Juuust kidding; couldn't think of any lessons! ~ other than this: Roses make pretty much anything look prettier! Teddy bears, tables, hair, counters, vases, gardens, brides... They are beautiful alone, but I bet they enjoy beautifying things! ... Hmmm, God enjoys doing that, too!


3) "La Toilette"

Wall Plaque

La Toilette plaque  / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: The bathroom ~ also known as "La Toilette" ~ is the room that sees, hears, and smells the stinkier, dirtier aspects of our lives; whose mirrors behold our unfinessed, non-enhanced state of reality: our naked personhood, our non-make-upped face, our undone hair! Nonetheless, "La Toilette" accepts us as we really are. (What choice does it have ~ really?!?! But still...) Its cleansing waters wash the dirt we bring in from the world right down the drain; and all manner of fragrance ~ shampoo, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash ~ remove or prevent odoriousness. And, after accommodating our various self-improvement efforts, its door opens, releasing us into the world relieved, refreshed, revamped, and revitalized.

LESSON: That's the heart I want for people who come to me carrying the grime, weight, and odors of the world. I want them to leave our time together with stresses relieved, emotions refreshed, perspectives revamped, and spirits revitalized. ... All this is what I must first do with and receive from Jesus myself ~ the only way can have anything to pass on to others.


4) Be-Rosed Hammer

Rose hammer  / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: When I first saw this hammer at Ace Hardware Store, it was love at first sight! Need I explain why?!?

LESSON: Besides being able to hammer nails, it's a also beautiful reminder that there's a softer way to "hammer in a point" or impress in a value or truth I want to make. My nature leans toward harshness, so I need this hammered in to me, too!


5) Miniature Rose Painting

Mini Rose Frame / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: I found this treasure at an estate sale! Notice the detail in this little (actual) painting! It doesn't look very small here, but the whole frame is only 4 inches high! So the rose is only 1/2 inch high, yet there is so much detail!

LESSON: Nothing ~ no task, no endeavor, no person ~ is too small and insignificant to receive whatever detailed attention it might need. As the legendary German-American architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said: "God is in the details."


6) Ceramic Coaster

Rose coaster / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: A coaster has but one purpose in life: to keep overflowing liquid from landing on ~ and possibly damaging ~ the surface beneath it. This one of mine even has sides, making it even more efficient than its flat, un-sided peers.

LESSON: We can be "overflow receptors" for the undesired and difficult things our loved ones go through. There's no way to keep the difficult "life overflows" away from them, but if we're there for them, "come under" and support them in the midst of hard stuff, their lives will be better, or at least a bit easier. And we are blessed in the process!


7) Rose Clock

Rose clock / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: I got this clock at a garage sale for $2! Either every battery I have tried has been dead, or the clock just doesn't work. It doesn't actually matter to me. There are plenty of other clocks in my house that do work. My only purpose for this one is to sit its little spot and make me smile each time I look at it.

LESSON: Even if a thing no longer functions as it was originally intended to function, or as well as other things function, it can still bring joy. I think we call this "re-purposing" it. God likes doing this.


8) My Rosey Glasses

Rose glasses / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: When you first see these from afar, you don't notice the roses; you just see a maroonish pair of glasses. You have to get closer to see the roses.

LESSON: Things are not always ~ or I'd even say things are not usually ~ as they first appear. When we see situations or people from a distance, we can easily generalize and come to wrong conclusions. We have to look closer to truly understand.


9) Hand-Painted Teapot Planter

Rose tole-painted teapot  / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: This lovely hand-tole-painted teapot (from Sharnessa and family) did not start out as a be-rosed flower pot. Its original task in life was to hold water as it was heated on a burner, which, once boiling, was used to make a cup of tea.

LESSON: If I were that teapot, I'd be calling that a "fiery trial." There may have been times when that teapot recoiled at the intense heat, perhaps wondering how long it would have to endure this. But there's no way the teabag that was submerged in its boiling-hot water could have given off the flavor unless the teapot had fully completed its task. ... Perhaps to its relief, when this teapot was eventually relieved of its fiery duties, this verse came to mind: "For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12;11)


10) Rose Brooch from My Mother

Clear Rose Brooch / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: This is a brooch (about 2 .5 inches high) that my mom gave me many years ago. I was not actually supposed to get it until such time as she "didn't need it anymore," but due to all my "strong hinting," she gave it to me early so that I could enjoy it for a longer stretch of my life. (And probably so that she could enjoy her life more!)

LESSON: Just give Barb what she wants and life will be a lot more peaceful.


11) Rose Quilt

Rose Quilt / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: My sister Nancy made for me without even asking me what I liked – because she knew! What I love about it is that there are many different types of rose-ish fabrics: circles, dotted circles, gingham, and roses of different types and sizes. And these were cut into pieces of different shapes and sizes. Yet, after some (painful?) cutting and stitching, they all fit together perfectly to form a lovely quilt! It took a good deal of work by the Master Quilter, but the result is beautiful!!!

LESSON: And so it is with family!!! All members are "cut from different cloths," of different sizes, shapes, and designs. And it takes a lot of "cutting" and "stitching" to get the thing together. But it is certainly worth the effort, and is very much a "work of art"!


12) Rose Stitchery

Rose Stitchery / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

ABOUT: I made this about three decades ago when I taught in-home Creative Circle Stitchery classes! Because I stitched this item myself, I know what went on "behind the scenes" in its making ~ which is actually where the lesson lies...

So first, here is the back of the above stitchery:

Back of Rose stitchery / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

With "crewel embroidery" (which this is), the back isn't as messy looking ~ or the design as indiscernible ~ as some of my needlepoint stitchery backs have been, so here's one that's a little messier...

Front & Back of Wine bottle & apples stitchery / A Dozen Rosey Life Lessons /

LESSON: Life is like a tapestry. The back is possibly the only side we may get to see this side of Heaven. It appears to be just a tangled bunch of threads, with very little indication of "the bigger picture" on the front. It's easy to think this is just a mess, with no hope. But this isn't God's perspective, for He sees the front of the tapestry, and knows exactly where each thread and color will be going, why they are there, and how to stitch each one perfectly. So rather than being anxious over not knowing what the other side looks like, our hearts will be settled only if we trust the Master Tapestrar and allow Him to work, stitching and weaving all the dark, light, colorful, even seemingly drab threads ~ and events and times ~ of our lives together, in His timing and His way, as He completes the masterpiece of our life!


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