Happy birthday to me! (And happy launch day to the blog!)
I chose to launch today because this also happens to be the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, one of the saints who I hold most dear. St. Therese is a fabulous patroness, not only because she has suffered much in the same way that I have, but because she inspires me to be a better mom.
A little background…
St. Therese of Lisieux lived a relatively short life (24 years) at the end of the 19th century. Living as a cloistered Carmelite nun with health issues, she realized that she wasn’t able to do any “great” deeds, but committed herself to doing small works out of love.
“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.” -St. Therese of Lisieux
How this applies to motherhood…
If you’re anything like me, parenting small children takes up a lot—if not all—of your energy. Going out there and doing anything “great” just seems unattainable because 1.) you need childcare to be able to do ANYTHING and 2.) having energy left over at the end of the day is the rarest of occurrences. I get it. I do. So what is left? The small things.
By following St. Therese’s example of the little way and doing small things with great love, we are honoring God and growing closer in Christ. (And that’s a beautiful thing.)
So Where do I begin??
Living the little way seems overly simplistic and overly complicated all at the same time. It involves making a habit of loving God through the things you do. If you need a little help in that, begin by starting small. Give yourself credit for the things you do. If you already find yourself drowning in your day-to-day, don’t try to add more to your plate. Instead, add love to what you are already doing.
Need ideas? Here are five of my favorites:
- Listen to your children.
Yes, a lot of what they are talking about may not be the most thrilling, but it IS important to them and by listening you show that THEY are important to YOU.
- Offer your chores up to God.
It’s no secret that I have a love-hate relationship with my house, because it always seems to have something for me to do. Instead of scowling while I work, I put on a worship playlist and tell God that I’m doing this because I love my family and I love Him. Changing from a begrudging attitude to one of thankfulness and love has completely transformed my cleaning routine.
- Make a small sacrifice-
Maybe it’s skipping that glass of wine, or putting down your phone for twenty minutes to read to your child. Maybe it’s taking the money you would’ve spent on a dinner out and giving it to one of your favorite charities instead. Whatever it is, offer it to Him. Do it with love, and like the widow with the coins, your sacrifice will not go unnoticed by our Lord.
- Give someone the benefit of the doubt
Life is frustrating at times. So is motherhood. It can be so easy to get upset when you seem to be the only one who ever unloads the dishwasher or when you trip over someone’s toy after you told them to pick it up multiple times, but be kind in your reproach. Give people the chance to explain and trust that they aren’t out to hurt you or to make your life more difficult.
- Reach out to someone
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day survival of motherhood, that it can be easy to go entire days or weeks without maintaining your other relationships. Reaching out to someone (a new mother, your grandmother, a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while) shows not only that you care, but acknowledges that God designed us to live in communion with one another.
That’s how I (try to) live the little way. How do you? Sound off in the comments.