Tag Archives: st. therese

Story of A Soul

Today marks the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, a young French Carmelite, who has profoundly shaped my spirituality.


Since I’ve written several posts in the past about Therese, creating this graphic was a new way to honor such a beautiful soul. Last night I opened “Story of a Soul”, her autobiography, and out of the many underlined and bookmarked pages, I was captured by this simple reminder.

Our daily life and work often is teeming with demands. It is action oriented and results-driven: “Go big or go home,” right?! The challenge is not to approach our spiritual life in the same manner. God does not ask us to prove ourselves to him, or perform great actions to gain His approval or reward. Therese simply relates to bring it back to “surrender and gratitude”. It’s speaking to my heart right now – what about yours?

There’s great freedom and refreshment in receiving that kind of Love.

Read my earlier posts on the Little Flower, which were daily reflections during the Novena to St. Therese:

– A Test of Faith

– Happy Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux

– Loving Our Littleness

A Heavenly Shower of Roses

True Love

Victim of Love

The Power of Prayer

– On her profound autobiography, Story of a Soul.

– On another of my favorite books on her spirituality, I Believe in Love

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Be Willing to Risk


This felt right for a Monday morning post.  Depending on whether you’re a half-full or half-empty kinda person, this may either be a spark to inspire or a little kick in the pants at the beginning of the week. Reflect on the image for a moment. It embodies that feeling of teetering on the edge of risk. How sound is this decision? Where does it lead? What if I fall? What will I do once I get there?

If you were to divide up what your efforts are spent on, I wonder how big the pie would be in the area of “being comfortable”.  As a person that holds my fears and insecurities close to my chest and navigates carefully to avoid having them exposed, I’m not here to cast stones, but rather am trying to work on sorting through them all in order to become the best version of myself. Honestly, I’ve struggled with perfectionism for years, thinking that my accomplishments, jokes, skills, etc. would hopefully secure people’s good opinion of me. But God help me, life is so restrictive and exhausting when I can’t make a mistake and need to please everyone all of the time. I am one who cares often too much – the lot of a passionate temperament, for better or for worse.

Like my friend in college used to say in his best Gospel preacher voice,

Jesus did not say pick up your lawn chairs. He said, “Pick up your CROSS.”

While one can apply this “GO AHEAD” to stepping out in big ways, like me leaving my job recently to pursue running a start-up business; to say it’s only about taking big plunges is missing the point. There are so many little ways (yes, like my favorite Little Flower, St. Therese would say) to risk…

Go ahead and take the initiative to learn something new by just beginning to do it, and don’t give up.
…and not beat yourself up for making a mistake.
…and call (not text) that friend that has been on your mind, but you haven’t talked to for so long.
…and make some time to really unplug, be silent, and really try and hear God’s voice.
…and dust off your resolutions, writing 3 goals in a place you see daily that you want to achieve between now and December 31st.
…and begin to take control of your health, make time for yourself and work on implementing at least one healthier choice.
…and ask that troubled person if they are OK, and REALLY listen.
…and think of your biggest dream, and map out 1 step towards getting closer to it.
…and tell that person you hardly ever do, an incredible compliment of something you admire about him/her.
…and ask that person who eats lunch at their desk everyday if they’d like to join you today.
…and tell your partner that thing that has been pressing on your heart that you’ve been avoiding.

It’s true, you never know what could be on the other side – until you try. Perfect joy may await you across that daunting trek…

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Decoupage Spiritual Bouquet

I’ve worked across many mediums in my artistic escapades, but I don’t know how or why Decoupage has eluded me.  Well, now I can cross it off the “attempted” list, but definitely not off the mastered! Our dear friends are moving North, and as they have given so much to us and our Church, it required a special gift.  I wanted to present them with a Spiritual Bouquet. For those unfamiliar what a Spiritual Bouquet is, a brief explanation would be:

The Spiritual Bouquet is basically a gift of prayer from a group of people.  It is comprised of gathering whatever form of prayers or offerings each person wishes to make for the recipient. For example, someone might offer 2 Rosaries and a Holy Communion.  Another person might offer a two acts of charity and a Morning Prayer. Or one might enroll them at a Shrine or with a Religious order for Masses to be offered daily over a certain period of time.  It all varies, as it depends on whatever spiritual offerings the gift-givers desire to make.  These would then be compiled somehow, such as in a card, and then presented as a Spiritual Bouquet to someone.
I searched online for ideas to create a grownup Spiritual Bouquet.  Nothing totally grabbed me, but some ideas did start forming.  I emailed our retreat team and asked for them to respond with their offerings for our friends. Then I created a personalized template, printed out the offering cards, and wrote down each person’s offerings.  I’m going to attempt my first FREE downloadable PDF file of this template for those interested (I took out the family’s name, so it’s a generic form).  Hold your applause, please.  Click this Link:  Spritual Bouquet Cards

Spiritual Bouquet Cards

I also printed & cut extra to bring to the going-away party for others interested in adding to the bouquet.
Lastly, I decoupaged a small pine box to not only personalize the gift, but give them a spiritual keepsake — also easy to move across the country.

I found on Pinterest how to make my own “Modge Podge” with water and Elmer’s Glue.  I dumped the whole bottle of glue in my fancy pickle jar and then filled it back up 2/3’s with water,  and then shook up.  It worked OK, but I’ve never used Modge Podge, so I can’t do a fair comparison honestly.

Pinterest suggestion to make your own “Modge Podge” with water + glue in a jar

This Divine Mercy card was from the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland, where St. Faustina lived and died as a religious sister.

Our team logo and a fitting scripture

This St. Therese the Little Flower prayer card was from Lisieux, France, where this Doctor of the Church lived and died.

The Decoupage Pine Box with the Spiritual Bouquet cards

Note: After I glued the items on the wood box, I let it dry for a bit, and then sprayed it with Krylon’s “Low Odor Clear Finish”.  That gave it a protective and glossy finish.

That’s the quick version, friends.  In the end, this makes a nice personalized gift from the heart, full of prayers, and a thoughtful keepsake!

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