In her book, "Story of a Soul", Saint Therese embraces a fresh servant leadership approach known as “The Little Way”. She encourages us to follow the lead and needs of others while acknowledging, recognizing, and promoting their efforts. Saying, "rather than aspiring to doing great deeds, do many small deeds with great love." I hope this blog inspires others in the same way St. Therese and others have inspired me.
This is one of a series of posts illustrating a beautiful portrait of humanity; of men and women who without even realizing it, strive to embody qualities Proverbs 31 embraces in all life areas– personally, with their family, professionally, spiritually, and in their love life too. Whether you’re a “Proverbs 31” man or a woman, you stand out from the rest; you’re a red rose among a field of yellow roses. You’re a man or woman of and for all ages, a role model of timeless strength and beauty, virtue and responsibility; a cherished life partner and a powerful entrepreneur too!
She riseth also while it is yet night, giving food to her household
and giveth a portion to her maidens.
She riseth also while it is yet night
Rising before the sun not only demonstrates that idleness and laziness have no place in our life, but doing so offer many benefits. For one … the day begins peacefully. Free from noise and distractions, the day may start in quiet meditation. This not only ensures a great start to the day, but also says to our Lord that we want Him to be a part of it from the time we awake until we rest our head again.
For another…rising early ensures a productive start to the day. Have you ever slept in late then by the time you really get going it seems that half the day is gone and you have accomplished very little? As partners, parents, children, co-workers, students, teachers, friends, and more, we have quite a lot on our plate. Our days are full, and we often feel exhausted from the time we awake. So the temptation is there to stay in bed “just a little longer”. How many times though have we slept through the quiet morning hours, only to find ourselves still exhausted and now falling even further behind in our day’s duties? Many of us know what it feels like to be tired and worn down all too well. However, the attitude of “staying in bed for just a little longer” also has a way of permeating into other areas too. Before you know it, you find yourself going about your day in slow motion. If you find yourself struggling to rise early, ask God to give you the strength, health, and energy you need to jump start your day. Also, add something special to your morning routine to re-energize you. Perhaps it is spending a few minutes reading something inspirational, listening and dancing to your favorite music, or drinking a cup of hot tea and sitting in quiet prayer. Or, maybe it’s a matter of stepping outside for a breath of the fresh morning air, or sitting and reflecting on the day’s blessings. Different things work for different people. So ask yourself: What motivates me? What brings contentment to my heart so I am ready to face the day? What will I be doing with my loved ones today that will bring joy? All give us a reason to get up and make the most of our day.
Giving food to her household
Another reason for rising early is to provide your loved ones with a hearty,home-cooked breakfast! Nutritionists consider breakfast the most important meal of the day, nourishing the body that has not had any food for many hours and providing energy for the toil of the day. The virtuous individual ensures their loved ones get off to a good nutritional start. It is often said that you can tell a lot about a family by what they are eating for breakfast. Is your family sitting down and spending time together sharing a warm meal? Or, are you starting the day off by grabbing whatever you can find to eat as you rush out the door without saying as much as a goodbye and “I love you” to loved ones?
How many families do you know take time to sit down and share a meal together around the table? Often families don’t eat together, don’t pray together, don’t read or spend quality time together. It’s no wonder many don’t stay together. Sitting down together as a family in the morning really sets the tone for the whole day. Just having that extra time together makes the whole day better. What’s more, spending time with family before leaving for work gives your loved ones the encouragement they need to face the day. Knowing that someone special is thinking of, praying for, and looking forward to their return at the end of the day gives them a reason to rush home and spend even more quality time together.
And giving a portion to her maidens
Here, we are reminded of the Old Testament economy; namely, that the Israelites who honored and feared the Lord were promised both spiritual blessings and material blessings. It is clear then that the Proverbs 31 individual had both and did not live in poverty. In fact, the virtuous individual was blessed with a large household, which included servants. While one may think a virtuous individual was quite capable of commanding their servants to rise early and prepare breakfast for their family, they did not do that. Rather, we are told they gave a portion of food to their servants. This not only speaks volumes about the kindness shown towards those working under them, but it is also demonstrated that they demanded of others only what they themselves were willing to do. This is something staff even today greatly respect and appreciate; namely, a superior who is willing to “get their hands dirty” and do some of the very tasks they require their staff to do.
A virtuous individual takes care of their loved ones whether they are at home or away. What’s more, they use their hospitality to minister to all those around them, creating a warm, inviting atmosphere that expresses “I love you” in very real ways to family as well as to all those who are welcomed guests not only in their homes, but in their hearts too!!!
Remember … touch a life today “The Little Way” by following the lead and need of others. Also, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community, knew…”, then be sure to visit White Light Communications at http://www.tothewhitelight.com.
In her book, "Story of a Soul", Saint Therese de Lisieux embraces a fresh leadership approach. Known as “The Little Way”, she encourages us to follow the lead and needs of others while acknowledging, recognizing, and promoting their efforts. Saying, "rather than aspiring to doing great deeds" she asks us to "do many small deeds with great love." With this philosophy in mind, I created this blog to inspire others in the same way as others have inspired me.
About St. Therese
For generations, many have admired this young saint known as the "Little Flower", finding more inspiration in her short life than in their own lives. Yet Therese died when she was only 24, after having lived as a cloistered Carmelite for less than ten years. She never went on missions, never founded a religious order, never performed great works. The only book of hers, published after her death, was a brief edited version of her journal called "Story of a Soul." Yet within 28 years of her death, the public demand was so great she was canonized. Over the years, some modern Catholics have turned away from her because they view her message as being too simple and child-like. Yet as simple as her message may be, it remains as compelling to us now as it was almost a century ago.