The name of this blog, “Story of a Homeschooling Family,” is inspired from the title of a much more holy writing masterpiece called, Story of a Soul. If you have not read Saint Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography, I highly recommend it. You will be inspired to draw closer to Jesus in your everyday life.
About ten years ago, I saw a movie about St. Therese of Lisieux called, Therese. I was really inspired by her holiness and devoutness to Jesus. Later that year, I went on pilgrimage to Europe with a number of young adult friends from church. We visited churches and holy sites in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. We were truly blessed to have that opportunity. Now that I am married and have three children, traveling to Europe is not going to happen anytime soon!
In France, my friends and I visited Lourdes, Sacre Coeur , Notre Dame de Paris, and Lisieux. In Lisiuex, we saw the Basicillica of St. Therese, including the chapel where there were pictures of her now canonized parents, Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin. My memory is foggy, but I think it was in the lower level of the Bascilica. I am pretty sure that St. Therese would have been quite surprised that anyone would want to build such a large Bascilica in her honor, but Holy Mother Church elevates Saints to inspire us common-folk to draw closer to God. I think St. Therese understands and will allow anything for her greatest love, Jesus Christ. And sometimes, a large Bascilica and place of prayer can help us common-folk focus on God better, even if it is found in a tiny, humble town called Lisieux.
During my short time in Lisieux, my friends and I visited Saint Therese’s family home. At the time, I was 24-years-old, which is the same age St. Therese was when she died. There is something special when you are the same age as someone holy who died. I know a lot of us Christians mediate on Jesus’s life when we turn 30, the age he was when he started his public ministry, and 33, when he died. It tends to be a humbling spiritual exercise…and makes us realize how very little we have done. Sometimes it is quite healthy for the soul to feel small. Even when we feel small, we can still realize that the God of the universe loves us, and we can return to Him and offer our humble love. And God cherishes our gift of love.
When I was in France, visiting St. Therese’s home, we arrived just as the tour guides were going to close up the home for their lunch; we did not know anything about their time schedule! Fortunately, the tour guides were very kind and merciful and still gave us a tour. We saw the stories from St. Therese’s life come to life in her childhood home as we went from room to room. We saw her living room where they celebrated around the Christmas tree. We saw the statue of Mary that she saw when she was ill. We saw her First Communion dress. We saw the rose garden in her back year where she asked her father to become a nun, even though she was far too young to enter Carmel.
As we were leaving out the front door of the house, I saw this on the path.
I had to stop to take a picture! I don’t know what kind of flower they are. St. Therese is quite known for her love of roses and how she wants to shower roses upon us from heaven….but I don’t think these brightly colored flowers are considered roses. As soon as I took this picture, the battery in my camera died. I was glad this one took!
I love how these flowers are a work of art by God, our creator, for us to enjoy. It’s the little things in life, like flowers, that we should enjoy. We should show gratitude to God for His big and small gifts to us, including little flowers like these! I so easily forget.
What gifts from God have you noticed today? In your home? In your yard? In your children? In your spouse? How could one of those gifts draw you closer to Jesus?
This blog is inspired from the book that St. Therese wrote, Story of a Soul. She beautifully wrote about some of her family life as a child and how she grew in virtue. She wrote about the love her family showered on her, for better or worse at times! Family life is full of easy and difficult times. Here at Story of a Homeschooling Family, I hope to share some of our story with you. I would love to be as good of a mother as St. Zelie was to her children. I would love to be a good and humble servant to God like St. Zelie and St. Therese. Although I continuously feel like I stumble and fall each day in my goals to draw closer to God and family, I continue in hope, faith, and love. I hope you can, too.
Thank you for visiting Story of a Homeschooling Family. You are most welcome here!