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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday Woman: St. Therese

Woman touching gerbera flowers in pot, close-up of hands

Thank God we’re all different.  St. Therese helps me appreciate this well-known yet often forgotten reality.
In her short life of some 24 years, St. Therese admits struggling with the comparison game, wondering “why the good Lord has preferences….”

Then, God shows her --through none other than the flowers of nature -- to appreciate our differences.  She writes:

I have come to realize, that the radiance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not take away the fragrance of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy.

St. Therese’s words are indeed fragrant, especially for women (and especially for mothers!) who often feel inferior to one another.

Some of you are brilliant roses.  You are bold and beautiful.  You have a strong aroma and a zeal for life that few can match!  You’re the kind of woman that everyone wants to invite to a party because it won’t be complete without you.

Others of you are white lilies.  You are kind and pure.  You are always serving other people and often put others before yourself.  You’re the kind of woman that throws a party for your friends – although you’re often content to be in the background, allowing the roses to be the center of attention!

And still others are simple daisies.  You are steadfast and loyal.  You are the kind of woman who, because of your common sense and simplicity, is an example to all of us -- a rock for others in time of need.  What would we do without you?

St. Therese concludes it best:

[P]erfection consists in being what God wants us to be.

I don’t necessarily want to be a rose, a lily, or a daisy.  Instead, I want to be the woman God created –the fragrant flower that will blossom when the season is right.

Aren’t you glad we’re all different?

9 comments:

Heidiopia said...

Indeed-- and we can all learn from one another and appreciate each other's strengths without feeling that it diminishes us somehow. Thanks, Susan!

Heidi Britz said...

I loved this post and shared it with the girls in my small group-they are a lovely bouquet :)

MC said...

What a lovely, lovely post and wonderful thoughts to keep in mind when feeling challenged. I mean, even stinkweed and thistles bloom with pretty flowers sometimes!
MC

Laura said...

Oh, yes. I've thought about this often. In fact, I can tell you what kind of flower is NOT me, and how I'd love to have some of those qualities.

I love her definition of perfection. It's affirming and grace-filled.

I've been on vacation, Susan, but my book comes out August 31st. I just jumped in the book discussion for yours. Take care.

Laura said...

I just love this post, Susan. It reminds me of the way I love my children. They are both so different and require different ways of loving, but I don't love one more than the other.

Lovely.

shrinkingthecamel.com said...

Well, I am not a woman, but this same analogy can certainly apply towards the men too! Maybe we'd prefer a comparison around trees, or power tools, or something...

My wife is a psychologist, and has a very practical approach to the question of envy, or comparing to another person.

I like your last statement - that we only need to be concerned with being perfectly ourselves. To be grounded and satisfied in that, well, would be a great gift.

shrinkingthecamel.com said...

Oops - i did a bit of cut and paste and forgot to paste...

Regarding my wife's practical advice: She says that one's feelings of comparison or envy are often indicators of some internal work that needs to be done, that we should pay close attention to those feelings (if they are consitent and recurring) and pursue the root of what is causing it and even to pursue changes in your own life, if called for.

Susan DiMickele said...

Ah, like your wife's advice. Sounds like a smart woman.

Esther said...

Amen to being who God created us to be!