Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Very Special Chair

Dear readers:
There are all sorts of chairs: beach chairs, fancy dining room chairs, recliner chairs, and desk chairs. But no chair is as special as this wooden one, pictured above. This is the very chair our dear St. Therese sat at while writing her famous autobiography, L'Histoire d'une Ame (The Story of a Soul). It is one of my top five favorite books, hands down. When you read this book (which I highly recommend you do if you haven't already), you will feel St. Therese right beside you, as if she is talking directly to you through her words. What a gifted writer!

Last month my family and I visited the National Shrine of St. Therese in Darien, Illinois. It is a must-see for any devotee of the Little Flower. As soon as you walk in the doors to see the things she owned and treasured, you simply will not believe your luck to actually be there. I am so glad I had my camera with me. I walked around and marveled at all of the wonderful objects that touched her life. It was a magical experience for me, especially since, on this rainy day an hour before closing, I was the only one in the room. It was so wonderful to be alone with my thoughts as I perused the lovely antiques from France in the peaceful silence.

When I came upon this chair, I froze. No, this couldn't actually be, sitting here inches away from me: the very chair she sat in as she wrote her masterpiece? Then I had to laugh: Therese certainly did not think she was writing a masterpiece! In fact, she was humble and did not think anyone would want to read what she wrote, the stories of her childhood, her innermost thoughts. The only real reason she wrote it at all was because she was ordered to by her superiors, and she always did what she was told. She definitely did not think that the entire world would read it after her death. At the end, when she was near death, she kept on writing, and could barely hold the pen, so she switched to a pencil.

I have to confess I did something I know you are not supposed to do in museums: I reached out and ever so gently touched the chair with two fingers. I just had to touch something that was so beautiful. In this chair history was made, for if she hadn't written her autobiography, she would have died and remained mostly unknown. And in this way, this chair made her known to me. God is so good!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Only So Many Hours In A Day...

Dear readers:
Have you been wondering where I've been? Sorry about that! Since it's summertime and the kids are home from school, I've been taking them to swim lessons, art lessons, etc. July is a busy time for us, as I am sure it is for you.

I've also been spending most of my creativity on my new book. I just love writing about Olivia and giving her new challenges to following the Little Way! I like to bring my laptop to the pool and write while my kids swim. Today I even took it out in the front yard while I watched my kids have a lemonade stand. I love having a laptop computer! It is so wonderful to take it everywhere I want to and always be able to write a chapter or two when inspiration hits, which has been all day, every day lately!

And I love creating a new story that I hope you will enjoy that will teach you even more about St. Therese...stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quiet Time For Little Therese

Jules Breton, "Peasant Girl Resting"

Dear readers:

Some people I know are always running here and there, never stopping to rest for a moment. Others are simply uncomfortable being alone. Do you know people like this? They always have to be around other people. As for me, I relish quiet time to myself. Not all the time, but certainly there are times when I enjoy the silent solitude of my own company. And that's a good thing. People need to be able to be happy and comfortable by themselves sometimes: to think, to pray, to reflect, to rest. By resting I don't mean sleeping; just quietly lying on your bed thinking about things for a bit is something we all need to do. It should not be a luxury to have some quiet time to yourself to reflect on things. It rests the mind and the body.

Therese relished her quiet time. Sometimes she'd go outside to take walks and pick flowers. Other times, she enjoyed resting on her bed while closing her bed curtain around her.

She wrote:

One day, one of my teachers at the Abbey asked me what I did on my free afternoons when I was alone. I told her I went behind my bed in an empty space which was there and that it was easy to close myself in with my bed curtain and that I thought.

‘But what do you think about?’ she asked.

I told her I thought about God, about life and about eternity.

Therese's bed at Les Buissonets

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Book Review From Catholic Exchange

Dear readers:
From what you and your parents tell me, most of you love to read. I always had my nose in a book when I was your age! I couldn't get enough of books. I don't have as much time now to read as I'd like, being a busy mom and author, so I settle for a quick crossword puzzle when I have downtime! But it's summer, so I do plan to take more time to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies.

Is reading one of your favorite hobbies? If so, be sure to make time to enjoy a good book or two...or three...or get the picture! When you do, a great writing exercise (I know, who wants to think about that during the summer? But if you love to write, it could be really fun!) would be to write a book review about the book you just read. What was the basic plot? Did you like it? Why or why not? If you were the author of the book, what would you have done differently? How would the story have been different if it had taken place in a different time period? A different country?

A writer wrote a very interesting book review about my book from the website Catholic Exchange. I thought it did a great job summing up Olivia and the Little Way:

Now go explore a new book! :0

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Roses on the Fourth of July--God Bless America!

Dear readers:
Happy Independence Day to America! Today is also a wonderful day to remember all of our soldiers that work so hard for Americans: past, present, and future.

I'd like to share more rose stories with you today from my readers! Isn't the rose (above) the most gorgeous ever? I wish the roses on my rosebush looked that perfect! But I am new at rosebushes. Last summer I decided that I was going to plant my first-ever rosebush in honor of The Little Flower. It produces pretty peachy-colored roses. This year it has three buds, which is more than last year, so I must be doing something right! Now if I could only keep the deer away...somebody ate one of my buds!

"I enjoyed Olivia and the Little Way. I think that Chad is a cool character. Your book showed me how much prayer can help people. When Olivia found the rose it made me realize the power of prayer."

"After I read your book I started praying to St. Therese. I got my rose! I was waiting for a phone call and the phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and it said 'rose.' "

"Olivia and the Little Way taught me a lot about St. Therese. Your book brought me closer to her In the story, when Olivia finally got her rose, I started praying to St. Therese. Thanks to your book, St. Therese is my favorite saint. She is now my sister in Heaven."

"I am starting to do little things like Saint Therese. I am still waiting for my rose but I think I will get it!"

"After reading your book I started to pray for a rose. I went to my Grandma's house and she gave me some of her keepsakes she didn't want anymore. One of them was a music box. When I opened it up, there was a picture of a beautiful rose. I got my rose!"

Keep on praying to St. Therese, dear readers, and she will send you a rose too!
God Bless America!

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