I am often so amazed at the greatness of the saints. Their entire lives, or at least after a conversion, were spent with the sole intention of serving God. Some of these saints of God served with all the grandeur I think of when considering a life in absolute conformity with God. I mean we have who knows how many martyrs–souls who chose death rather than denial of Christ and His Church. We have the preachers and teachers, the pilgrims and weary travelers who went whenever and wherever God sent them. Many times they didn’t even know where or why God was sending them to this place or that and they went anyway–quickly and joyfully. And then there are the most heroic in my mind, the ones who lived the little way–doing the day in and out, making a seemingly ordinary life, unsuspectingly extraordinary.
The day I showed up on the parish doorstep in cutoffs and a tee-shirt, that was the beginning of my little way. It was so small and insignificant I didn’t even realize it then and it’s easy to forget now. My days are filled with loving my husband and children, making our home and schooling our children, driving here and there and back again plus the cooking, cleaning, and care that is required of a wife and momma. I spend my free time here at The Littlest Way writing and encouraging. And then I crawl into to bed hopeful tonight will be the night I don’t fall asleep before I finish my prayers. In my imperfection, more often than not I do.
St. Therese of Lisieux or the Little Flower as she’s often called, she lived this little way and then died at age 24; she didn’t even live this little way very long. Her days were spent in seemingly insignificant ways–washing clothes, sweeping, quiet prayer and contemplation. Yet her greatness has been revealed and revered in the Church. This little saint has changed the world while never leaving her monastic community. Another great saint named Teresa once said,
And that’s where I live out the little way I have been called to, in my home, loving my family. Lest I begin to believe my contribution is anything less for the Kingdom of God, I remind myself–my mission field is my own home. The souls I am winning for Christ–they are myself, my husband, children and those closest to me. My travels may only take me from the laundry room to the kitchen or the kitchen to the grocery store–they are indeed travels none-the-less and they are to be for Christ. My opportunities to preach and teach might take place in a rocking chair or in a noisy kitchen during the dinner hour–they are opportunities to be taken seriously regardless of their location and the general age of the audience at my feet.
This life is incredibly short and the time I have my children living under my roof even shorter. I will never regret choosing my home mission field over another–no matter how far and adventurous the other may seem. No matter how urgent or great the need of others, the little way reminds me, home comes first; this is my primary vocation.
“I leave to great souls and lofty minds the beautiful books I cannot understand, much less put into practice and I rejoice that I am little because children alone and those who resemble them will be admitted to the heavenly banquet. I am glad that there are many mansions in the Kingdom of God, because if there were only those whose description and whose road seem to me incomprehensible, I could never enter there.”
St. Therese of Lisieux
So this is the little way. My little way includes saving money at the grocery store, making a roaster pan full of delicious beans, and the oft-repeated phrase, “laundry and liturgy.” My sometimes feeble attempts to live the call of two of the smallest saints, St. Therese the Little Flower and St. Teresa of Calcutta.
The Little Way of Speaking
Recipes for Big Families
I am the wife and momma of a large family. I personally think God has a great sense of humor since I grew up as the oldest of a small family with absolutely no training or preparation for the demands of large family living! On this page, I share some of our favorite recipes that also feed our large family. If your family is small, don’t pass these recipes by! Most of them are easy to make and easy to freeze.