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Stephanie Stovall considers how self-pity can undermine our efforts to become saints.

Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)


I had a little epiphany the other day.

One of the greatest go-to pieces of mom advice hasn’t made it from my head, down to my heart …

Can’t stand laundry? Pray for your kids with every shirt you fold!

Hate doing dishes? Offer it up as a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving for all the mouths you have to feed!

I (head) know this to be housework-changing advice, but my heart just hasn’t bought in.

I don’t like walking into the kitchen and seeing the in-my-face to-do list. I see it and immediately groan, and ... feel sorry for myself. After throwing a pretty great pity party, I make an effort to live out this fabulous advice as I move on to the mundane work, super begrudgingly.

The epiphany: I’m grateful for my family and their mouths. I am. But I do not live out of a sacrificial heart. My real go-to? Self-pity.

Let all that you do be done in love.

1 Corinthians 16:14 …. the goal.

“All that I do is for people that I love … but what about what I (!!) want to be doing?!”

One thought: all the time … the reality.


mom folding laundry out of the dryer


We just had one of the most fun, flower-filled feast days: the one of my soul sister in Heaven, St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The master of all little things.

She started off as a psycho kid who had zero control of her emotions. Then, her conversion came and boom. We have one of the greatest saints of modern time.

"On the day of my conversion Charity entered into my heart and with it a yearning to forget self always; thenceforward I was happy." St. Thérèse of Lisieux


The Little Flower was completely overcome with love for God that she felt as if she was living with God while here on Earth. And like many popular saints, she has taught us the secret science of sainthood:

  1. Love God with everything you have
  2. Be who God created you to be
  3. Find sanctity in the little details of your life

Wham bam, you’re a saint!

The catch that catches me every time? Prideful self-love.

My problem isn’t that I forget to pray for the crazy kid whose pants I’m folding: the problem is I love the folder more.


Click to tweet:
Allow the Gardener to love you as He does the work of sainthood in you. If you have taken the tools from His hands, give them back. #catholicmom


garden path


But we can’t end here, in this dagger-to-the-heart realization! Not while still celebrating this beautiful saint full of flowers and prettiness! Nope, nope.

We shall end here instead …

The Garden of our Soul is not a place where we walk alone. As we quietly stroll along and see some breathtaking beauty, we also find the weeds.

But we are not alone.

The Gardener is walking alongside us, holding our hand, not moving His gaze off our beauty as He pulls up the weeds. The Gardener has promised to take care of our souls, to know every detail, good and bad.

Allow the Gardener to love you as He does the work of sainthood in you.

You have no power; you have no tools. If you have taken the tools from His hands, give them back.

In your hands they’ll only create more disaster, more mess. Trust the Gardener with the tilling, planting and watering. Don’t give in to the serpent who is taking your gaze away from the Gardener as he tells you to give up, your flowers are dead and there’s no hope for a bloom.


mom weeding the garden with a baby


Look up to the face that loves you dearly, hand Him the tools you have used for years, and watch Him trim and pluck. Without you even realizing it, your roses have the sun they need and are gorgeously in bloom.

As I take this weed that is my epiphany to prayer, please pray that I am able to truly hand it over to God, and I’ll be praying for you too.

St. Thérèse, pray for us!

Copyright 2021 Stephanie Stovall
Images: Canva Pro