My youngest two daughters joined the Little Flowers Girls’ Club® this year, and it has been an absolutely wonderful…or should I say blessed…experience for them!
Based on the example of virtue modeled by St. Therese of Lisieux, there are four Wreaths [of flower badges] that can be earned altogether. Each Wreath of badges contains petals earned for each virtue ‘study’ completed.
The Little Flowers Girls’ Club® that we joined is working hard to complete Wreath III, which involves studying the following virtues:
Additionally, they have been working on the Patron Saint Badges of St. Pier Giorgio Frassati (Hiking), St. Zita (Cleaning), and St. John Paul the Great (Acting). As of last night, the girls completed their study of all the virtues, save for Fortitude and all three Patron Saint Badges. Way to go, girls!
As a Little Flower mom, I was asked to give at least one ‘virtue talk’ and provide at least one snack during the course of the Club year (September to May). The girls are divided into two groups based on age/grade: a younger group consisting of K-2nd graders, and an older one for 3rd graders and above. Since both of my girls are in the younger group, my ‘virtue talk’ on Cheerfulness was directed toward them. Each virtue has a corresponding saint and a flower that is presented as a model for the girls to follow.
The Virtue of Cheerfulness & Mary, The Mother of God
Representing the virtue of cheerfulness is Mary, the Mother of God and the wild blue phlox; a blue wildflower with five petals. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I could do justice to Our Blessed Mother, whose life encompasses way more than just one of the virtues we covered this year. I mean, she truly is the epitome of every imaginable virtue! Yet, Mary’s happy heart and her willingness to do as God directed without complaining makes her a perfect model of cheerfulness in a world that could be anything but.
As a peasant girl, Mary’s life was hard; and by saying “Yes!” to God, her life was about to get much harder. We know this to be true by the way in which Joseph, and the community in which she lived, responded to her pregnancy; the rigorous journey that she and Joseph had to make to Bethlehem, and then later to Egypt to escape Herod; the worry she experienced at ‘losing’ Jesus when he was at the Temple; the suffering she shared with Jesus during His passion.
I spoke to the girls about the way in which Mary obeyed God. Did she begrudgingly say, “Fine, I’ll do it!” and stomp off while muttering to herself about the unfairness of the request? Or did she cheerfully submit to God’s request by her humble reply of, “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your Word” (Luke 1:38)?
Next, we discussed the five dimensions of cheerfulness, one for each petal of the blue phlox flower:
- Marian – Following the example set by Mary, the Mother of God
- Courageous – Being cheerful even when things are not going our way
- Heroic – Facing adversity and substituting our ‘normal’ reaction with cheerfulness, especially when it’s HARD!
- Consistent – Practice makes perfect! With practice, we can make cheerfulness a daily habit
- Contagious – Being cheerful leads to cheerfulness in others, and so forth. The ‘domino effect’ is endless.
Lastly, we talked about the ways in which we could add cheerfulness to someone’s day. The list they came up with was fairly extensive, but here are some highlights:
- Read to a younger brother or sister
- Help Mom with dinner/dishes/cleaning up
- Let a friend have the biggest/last cookie
- Say, “I Love You” to someone who might be sad
- Give someone a much-needed hug
I also found these wonderful coloring pages from Waltzing Matilda to keep the girls’ hands busy while they listened 🙂 All in all they were a wonderful group of girls, who listened intently and added so much ‘GOoD’ to the conversation!