And so the Lent Devotional for Women officially begins. Welcome on into Ash Wednesday. Buckle up friends. It’s Lent! On this day we are reminded we are nothing but dust. Incidentally, the day when many people who were raised in the 70’s and 80’s have the song, “Dust in the Wind” stuck in their minds and ashes smeared all over their forehead.
Enough secular talk, let’s get spiritual! That’s what we come into Lent thinking right? We’re here to get spiritually hyper-focused or laser-focused or if you’re anything like me, just plain focused.
Wait, first! I know lots of people give up blogs, the internet, social media for Lent. Click the image below and it will take you to the index page for all the Lent Devotional for Women posts. Save that page to your phone (bookmark it) and then each day just open that bookmark and hit the link for that day’s post. Or you can sign up to receive these Lent Devotional posts by email here.
In the spirit of the Daily Advent Devotional for Women, I am going to be posting reflections, meditations, questions, and prayers here at The Littlest Way as part of our Lent Devotional for Women. These meditations will be short and to the point.
Raise your hand if you’re in a season of busy, distracted, tired, worn and weary…also known as life. Setting myself up to try to read and then fail to read a lengthy devotional, well, I don’t have time for that. I don’t have the mental energy to put into something I’ll eventually fail at it and I don’t have the emotional energy to feel like a failure in yet one more area of my life. And spiritually, well I know and you know the enemy will jump on this feeling of failure and run with it!!
You know what I want to accomplish this Lent? I want to love Jesus better and I want to love others better–like Jesus even! Did I mention I’m tired. I’m worn out. I’m stretched thin. Jesus very clearly says to people just like me, people just like us, “Come to me.”
Again, I do not need one more thing to do, say, make or pray. What I do need is to focus on loving Jesus more, and others more, but just for today. That, by the way, is the theme here for our Lent Devotional for Women.
One of my favorite quotes of all time happens to come from a young, little nun who became one of the most well-known saints of the 20th century, St. Therese of Lisieux.
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I know, it would be easier, more appealing, and have that “Holy” sound to it if my plans were to spend an hour in prayer, on my knees or face, at midnight, by candlelight. Or how about a bread and water fast three days a week? Maybe if I committed to reading the biggest, “holiest sounding,” and has the hardest to pronounce theological words spiritual book I could get my hands on this Lent?
Would that make my Lent “successful?” Only maybe from the outside looking in. But this Lent Devotional for Women isn’t interested in the outside looking in.
Instead, and this is just a crazy, Lent devotional induced thought–What if all I really need to do is my everyday, ordinary, plain ‘ol daily life things with more Jesus love? Sounds pretty dry, dull, and boring if you ask me.
And then what about when someone asks me, “So what are you doing for Lent?” What am I going to say? Some lame sounding answer like, “I’m going to love Jesus more, but just for today.”
Hahaha! Jokes on me! That is exactly what will probably make this a difficult season of Lent. Spiritual growth through and in the ordinary day to day isn’t going to look like much. As a matter of fact, and you know I’m speaking truth here–chances are, it’s not going to look like anything at all.
I, fortunately, live this life all day, every day. 24/7/365. But this Lent I’m stopping to ask myself, “Do I live my all day, every day, ordinary day in the holy way of love?” Oh boy! Read that one more time! This year, the holy way of my very ordinary day to day, will be based on the quote, “Nothing except for today.”
This Lent, I’m going to take a moment every evening to examine my heart by asking myself,
“How well did I love just for today? Who did I love just for today? How did I show my love just for today?”
In the morning, I’m going to offer my day for love, just for today. I’m going to look over my plans for the day and ask myself,
“How can I go through my day with love, just for today? How can I do “that thing” with love, just for today? Who can I show love to, just for today”
To use an old phrase, this is where the rubber will meet the road, right? I can look over my plans and think all things love, all day long, every day of Lent. But when I look up from my plans, I need to put that love into action! I need to smile at the people in my home. I need to use kind, gentle words. I need to look for ways to serve the people right in front of my face…just for today.
Man, that “just for today” is going to make all the difference in the world for me! Rather than think ALL of Lent, or 40+ days, or a couple of months, “just for today” seems so much more manageable!
I specifically mention the people in my own home because I spend the most time with them. And because they know what buttons to push that can quickly get me all riled up and bothered! And because at the end of the day, they’re my people and we all know we love each other and we all know we forgive each other. Sometimes it seems easier to be kind to the people I only see occasionally. OUCH!!
So this “Lent of Love,” which sounds deceptively sweet and easy by the way, is going to require some serious intention and purpose on my part. Knowing me like I know me, it will be filled with interior struggles, selfishness, repentance, and ample apologies.
And hopefully, please God, loads and loads of love.