Woo-Hoo! Lent is here! Right, isn’t that our attitude on day two? It’s kind of like January 1st–we’re ready, we’ve got an airtight plan and this will be the Lent; the one where we become living saints on earth! Not to burst your bubble, but…well, let’s just go ahead and dive into today’s Lent Devotional for Women post.
If you’re anything like me, on day two I’m not thinking clearly. I say this because if I was thinking clearly, I’d remember, holiness doesn’t come in comfort. In today’s Lent Devotional for Women, we’re going to talk about smiling.
Smiling in a daily Lent devotional? I know, you’re here for the hard, put meat on your bones Lenten penances. I get it! Years ago if I were here for a Lenten devotional loaded with the big guns of holiness and “smiling” was pulled out…I probably would have clicked out. Bu-Bye! Honestly, I would have been like, “Well, now I know why it’s free.” It’s ok, it’s me saying it about me.
Anyway, yes, smiling. Please give day two a chance! Here we are in a brand new penitential season of prayer and fasting and I know, I’m talking about smiling. But hear me out, you might just be surprised!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes, many times actually, it would seem easier to get up in the middle of the night and lay prostrate in prayer, on a cold, hard floor contemplating our Lord’s passion than to “do life” with greater love and a smile.
But remember our motto for this Lent, Nothing except for today.
Stressed husbands, moody teens, tantruming toddlers, teething babies, grumpy cashiers, and rude drivers, virtual life as we know it now, Zoom calls and meetings…there is only so much a sleep-deprived momma can handle…with a smile. Honestly, there’s only so much anyone–sleep deprived, hungry, worried, anxious, stretched thin…can handle.
Some quiet time, even at midnight on a cold, hard floor, may sound more enticing than the day-to-day, with a smile no less. But God the Father obviously called us to a life of smiling. He put us in a home, at the grocery store, on the sidelines, and at work, around people–and people need a smile.
Did you know the Bible mentions the smile of God? And remember we are made in the image and likeness of God, so we have the smile of God.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
God called us to a life of penance, that looks rather ordinary, a “Holy Ordinary.” And what’s the trick to filling this holy ordinary with great love and joy? Do we find it or do we make it? Both!
The best way I know of to fill our holy ordinary with joy is gratitude. I know you know this. Most of us probably have a gratitude journal, or five sitting around, with some scattered entries here and there. Again, that whole January 1st mentality.
I challenge you this Lent to pick one up and commit to writing in it every single day; even if it’s only one thing. One thing each day this Lent to be grateful for. If we wrote one item a day as we journey through our Lent Devotional for Women together, by Easter Sunday, we’d have 46 things, people, or places we are thankful for.
One thing to be thankful for each day of Lent would equal almost 50. But more importantly, it would be a reflection of a habit of gratitude developed over a span of 46 days.
So how do we make our holy ordinary joyful? We set our minds to it. We wake up and say, “Nothing, except for today.” We mean, for today only, I will be joyful…joy-filled. Guess what! Listen close because this is important and freeing! This joy doesn’t have to be our joy. The Scriptures state, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
Here’s what this looks like:
“Lord, I don’t think I have enough joy to get through this day, much less out of this bed. I need strength to make it through this day and with Your strength, comes Your joy. So let’s get after it!”
Sometimes you just have to be your own cheerleader!
Now back to smiling. Today, in our very ordinary day and our very ordinary way, let’s make it a point to smile. Smile at everyone, under any and all circumstances. Even if we don’t feel like it…especially if we don’t feel like it, we can offer our smile as a sacrifice to our Lord.
That’s our Lent Devotional for Women assignment for today, to smile. Do not be fooled into thinking this is too easy. It may be simple, but simple isn’t always easy.
Write this down somewhere, your planner, calendar, sticky note, bathroom mirror, rearview mirror, whiteboard, or hand.
Today, I will smile. Today I will especially smile at…
If you missed Day One of this Lent Devotional for Women, click here to read it.
My humble beginnings with essential oils and why Young Living.
love the st teresa quote!
Vickie Bayer says
Thank you Jenny,
I can’t agree with you more……!
I Love It when someone smiles at me, and I love smiling at others!!
A smile does brighten our days!
I know right! Something so simple and yet it’s so powerful!
Such an inspiring post, thank you! I have to keep it in mind, not only for lent…
Charlotte ( from France)
Hello Charlotte from France! I’m glad these posts are helpful to you during Lent. Thanks for taking the time to say hello.
Love this, thank you for the reminder of how important it is to give everyone around us the best of us, and what better way to start than with a smile!!
You are welcome Claudia. I’m happy we’re spending our Lent together.
Fr. Michael Gaitley talks about the “apostolate of smiling.” Such an easy but powerful thing to do to lift each other up and let’s face it, it lifts me upat the same time!
Oh my goodness I need to look up what he says! I didn’t know that.
That’s awesome Christi. I’ve read his “33 Days to Morning Glory” but any of his other books. Which book does he mention this?
It’s a book called, “You did it to me.” It’s about the works of mercy. I just love his writing.
Joy Packard-Higgins says
I’m so glad I found your blog. I love the title “Good Enough Catholic”! I googled Lenten devotionals for woman and found you.
I will smile at everyone I encounter today!
Why did this piece bring tears to my eyes? Guess who needs to share her smile-from-the-heart more? Love your phrase “holy ordinary”. thank you for this inspiring post.
I love your phrase “smile from the heart.”
You are welcome Leane. I too needed this reminder today. I will pray that both of us will smile great big from our hearts tomorrow morning.
Smile, Jenny. Years ago I read: “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” Have you tried this, ever walked in a store and noticed others: when you smile, they smile too. Even when entering church when you smile, others smile.
Thank you for writing, I enjoy reading The Littlest Way. Give your children a smile today. My young adults and husband need a smile from me.
Nita in southeast Michigan
Ah, my people always need my smile and I’m so stingy with it sometimes. Lord, grant me the grace to smile more freely.
Nita. Thank you for your encouragement. I needed this reminder tonight. Tomorrow I will remember to smile more.
Good idea, Jenny! I really enjoy your posts and look forward to them.
Thank you so much Katie. I really appreciate the time you took to leave a comment.
YES! Thank you! Smiling in the midst of the daily …. stuff …. can be SO difficult.
Today I will smile at …. my children!
Blessings for you and your family
It’s the “stuff”…always the “stuff!”