This Lent Devotional for Women is going to start with a confession. Sometimes, Ash Wednesday sneaks up on me. Ok, most of the time. I observe Ash Wednesday, kind of skip through Thursday, abstain from meat on Friday, skip through Saturday, and then the First Sunday of Lent kind of blindsides me.
Lent isn’t really clarified for me until that Sunday evening…sometimes if I’m lucky. Usually, I’m a week or two into Lent before my mind catches up. Hopefully, that admission makes some of you feel better? I mean, you could be me, LOL!
At some point during Lent, once my mind catches up to the Liturgical calendar and season, I finally decide what I’m giving up for Lent in the hopes of coming out of Lent holier than I went into it. And sometimes, truth be told, that doesn’t seem like that’s such a lofty goal. Ahem…
According to Fr. John Hardon, Lent isn’t just a season of giving something up though. Could have fooled me, right? How many people ask you what you’re doing extra during Lent? Not many.
It’s all about the giving up–chocolate, coffee, our pillow, television, music in the car, etc. In this Lent Devotional for Women, I’m not going to ask you what you’re giving up because one, it’s none of my business, and two, I’m going to challenge us to do more. In the words of Fr. Hardon, “During this season, the faithful are to grow in their love of Jesus Crucified.”
Don’t worry, the challenge to do more isn’t complicated, it’s simple really–grow in love of Jesus and others more. Mwahahaha! Simple doesn’t always mean easy.
But that’s really and truly what I want for you, for us. I want us to come out of this Lent Devotional for Women more in love with Jesus. And, more aware of His love for us. Look, I could care less if you go right back to your morning coffee, your afternoon candy bar, or your weekend Netflix binge sessions.
So how do we go about gaining a greater love and appreciation for Jesus? First, we repent, and to repent means to trust in God’s kindness, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?“ We tell Jesus we’re sorry for ever having offended Him. And then…we allow Him to forgive us. Yes, “allow.”
Listen closely and grab hold of this truth! Just like the Prodigal son, God comes to us. His mercy and kindness are so great, He doesn’t leave us alone on what may feel like this long walk of shame. He runs to greet us, showers us with His love, and fills us with His abundance; the best of all He has to give.
Why? Why would God the Father do this? Because He’s our dad. If you have a good dad or know a good dad…you know. God the Father comes to us simply because we turned towards Him.
So now I’m asking,
While writing this post, I had the thought many of us are afraid to come to God the Father broken, bruised, and wounded. We’re afraid because maybe we’ve come to our earthly father like that and things didn’t work out so well. Maybe we were rejected, mocked, kicked while we were down, maybe ignored.
Let me tell you this, and please with everything in you understand me, your earthly father is weak, sinful, and selfish. But not God! God, your heavenly Father, oh my goodness, He is always perfectly forgiving, always perfectly loving, and always eternally loving. Do not be afraid to go to Him.
Whew! So back to the spirit of this Lent, back to the purpose of the Lent Devotional for Women. Simply stated, “To love Jesus, myself, and others more.” Ah, did you see the little word I added in the Lenten Declaration?
Friends, I am a HUGE believer that if we don’t love ourselves, we can’t, won’t, and don’t love others. You know there’s that Scripture verse about loving our neighbors AS OURSELVES. HmmUmm.
Also, remember that Scripture verse about being made in the image and likeness of God. Do you hate God? Then stop hating on yourself! I know, this post just took a surprising turn and you might just be feeling a little squirmy…all this self-love talk and all.
But you all! God loves you so perfectly and infinitely…LOVE YOURSELF!!!!
So that’s a part of this Lent devotional challenge. Honestly, I think it would be easier if I challenged you to only grow in more love for Jesus and others. But I’m not really looking for easier here, I’m looking for more like Jesus.
On another note, I know many of you give up your phone or computer or place strict limits on your time on them. I don’t want you to miss any of these free Lent Devotional for Women posts. Bookmark this page on your phone. It’s the index page for all the Lent posts. Or you could sign up to receive the posts by email.
Let’s do it! Let’s purposefully and intentionally grow in more love for Jesus, OURSELVES, and others this Lent!
Essential Oils and Prayer
Have you tried using essential oils along with prayer? I won’t go into all the details, but let me tell you, it’s a really beautiful practice. Not only can your sense of smell help set the mood–think citrus scents for bright and cheerful, think grounding scents like Frankincense–no wonder the church uses it in incense! I would love to help you learn more about essential oils. My essential oil “family” is led by Dr. Edie Wadsworth, a former Family Practice M.D.–we learn about the oils in a functional sense, not just a recreational, replace candles sense…although PLEASE, replace your candles!!! Google the toxicity of candles in your home and then let’s talk about diffusing instead.