Although Lent is still a bit away, I want to talk about our Lent Devotional for Women. (Bookmark that page or sign up to receive emails so you don’t miss a Lent Devotional post.) I’ve already started seeing Lenten devotionals advertised–either buy now, pre-order or coming soon.
Of course, running parallel to these Lenten devotional notifications, I’m also seeing reminders about possibly long-forgotten New Year’s resolutions that include spending freezes, decluttering, and exploring minimalism.
Just today I read an email from a financial blogger sharing the reasons behind her spending freeze and her pledge to not buy any books this year. Moments later while scrolling Facebook I saw two posts, one sharing the release of a Lent devotional and the other announcing final edits are being completed on devotions for Lent. All things considered, there is an alternative, a free Lent Devotional for Women.
I bring all this up to say, I’ve quietly decided I really don’t want to purchase any books this year. This isn’t so much a financial decision as it is working to curb the vice of curiosity and a type of gluttony–decision. I have so many books on my shelves I have either not read or only partially read. Spending money on books this year would be shamefully greedy and bookishly gluttonous on my part.
As a matter of fact, one of the blessings of our fireplace exploding and our bedroom catching on fire is the renewed sense of, “How much of this stuff do I actually need?” For the past month, I’ve been perfectly fine with only the amount of clothes I grabbed to put in a laundry basket. As far as books, most of them are sitting in boxes out in the garage…and I haven’t missed a single one!
Let me clarify the desire to curb my book (and planner) spending. Again, not so much a financial decision, although I do need to tighten up my spending. It’s more a hard, but necessary attempt to conquer my desires, especially my impulse buys.
I do not read fiction and consider all of my books to be of good spiritual value; that’s how I justify buying a new spiritual book. I love a great book recommendation especially when it pertains to some part of my vocation–prayer, reading my Bible, marriage, parenting, closer friendship with God, etc. And again, I look forward to the various Lent devotionals each year.
The problem is, I want a spiritual good–growing in virtue and closer friendship with Christ through my vocation, so I purchase the latest and greatest spiritual book recommendation. Add in some incentives to pre-order or pictures of someone reading their book with a pretty highlighter, candle, and cup of coffee, and I’m totally and completely sold–even though I don’t burn candles or need yet another book.
I anxiously await its arrival in my mailbox. I eagerly open the package and maybe even read a chapter or a couple of days worth of devotions, and then it sits, with all the other partially read or skimmed books.
And don’t even get me started on prayer notebooks, journals, and planners that I just knew were going to whip my spiritual and prayer life into amazing shape. Hint, they don’t and I always return to my original prayer journal. You know, the one that was working just fine until I saw someone else’s.
But enough about me and my weak willpower. Here’s the other thing. There have been so many times I just couldn’t afford to buy the latest devotional to hit the social media circuit. Surely I cannot be the only one?
And really, starting Lent, feeling like you’re missing out just plain stinks. I know, I know, “offer it up” but still…And I know, I know, not being able to buy a book doesn’t constitute being able to afford holiness, but still…
This Lent, you don’t have to buy a Lenten devotional if you don’t want to or can’t afford to–spiritually or financially. I’m providing a free Lent Devotional for Women here at The Littlest Way. It will be like the Daily Advent Devotional, a free download for email friends of The Littlest Way.
So save your pennies, drop them in the poor box or the collection basket and let’s journey through Lent together. Keep checking back, or better yet, go ahead and subscribe to The Littlest Way. When a new post goes live, you’ll get an email. I typically usually only post a couple of times a week with an occasional newsletter. I’m too busy to be a spammer or even a daily blogger right now. Click here to sign up and you’ll be the first to know about the free Lenten devotional.