How has the first full week of Lent been for you? How about our first full week of the Lent Devotional for Women? Did you know I have an index page or a landing page where all the posts are linked for easy reference? Click here for the Lent Devotional for Woman landing page. This is a great page to share with friends and family.
OK back to the questions. Squirrel! Did you know Chris calls me “QQL” for Queen Question Lady? I love asking questions to find out about myself and others. The beginning questions were rhetorical questions. I don’t really want to know how your Lent has gone so far. I’m not being mean or insensitive, but your Lent is not between you and me; it’s between you and God.
I know, a novel idea right considering everyone all the time is asking, “So what did you give up for Lent?” My husband always says, even to me, “Nunya” short for “None of your business; that’s between me and God.”
Ok, I want you to get quiet for a minute or more and ask yourself, “How is my Lent going so far?” Now discuss the answer with God. The less you talk to me or others about your Lent, the more time you have to talk to God about your Lent. #truth
Also, did you know you can pivot during Lent? You’re not locked into what you thought you were giving up or adding in at the beginning. Make adjustments if you need to. Talking to God will help you see what changes if any you need to make.
Here’s something else to ask God, “Lord, who do you want me to love more and better? How do you want me to love more and better? When, and what situations do I need to love more and better?”
Look, if I’m bending God’s ears with questions, I’m going big!
Now, in today’s Lent Devotional for Women let’s consider how ‘yes’ to some things and ‘no’ to others can impact our goal of loving more and better this Lent.
Sometimes love means saying ‘No’ to ourselves and others. And this ‘No’ can even be for good things. I’m sure friends, family and the people at my church think I’m a total slacker because I rarely if ever volunteer and frequently say ‘No’ to things that are asked of me.
But I’m honestly doing all I can do right now. For real though. And it’s been this way going on a couple of years now.
One more thing on my plate of life right now, no matter how good, great, or noble, will be too much for me and for my family. The outside may look all fine and dandy but let me assure you, there are struggles being struggled with, battles being waged and fought, and the continued awareness of healing–physical and mental from a Melanoma in Situ, along with the spiritual and emotional toll from this thing called life.
“Too much” for me looks like a woman who gets overwhelmed and tired and stressed and very quickly and easily becomes a punching bag for the enemy. This renders me useless to do what I have been called to do in my own home. And if the overwhelm becomes too great, I get stuck in my head.
Been there, done that, don’t want to ever, ever go back! My husband has been there with me, done that with me, and doesn’t want either one of us to go through that again. It was that hard on me personally and on us as a couple.
That ‘No’ to volunteer work, in reality, is a ‘Yes’ to my vocation. Taking soup to feed others at the church can be a wonderful thing, unless I leave my house in tears, tossing peanut butter sandwiches to my kids in their own puddle of tears and grumbling at my husband because he didn’t this or he did that.
I’m sure you’ve seen the saying on the internet about saying ‘Yes’ to one thing is saying ‘No’ to another and vice versa.
I have to be cautious when I say either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to examine the other side of my answer. I’ve learned there is no shame in asking for time to think about my answer. Wait, don’t skip over that last part. There is no shame in asking for time to think over an answer; to check in with those closest to you.
This is what that might look like, “Oh! Thanks for thinking of me! Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.”
You see, we do not gain any virtue by saying ‘Yes’ to all the things IF we shirk the things God has already given us. Doing what we are supposed to do, and striving to do it well, sometimes, will be all we can handle.
At certain times in our life, “only” doing what’s right in front of us is enough, and maybe even more than enough. And that’s ok. It’s ok to say ‘No’ to others to take care of ourselves. It’s ok to say ‘No’ to others to take care of our family.
Also, “No” is a complete sentence. “No thank-you” is a complete sentence. Here’s what that looks like. “No thank-you.” No one has the right or permission to delve into your “no” so don’t let them if you’re not comfortable with going into the details. You don’t have to explain anything.
Read the rest of the Lent Devotional for Women posts.