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 that makes us holy. See on day two we’re not thinking clearly because if we were, we’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? Yes, smiling. Have I already lost you on day two? Here we are in a brand new penitential season of prayer and fasting and here I am talking about smiling. 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 “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…there is only so much a sleep deprived momma can handle…with a smile. 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. 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. 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 finding it or do we make it? Both.
The best way I know of to fill our holy ordinary with joy is gratitude. I know we 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. Pick one up and commit to writing in it every single day this Lent. 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.
And 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. And guess what, this doesn’t have to be our joy, the scriptures state, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Whatever joy we’re lacking, God makes up for in abundance. 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!
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. And 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.
And 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 particularly smile at…