Today is the first post in our Lent Devotional for Women series! I’m going to start with a little background of why I chose today to start. These are Catholic explanations but you don’t have to be Catholic to understand the importance of a preparation period. “Septuagesima is the ninth Sunday before Easter, the third before Lent known among the Greeks as “Sunday of the Prodigal” from the Gospel, Luke 15, which they read on this day, called also Dominica Circumdederunt by the Latins, from the first word of the Introit of the Mass.” Septuagesima “This liturgical period is a prelude to Lent and a remote preparation for Easter. It serves as a time of transition for the soul, which must pass from Christmas joys to the stern penance of the forty days.” (St. Andrew Daily Missal) All that to say, the Church doesn’t just yank us from the joys of Christmas into the penitential season of Lent.
Remember how the parenting books teach us to help our little ones transition from one activity or place to another by giving them a warning and easing from one thing to another; the Church does the same. But just like telling a child they have to get ready to leave a really fun place, activity or friends can be startling to them, the reality of Lent can startle us. We’ve just come off the joyful expectancy of the Advent season where we watch for the Baby King. Now? Now we’re entering a season that expects a horrific crucifixion on a cross. And living in expectation of the cross feels a lot like waiting for the other shoe to drop. You know the feeling I’m talking about. You may have even caught your breath and tensed your shoulders when I mentioned we’re in a season that leads to the cross. We all know the tense reality of the other shoe dropping. But like I mentioned in earlier devotions for Lent post, we’re not alone this Lent. We are journeying together here at The Littlest Way.
And so often in hindsight, we’re tempted to think, “If only I could have prepared…If I would have known…”
I’m telling you, right now is our chance to prepare, but maybe not in the same way we’ve always prepared for Lent. If you’re even slightly like me, you’ve already decided on the heaviest spiritual book you could find–physically and spiritually. You’ve printed out a “Read the Entire Bible This Lent” reading plan. You’ve ordered the penitential purple tablecloth, the thorny replica of the Crown of Thorns, the mournful Lenty music, and scoured Pinterest for all the meatless dishes. Lent hasn’t even started and I don’t know about you, but I’m already stretched thin physically and financially.
I’m not poking fun at any or all of the above. I’m just thinking as I typed it all out, that seems like a lot–noise, plans, preparation, and stuff. What if, and this is just an example suggestion, what if I cleaned up a small area in my bedroom for a reading chair? Or what if I put a lamp and table next to a chair in the living room to keep my Bible, a cheap spiral, and pen. Or cleared a corner of the dining room table, the end of the kitchen bar or even, and stay with me on this one, put a pocket-sized Bible in the car, diaper bag, or our purse.
And what if all I did was pull my Bible off the shelf, buy the cheapest spiral I could find at the grocery store and found the bank pen at the bottom of my purse and put them all together in one place or one bag?
I don’t know about you, but that one act of gathering three items sounds simple enough and good enough to get started on this Lent Devotional for Women. I’m telling you, that’s all you’ll need here.
What if we tried to make things simpler, smaller, quieter this Lent? What if I scaled back my best-laid plans to the bare bones of the plans? What if instead of trying to do more, I aimed for less, done well. And what if I chose a motto for this Lent? Not my one word for the year, a simple motto for the six weeks of Lent. And what if it was a simple quote from a simple young woman, “Nothing except for today.” –St. Therese the Little Flower
Ash Wednesday is still a week and a half away so we have time to gather our three supplies–three for the Blessed Trinity as my children would say. Once you’ve gathered them, respond “Done” in the comments. If you’re on Facebook let me know that as well and I’ll send you an invite to our private Facebook group.
*If you want to get a little fancier than a grocery store spiral, I found these journals at Dayspring. Here’s the neat thing about Dayspring, they are partners with Ebates. When you sign up for Ebates which is totally free with no commitment and add their little bookmarklet to your browser bar, when you shop at Dayspring, you’ll earn 6.5% cashback paid by check or deposited into your Paypal account. Sweet!
As we journey through Lent together, this page, Lent Devotional for Women, will serve as the index for all the posts and the downloadable ebook, plus printables.