So, friends, are you ready for Lent? Maybe that’s a silly question. I mean, it is Ash Wednesday, after all. But maybe you’re like me and Ash Wednesday kind of sneaked up on you. I mean, sure you knew yesterday was Mardi Gras, but you were so busy with kids and life that it just slipped right past you. Perhaps you find yourself halfway through today not having been to Mass yet and getting the hunger shakes. It could be that you’re just a little tired of seeing pictures of king cakes on Instagram. Or, maybe you’ve seen eleventy hundred memes saying “remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” or something. If this is you, my friend, please know you aren’t alone.
And it’s especially for those of us that don’t feel like they’ve got their Lenten ish together, if you will, that I’m posting today.
My Wish for You this Lent
If you’re struggling to find God in your day to day life, I wish you a sense of His presence.
If you’re in a place of fulfilling communion with Him, I wish you continued growth in God’s light.
For the times when sadness seems your constant companion, I wish you the grace of peace.
For the times when you feel happy, I wish you the grace to remain joyful.
If you struggle with loneliness, I wish you companionship on your journey.
If you are surrounded by the constant hustle and bustle of people, I wish you moments of quiet solitude.
When you forget your identity as a beloved child of God, I wish the reassurance of love.
When you stand confident in the love of the Lord, I wish your prayers for those who struggle.
If giving up even one more little thing seems like too great a burden to bear, I wish you strength.
If you feel like your Lenten sacrifices don’t measure up, I wish you would be gentleness in how you compare yourself.
When your struggle with sin seems too hard, I wish you true repentance and healing.
For the days when you can spend time in prayer and in the Word, I wish you gratitude and increase of faith.
For the days when you just can’t pray, I wish that you would know that God loves you immeasurably.
But most of all, my friends…above and beyond all of this…I wish that you travel through this Lent confident that whatever comes your way, the dark night will pass and Easter will dawn bright and glorious in just a few weeks time. The Son, the Word made flesh, the Redeemer will rise and bring with Him grace upon grace and mercy without end. And that makes all of the struggle and sacrifice worth it.
A Few Resources
Just in case you feel a little less than prepared on this first day of Lent, I’m here to help! Here are a few resources from around the web that may prove useful to you…
Ruah Storytellers Podcast — This is a wonderful podcast. In under 20 minutes a day, you’ll hear women from around the country tell stories about the power of faith in their lives. Prepare to be “empowered, inspired, entertained, and educated” through the tradition of oral storytelling.
Here, Too — This is a digital download of the Lenten devotional journal from the writers at Blessed is She. Scripture, reflection, stories, and questions will guide you through Lent to remind you that, wherever you are, God is “here, too.” (That’s my affiliate link, btw. Thanks for using it when you purchase!)
Hosanna — A Lenten Bible study from the women at Take Up & Read, this book will take you on a deep dive through the gospel of Matthew. While I haven’t finished this one, I’ve done many of the studies from TU&R. I can’t recommend them enough!
Come & See — My friend Gina at Someday Saints Designs has put together this wonderful reading guide for the gospel of John. For under $10, you can download either a 3-week or 6-week plan that will finish the gospel on Good Friday. What a great way to enter deeply into Holy Week!
Within Your Wounds — I adore how author Shannon K Evans writes. There is beauty and gentle strength abundant in all that she does. I’m sure this e-book she announced the other day will be no different. In it, Shannon seeks to help your Lent be “one of deeper healing and truer wholeness. By leading you through the emotional and relational wounds of Jesus, WIthin Your Wounds promises to help you encounter the nearness of Christ in the most tender places of your own human experience.”
Godspeed as we journey through the desert of these next 40 days, my dear friends. May Easter morning find us all awakened and changed in nothing but the best ways.
A clean heart create for me, O God; renew within me a steadfast spirit. (Ps. 51:12)