I've had the good fortune this year to be positively surrounded by excellent resources. So any amazing ministries and woman putting their heads together to offer resources and guidance. Of course, decision fatigue and fear can be a real thing. Where do I start? Should I do them all? What if I miss out? So many good choices sometimes makes me freeze up so I wanted to break it down a little bit more for my fellow mama's who might be doing things a bit last minute and don't know where to start.
Step One: Ask yourself this - "Am I devotional person?". Seriously, sometimes we get so caught with it being there that we don't ask ourselves if it fits our personality or time constraints. If you are a devotional person excellent. Hold tight there's more to come. If you're not a devotional person it's okay; maybe exactly what you need is just a good spiritual book or a little more quiet prayer. Listen to that little voice, it's probably the Holy Spirit.
Step Two: If you are a devotional gal here's your next question - "Do I need to get offline for Lent?" This is a big one because signing up for something that will require online interaction or daily emails while you're trying to step away from social media is going to throw a lot of temptation in your path. Jesus didn't go seeking out the Devil in the desert and neither should you.
Step Three: No matter your answer to Step Two ask yourself what you need to get from your devotional. Is it time to put your thoughts in order? The chance to do more heavy scripture reading? Do you need inspiration from fellow women? Do you need something you can really sink some time into or something you can do during nap time or on the bus?
So now that you've answered those questions I'm going to introduce you to some resources. Remember your answers! Each of these resources is amazing and beautiful. Each of these resources is worth supporting, but what's important here is that you make the best decision for you this year.
Blessed is She Lenten Devotional:
Blessed is She is an online devotional site for women. It offers daily thoughts and meditations on scripture readings as well as being a way to connect like-minded women across the country, even the world.
What their devotional offers:
- goal setting every single week of Lent
- reflections to help you pray through the week
- journeying with and learning about Saints
- Gospel readings every day of Lent
- journal space for prayer and tracking your personal Lenten sacrifices and goals
Who it's right for:
The Blessed is She devotional is perfect for someone who wants do to a lot of soul searching on their own. Even though the digital download is the only option still available, you could have it printed at a copy store and take it with you in your bag for Lent; pulling it out whenever you find a free moment. It's goal setting feature would be great for people who need an extra incentive or challenge to keep up the momentum. It's journaling space is perfect for jotting down ideas big or small and it's journey with the Saints is great for anyone searching for inspiration or examples in the Catholic community. Even though BIS is offering online interactions thru Lent, this is PERFECT for someone going offline for the season.
You can find the Blessed Is She Devotional Here.
($15 for the digital download)
Waiting in the Word Devotional
Waiting in the Word was devotional created by three great bloggers and is specifically geared towards supporting a mother's journey through Lent. In their words:
"Join us this Lent as we dive into scripture and deal with some of the struggles we all share as mothers: selfishness, frustrations, judgment, envy, failure, and anxiety. This study is based on lectio divina, an ancient practice of slowly and deliberately reading scripture, a practice that can be so fruitful! Together let's work to leave these sins behind and instead embrace sacrifice, forgiveness, love, gratitude, humility and surrender."
What their devotional offers:
- An online newsletter
- Weekly instead of daily scripture meditation
- Journaling space with daily scripture meditation
- Facebook community for interact, support and inspiration throughout Lent.
- Options for personal and group study; comes with an optional "Leader's Guide".
- Download format is good for Ereaders or to be printed in a physical copy.
Who it's right for:
The busy mom who doesn't need one more daily thing to fall behind on. The weekly format is a bit more approachable when you're staring down a calendar that doesn't always allow for five minutes peace when seeing to the needs of home, work and family. It's also great if one of your goals is to build up your local community; it could easily be used in private study or group discussion with the handy "Leader's Guide". The newsletter is great for gals who will still be online and could use an extra nudge each morning when there's time - yet it's not the bulk of the devotional. The reflections on motherhood might just be what you need to inspire your Lenten journey this year.
You can find the Waiting in the Word devotional Here: ($11)
You can find the Waiting in the Word Leader's Guide Here: ($3)
You can find the Waiting in the World Leader's Bundle Here: ($13)
Restore is the work of Elizabeth Foss and her crew of bloggers and it's not just a devotional, it's full Lent experience.
What the workshop offers:
- Exclusive access to the daily workshop community to guide you through every day of Lent and access to the author for encouragement, allowing you ample opportunity to discuss the content of the essays in a private space with other participants and Elizabeth. Each day is a retreat-like experience.
- The beautiful full-color 180 page ebook Talking Together About Restoration: A full-length guidebook for wholehearted healing of mind, body and soul.
- Another beautiful ebook, Quiet Time for Lent: One-page daily devotions from Ash Wednesday through Easter Saturday to incline your days towards Him who restore.
- Downloadable podcasts with: Sarah Mackenzie, Danielle Bean, Colleen Mitchell, Ginny Sheller, Aimee Kollmansberger, Anne Bogel, and Ann Voskamp and printable transcripts of all the podcasts
- Full color tutorials for these ways to connect your heart with your hands: Healing Salve and Bath Salts, Flannel Cozies,
- Sweatproof headbands to sew (and a no sew version), Knitted washcloths and crocheted washcloths, Beautiful (really!) reusable kitchen cloths, Embellished hand towels (and a quick version for mamas with babies), Pretty vases for your Easter table (and beyond) and Fabric-covered prayer journals
- Printables with quotes and prayers, organizing templates for your home and your life, and lockscreen reminders for your phone.
- Continuing community after the workshop ends in a private Facebook group.
Who it's right for:
Restore is perfect for the woman up for a challenge this Lent: there is a lot to do here and would be great for those of us looking at long commutes or needing something productive to do during the waits for sports and lesson or someone with regular alone time, perhaps like regular adoration. It's also perfect for the busy woman or mother whose demands means she can't get away for a weekend alone to physical retreat or conference. This is like a conference that arrive in your mailbox. Restore is great for woman who can also pick and choose when offered so many options - it's not necessary to do or use everything these amazing women have put together, but within it is something for everyone. I, for instance, am looking forward to the podcasts that I can listen to on my bus rides or when I'm alone at work. The two ebooks offered work so well together on their own. The Restoration eBook focuses on chapters and reflections this years theme of "Restoration". The Morning Quiet Time ebook is short and succinct with short reflections to Think, Pray and Act on; perfect for those five minutes of peace before everyone else wakes up. Restore is a perfect choice for a busy women who needs options to fit a great Lenten experience into whatever her life throws her way each day.
You can find the Restore Workshop here: $49
You can find the Restore Workshop Bargain Bundle here: $15
I hope this helps you find just what you're looking for as we look towards Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.