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Speaker, Writer, and Author of GodSpace

In search of solitude

Do you ever spend time alone? On purpose? Maybe to pray, or just be still?

contemplationThe practice of solitude is can be life-changing. It’s hard to understand until you do it, but when you get alone with God to simply be still, to listen, you can be transformed. So often, we long for the presence of God in our lives, but we are moving too quickly to be able to pay attention. When we get alone and get quiet, it is possible to experience the presence and love of God in a way that we cannot do while rushing about.

I put a question out on Facebook & Twitter last week: “Is solitude a regular practice in your life? Why or why not?”

I got some wonderful responses describing personal retreats, or ordinary moments of prayer. FB friend Julie commented: “Would have to say it is primary prevention for burnout as well as general maintenance for overall physical, mental and spiritual health.”

On Twitter, a mom of four kids asked: “And I’m going to achieve solitude….how? :-)” She later tweeted that she had solitude for a minute or two as she walked out to the end of her driveway to get the paper in the morning.

If you think that solitude is an impossible practice because of your stage of life or maybe your personality (extroverts sometimes squirm at the idea of this practice)–you need it all the more. I’ve said it before, but if you are the parent of young children, and can rarely even go to the bathroom by yourself, you need to occasionally get alone. It’s essential self-care. It will nourish your soul, and make you a better parent, friend, wife, etc.

woman-praying-21I tell moms to hire a sitter for an hour to be able to get time in solitude. If you can afford that, do it. If not, find a like-minded friend to trade childcare with, and take an hour or two to get away by yourself. Not to shop or run errands, but to be with Jesus.

I realize that’s not easy–especially if you don’t see the value in it. But you’ll never see the value of solitude if you don’t experience it.

Sometimes you have to find solitude and silence wherever you can. Today I had a couple of hours of solitude because I had to make a two hour drive by myself. I decided not to make phone calls, I kept the radio off. I talked to God, I tried to listen. I simply rested in the quiet, even as I was driving along enjoying the view of the leaves turning colors.

When I find myself longing for more of God, spending time in solitude and silence eases the ache in my heart. How about you?

7 Comments

  1. I’m new in Christ, I’m intrested in learning to hear from God. I look forward to reading your book.

    enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

  2. thank you for this encouragement toward solitude
    there is rest here…and I have been hearing the Spirit of God calling me to enter into His rest over and over… to enter into the promise of “enough”, to just “Be still and KNOW that I AM God”
    This is where I find Him in the rush and pressure of my life
    thank you for confirming that to me

  3. As a brand new mum – my daughter is 2 weeks old – I am finding I get time to pray in the middle of the night as I feed. Not true solitude but as close as I can get in this stage of my life.

  4. Jodie,
    welcome to Deep Breathing for the Soul! You’re so right–at this stage, those late night prayers are enough. You are serving God by serving your precious daughter, feeding and caring for her. Blessings to you!
    K

  5. Hi, my household is usually busy with teenagers coming in and out. I have found a good time for me to be still before God is my lunch time at work. It’s not as long as I would like but its better than nothing. I think God understands the complexities of our schedules and will bless us with His presence at the least expected times, but we need to take the little time that we have and acknowledge Him. Giving Him the little time that we think we have is like planting a little seed in the ground that will blossom over time or like giving Him our last dime like in the story of the widows mite (Mark 12:41);when we give what we have He will honor it. I am so glad that for His presence in my life, I coudn’t live without Him.

  6. To overcome stress ( work related spilling over to my personal domain) I went out station for a weekend and spent time in solitude ,had lone leisure walks , quite meals, switched TV channels , slept lazy , shopped without having to speak much with the objective to yet connect be with my ownself . It helped tremendously and since then I do try to practice solitude in any manner possible, definatelt refreshes the mind , body and soul.

    Sandeep Sen, New Delhi-India

  7. To overcome stress work related spilling over to my personal domain, I decided and went outstation for a weekend and spent time in solitude ,had lone leisure walks , quite meals, switched TV channels , slept lazy , explored shopping, all this without having to speak much with the objective to yet connect be with my ownself . It helped tremendously and since then I do try to practice solitude in any manner possible, surely refreshes the mind , body and soul.

    Sandeep Sen, New Delhi-India

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