Solitude is something that alludes me, but God has brought the subject of solitude to me in so many different mediums and messages lately that I can’t ignore the fact that this is a Spiritual Discipline I’m supposed to be learning.

I’m having trouble defining what I should “do” in solitude – oh, but there’s the point, I don’t think I’m supposed to “do” anything.  And that’s a problem for me because I’m a doer by nature.

This morning I began a new morning routine that is supposed to include some time of solitude – just me and God.  I think I might have managed two minutes before I became distracted by everything around me.  I’m not giving up, though.

I’m reading a book right now called Strenthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton (huge thanks to Jan for gifting this book to me)… I’ll be sharing more from it soon, but here is one quote about solitude that has me committed to figuring this out:

Just as the physical law of gravity ensures that sediment swirling in a jar of muddy river water wil eventually settle and the water will become clear, so the spiritual law of gravity ensures that the chaos of the human soul will settle if it sits still long enough.

Have you experienced solitude that has settled your soul?

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  • Michelle Wegner September 8, 2008  

    I have a lot to say on the topic of solitude. I won’t bore you, but, solitude was a hugely important part of my life w/Jesus before I had kids. Now that I have 3 kids, solitude is golden to me. In the past few months, I have re-learned what solitude means. For me, it’s not locking myself up in a log cabin and not talking or emailing or twittering…Solitude has to look different. It’s when I am mopping my kitchen floor and the girls are outside playing, it’s when I’m in the shower, laying in bed before everyone gets up, etc. I am having to take atvantage of the quiet moments and turn them into a Discipline. It’s very hard, but very rewarding. God has so much to say to us if we’d just get alone and be quiet a while. 🙂

  • Tommy Sircy September 8, 2008  

    Just like Michelle, I’ve had to re-learn how important this is.

    To answer your question, yes I have, but the key, for me, is to not let myself forget how important those times are. Sometimes they involve just sitting and listening with an open heart and mind.

  • lisa September 8, 2008  

    Luckily I can do this when I am painting…,but I do need to spend more time with my bible.

  • randi :) September 8, 2008  

    I’m right there with you. It’s taken me a long time to come as far as I have in being able to “be still” and just totally rest in Him in solitude. I was always a do-er/driver until I married a man completely opposite in me in almost every way and helped me be able to breathe and showed me what listening truly is haha 🙂

    have a great day! 🙂

  • Heidi September 8, 2008  

    I re-learned this (I had too) after my stroke last year at 41.

    NOW… I make it a point to go to the beach (my haven) for walks or if I cannot go there, I have a huge comfy couch I go to with a cup of tea.

    But being in my lifestyle, I have to force it. Sometimes I am kicking…
    But when I am done, I am so rejuevenated.. so free.

  • tam September 8, 2008  

    when you figure out how to really enter into a time of solitude, will you let me know how you did it? i have the same problem. i get too distracted. which is probably why God wakes me in the middle of the night so often to have a chit-chat!

  • janowen September 8, 2008  

    i tried twice to comment this morning – if it goes through i’ll take the time to share more.

  • janowen September 8, 2008  

    okay! yea! While my comments this morning were longer, here’s the short version –
    Solitude has been – in the words of someone famous that I can’t remember – the furnace of my own transformation. In solitude I’ve come face to face with myself, my sins, my attitudes, my fears, my addiction to approval, my tendency to workaholism and addiction to ministry, you name it. But solitude has also been the place I have come face to face with my own longings, dreams, desires, strengths, and God’s calling to my soul. In solitude I have the time to have a lengthy conversation with God and the time alone makes me stick around for the whole thing. I can’t distract myself with other stuff. Solitude has also given me quiet and peace to feel that assurance of God’s love and to rest in God’s love and plan for me.

    It’s costly, and often misunderstood, but for me solitude has been life altering and ministry saving.

  • janowen September 8, 2008  

    oh, and Jenni – solitude is a good place to focus on simply being with God instead of doing for Him. Be His child in His presence, sit at His feet, don’t feel the pressure to accomplish anything….just be.

  • Jenni Catron September 8, 2008  

    Thank you all for chiming in. It’s amazing how easily we drown out God by the noise around us. This evening I was running and thinking that running could be a time of solitude for me if I chose to focus on that, however what I find is that I’m usually battling my thoughts, processing the day, reviewing conversations, etc. Perhaps the greatest challenge to experiencing solitude for me is battling the constant noise in my mind.

  • janowen September 8, 2008  

    Jenni, this is true. This is why I have to take longer times away – for the noise and thoughts etc to flare up and then die down……it takes time.

  • September 8, 2008  

    I’m having some solitude right now…the husband is gone to watch Monday night football.

    Seriously, I’m on a program to read the bible in 90 days and it takes about 45 minutes of reading per day. It’s grueling, but I’ve never had so much focused solitude with God. I can literally feel myself changing my thinking, my habits, and my routines. It’s AMAZING!

  • brewster September 8, 2008  

    If you figure out how to do this, can you blog it? please? I have the same problem. The intention is good, but the execution ends up lacking.

  • maji6 September 9, 2008  

    Solitude is good as long as in the times of solitude we remember God, soon as the mind starts to wander then Good company is better. And Good company is better than bad company which at all times should be avoided..

    And don’t waste time watching too much tennis (players).

    May God guide is all.

  • Dwight September 9, 2008  

    Often I find….that solitude comes in a moment. Even when I least expect it. A burst of glory….that just showers my soul…
    A moment, just when Jesus and me….are shut out from the rest of the world. And He speaks sweet peace to me….

  • brent(inWorship) September 12, 2008  

    Thanks for this reminder. I don’t do solitude well. But, I know I clearly need it. People around me recognize it as well. Finding that place where everything stops and I just listen. I am desperate for that in a consistent fashion.

    I’ll be working, as youa re, to make this happen.