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I Don't Need a Spa - I Need Solitude!

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Women Living Well Blog: I Don't Need a Spa - I Need Solitude!

Women Living Well Blog

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Don't Need a Spa - I Need Solitude!

I am thinking about the power of solitude. Solitude is something mommies with little ones rarely get. In the part of my life I call B.C. (before children) it was not difficult to get times of solitude. But once I brought my first baby home from the hospital, I realized my life was changed forever! I remember showering with the bouncy seat right outside the shower curtain. I remember peaking out to be sure my little boy was okay and there he'd sit in the bouncy seat, happy as a lark with the shower noise and steam delighting him. My solitude was gone!

I remember a time when my children were littler, they'd push notes and toys under the bathroom door (the crack was large in our old house lol!) Needless to say – I’ve learned that mothering is an intense – around the clock job and solitude is not something that happens to a mom – it’s something we have to seek out.


I have learned that I must be purposeful to get alone with God daily. It is in my times of solitude that God refuels me and I can hear him speak. I can find order in the midst of chaos and connect with my creator.

Solitude is powerful. Moms – are you getting enough of it? If you are feeling inpatient, irritable, bitter, forgetful, disorganized or disconnected from God – it’s time to take care of your soul in a time of solitude. Grab your Bible and get alone with God.

Jesus has set us an example to follow.
  • Jesus inaugurated his ministry by spending 40 days alone in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11).

  • Before Jesus chose the 12 disciples he spent the entire night alone (Luke 6:12).

  • When the disciples had finished a long day with the crowds Jesus instructed them “Come away, by yourselves to a lonely place” (Mark 6:31).

  • Following the healing of a leper Jesuswithdrew to the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:16)

  • And Jesus was alone again when he was transfigured (Matthew 17:1-9) and before his death in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36).


    If Jesus, who is God, needed solitude then certainly we do also.
    When we forgo our own needs, including our own need for solitude, we not only shortchange ourselves but our families also.


Here are some ways I have been able to find solitude in my own life.


1. For about 4 years I have risen by 6am so I can have time alone with God in prayer and scripture before the rest of the family awakes.


2. When the children were little I set the timer on my oven for 30 minutes every morning around 9am while the kids were still fresh. I had my daughter play in the playpen while my son played in his room. This taught my children how to appreciate solitude also! (This did take some time of training - starting at 5 to 10 to 15 minute intervals - working them up to 30 minutes of being able to play alone without calling for me.)

3. When the children were little, I lined up their nap times so they were both asleep at the same time – some days this felt like a work of art.

4. On days when we are home all day long, I still give my children (ages 5 and 7) a one hour "roomtime" (in place of naptime). It's usually around 3pm. They look at books and play alone. It's a peaceful rest time in our house. We all get a break from each other and I see that it really does refresh us all.

5. When the children were younger my husband would travel sometimes for a week straight. On those weeks, I had a sitter come once a week for 3 hours in the afternoon during the overlap of the kids nap times so I could actually leave the house and breathe fresh air without 2 children, 2 sippy cups, 2 snacks, toys and stress!!! I ran necessary errands and then always finished my time off at the library or Starbucks with my Bible and journal in hand. These were sweet moments of solitude that I savored!

6. Now, I take advantage of evening hours, once the kids are in bed, to sneak away to my bed for a moment of solitude with scriptures.
Mommies, we don't need a spa (although I'm not against it lol!)! We need solitude with Jesus!


Walk with the King!




holy experience

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22 Comments:

Anonymous Bonni said...

Such a GREAT, GREAT post!! I loved it! I agree 100% and used the same techniques when my children were young! Not only did I get to enjoy 1 hour a day of quiet time, JUST for me, but my children learned how to wind down and just play quietly for an hour! I'm going to recommend that 'my' readers read your post today! Would love for you to stop by!

July 29, 2010 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Larissa said...

I love this post! It's so true that solitude is so important and yet so difficult to attain with small children. I have also instituted a quiet time in the afternoon for the children, and will continue that tradition as they get older.

July 29, 2010 at 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie :) said...

This is SO true! I am learning that time alone is not enough. If I fill that time with computer or a movie or reading a novel, I still feel depleted. But if I spend it in solitude, I come away refreshed. Thanks for sharing your tips. :)

July 29, 2010 at 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

AMEN!

July 29, 2010 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Teri Lynne Underwood said...

Love this, Courtney! Such an important reminder that it is not the pampering of our body that gives us true nourishment it's the feeding of our souls! (Not that I'm opposed to the pampering, of course!!)

July 29, 2010 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

We have always done similar things with our children.

Even now that our children are older, we almost always have a quiet time every afternoon to ensure that the children have a break from each other and I can too!

Quiet times are healthy for all ages!

July 29, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

P.S. When my husband is at home he LOVES the fact that there is a set time for this and he can take a quiet break too! Ah, the joy of a perfectly quiet home for an hour!

July 29, 2010 at 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

I really appreciate this post! You came up with creative ways to get solitude. This gives me hope that I will achieve solitude in some small way throughout my mommy years. :)

July 29, 2010 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Traci Michele said...

COURTNEY- FRIEND - This was one of my favorite posts you have written.

As always, very real, down to earth, and practical! Thank you! I NEED ME some solitude today with a sick boy this week.

Seeking Him FIRST....

July 29, 2010 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Christi said...

I totally agree!! I rise before the kiddos (most days), too. If I fail to do that, my attitude shows it. :( We have had roomtime nearly every single day (that we've been home) for 10 years 8 months and 29 days :). It makes a huge difference...even though my oldest is 10.

July 29, 2010 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, So true. Great post!
Holly
Kyiv

July 29, 2010 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I needed this more than you could possibly imagine! Yesterday, I was so desperate for alone time that I skipped out on going to worship just so I wouldn't have to answer to anyone or do anything for anyone! You have no idea how refreshing this was. Thank you again!

July 29, 2010 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger Chels said...

Thank you so much for this post!!! I have such a hard time finding the "alone" time let alone disciplining myself to make the time. Same goes for the gym. Haven't had a chance to do that in a month, lol!

My youngest will be 2 in a few weeks and my oldest is 6 yrs old and not really into naps anymore. I should replace her nap time with quiet time in her room and instead of watching my soap opera first thing, I should get my head in the Bible. I do miss it a lot! Thanks for this again, such an encouragement!

July 29, 2010 at 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Conversatio in Caelis said...

Thank you for this great post, Courtney! I needed the reminder.
I think this night I will turn off the computer earlier...
Greetings from Germany!

July 29, 2010 at 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

Time alone is a glorious thing! I have found there is such a massive difference in my attitude when I miss out on my time alone with the Lord.

Great post!

July 29, 2010 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Another wonderful post by you. I love this one especially! Solitude is EXTREMELY important and yet sometimes we dont give it to ourselves because of "a busy day". When really, thats not an excuse. Thank you for this!

Meghan
www.thetuckerstaketennessee.com

July 29, 2010 at 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Jen at SoulFULL Cafe said...

Truly an inspirational post. You are absolutely right! All the "self-care" advise we get today is missing the point. What we really need is Jesus. And yes, alone time with Him!

I recently confessed my need for more prayer time with God on my blog. Since that day, I have found time to pray more. You know when I find alone time with God? The middle of the night! It is perfect for me, because I can't stay up in the evening very long to pray since I am too tired, and I don't want to get up early. So, when I get up in the night (I wake every night), I get up, go out into the living room, and ask the Holy Spirit to help me to pray for the things that God wants me to pray for. It has been a blessing, and it brings me joy, that my Father and I can talk, in the quiet of the night, without any distractions at all! It is when I can listen to God and be lead by Him in prayer. I expect to continue to meet with God during this time....Praise Him!

I pray for your Courtney. May God continue to spur us on through your encouragement, and may you be blessed as you continually give to others.

love,
jen

ps- I just started reading "The Shadow of the Almighty". It reminds me of you since you mentioned how much E.Elliot has influenced you.

July 29, 2010 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Eggett Family said...

Thank you for this reminder! It is a struggle for me each day to use the alone time I DO have to use it for me. So many times I think of something around the house that needs to be done -- and sometimes that's really true (I have a 1 yr old who likes to "help") -- but most of the times I could be using that time to get closer to my Heavenly Father. Thanks! Robin

July 29, 2010 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

This was just what I needed to hear! I take time to read my Bible while I eat breakfast, but sometimes the kids are awake & have the TV on already. It can be so distracting! Every once in awhile, it's nice enough to sit on the patio & have alone time with God. I haven't made a conscious effort seek solitude. Good stuff!

July 30, 2010 at 12:37 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Thank you for sharing this - and for the great reminder that because Jesus took time for solitude, we should too.

July 30, 2010 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Fiona's Mosaic said...

This is the ONE thing I stress to the young mommies around me (I'm an old mommy!) and let them know it was my saving grace.

Not only that but it developed very healthy qualities in my children of seeking out alone time with the Lord regularly, and especially when they were stressed and hurting. They run to their Father God to fix it and help them.

Such a timely word, and it can't be said enough to the mommies with little ones.

July 31, 2010 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Courtney,
I found you through a Mr. Linky widget on Diaper Diaries (TILT) and came across this post. What a powerful word that is confirmation of what I've been feeling in my spirit lately! I actually realized while my hubby was gone on a business trip for 2 weeks and me home alone w/2 kids (5 & 2) that I/we needed three things: 1)I needed appointed time *alone* to myself 2) He and I needed time alone together, like a date night, weekly, 3) and that we needed to pray together more often. (Not making it a daily 'chore' or 'checklisted item', but purposing to lift each other up daily, whether it be in person or on the phone,before he left for work, whatever.) Those are things that have been rather obviously needed, but we hadn't prioritized them in our life. Him being gone made them very apparent and brought to the top of the list! So I'm just thankful God brought me to your blog and for your obedience and prompting to put these words out there to bless moms and fellow bloggers like me! THANKS! ;-)

August 12, 2010 at 3:52 AM  

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