Violet Garden Wall Solitude

Unplugged Solitude

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Fontana Dam Lake

Every day I read some type of “devotional” or encouraging spiritual words.  Sometimes I read from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and often times from Quest by Dr. David Jeremiah.  From time to time I throw in thoughts from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  On March 3 these words from Sarah Young touched me.

Swam solitude
(Written as if Jesus is talking to me.)

“I LOVE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE, not for what you do. Many voices vie for control of your mind, especially when you sit in silence.  You must learn to discern what is My voice and what is not.”

And then on March 23 I read the following also from Jesus Calling. 

THIS IS A TIME in your life when you must learn to let go: of loved ones, of possession, of control. In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need to rest in My Presence, where you are complete.  Take time to bask in the Light of My Love. As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession into My care.”

On March 24, my friend Dinah used this exact devotional for our leadership group at Community Bible Study.  As I listened to her share, it was as if the Lord was saying, “just in case you didn’t get this the first time, I’m giving it to you again.”

Solitary Walk in the Lake District of England
Solitary Walk in the Lake District of England

Last fall I did some reading about the practice of “solitude”.   Solitude is primarily about NOT doing something. Just as fasting means to refrain from eating so solitude means to refrain from society. When we go into solitude, we withdraw from conversation, from the presence of others, from noise, from the constant barrage of stimulation.  My life in 2016 is noisier and louder than anytime I can remember.  Computers, cell phones, text, Facebook, reading, studying, more phone calls, cooking, writing, and constant movement. I live in a beautifully quiet countryside and yet rarely experience quiet solitude.    Do you find the same to be true in your life?

Bridge solitude
Last fall I decided I will practice a day of solitude once a month.  I wanted to do this once a week, but even I knew that wasn’t realistic given the commitments on my calendar.  I made the decision based on my desire to then share the positive effects of such experience. To date, I have spent exactly ZERO days in solitude.  I have really great intentions with poorly executed follow through.  I also realize that my intention to spend days in solitude so that I could write about it probably was not the correct reason to practice solitude!

View from the Appalachian Trail
View from the Appalachian Trail

When my Chief Culinary Consultant-turned-adventurous-hiker  attempted to fulfill a life-long dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail, I admit I was a bit jealous.  I certainly didn’t want to hike the Appalachian Trail, but the days he spent in solitude and the whispers he heard from the Lord, gave me pause.  The lessons he learned from the time on the trail are still making an impact on him each day.

Violet Garden Wall Solitude

So, for the last month I have begun to “let go.”  I am giving up some responsibilities that I previously thought no one could do but me. (Ridiculous thinking.)  My goal is to spend time with the Lord, in prayer, in solitude, reading, walking, and resting.  I plan to spend at least one day a week this summer away from the world.  No phone, no computer, no contact.  Can I do it?  I’m not sure.

Beersheba Vesper Point Cross

In addition to spending time alone with God, today I am going on a sabbatical from blogging. On June 4, 2016 I will celebrate 5 years of blogging.  To date I have written 684 blog posts, fielded 2,231 comments and taken over 50,000 photos!  The friends, satisfaction, and peace this has given me is enormous.

Exmoor National Moor, England
Exmoor National Moor, England

I really enjoy writing.  I love to cook.  My photography skills have improved.  My family enjoys the meals I prepare.  But I am not sure this enjoyable hobby is where the Lord now wants me spending large amounts time.  I plan to be back here on June 4th and I hope you will be here too and help me celebrate 5 years of My Daily Bread Body and Soul as well as share any thoughts my solitude sabbatical has given me to that point.

Moon Over Bath
Moon Over Bath

You will still find all my great recipes posted and printable from this blog, I just won’t be writing new posts.  I am going to surrender to His power and love and in quiet solitude listen to Him.

Blessings and Peace,
~Catherine

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7 thoughts on “Unplugged Solitude”

  1. I pinned one of your recipes one year ago. Facebook brought that recipe up today and I’ve spent hours on your wonderful site, only to read that you are taking a well earned sabbatical. Bless you, where ever the Lord takes you.

    1. Dear Dianne, thank you for stopping by and spending time on my blog. It is comments like yours that are helping me to decide what’s next for My Daily Bread Body and Soul! Blessings, Catherine

  2. I hope you have a blessed time with The Lord. I know I need to do this, my mom passed a week ago and it’s time to do the same. May you be refreshed!

  3. I have enjoyed your blog, and recipes, not that I have tried to make all of them. On my to do list. This last blog struck my heart, as I need that solitude away from all interruptions. As my husband has vascular dementia and now Parkinson’s, I am the care taker. So this new journey can use some solitudes, so I’m going to try to set at least one day a month just to read and listen to what God has to say to me.
    I wish you all the best in your solitude, will miss your blogs.
    Blessing
    Bonnie

  4. You have made me really think about how I spend my time. What is really important vs what I “think” is important. I remember reading one time that one of Satan’s greatest tools for distracting Christians is busyness. It was an email I received in 2007 but made such an impression on me. It went something like this: “Satan called a worldwide convention of his demons and said, we can’t keep Christians from going to church or reading their Bibles or even forming a relationship with their Savior. He said let them do all of these things BUT steal their time, so they don’t have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.” Take their time! Keep them busy. It went on to say how to keep us busy!!

    It can happen so slowly and we get so busy doing “good” things we forget or don’t have time for the most important thing and that is our relationship with our Lord.

    Thank you Catherine for the reminder. I look forward to your blog in June!!

  5. Catherine, your blog is like a devotional for me. I see your love for the Lord in your writings and I see how he has blessed you in so many ways. I always have a smile on my face after reading your thoughts. I am excited to see how He is going to speak to you on your journey of “solitude “. I will be praying for you during this time and look forward to your return!
    Blessings, Bonnie

I'd love to hear from you ~ Comments welcome!