As a mom of six active children and a husband who is currently working from home, I can tell you that silence does not happen naturally, nor does solitude find me easily.
From sun-up to sun-down, I am busy homeschooling, homemaking, and home managing my large family. It is easy to get tired, lose my patience, and lose steam as the day, weeks, and months go on.
But I have learned that I must create a space for silence and solitude in my life, plan for it, and be flexible so I can adapt to it.
Otherwise, I become one stressed out momma, cranky wife, and unhappy woman who is not enjoyable to be around. My family deserves better and God expects me to do better.
When Do You Focus on God?
When was the last time you purposely set aside time to focus solely on God?
It is important in the Christian’s life to have a regular habit of ‘silence and solitude’ in practice.
I know there are many of you who have hours to yourself because your children have flown the coop or you have retired from working.
And I know momma’s of littles or homeschooling momma’s may groan in frustration because you feel as if you are never really alone.
I know that feeling of being surrounded throughout the whole day, and the demands being made, constant noises from my family, and the overall feeling of being pulled in a million directions. It was at times like this I was ready to explode.
I was physically exhausted.
I was mentally drained.
And I was not growing spiritually.
However, I knew I needed time alone with the Lord and this was done by seeking silence and solitude.
What Do Silence and Solitude Look Like?
In order to find silence and solitude, it is going to look different for different women.
First of all, everybody must understand the importance of silence and solitude.
The purpose of seeking silence and solitude is to achieve a closer relationship with the Lord, to worship Him, to grow a deeper appreciation of Him, to restore your inner peace, to be restored physically and spiritually, and to give thanks to God.
Secondly, based on your own lifestyle you will have to adapt to what it may look like for you.
For a woman in her 50’s with all of her children gone it is going to look different compared to a woman in her 30’s with young children.
If you have the opportunity to go on a long walk where you can pray, sing songs of worship, and focus on the goodness of God; that is what silence and solitude may look like for you.
If you are like me and are surrounded by children all day long; I purposely rise early in the morning just to have that time. It gives me a chance to recharge, pray, and meditate on His written Word.
Or perhaps, you have little chunks of time where your husband is home and can take over for a little bit, allowing you to go for a walk, take a bath, or just be alone in prayer with God.
Susanna Wesley (mother of John and Charles) had a large brood of children in her care. She did not have the opportunity to ‘getaway’ but it was known that she would put her apron overhead to be alone in prayer with God. Her children knew that when her head was covered she was in prayer. I am not saying to go put an apron over your head, but to find what works for you.
Some of you may have a prayer closet that allows you to go in the quiet and be alone with God. (Remember, prayer does not have to be a long and drawn-out event. He hears you all of the time.)
Personally, I love to go take walks or do yardwork by myself. It gives me the alone time that I need, draws me closer to the Lord, and helps me to stay grounded as a wife and mother.
To seek silence and solitude is a discipline that takes time and practice. It does not have to cost any money or cause stress for anybody.
It can be done anywhere and even moms of littles can learn how to work some silence and solitude into their schedule. Maybe your schedule does not even have a 15-minute chunk of time to be alone, but could you wake up earlier or stay up a little up later just to be alone with God?
Or what your shower time, can you turn that into your ten minutes of silence and solitude?
Be creative and flexible, and you will be amazed at what even a few minutes of alone time with God can do for you.
The purpose of silence and solitude is meant to:
*Restore peace within your soul.
*Grow deeper in love with our Lord.
(Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11)
*Focus on all that He has done for you, which lessens selfish thinking as one gains a more eternal and heavenly focus. (Read the story of David throughout the Bible. He was on the run for 14-15 years from Saul who tried several times to end his life, but yet he praised God. Or read about Job who lost everything important to him and endured several terrible trials and traumatic events in his life, but yet he praised God.)
Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD.” 1 Chronicles 22:19)
*Achieve a healthy balance for our physical and emotional self because one will be less likely to lash out in anger, be so overwhelmed, or stress out over daily happenings.
*Regain a sense of purpose in life. Often we get so carried away with the little things that cause us to worry, fret, or stress that we forget who we are in the eyes of God and all that we do (no matter how big or small) are to be done for His glory.
In your alone time with God ask Him to quiet your soul and renew your strength. Don’t feel ashamed if you ‘feel’ nothing because often that emptiness is a great time for us to realize that only God can fill that void in our life. It is only Him that restores and renews us as our Creator.
Use this time to remember He loves you and designed you with a purpose in this life.
Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home