To Amuse and Delight

Monday, March 14, 2011

Seeking Solitude

I have been a bit absent here, I know. For a couple of months my life has been a social whirlwind, blogging is a social arena too and I just needed a break. We all need time with our own thoughts, quiet times when we can recharge. One of the books I am reading right now is ‘Freedom of Simplicity’ by Richard J. Foster. I read this passage a couple of days ago and it pretty much sums up what I have been feeling for weeks.

“Many of us would find great relief in discovering our own cycles of activity and quiet. For example, I function best when I alternate between periods of intense activity and of comparative solitude. When I understand this about myself I can order my life accordingly. After a certain amount of immersion in public life, I begin to burn out. And I have noticed that I burn out inwardly long before I do outwardly. Hence, I must be careful not to become a frantic bundle of hollow energy, busy among people but devoid of life. I must learn when to retreat, like Jesus, and experience the recreating power of God.”

Foster says, “I can order my life accordingly”.  Those moments aren’t just going to happen naturally, especially in our too fast culture. I am deliberately making room for those quiet times. I am forcing myself to say “no”, even to  good things. (See Andrea, I am taking your wise advice!) Last Sunday I took a walk with my family. The girls were off gathering nature bits to make fairy houses, my husband was off studying trees, I had a chance to sit and just think and be still.  I took this photo of the swans, and now I am using it as a reminder to me to be proactive in seeking out quiet moments and not just sitting back, waiting for them to happen. You have to make them. It does takes effort, it may mean saying “no” to people. If you are like me the benefits will be so great that when you don’t have breaks of solitude you will feel very lonely for them. 


  1. Hi Eve,
    After reading this post I thought of my very favorite video on youtube... it out. I am trying to practice doing less things, very well. I too often do many things with mediocrity.

  2. Exactly Michelle, exactly!
    I'm learning now that this can apply to relationships too.

  3. So true!! Nice picture, too!

  4. Eve--you know I LOVE this post. And especially how it applies to relationships....Especially!!! I am so glad you are *intentionally* seeking solitude in your life. I pray you fill it up with Him. Love, Andrea

  5. The picture and the thoughts here are beautifully expressed. I do get lonely for solitude, and have trouble purposefully seeking it out. I home educate my daughters, and enjoy it, but the challenge is finding time alone in the midst of it all.
    I read Freedom of Simplicity a few years ago. After reading this post i know that it's time I reread it. I value my relationships tremendously, but sometimes to the detriment of my need for solitude. Interestingly, I've given up library books for Lent in order to focus on fewer books I own. Your mentioning Foster's book here, and my reading your words, is not accidental. Thank you for your wise thoughts.

  6. Found you at Amy's ,glad I did.

  7. I love solitude. And I love breaking it, with tea and company :)

  8. Wow, I needed to read this. I often goes through these times when I've been spending way too much time on FB, where I start to get paranoid about the things people are saying or not saying. I start to want to step away from my computer and from people in general. I am terrible at actually following through but I'm going to use your post here as a reminder that my longings are normal.
    Further, there are times when I write and write and write for my blog. And then I take time off and I don't even look at my blog for a week or two. I'm thankful for the times when I'm writing so much because it lets me feel relaxed when I need that time off. :)

  9. Dear Ladies-
    I am glad this post was helpful for some of you. It's a subject I will deliberately be revisiting, as I tend to go down that other road.

    Bona Fide-I am teetering on the edge of deleting my FB. I don't need to see this much information (useless, mostly). Weighing the pros and cons, the cons seem to be bigger.