Solitude Saturdays

James and I had a text conversation on Friday morning that went something like this:

Katie: “Hey I’m thinking about spending the entire day by myself tomorrow.  What are your thoughts?”

James:  “I would miss you.”

Katie: “It would only be for one day.”

James: “I’m supportive of whatever you need. Maybe we could get lunch together?”

Katie: “Ummm……probably not. Maybe dinner.”

This conversation led to what I have affectionately named “Solitude Saturday.” I spent an unplanned Saturday allll by myself a couple months ago (meaning James was out of town and I didn’t have any other plans) and it was so good for my soul, it left me craving another day like that.  So thanks to a supportive husband and an empty calendar, I was able to create another Saturday to spend all by myself.  Here’s a brief synopsis of what my day looked like:

  • woke up at NINE THIRTY AM (what kind of responsible adult is even able to sleep that late??! It was glorious. I didn’t even force my body into a vertical position for at least an additional 30 more minutes)
  • walked to the park from my apartment
  • set up my hammock and read the Bible, journaled, and started to work on memorizing Romans 8

FullSizeRender-4 copyI’m still working on releasing bitter feelings toward the person who was flying a drone over my head THE ENTIRE TIME

  • went home, made lunch, and contemplated working out, but decided against it and went for a 3 hour nap instead (whoops)
  • spent a few hours at Barnes & Noble alternating between the activities of people watching and reading books I didn’t plan to buy

FullSizeRender-4I have literally never identified with the term “spirit animal” until I discovered this fantastic lady with all the books in her lap across from me. I totally get it now.

  • enjoyed coffee and a free bagel at Panera Bread (my favorite place ever), which has led to the writing of this post

I have become a huge advocate for solitude.  I am an introvert so these kind of things probably come more naturally to me, but there is just something so good about the ability to intentionally be alone in a healthy way.  Being able to be by yourself well enables you to be with people well.  An extreme of too much people time or too much alone time is unhealthy.  Too much alone time leads to a depressed hermit with irrational thoughts, and too much people time leads to a frazzled life marked by busyness and a hindered ability to reflect properly.  Richard Foster wisely advises: “we must seek out the recreating stillness of solitude if we want to be with others meaningfully.  We must seek the fellowship and accountability of others if we want if we want to be alone safely.  We must cultivate both if we are to live in obedience.”

Through a day spent alone, I am able to devote a large chunk of time to cultivate a deeper intimacy with God, to reflect on my life and why I am doing what, to think, dream, and pray, and just be without a whole lot of doing. My soul feels renewed and my heart feels better prepared to tackle the hard work of loving people well.  Foster says “the fruit of solitude is increased sensitivity and compassion for others…there is a new attentiveness for their needs, new responsiveness to their hurts.”

I have decided the practice of solitude (and rest!) is vital for the health of my spiritual life, so I am going to make Solitude Saturdays a scheduled day for myself once a month.  I invite you to join me if you’re up for it (separately, of course ;)). I truly believe we will experience much fruit through it.

Until next time,
Katie

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One thought on “Solitude Saturdays

  1. Great idea! I struggle with staying “busy” but with the onset of my 15th week of pregnancy, I am finally not as tired so I want to do more with people (I am an extrovert) but also looking for those moments to be alone as well

    Like

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