We made it through January, dear friends! And let’s be honest, the month of February really starts the year off. The January blahs are going, and we are a month closer to spring and the warm sunshine that comes with it.
And speaking of sunshine, we saw the sun on Sunday! And it got up to 60 degrees! After a week of clouds and the sickness that plagued our household, it was so refreshing to sit outside and soak up some vitamin D! I even fell asleep for a few minutes! It was one of the best naps that I’ve had in a while! And it was glorious!
As the sun feeds our bodies with vitamin D, silence, and solitude feeds our soul.
As women, we long for that elusive feeling called peace. It always seems to be within our grasp; however, just as we are about to grab hold of it, it seems to inch further away from us. In this chaotic world of distractions that pull us in every direction, it’s time to refocus and redirect our purpose for peace, beginning with soul care. Once our soul is taken care of, our minds and bodies will align, and we will finally be able to grasp that elusive peace that we have always yearned for in our hearts.
Silence and Solitude
A few years ago, I was physically and mentally worn down. My spiritual life was lacking the fire for Christ, my body was tired, and to be honest, my children were on my last nerves. I desperately needed a change, not only for myself but for my children. They deserved a mom that was loving and caring, not one that was on an emotional rollercoaster.
After prompting (or what I call a loving shove!) from the Lord, I concluded that I needed time with Him; I needed some silence and solitude. I needed peace and quiet. I needed to study the Word, and I needed to reignite that fire for Christ that I once had.
But how would I be able to achieve this when I had a family that consumed the majority of my time and attention?
I felt the Lord speak to my heart: “You need to wake up earlier.”
What? I barely got enough sleep as it was, and the Lord was prompting me to wake up even earlier? That couldn’t be the only option that I had.
“Get up and spend some time in silence and solitude with me.”
Ok, Lord, I heard you, but I’m still not sure if I am going to do this!
What proceeded in the following days was an argument back and forth with the Lord (who, by the way, we will never win an argument with!). I finally gave in and set my alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual. On that first morning of my new routine, I woke up 15 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. I knew this was from the Lord because I never wake up before my alarm goes off! Wide awake and without the urge to hit the snooze button, I trotted off the kitchen for some coffee and quiet time.
Jesus, Himself, Practiced Silence and Solitude
In my time in the mornings, I came across Mark 1:35, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” There, tucked in between the healing of many people and preaching, is Jesus getting up early and praying.
Note that the scripture says that He got up early, while it was still dark.
Jesus, who took on human form to save us from our sins, knew what it felt like to be exhausted. He was in demand 24/7. He was healing the sick, preaching, feeding the people, and leading His disciples. Wherever Jesus went, people were following him.
We, as moms, care for our children when they are sick, provide meals for them, and lead them to where they need to be. And we have a following! Our children, especially in the infant through the elementary stage, are always by our side.
In the midst of His busy, growing ministry, our Savior made it a priority to find time for silence and solitude.
If our Savior made it a priority to get quiet time with the Father, then what excuse do we have not to get quiet time with Him?
You’ve Committed to Getting Up Early, Now What?
When I began my silence and solitude mornings, I started with the goal of setting my alarm for 30 minutes ahead of my usual wake up time. My family was not up yet, so the house was quiet. Once everyone woke up, my focus had to be on them and not on my quiet time.
If you want to move toward having your own time of silence and solitude in the morning, here are some steps to help you begin:
- Set the alarm for a manageable time to get up. In the beginning, I set my alarm for 30 minutes ahead of when I usually would get up. As your body and mind adjust to getting up earlier than usual, you can gradually increase your time. My alarm is now set for 4:45 am so that I can have a good hour with the Lord.
- Grab your favorite morning beverage, your Bible, and journal. Feel free to sit in your favorite chair with a cozy blanket. Don’t get too comfy, though! You may fall back asleep – trust me on this, because I speak from experience!
- If you feel inclined to do so, put on some praise and worship music.
- Sit in silence for the first few minutes of your time. If you are anything like me, more than likely, something non-related will creep into your mind. Jot that thought down on a piece a paper and continue with your quiet time.
- If you are yearning to dig into the Word but don’t know where to start, I recommend the book of Psalms or Proverbs. You can start with the chapter that coordinates with the date. For example, if it’s the 12th of the month, you can read Psalm 12 or Proverbs 12.
- Always end your time with prayer! Your prayers do not have to be eloquent sounding. Talk to the Lord as if you were talking to your best friend because He is your best friend!
Don’t Be Discouraged if You Do Not Hear from the Lord!
You will have mornings where you may sit in silence and not hear or feel anything from the Lord. That’s ok! Keep getting up and feeding your soul with the Word. I can go weeks at a time with silence, but I know that He hears my prayers, and He is with me – just as He is with you!
As you commit to spending daily time with the Lord, you will find your faith grow stronger by the day. Your soul will be refreshed, and you will be able to handle whatever the world hands to you that day. We live in a fallen world, and our days will not be perfect, but I find that if I start my day with the Lord, I am “armored up” (Ephesians 6:10-18).
It’s time to reset your soul and your alarm and find that peace that the Lord intends for us to have! I am praying for you as you begin this journey, and I’ll see you in the morning!