Green Toes, Green Juice, and God’s Goodness

When my mom gave me a pedicure for Christmas she had no idea that her gift would give me little shimmering soft green pigs.  Yesterday’s pedicure propelled me in to a wonderful mental place ready for a sweet weekend of solitude and sinking those shimmering toes in the sand.

Years ago on Young Life Staff it was strongly urged that we take a day or weekend of solitude every 6 months.  It was encouraged so that we could mentally slow down, quiet ourselves, and get some quality time with God.  It was a regular part of our lives and Chris and I used to count down the days until we could go away even just for a few hours.  We would come back refreshed and ready for the rampant pace that we kept.

After going off staff and having children my solitude days were much more infrequent.  Understandably, quiet moments were almost obsolete for the first few years with toddlers.  Over the past year or two I have longed to go back and get some quiet time alone with God.  With no agenda…just stillness and quiet.  A listening ear, somewhere in nature, a Bible, pen and journal.  

A friend offered her beach house for the weekend and I jumped at the chance to go.  Another friend let me borrow her juicer and so with several gallons of green juice in my system (maybe not gallons) I am feeling quite refreshed and ready for God’s goodness.

When someone first suggested solitude to me, I thought it was an utter waste of time.  First of all–what if you carved out the time and God didn’t show up?  What if you tried to slow down but were completely distracted the whole time?  What would I do without a phone, email, or TV for that long?   What was really the purpose?  Wasn’t it sorta selfish to just go be by yourself and read and pray?  What about feeding the poor–wouldn’t my time better be spent in service?

There were many answers–but of course the first was that God modeled rest.  Doubtful he needed rest on the 7th day of creation–but he modeled it.  Jesus consistently took time to get away from the crowds and disciples to be alone and pray.  But honestly for me I have found that…

I forget.  I forget that God loves me.  I forget that He wants to spend time with me.  I forget that He wants me to daily put my trust in Him.

Listening is not my strong suit.  “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19)  I am so quick to speak and become angry and listening slows me down.  In solitude there is no one to talk to.  The waves are crashing and I am listening.  When I stop talking…eventually I am better able to listen.

Busyness is the enemy of intimacy.   If I long to grow in my relationship with God I must slow down long enough in an attempt to better get to know Him.

Weekends like this remind me that I need to be way more intentional about my daily quiet times.  I need to be quicker to ask forgiveness.  I need to be more faithful to pray for others and specifically to surrender my entire day to Him.  Sometimes my time is half hearted or not thoughtful…it is mundane.  In times of solitude I am aware of my desperate daily need for Him and it awakens my soul.

May You Be a Blessing and May You Find Solitude for Your Soul.

JC

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