Fortunately, I received a gift of solitude the week between Christmas and the New Year. Solitude, noun, the state of being or living alone; remoteness of habitations as of a place; absence of human activity.
No day job. No friends. The family is skiing. It’s just me and dog. I surround myself with books, colored pencils, thin markers, notebooks, a pen, and the laptop where I write these words.
Creativity is easy in this place, a lovely cottage, in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Untouched snow covers the frozen lake. I sit in silence and listen. Am I listening to God or my own thoughts? I’m not sure. But it is lovely and restorative, a respite from the demands of the life I have built.
Day job offers several weeks of vacation. Other weeks, I have traveled, also a lovely use of time. But this week, I took just for me. I am cooking comforting foods, stew, soup, pasta. I made a red velvet cake this morning and will attempt the delicate icing this afternoon, a treat to share with my teenagers and husband to celebrate his most recent trip around the sun.
I could snowshoe. I could hike or take the dog for a walk. I could nap. I could read. The possibilities of silent, solitary activities is endless. I will be rested and full of peace when the family returns invigorated from a day at the hill. We will break bread and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Each of us taking advantage of this time away to bring to end a year and usher in a new round of possibilities.
The day begins with my youngest making espresso for the family, then they leave for the slopes. I pull out my devotions and set my intention for the day. Today’s verse was from 2 Timothy, “I remind you to fan into the flame of God.” It’s prayer, “Father, thank You for the gift of your presence that beckons me in from the cold. I place myself before Your fireplace; keep my heart kindled. Amen.
My thoughts upon this devotion is that God’s invitation to us never expires. There is a constant call to live in the Word, if we only take notice. The party of Christianity is unlike anything secular in this world. It is healing, warm, and soothing. It restores purity to our souls. It nourishes us to be strong and live in the light.
God is easy to see here at the lake. The vast beauty and calm are gifts from the Lord to give us respite. Thank you Lord for this gift of solitude to hear You as I welcome You into my heart.