What is the opposite of burning out?  It’s staying lit.  Keeping fueled.

My word for this new year is FUEL. Fuel drives cars, boats, planes, engines and fuel drives us. In order to maintain and sustain a healthy pace, I need to be fueled in many ways.

Today’s blog focus will be the fuel of solitude. Whether you are a ministry leader, corporate executive, stay at home mom or college student, you need to find appropriate times of solitude.

Certain personality styles are more hard-wired to crave and require alone time. However, all healthy adults need solitude. Christians throughout the ages have been comforted by the benefits and discipline of solitude.

In his book “Leading on Empty”, Wayne Cordiero says “Solitude is a chosen separation for refining your soul. Isolation is what you crave when you neglect the first.”

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you ponder the fuel of solitude:

  1. Do you have the ability to have a daily solitude to start or end your day with God?
  2. Are you more naturally wired FOR solitude or will weaving it into your lifestyle cut against your grain?
  3. What is the difference between solitude and isolation in your own words?
  4. Describe the last time you had meaningful time alone. What did you do? How did it happen? How can you recreate it?
  5. What is one way you can intentionally create the fuel of solitude this week? What is your plan for this time?

Luke 5:16 says  “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”  A quick look at the verse before, Luke 5:15 says, “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.”  Verse 15 is a reminder that Jesus had demands on his time, schedule and calling.  However, he chose to withdraw in solitude to fuel himself praying to His father.

What about you?  In the midst of endless demands on your time, energy and calendar, I’d love to hear more about how you use solitude to fuel your life. Leave a comment below so that we can learn together.

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  1. Lisa, what a thought provoking post for me. You see, I don’t like quiet. So extended periods of solitude or alone time are intimidating to me. Once we stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast with no television. I thought I was going to have a panic attack. I have noise on in the house most of the day even if I am not watching or listening. I love my quiet time…that is quiet…just God and me. But when I am writing and studying I usually have background noise. So you have stirred my heart to find what is behind this and challenge myself for my silence in my world. Thank you!

    Love you, Wendy

    1. Wendy, I know how much solitude you spend with God each day. Like any spiritual discipline, the purpose is to bring us closer to Him. If background music helps bring you closer to Him, then He is pleased. For me, I need to stop, sit, listen beyond my quiet time or I get spun up and off track. Even quietly at my desk midday, I can stop and realign in a brief moment of solitude. THANK YOU for visiting the blog sweet friend.

  2. This post was spot on for me. I recently left a position where I investedi a lot of my time. The quiet times in my day were often cut short or eliminated: working through lunch, leaving home without doing devotions, catching up on phone calls during my commute. I filled all my potential quietness with something. I’m certain this contributed to burning out doing work that I loved. Thanks for bringing light to this so I can be more intentional in building in quiet for refueling during my day.

    1. Annabelle, I there with you. God is using solitude to help me burn bright and not burn out. Thanks for sharing. I’ve watch how you’ve intentionally realigned in this season and allowed God be glorified. You inspire me.

  3. Lisa, this is perfect timing for me. I have been sick for the last two weeks and so I crossed EVERYTHING off my schedule for both weekends, and these have been the best weekends for slowing down and not only thinking things through but starting my projects. I now have time to really start writing, all because I got the fuel I so desperately needed.

    1. Michelle, I had the exact same experience after a week of the flu. I wrestled asking God “Why do I feel better after a week of the flu than I typically do after a long weekend?” His answer was the reality of rest, solitude and being still that the flu provided. Such a special gift tucked inside of an illness. We have both lived the truth of Romans 8:28 that he works all things (sickness and flu) for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Thanks for visiting the blog.

  4. Solitude vs. Isolation….. that is in my journal today. I am so glad you put those to words together for me. I find it necessary to have a time of solitude, although I love people around me and I can never sit still. But isolation is where I fall into when I don’t want to take action when I know the only way to make change is to change… isolation can become comfortable..WOW

    1. Michele, I think we had the same “aha” with those words, right? I have found that I fall into isolation as a survival tactic because I don’t properly develop the discipline of solitude. Keep me posted how it’s going and we can cheer each other on in the journey.

  5. What perfect timing this post is for me! My heart has been stirred these last few weeks and I have felt the need to intentionally step back and spend more quiet time in God’s presence. After reading your thoughts on isolation vs solitude, I feel I have missed it and put myself in a place of isolation. Very thought provoking. Thank you, friend, for always challenging me.

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