The book pens a journey with Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a framework for pondering life lessons, or songs, of grace-filled "yes" to God.

This blog continues to explore the implications of these songs in daily life. Here you will find ten additional reflections on each of Mary's "songs." May they continue to encourage your heart. ~Carla

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Uninvited Solitude

I've had an uninvited visitor in my home for the past several days. She isn't visible to anyone but God and me. Her visit began with a rather unwelcome, but much needed, departure. Nearly two weeks ago my husband dropped everything to be with his ailing mother across the country.

My son is here, but he is now a senior in high school. I am not ailing at the moment, and am certainly not particularly prevalent on his conversational radar. My life is quiet, because when I'm not teaching these days, most of my time is spent at home.

So Solitude decided to show up for a rather intense visit.

Solitude has long been an intimate friend of Simplicity. But I'm drawing to the end of her visit with a renewed recognition that this friend can be a challenging companion at times: especially when she appears uninvited.

I like Solitude when I'm ready for her. Enforced companionship is another matter all together. I have found myself wanting to run away, to find some else to talk to, to do something that would distract me from her presence. But here she's been sitting: in my kitchen, my study, my living room--even in my mail box and email inbox.

"Where can I go from your presence?" sometimes includes God's soul friends--like Solitude.

When I finally stopped running internally and looked at Solitude straight on, rather than just out of the corner of my eye, I discovered that, while she was searching, she was not unkind. We found dreams I didn't know I had, ideas that I have needed for the day and the season, and renewed perspectives that needed long moments to get in focus.

And we discovered other uninvited guests that have snuck in over the past few months: despair, bitterness, anger. They were my more natural dialogue partners, and I needed to get quiet enough to recognize them for what they were. I'm in the process of demanding that they leave the house.

Wyatt gets home on Saturday, and I will be so grateful to see my life's companion again. But I am now glad Solitude came for a long visit. She has given me much to think about, and, in the end, she has reintroduced me to her dear friend, Simplicity.


  1. Your post resonates with me at some level. Pehaps a longing for some planned Solitude. In the midst of a crazy week one can't help but think "I'd trade my day for yours." But we are each in our different seasons of life. I with my week of applesauce making, homeschooling, caring for 5 m old twins and a potty training 2 year old. Oh, for one quiet day. I'm sure I'll have many - 18 years from now. Blessings my seasoned friend.

  2. Tessa, it is so good to hear from you. Yes, it is a different season. I'm sure it's hard to conceive of enough time and space to even get lonely!! Blessings on those busy days, and may you have some planned Solitude soon. ~Carla

  3. Carla,
    I was given your book as a gift from a good friend recently. It was so timely and wonderful. Thank you for putting your insightful words on paper and know that you've touched another life...
    Tessa, I read the book in the midst of potty training my 2 year old and taking care of my 10 month old... God meets us in such wonderful, personal ways.


  4. Thanks for the encouragement, Nicole. There is adventure on my part as I make new friends through words on paper. I'm so glad it was timely for you!. Blessings on this full season of your life!!

  5. This comments from my friend and colleague, Dr. Reggie Kidd: "The desert fathers retreated from "the world" so they could pray for "the world" ... the first gift of their solitude, however, lay in the realization that they brought "the world" with them. Thus was born serious reflection on "the 7 deadly." So, cautiously, I say, "Enjoy, my friend."

    Amen. I didn't have to go to the desert to find my representative members of the seven deadly sins--they were sitting in my living room. But so, eventually, was the internal quietness of soul I continually crave.