Friday, February 4, 2011

Solitary Hospitality Challenge :: Conclusion

from Stephanie

I did it. I set aside January 8th for a morning of solitary hospitality or a spiritual retreat. With my husband's blessing, I drove to my local library and sequestered myself in one of their quiet rooms. Sequestered might be too strong of a word for a room with glass walls that are connected on 3 sides to other glass encased rooms.

So, there I sat in the little glass room with my Bible, scripture memory note cards, journal and a couple of other books. I always write my prayers out in my journal (it keeps my mind focused) so I poured out the thoughts and emotions to God in the journal. The time was well spent and good.

But... strange.

The silence of the glass room was deafening. The urge to people watch was a huge temptation. And the chairs were incredibly uncomfortable.

What did I learn from the experience?

I learned that I am too accustomed to noise and chaos! Sitting still in a silent room, knowing that no one would disturb me was uncomfortable. I think this type of retreat requires discipline and is a learned practice.

Did the experience meet my expectations?

I'm not sure. I don't really know what I expected. Certainly not an audible voice but some kind of direction or vision for the year. That didn't really happen. Which is OK but not really what I hoped would happen.

Will I do it again?

Maybe, but probably NOT at the library.

Many of you commented on the challenge post that a solitary retreat was something you need to do. Were you able to make the time for solitary hospitality in January? Were you able to use any of *carrie*'s solitary retreat tips? If so, please share your experience in the comments or blog about it and leave us the link to your post.


  1. I set aside a naptime to do it after your challenge posted and it was a good time to refocus. I didn't set any expectations of what to expect but I was convicted in a particular area and have been working on that for the past month (with varied success.) It was a good time. And I think setting aside at least one naptime a month is a good idea to help keep me focused and intentional about pursuing my relationship with God.

    I appreciated the call for the challenge as it gave me the motivation to get to it. Now I just need to pick my day for February and go for it!

  2. Thanks for this follow-up, Stephanie. I would be very tempted to people watch in that setting, too! Does your church have a prayer room or other private space that could be used for your retreats?

  3. We did set aside and evening and I did take some time; however, to be honest I was too tired to concentrate like I wanted. I am thankful for the time I did have and look forward to more time soon. Already I am looking forward to a "chunk" of focused time this month--most likely an evening when my husband isn't home and the kids are already in bed. Then I can relax in my own home, own chair, and focus! :) I have some reflection questions that I am hoping to spend some time on in addition to just reading the Bible!

  4. *carrie*, a church prayer room is a great idea for a retreat. My church doesn't have one. For that matter, we don't have a building! We are a young (10 years or so) church plant and rent a conference room at a hotel every Sunday morning. The rest of the week we meet in members' homes.

    Carrie and Amy, glad you were able to have a retreat of some sort. :)

  5. I didn't get my retreat in as scheduled--but still ended up with a wonderful unscheduled retreat. My post is here

  6. bekahcubed, I'm so glad you participated!! I'm sorry my conclusion post added to your guilt but glad you persevered and found some time for your retreat. Thank you so much for sharing!!