A Solitary Place

A solitary place

A Solitary Place

40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 9
Reflections on Luke 1 – 4

At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place… Luke 4: 42

I would find her there, in a secluded place alone. As a girl, I thought she needed this solitary time because she wanted to get away from us kids. But actually she needed this space to get away with God.

My childhood home always had more people living in it than the family that resided there. We had extra cots and air mattresses when there wasn’t enough beds. Our supper table had extra folding chairs squeezed between and I learned to spoon soup into my mouth with my elbows tucked into my side. Mom served us all with joy and grace as our home became a lighthouse of escape for many.

Over time, even the good things will take its toll, clamoring for peace and competing for rest. There’s the danger of pride crowding humbleness, pushing it aside…tempting us to focus on ourselves, thinking we can do it all.  We focus more on the people needing our attention, their voices wanting to be heard and the food cooking on the stove while the sheets need to be washed and the children are asking for help with homework.

All of the good busy things crowd the one best thing.

Now years later, here I am repeating her life in many ways.

I think of my Mom going to a solitary place to unwind her crowded thoughts, to be refreshed and focus her energy off of herself (and others) and instead on to Christ. Taking time to be alone with God was a gift to herself and to her family.

Thank you Mom, your life is a gift that keeps on giving long after you’ve gone.

“Solitude molds self-righteous people into gentle, caring, forgiving persons who are so deeply convinced of their own great sinfulness and so fully aware of God’s even greater mercy that their life itself becomes ministry.” ~Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart

A Solitary Place 2

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. I want to focus on the freedom I have in Christ to overcome strongholds, yet also to gain strength, hope, and peace as I lean into the trials…To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent


Five Minute Friday

Linking up at Five Minute Friday to write five minutes about the word: CROWD

Garage Sale: A Grocery Cart to the Rescue


Garage sales are not always fun, unless you can make lots of money. I helped my father with his garage sale last weekend. He had high expectations of selling all of the stuff and making lots of money.

First lesson, don’t have a garage sale and have high expectations of selling all of the stuff and making lots of money. When I opened the garage, I was very impressed with the organization of the vases, baskets and silk flowers. It was obvious that my Dad had spent a great deal of time organizing the items and pricing them slightly below what one could purchase them new at Walmart.

I’m sure it was difficult for my father to bring out the numerous vases, wicker baskets, and a garden of silk flowers. His beloved wife of nearly 60 years created amazing displays of fresh flowers, fruit baskets for gifts and lavish silk flower arrangements for their home. In case it was overlooked, one would always know when the seasons changed by the spring, summer, fall or winter silk flower arrangements Mom had in the house.

With the vase, basket and silk flower inventory, someone could have opened a florist shop and not have overhead expense from purchasing vases, baskets, and artificial flowers. Unfortunately, none of our shoppers wanted to open a florist shop.

Second Lesson: save the time and effort…take all vases, baskets and silk flowers to a thrift store. I think the garage sale venture was finally redeemed when I asked Dad about the grocery cart he had for sale, while hoping Mom did not “borrow” the cart and forget to return it.

He said to me, “Your mother wanted one, so we bought it.”

Whew! I was relieved to know that Mom was not a thief!

I told Dad that I could find a new home for that cart. I’ll use it Sunday morning for children’s ministry!

Up and down the halls we travel with crafts, snacks, water pitchers, curriculum, toy bins…making numerous trips because our arms can not manage to carry everything from room to room. (We are a “portable church” that meets in a high school.)

“How much do you want for the cart?” I asked.

Dad said, “If you can use it for children’s ministry, it’s my gift to the church!”

The grocery cart now has a new home and my father is content that the garage sale was not a total loss. And I’m proud to show off this cart and use it every week…especially since my Mom wrote her last name on the handle.  (She didn’t want anyone to think it was stolen!)

With fond memories of Barbara Ann Newman Goodroe

The Grocery Cart