Friday, March 9, 2018

Invitation to Solitude & Silence * Book Open House Conclusion

Dear Seeking Friends ~

I'm not sure how to conclude these Invitation to Solitude & Silence sessions we've had together.  I am so grateful to have been able to share Ruth Haley Barton's life changing little treasure with you.  I'm appreciative that you've shared this series with your Facebook friends and have found this to be a safe community where you are comfortable in giving us a peek into your own unique spiritual journey.

I've been touched by seeing God at work.

Some of you have written that you've said, 'yes, please' to God's very personal invitations during these past six weeks.  That's what spiritual growth is all about, isn't it.

As you finish up the book, you might find yourself yearning to do a bit of re-reading with highlighter in hand or perhaps some journaling on passages that have hit home for you.  Anticipate the delightful probability of God inviting you to consider a life-changing decision or two in the days ahead.

And in the process, may Jesus Christ continue to be praised.

'Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you and will bring you back from captivity' 
{Jeremiah 29:12 - 14}.

Two final quotes from Invitation to Solitude & Silence ...

Chapter 11 - Receiving Guidance
The capacity to recognize the voice of God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit arises out of friendship with God that is sustained through prayer, silent listening and attentiveness to all that is going on outside us, inside us, and between us and God.  Through practice and experience we become familiar with the tone of God's voice, the content of his communications with us and his unique way of addressing us.  We learn to recognize God's voice just as we recognize the voice of a loved one on the other end of the phone.  There is a place deep inside each of us where God's Spirit witnesses with our spirit about things that are true (Rom 8:16).  It takes experience and practice to learn to recognize the communication that goes on in that place.

Chapter 12 - For the Sake of Others
We discover that much that happens in solitude and silence ends up being "for others" - as paradoxical as that may seem.  Our speech patterns are refined by the discipline of silence, because growing self-awareness enables us to choose more truly the words we say.  Rather than speech that issues from subconscious needs to impress, to put others in their place, to compete, to control and manipulate, to repay hurt with hurt, we now notice our inner dynamics and choose to speak from a different place, a place of love, trust and true wisdom that God is cultivating within us.  Over time we become safer for other seeking souls, because we are able to be with them and the issues they are dealing with without being hooked by our own anxieties and fears.  We are comfortable with our humanity, because we have experienced God's love and compassion in that place, and so it becomes very natural for us to extend love and compression to other in their humanity.


What's been your biggest aha moment from the book?

And where do you go from here with what you've gleaned?

Beyond Words

Dangerously Tired

Book Open House #3
Rest for the Body
Rest for the Mind

Book Open House #4
Rest for the Soul

Book Open House #5
Facing Ourselves
Pure Presence


You might like Ruth's book


Coming Up ...
* * * Blogging Pitfalls.  It's lots of fun to write up a storm, to share our faith, creativity, stories, to cultivate an online community ... and invest valuable time in running around visiting our online friends.  But fasten your seat belts because we're going to be talking about the behind the scene pitfalls that so easily come along with our passion to blog.

* * * The Next Book Open House Selection - Coming soon.

Please do subscribe here so you won't miss out!


connecting with


  1. I really long to recognize God's voice better, but in order to do that I have to be more silent in His presence. As I grow to understand more of God's character, there are things that are whispered in my heart that I recognize more as not coming from Him. Satan has a heyday with me sometimes... But God rules! I love the quote for Chapter 12, too, and have learned the truth of it. Thank you for this open house, Linda. It has been enlightening both in your posts and in the comments. Love and hugs to you!

    1. Trudy, yes, you're so right. As we grow to understand God's character and recall His unlimited faithfulness, we grow more discerning to His familiar, loving, steady voice ... and are much quicker to recognize the enemy when he comes to call.

      And are much much quicker to bid him far from us.

      Thanks for all the insight you have lent to us as we've talked together. You are an encourager, for sure ...

  2. In spite of my best intentions, I've missed more of this than I've caught, but what endures is a resolution to dive into one of Ruth's books as soon as I can.
    Also, that upcoming topic sure does sound relevant to this blogger's ears. So glad you show up in my inbox, so I've got no one to blame but me if I miss something!

    1. Well, it's good to know I appear in your inbox ... and even better when you get to drop in!


      Your input in that upcoming blogging series would be invaluable, for sure, Michele. I know you've got quite a following ...

      Including me!


  3. I haven't read the book, but the 'for others' thing really resonates with me.

    As my abilities fade, and my dreams drift away, I can still be there for others, offering encouragement up to the end.

    1. You've hit the nail on the head, Andrew. When all is said and done, it won't be about our abilities or dreams but on loving well and serving faithfully.

      And that, my friend, describes your presence in blog-land to a T.

  4. Thanks, Linda, for letting me ride along on this journey too.
    I think the part that has been the most helpful for me was in chapter 9 where she talks about our tendency to hold on to places we've felt comfortable (or secure). To hold on to roles, responsibilities, activities, etc. that "give us meaning". Learning to find God's meaning for us in the silence - meaning that goes way beyond "roles" - - and then learning to let God speak into the very dailiness of life - in the changes of life and roles, to interact with others mindfully and not so much in my own strength or old ways of doing things, but giving Him more room to work through me.
    I have to admit, I think I'm better at being part of an in-person book club, but a chance to share with you and this group is good. I look forward to seeing what you choose next!

    1. Dear, dear friend ... I'm so glad you've been reading with us and participating when you can. For sure, we're probably all better in-person than online, but 'til then ...


      Please keep jumping on in. It warms my heart to share a bit of life with you here!


  5. Although I didn't dive into this study with you, the times I've popped in make me wish I had. But it's never too late, right? Linda, there's peace here with this one. Love it.

    1. You're absolutely right, Kristi! It's never too late ... I'm guessing people are still in process of ordering the book.

      And that's all good!


  6. I think you have a beautiful ministry on your blog here my sweet friend! -

    1. If that's what's happening, I can only praise God!

  7. I agree with Michele - “so glad you show up in my inbox.” Great to learn more and more about my now far-distant friend. Good book club.

    My Aha moments: I realized from Chap 2 that I need an artifact (pic of Jesus, maybe a lite candle representing Holy Spirit etc) would help me focus. I do need visuals.

    Also, very encouraged that I have experienced some of what Ruth writes about even though silence seems to be impossible for the solitude part but silence is not something I can actually do. Maybe more for introverts?

    I liked Chap 12 as we reach out and become all things to all people (like Paul said) without our false self rearing its ugly head regularly.

    Ready for whatever is next..

    1. Hey Buds! I'm glad that you were able to find some treasures along the way that will encourage you in your walk, your ministry, your leadership.

      But as Heather said a few comments ago, a face-to-face Book Club is preferable, isn't it. But since we don't get to share that together any more, I'm oh so grateful that you're here.

      And that I still call you my dear friend.

  8. For the Sake of Others is something God keeps directing me too. Currently I'm reading a book on self-forgetfulness. There's such freedom when we do not work from a place of needing to impress, wanting to be liked, or manipulating to our side of things to feel more secure. Paul's words are a life verse for me which direct to our identity in Christ fully. But like him, I haven't quite grasped it yet!

    Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do:

    Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.

    Thanks again for sharing this book with us. I haven't read it yet, but most likely will in the future.

    1. You're so right, Lynn! These words, right here -->'There's such freedom when we do not work from a place of needing to impress, wanting to be liked, or manipulating to our side of things to feel more secure.'

      Prepare to be quoted in the days ahead!


  9. I'm trying to make a point of silencing myself as I enter prayer for longer periods of time, Linda, since starting to read this book. You know that I haven't been able to continue or to participate further in this discussion, but I do believe that we too often rush to talk to God instead of sitting and listening to Him. I've done this in my prayer life before I read Ruth's words, but not to the degree that I am now. So I thank you and her for that perspective shift. Love you, girlfriend! And stay warm and dry! I know the weather's been crazy up your way!

    1. I'm glad that when all was said and done the book ended up being an encouragement in your spiritual life, Beth. I like the way you put it -->'A perspective shift.'

      Yes, yes, some kind of shift or adjustment each day can be a very good thing.

  10. I didn't want to read the last chapters and be done. Such a great book! Honestly though, I struggle. My brain resists silence and I constantly have to shush it and steer it back. But I know that my efforts are starting to pay off and that God knows I long for a deeper relationship. It isn't instant, but nothing worth having is! Thank you for choosing this book and inviting us on this journey!

    1. You're right, Sarah ... looking back, I remember feeling the same way as the book drew to a close. I absolutely hear you about the struggle ... don't you just love that's exactly where He meets us best?

      Bless you for forging through it and sharing with us here.

  11. I'm stalled in the middle of the chapters from session 3. Far from failure, I'm really enjoying the book even if it takes me a few more weeks or all summer! to finish. And I'll enjoy returning here and reading everyone's input for the appropriate chapters. Thank you for creating this space, friend!

    1. Or all summer is just fine. This is definitely a book to savor, to sit with, isn't it, friend ...

      And yes, I've appreciated the commentary that's emerged from our reading together. Such richness from you all ...


Dear Reader ~

Technical glitches happen.

* sigh *

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lindastoll @ juno . com

My apologies. And thanks for the grace ...