This morning I watched the sun rise over the Atlantic. The first full morning of my sabbatical time — a much needed respite and time for exploring with my son. He is in film camp while I am left to enjoy the beautiful salt air. “The first step to learning to respond well and appropriately to others is to learn to respond well to yourself,” a friend aptly shared. The theme I am bringing into this season involves renewing, refueling and putting the oxygen mask on myself first. It is about coming to know self in a deeper way, with compassion and love.

This summer’s journey will entail a road trip to see dear friends in Savannah, precious time with Cousin Fred on Beech Mountain and with cousins Don and Ben in Virginia. I’ll also spend time in Birmingham, AL, deepening my understanding of the deep roots and pervasive sin of institutional racism. My son and I will watch the San Francisco Giants play ball and take a road trip up the coast to Washington State, where I’ll spend time playing, praying and worshipping with my beloved Little Sisters of St. Clare. As the summer unfolds, I will share photos, art and a few words when inspired. In the meantime, may we be awash with this blessing from St. Clare:

Live without fear.
Your creator has made you whole,
always walks with you,
and loves you as a mother.
So follow the good road in peace.
And may the blessing of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be with us this day and forevermore.

About Mother Beth Tjoflat

Episcopal priest, urban contemplative, playwright, lover of hounds, American of Chilean-Norwegian-Moravian descent. Interests include transformational ministry with the forgotten and marginalized; church planting and congregational development; 12-step spirituality; Hispanic ministry; radical hospitality, and spending time with dear friends.
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