The Monday before Thanksgiving I was invited to our Bishop’s office about an hour away. It felt like being called to the Principal’s office. Rather than getting in trouble, though, I was encouraged to take a 4-week paid renewal leave. I felt like I had won a jackpot (which is impossible, because I don’t gamble). “What would I do?,” I asked, and she just grinned. “Rest. Spend time in prayer and discernment.” She affirmed some of my gifts and my calling, especially my strategic thinking, knowing when to push and when to pull back. She made some challenging observations about healing, leadership, and ministry. I have a lot to process and pray over… and now I will have the time and space to do just that. From December 25 - February 11 (I already had planned a post-Christmas week of vacation and a 10-day pilgrimage to Israel in January), I will not be in my church. I will be at home, with friends and family, at the Abbey of St. Walburga (for a few days of retreat), and wherever else God leads me. I will seek Her face, I will submit to Her Call. I will also spend some sunrises like the one pictured here - from our new hot tub, relaxing and giving thanks for the beauty of Gods’s creation. Amen!