Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Blogging Sabbatical

I am leaving for a pilgrimage to Ireland next week and so will be taking a blogging Sabbatical for the next month until early July.  We have done so much planning, the housesitter will be staying at the Abbey to care for our Abbess Tune, now all that is left is a few more details like packing and then heading off on our adventure.  The next few days will be busy, so I need to set aside any other work. 

While I am away I have some resources for you to peruse.  K. at the blog Onehouse recently started a community blog called Listening Point about the contemplative life.  The posts have been lovely and deep (and not just because I have a post up today) :-) .  Tess from Anchors and Masts who reads here has contributed.  I have also been discovering some new blogs that I am enjoying as well.  I found the blog of another Christine who lives in Seattle called GodSpace — she has a link to a great article about why working less is better for the planet (not to mention your soul).  If you are in the Seattle area, she also invites you to consider participating in a Celtic retreat August 17-19 on Camano Island.  Beyond Rivalry has a great poem from Louise Erdrich called “Advice to Myself.”  Also visit this Desert blog with great recent posts on mysticism.  There are other lovely looking blogs linked at Listening Point that I hope to explore more once I return from travels.

I had hoped to get my self-published book project done before I left, but then I realized there was more I wanted to do, bringing in collage, paint, and lettering rather than just leaving it with photos and text.  And so I asked my inner taskmaster to step aside and let my inner artist breathe and move into more spaciousness when I return from my trip.  I have dedicated my summer to creativity and play.  I also had another round of editing to do for our lectio divina book being published by Paulist Press which I had to complete before going away.  It now has a publication date of July 2008.  Some other projects in the works as well, but more about those when I return.

I will be spending time away from the computer this month with perhaps an occasional email check in a cafe.  But mostly I will be breathing deeply and delighting in a land of great natural and historical beauty.  I feel this deep kinship to those ancient monks who were immersed in the arts and nature.  I am eager to see the Book of Kells and the book of creation.  I have this sense that our trip is going to open up an entirely new space within me and I have no idea what it will look like.

Your prayers are welcome, especially for my sweet Tune, that she feels safe and secure while we are away.  Getting the right setup for her has been by far the most stressful element of preparing for this trip, but I feel good about the people who will be caring for her. 

I also ask your prayers for a young boy named Emilio, he is a friend’s son and he is in the hospital with a very serious eye infection that could necessitate surgery to remove the eye.  Prayers for his healing and for my friend’s comfort.

See you in July!

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbeyof the Arts

You might also enjoy

Christine Interviewed on the Compass Podcast

Christine was interviewed about fasting and Lent on the Compass Podcast. She shares her insights on how fasting can go beyond traditional ideas of abstaining from food and can instead be a way to open ourselves to a deeper encounter with the divine. Christine outlines

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Anne Barsanti

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Anne Barsanti’s reflection The Quiet. I crave the quiet of a new morning. I’ve always been an early riser and am frequently

Read More »

19 Responses

  1. Hi Christine,

    Oh i hope you will have such a wonderful trip! Ireland is supposed to be such an amazing place, i always picture green hills, deep wells, and misty coves. May dear St Brigit protect and guide you on your journey : )



  2. Thank you Miss Eagle, I like that alliteration — “blessings and bliss”

    Thanks for the wonderful Celtic prayer Bette, I am curious to see what kind of trees there are in Ireland. Most photos I’ve seen are these vast green fields or cliffs.

    Thank you Listing Straight!

  3. Thank you for the great links to keep us busy while you are away. You will be missed for sure but we will be waiting to hear about your adventures. I can’t wait to see photos of those irish TREES!

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind always be at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    and rains fall soft upon your fields.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

  4. Thank you Christine for dropping by Desert. I have put your beautiful blog in my FeedDemon. I hope you have a wonderful time in Ireland and come back refreshed to the Abbey and your projects.

    Blessings and bliss

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you Shaula, Tess, Rich, and Suz. How wonderful to have your voices wishing me well!

    Suz, I think I will love Ireland too, I am already daydreaming about finding a way to spend a year over there down the road. 4 months! Goodness, so glad to hear it worked out well.

    Blessings, Christine

  6. I saw the Book of Kells about fifteen years ago and I still can visualize those wondrous pages. You will love it, Christine. I think you will also love Ireland in general. I have never seen green as green before or again!

    I am so glad you are getting some sabbatical time. I will try to get my deposit in before you go but do know I am a “for sure.”

    I will say some prayers for Tune. I don’t remember if I was writing in the fall but we left out two dogs for four months and went to Boston. They fared very well. I was very worried, as Chryssy is twenty. She is still alive and kicking and they learned some better manners from the dog sitters!

    Blessings to you…

  7. I just got goosebumps at the prospect of your adventure and knowing how selfless you will be in sharing these good things with us all. May the angels of comfort carry you on their wings until you land safely home again with all of us in this beautiful playground you have created.

  8. Will miss you and your wisdom. But you’ll find plenty of old wisdom in Ireland. Looking forward to hearing about it. And seeing what comes out of your camera.