I can see clearly now

One of the greatest gifts of this past weekend was the time to step away from everyday life and evaluate my current activities and pre-occupations.

A got a break in the daily, endless task of cooking for my family (boy did I ever enjoy that break). I felt renewed spiritually with safe heart-to-heart conversations and prayer with my mom. Exercised my mind and body and explored my creativity in new and fun ways. All of that was so fabulous. And I am so grateful for my family giving me that time.

I'm not sure if it was the combination of what we did, how we did it (low key and relaxed) or the location - away from our own homes in a beautiful place - but I feel renewed beyond the sum of the parts that was this weekend.

I had two bus rides as bookends to our visit. The first, on the way there, to ready my heart (though I hadn't intended it as such) and the ride home to reflect and remember. I feel like I've been blessed double. Time to rejuvenate, time to reflect.

I'm processing most of these things close to my heart for now because I don't have time to sit and write all I want to share. But I will share this overarching theme from my personal reflections of the weekend:

I intend to be more concerned about living a life of integrity (some might call it authentic, intentional living or living your best life - all would apply) than writing about living a life of integrity.

That doesn't mean I'm going to stop writing. It just means who I say I am better be who I really am - in all respects. The values I write about better be the way I really live. Because if not I'm a big fraud and you should stop reading this blog.

(Hope you're all still here) So far I think you're safe, I don't feel I'm a big fraud or have misrepresented myself or my values but I don't want to even wiggle my toes near that line.

Who I am "in my daily life" matters to me, it matters to my family, it matters to my community. My on-line presence should be a reflection of that or like peeping through my living room window into the reality of my life. After a weekend away with one of the people who knows me best I can see that all the more clearly. As clear as the blue sky, sunshine and ocean waters.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • Naomi Kilbreth

    Naomi Kilbreth on May 5, 2010, 10:21 p.m.

    It's funny you should mention this, Renee. Glen and I have been talking about how important it is that Christians should be living the way the say they live, and how, generally speaking, Christians fit very well into the mold the world has given us. So unfortunate! And while we are so FAR from perfect, you hit the nail on the head that living a life of integrity is so very important, far more than allowing people to believe we've got life figured out. And believe me, today is one of those days where I think, man, I SO do not have it together! lol

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  • SavvyChristine

    SavvyChristine on May 6, 2010, 1:01 a.m.

    Still here! Any time you live and write authentically is good. I'm curious to see what kind of posts you'll be putting up, or if there will be any changes!

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    • renee

      renee on May 6, 2010, 10:52 a.m.

      I don't know that there will be any changes per se. But I always I have more posts floating in my head than ever get published here. Maybe I'll sort them differently in my head before writing. 

      Basically, I want to live my life according to my values and be less concerned about writing about how I'm living and more concerned about actually doing the living. Take handwashing the dishes for example. I haven't really written much about that here (it's been a big change for us). I keep thinking "I'd like to write about this" but it's more important that I actually do that then write about it - see what I mean?

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  • Deb J

    Deb J on May 6, 2010, 2:37 a.m.

    I was introduced to "A Word for the Year" several years ago. Each year I prayerfully ask God to show me what word he wants me to make my word and what that words means in light of his work in my life. This year my word is Intentional. I am being more intentional about the things I do, the decisions I make, the words I use, etc. I am finding that, like you and me, many Christians are coming to this idea of being more intentional, more authentic, more upfront, and more who God has made them to be. Isn't it wonderful the way HE works in our lives to bring us to this point?

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  • Megan

    Megan on May 6, 2010, 12:31 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing this, Renee. I have been struggling with similar feelings after my trip "away" and haven't felt particularly called to write more, but live more. But I still want to keep up with my blog. Writing is an important outlet for me. It just needs to find its right place in the order of things right now.

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  • Debbie

    Debbie on May 7, 2010, 3:27 p.m.

    Such a lovely post, Renee. First off, I'm so happy for you that you and your mum can share such a beautiful weekend together; that you share creative interests. My mum and I don't have much in common in that regard, and so it makes connecting sometimes challenging. Secondly, I love how you talk about actually living your life authentically, vs. just writing about it. I couldn't agree more. Who are we writing this all down for, anyway? If it's to prove something to our "readers" then what's the point? But...if we live it, it will come through in everything we do. That's how I feel about it. Live it...and the heart will shine. My grandma, who just passed away on April 25, was Christian and she was so beautiful and authentic. She had a heart of gold and was herself, pure love. While she and I didn't share the same religious beliefs, she was such a beautiful example to me for how to live. And for what it's worth, I think your authenticity SHINES in every word you write. I really love visiting here. <3

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  • Ellen

    Ellen on May 7, 2010, 11:25 p.m.

    Living a life of integrity... and not just living it to write about it. So well said. I struggle with this, too and it's been in my thoughts lately. Juggling what's really the focus. I look forward to what you'll share about your journey in all of this. (and never, ever have I ever had the whiff of a fraud about you! I love visiting here because you are real about your life!)

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  • Francesca

    Francesca on May 8, 2010, 3:43 p.m.

    Sometimes we mothers have such a hard time going away, and yet, stepping away and looking at our life with some distance and perspective brings so much insight. I'm going to reflect about integrity. On a lighter note, I do hope you'll write about handwashing the dishes. I've never owned a dishwasher, and I'm more than ready to have someone cast some light on the qualities of handwashing dishes.

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  • nicola@which name?

    nicola@which name? on May 10, 2010, 3:07 p.m.

    I feel similarly about my time away. It was a time to connect and reflect and reset. It was not time away from my children, so there was no "stopping" for me, but a break from the everyday was more welcome than I realized, as I found I was grumpy yesterday as I did the laundry, etc. And that was with Mike relieving me of extras yesterday! Your words have always rung true and honest and real to me. It is why I love your blog, but I have also been thinking A LOT about how it feels there is still a disconnect from what I practice and preach on my blog, even if there isn't really. You explain it much better than I just did! Nicola

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