did you miss me?

Posted: November 15, 2010 at 11:41 am

Happy Monday morning! Did you realize I have actually been gone since Thursday afternoon until last night? With no access to the internet…or even to a phone, camera, watch, etc. I literally unplugged myself from the world.

Remember the church “retreat” Peter went on two weekends ago? Well, this past weekend was my turn to go. We attended the Walk to Emmaus, which is a 3 day experience to truly focus on the love of God and learn more about all He offers. What was it like?

I spent three days being served by other women who wanted to help my sole focus be on the experience. I spent three days discussing and learning from others who had so much to share. I spent three days laughing and chatting with amazing women who quickly became friends. I spent three days crying off and on as the beauty of God’s love became even more apparent to me than ever before. Those three days recommitted me to everything I hope in and believe, stronger than I thought possible.

I cannot share specifics because these types of retreats exist all over and who knows whether or not one of you may attend something similar one day. Each experience is meant to be personal with no prejudgment. I also cannot share specifics because no words can describe it. Maybe a vague powerful, humbling, inspirational, fun, or…full, as there was much to eat. Sorry, no food pictures. No camera, remember? 😉 I did get lots of “swag” as you call it. Though it was “agape”, aka pieces of love, for us this weekend – books, teas, treats, ornaments, scarves, and so much more.


Would you believe this weekend even affected the blog? It recommitted me to Faith Fitness Fun and that all I put into it is worth it and something I am meant to pursue. Sometimes I have felt guilty for the time and energy it takes. However, after talks with others this weekend (hi, ladies if you are reading!) and a few special letters I received from loved ones (INCLUDING Lisa, Em, and even Lisa’s mom!), I know without a doubt that it is a good thing.


I can share here and reach out to others with love, support, and kindness for whatever their needs may be – body image, relationships with food, past struggles, a desire to love life, whatever! I’m not saying I blog with the purpose of changing others or inspiring others, but if doing something I love can have that impact on occasion as a side effect, who am I to deny that?

Thank you for listening to my long ramble! I will now leave you with a Q+A I have been waiting to answer and now seems like the perfect time:

I know you are a Christian but does that mean you feel like someone who isn't is not going to Heaven? I know this is very personal but I struggle with this. My husband and I are Jewish and it makes me sad to think that someone else thinks that about me and my family.

I do NOT think this, plain and simply because I do not think ABOUT it. I am not God and I know it is not my place to try to decide anything related to that. I believe God is loving, so all I hope to do in this life is love others, no matter what. I can only say that I have never felt more love, peace, joy, hope, and GOOD in my life since I have come to a Christian faith. The mercy and grace from those beliefs changed my life for the better. I will openly share that, but will never judge others (or their futures) for believing differently.

Now, I have a lot of catching up to do, so please be patient as I get back to emails, comments, etc.and understand why I have not been commenting recently. Time to live my life the best way I can.

  • What would be the hardest for you to go without for 3 days? Phone, camera, computer, watch/clock/any way to tell time? I missed my camera!
  • Do you ever unplug completely? What does it do for you?


52 Comments to “did you miss me?”
  1. I think that’s great. I need to unplug more often most definitely. I think I would have a really hard time going without my computer – or a good workout.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I need that!

    I LOVE being without my phone, computer, but never my camera.

  3. It would be hardest for me to go without my computer. It keeps me occupied when I get restless and I couldn’t miss my boyfriend’s e-mails from Afghanistan.

    I think it would be good for me to go without a clock, I am constantly obsessed about time. When I was out of the country recently, my phone didn’t work so I never looked at the time and I lived in the moment SO much more!

  4. Angela says:

    Oooh sounds like such an exciting, rejuvenating weekend! When I go to visit family, I’m usually without my phone, laptop, etc for the day. It’s nice to forget about everything else that is going on and just focus on the company around you! I do get stir-crazy when there’s no action though… I need to be able to move!! 🙂

  5. Wow your weekend sounds fabulous and refreshing!

  6. Astrid says:

    I participated in a SEA semester for my semester abroad in college. We were completely unplugged while at see. No phones, internet, and even no music!! It was very easy because being out in the middle of the ocean, you do not need these things. The hardest thing for me to go without when I’m on land is a clock. I honestly do not know if I could do it. I am so dependent on know exactly what time it is!

    • Tina says:

      It was certainly weird not knowing what time it was all weekend. When we would get breaks outdoors we would all be looking at the sun trying to figure out an estimate. LOL

  7. Becca says:

    Nobody really calls my cell phone unless they absolutely need me. Sometimes I ignore it all day. That’s not a huge problem. I think I’d have more trouble being without my laptop for more than a few hours! I get home from three hours at school and immediately hop back on the internet! Lol!

    My high school Psych teacher didn’t have a clock on the walls (hid it in one of the cabinets) because he didn’t want us focusing on the time. Some days I took off my watch so I wasn’t focusing on time, either! Made it so much easier to focus on class, I think.

    At Bible camp, we unplugged. It was so much better, I think. And when we go on church trips, I only take my camera and my iPod, and even then I only use my iPod on the bus ride, really. Sometimes I just bring my camera.

  8. I do have to admit that I don’t really come online over weekends, so I didn’t notice you were gone. However, I’m so glad it refreshed you! I’ve only been on one retreat in my life, and it was a great experience.

  9. Sounds like you had a beautiful weekend. I think I’d miss my phone the most, I like having contact with my family/friends.

  10. Jess says:

    Of course we did! And for the record, I’m glad you are recommitted to the blog (among other things!) as a result of your experiences this weekend – you are a true inspiration and it’s awesome that you can touch and inspire others through just the words you share on this here blog. Amazing.

  11. I got an iPhone a couple of weeks ago and I find it really hard to unplug now, because I am totally addicted to it.

    That said, I go crazy if I know the internet is not working. But if it is working, I can step away from it for long periods without a problem.

    On weekends, I barely go online at all, whereas I am on top of my Reader every couple of hours at work on weekdays (depending on what I am working on). Hey, I don’t take smoking breaks anymore, so why not?

    • Tina says:

      I don’t have an iPhone and don’t want one because I know I would become addicted to it so easily! And your reasoning with the breaks makes perfect sense to me. 😀

  12. I’m so glad the weekend was so great for you.

    I’ve been holding this secret in my head for two weeks about all of those letters you were going to receive! It was tough!

  13. Unplugging every now and then is SO nice! Glad you had a great time 🙂

  14. We were out of town for the weekend and were so busy I had no choice but to unplug. I have to say it was quite refreshing 🙂

    Glad you had such a great weekend!

  15. Melie says:

    It certainly looks like you had a very interesting and fulfilling weekend! I hope you enjoyed every minute of it! Oh, and did you know that “agape” is actually a greek word and literally means love? Hope you receive and give lots of it today and every other day! 🙂

  16. Wow, sounds very inspiring! I don’t understand when people feel as if they can predict the eternal destiny of others. Um…I’ll leave that up to God, thanks. I wouldn’t even WANT to determine others’ fates–it would be a tiring job!

    I love to check the time (such a bad habit, but it has made me really good at guessing the time when I don’t have a clock!), so it would be hard for me to not do that for days.

  17. I would have missed my husband and computer!

  18. YOU my dear have so many incredible things to share with the world. Whether you intend to or not…you inspire. Whether you intend to or not…you make me smile! Always!

    I’m so glad you had a retreat that filled you UP!!!!

  19. the hardest thing for me to go without is my phone…but it has internet and a camera on it too 🙂

  20. It is SO nice to unplug for a few days!!! It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend full of the things that mean the most in life 🙂

  21. Mellissa says:

    So glad you enjoyed your retreat, it sounds like it was truly inspiration for you.

    I would feel lost without my phone and email but it is not coming with me to Spain and Portugal next week. A week with no work!

    • Tina says:

      I bet that is going to feel SO nice! I would love to go back to Spain…and to get the chance to see Portugal. Can’t wait for all of your amazing pictures.

  22. Tina I would love to attend a retreat like that — so glad to hear you and your hubby had a good time. I understand that you can’t say more about it — but I still wish you could 🙂

    It would be hard for me to be without Jason for a few days, or my phone or a computer. Oh, and no shower or bed would be kind of hard too!

    • Tina says:

      Well, we did have showers and beds. 🙂 Maybe not the most high class or comfortable ones, but they sufficed.

      It was hard not being able to talk to Peter all weekend, but the time flew by. And we had SO much to talk about when I got back. He couldn’t tell me anything from his until I had been through it.

  23. It would be hardest to be away from the boys. I don’t do too much on the weekends with my computer really other than comment on blogs here and there. Glad you had a great weekend!

  24. I have always wanted to go on a Walk to Emmaus retreat! My husband went on the youth version in high school, but I think we both need to go to ones as adults.

  25. Glad you had such a great experience at the group. Ive started going to church more and it feels really good to get back in touch with my relationship with God.

    I feel so lost without my phone. Only when i dont have service do i unplug! HAHAHA!

  26. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tina Reale, Tina Reale. Tina Reale said: did you miss me?: Happy Monday morning! Did you realize I have actually been gone since Thursday afternoon until… http://bit.ly/aE8GJs […]

  27. I’m so glad you enjoyed it – sounds amazing and like you said, very personal! So sweet that you got so much support in your absence – very cool.

    I would be VERY lost without my computer – it kind of acts as my phone, watch, etc. a lot of the time!

  28. Mandy says:

    I am so glad you an amazing time and had time for reflection and and growth 🙂 I hope you enjoyed my letter too!

  29. Of course you were missed. But I’m sure the break was nicely welcomed. And it sounds like you had quite the experience! I would love to attend one someday.

  30. I like to unplug from the blog world on the weekends but I still get on Twitter. My goal is to unplus completely one weekend and not worry about my phone or camera. Or internet!

  31. Just wanted to commend you for how well you handled that question. That’s a tough question, as a Christian, to try to answer. You did a great job!

  32. Sarah says:

    That is a tough question to answer. God is love but He’s also a jealous God. I think the question of whether or not a person is going to heaven has to do more with their decision about Jesus Christ. Their are some things that God takes a stand on and accepting His Son is one of those things. He doesn’t want anyone to miss heaven, but He is also a holy and just God. We have to try to take into account His whole character, not just one aspect. Sorry if I’ve offended anyone.

    • Tina says:

      I certainly believe all of those things as well, but still don’t try to even begin to understand how God will handle other’s future lives. I know all I can focus on is my life now and just try to keep that perspective to live how I feel called to live and let God do the rest.

      Not saying that’s not what you’re doing though. I’m just saying that is why I personally don’t even really think about the whole “judgment” thing.

  33. Rachel says:

    I loved your answer to the question from the Jewish woman. I’m Jewish, too!

    I would love to un-plug from all of my electronics, but I NEVER do it. I honestly get a little anxiety about it. “What if a family member has an health emergency?” “What if I get in a car accident and I don’t have my cell phone?”

    I don’t know how people functioned before cell phones, really. It is a different world now.

  34. Melodie says:

    Looks like you had a great time! Love all of the swag 🙂 I have had some friends who have done that!! I would love to go one day!

    I also bet it was nice for you to “unplug” :o)

  35. Meg says:

    First, you were missed! Second, it’s nice to really take some time and reflect and recharge spiritually.

    Most of all, I’m glad that you addressed this question! I feel the same way you do. Just because someone is not the same religion as me, I definitely do not think less of them. I really think at the end of the day, it’s what is in your heart!

  36. […] related to balanced, healthy, and joyful living.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginAfter such an amazing weekend, I worried that today would feel disappointing. Or that the good feelings I left the weekend with […]

  37. sounds like an amazing weekend!!! I would LOVE to go on one of those weekends.

    It would be hardest for me to go 3 days with no internet. I feel like I’d just die. My business is all online and I’m freaking out if I have no internet for an hour. Pretty pathetic, I know. Phone, tv, camera..no problem. Internet..oh my!!

  38. emily says:

    The hardest thing I couldn’t live without for 3 days would be WATER! I can’t imagine those across the country with a lack of water. I am so blessed!

  39. Nichole says:

    I think I took a deep, relaxing breathe when I read this.

    Glad you had an amazing time.

    I would be really sad to go without my puppy for three days. You can have the phone(s)!

  40. Anna says:

    I have been on a Chrysalis weekend back in high school and most recently on a Journey team for college aged adults. I found that the Journey weekend even as a team member was refreshing for me and helped me refocus what my priorities needed to be. So glad you were able to experience the weekend.

    The hardest thing for me to go without is someway to tell time.

    • Tina says:

      We have those here too (Chrysallis) and actually, after this weekend, I started thinking how that would be really cool to serve on since I used to teach high school. And like you said, refreshing to go through again – even on the other side.

  41. Way to go! Sounds amazing! I have some friends that have done Emmaus!

  42. This sounds like it was a great weekend for you… a time to reflect and reconnect. It’s interesting you mentioned unplugging this weekend because my husband and I made a conscious decision on Saturday to spend the entire day without any electronics, including cell phones, computers, TV, etc. It’s amazing how much more relaxed I felt, and I even took a nap, which is rare for me!

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