Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Keepin’ It Real~ July 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 11:41 am
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I have a feeling that some of you are about to be seriously disappointed in me. I should start by telling you, I don’t swear, honest I don’t. I used to cuss like a sailor back in my pre-Jesus-loving days but I have since been redeemed and turned from my potty mouth ways. However, moments ago, I let a four letter word slip….and there was a witness!

It’s been one of those mornings where I feel like my brain is in a fog. I’ve tried to function like a normal human being but have found it rather impossible. So naturally I assumed I just needed another dose of caffeine. The coffee had gone lukewarm so I had to zap it in the microwave because coffee just isn’t coffee unless it’s scorching hot. Right as I went to grab my super cute mug from the machine of fire, my hand slipped and the nectar of the heavens went flying everywhere, including all over me. I did mention how hot I like my coffee, right?! Y’all it stung…seriously…and you know how I feel about my coffee so seeing it spill into the floor was a crushing blow. Before I could even think, the dirty word started to slip out. I caught myself midway through the “sh” sound and tried to throw on the brakes. So what came out was a whispered, slightly slurred, version of the word. I heard something behind me and slowly turned around to see Peyton…laughing. In my anguish I’d forgotten I was not alone. I started to tell him I was sorry for the slip when through his laughter he yelled, “REPENT”!!

That kid.

As I mopped up my mess, I did apologize, to Peyton & Jesus, for my faux pas. And I was thankful. Thankful for grace, even in the small moments. Thankful for kids who know their momma is human and can forgive her shortcomings. Thankful for a God who loves me, even when I slip in frustration. Thankful for the gift of repentance that draws us closer to that very same God. And lastly, thankful for the Keurig that quickly replaced my go-go juice so that this day can continue 😉coffee

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV) 

 

 

~The Heart Speaks~ July 21, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:21 am
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Have you ever said something and immediately thought to yourself, “where did THAT come from?!” I know I have, on more occasions than I care to admit.

Good people have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts.” (Luke 6:45 ERV)

(We could probably go ahead and add….what people say with their fingers as well. Because let’s face it, we do a whole lot more talking through the written word than face-to-face.)

This Scripture hurts my heart because I know I have allowed things into my life that have caused me to act uncharacteristically.

The first thing that comes to mind is frustration. Being a stay-at-home mom, I sometimes find myself completely overwhelmed by the demands of the little people in my life. Instead of pausing and seeking direction from The Word, I allow myself to be consumed by my emotions. What flows from my heart in those moments are snippy, sarcastic words that do nothing to remedy the situation but rather cause the frustration to seep into the hearts of the ones I am dumping on.

What about hurt? This one tends to have the reverse affect on me. When I feel hurt by someone, I shut down, building a wall to protect myself from further damage. That is no more healthy than if I lashed out. Instead of talking it out and making room for healing to begin, my lack of communication keeps the hurt bottled up, allowing it to fester until it does come out in my speech. A hurting heart will change your perspective and therefor the things you say in response to any number of scenarios. It’s in those moments, when the wounds run deep, that we have to remember “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) Ask Him to heal your hurts so that the healing can begin before it takes root in your spirit.

For me, anger is probably the most dangerous of emotions that can fill my heart and come screaming out of my mouth. It’s not that I anger easily, but when I do, it’s usually a major offense that I feel cannot be ignored. Anger causes me to react with little to no thought about how my words are going to impact the person on the receiving end. Anger makes me not care about others. It makes me speak harshly, without grace, without love, without compassion. Anger makes me mean. So how are we to keep anger from getting a foothold in our lives? How do we LET IT GO when we really want to hold onto that wrong and feel justified in our madness? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7) Pray for God’s peace to take the place of that anger that is sure to bring ruin.

There are many other things we can allow into our hearts, either good or bad, that will eventually come out of our mouths. Let’s strive to replace bitterness with forgiveness, hate with love, judgment with empathy and more of the like so that the words we speak will be helpful for building others up according to their needs, that they may benefit those who listen. (from Eph 4:29)heart

 

~Show Me A Sign~ July 7, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:49 am
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Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads feeling like you haven’t the faintest idea which way to go?

You could easily continue on the same path you’ve been on, nothing wrong with that, or you could take a hard right into the unknown. The trouble isn’t so much what you should do, it’s feeling confident that it’s what you are supposed to do.

When you choose to live your life following Jesus, making any change can be intimidating. What if it’s not God’s will for your life and you do it anyway? I know I personally fear the ramifications of making the wrong choice. It’s not that I picture the Lord sitting on His throne, eagerly waiting for an opportunity to thump me on the head when I misstep. It’s more of a reverential fear of wanting to walk in His will for my life rather than chasing after my own selfish desires. This is where the real struggle begins, how can I ever be sure that it’s the Lord speaking to me?

Recently I reached out to my aunt whom I often go to for advice. She has a way of giving a different perspective and forcing me to think things through from every angle. She encouraged me to ask God for a sign and had this to add “You’ll know it when you get it. And if you think it’s a sign, but you’re not sure — ask for another one. God is patient that way. He too, wants you to be sure.”

Anytime something speaks to me, I go to scripture for a reference.

Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz:“Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.” (Isaiah 7:10 NLT)

Well, there that is. I am a visual learner, most assuredly, so it makes sense that I would want some sort of sign when making life changes. The Lord created me so it’s not as if this is some big shock to Him. God is not insulted by my request for signs and He is a patient God who loves me and has my best interest at heart.

If you find yourself in a place of indecision today, take the words of Psalm 37 to heart:

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24 NIV)

Delight yourself in the Lord first and foremost. Worship Him in the waiting. Ask Him for direction and watch expectantly for the signs you are seeking. He is faithful, every single time.