Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Cherish Today, Don’t Wait For Tomorrow~ August 26, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 9:50 am
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I’m sitting on the couch, snuggled up with my youngest, choking back tears so she won’t ask questions that I don’t want to answer. It’s taking everything in me not to rush out the door to find my husband and retrieve our other children from their schools. For those of you who live near me, I’m sure you already know precisely why I’m battling this urge. For the rest of my readers, there was a shooting during a live newscast in which two lives were lost. Details are trickling in but what frightens me isn’t the why or the who, it’s the fact that this took place in what I would consider a relatively small & quiet community, much like the one I live in.

I feel physically sick over the loss of life. To think that these people reported for work this morning, they nor their families having any idea it would be their last. I am devastated by the reality check that has sent shock waves through to my very core. Every part of my momma-bird instincts is screaming at me to protect what’s “mine” but here I sit, talking with you.

Because like me, I think you also need this reminder today. Your life, my life and the lives of every single person we love and care about, are precious. Our days are numbered and not one of us knows when or how our time will come. For me, this brings an awareness to my spirit that cannot be overlooked. Had this horrific tragedy involved someone in my circle, how would I feel about the last interaction I had with them? I’m replaying my morning in my mind, questioning whether or not my final moments with my people were good enough. Did I tell them I loved them and did they know the depths from which I said it? Did I rush them out the door in a frenzy leaving them feeling agitated or worse? I just can’t friends, I simply can’t.

Every single day we are given with the ones we love is nothing short of a gift. Even on the days when the kids won’t stop fighting, the house is a mess, the bills remain unpaid and so on, this one life can take a drastic turn in an instant. Are we cherishing it or taking it for granted, assuming tomorrow will be better? Once again, the world we live in has dealt us an ugly reminder that we are not promised tomorrow so we must make the very best of today. Please, I beg of you, love deeply, give generously and be thankful. Do it today.

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” (Matt 6:34 TLB)

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~I Don’t Have Time~ August 12, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:01 am
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fog(Anyone else freak out when you let this sink in?!)

I don’t know if I’m super sensitive right now because our oldest just started high school and I came to the sudden realization that we only have 4 more years with him, but I’m struggling with the amount of time we actually spend together as a family.

I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom so I do get more time with my children than most. What bothers me is how our days are filled. My kids attend public school so their day starts early, up at 6:45. We rush around packing lunches, getting showers and stuffing backpacks…not my idea of quality time as most days this puts everyone in a foul mood. They spend just over 7 hours in school but it doesn’t end there. One of my kiddos is in band so she is at the school until 5:30, just as I am leaving the house to coach my XC team. Hubs arrives sometime while I’m at practice and eats dinner with 4 of the 5 kids. Runner boy and I shovel it in sometime after 7 depending on how long practice went. The littles have to crash at 8:30 or there is NO getting them up the next day. A quick math problem reveals we spend approximately one hour each weekday together when school is in session. Are you kidding me?!

One would think that weekends would be better, one would be wrong. Saturdays will become filled with invitational meets & band competitions that will cause us to divide and conquer. Sunday we’ll ride to church together, but quickly separate to go to our designated classes. After several hours there, we’ll grab lunch and crash from the exhaustion of the week, maybe a family movie after naptime….hold up, momma forgot she’s low on lunch supplies for the school week so to the grocery I go instead of relaxing with my family!

Y’all, time is fleeting and it scares me to think of how little we are investing into the family that we’ve been blessed with! I am terrified that one day down the road I will wake up to an empty house and broken heart over the number of hours I spent away from the people who mean everything to me! So what do we do?!

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Prov 90:12 ESV)

To me this means taking a quick inventory of what is necessary and what needs to go. Determine your priorities and start eliminating things you do simply out of obligation or because it’s what is expected of you, (or your tribe). There is no glorification in having an overcrowded schedule. You and I will not receive praise for making sure that our family calendar is packed full of clubs, sports, volunteer assignments, etc, etc, etc. I am NOT suggesting that we all become hermits, quitting every activity that means we have to go our separate ways for a time. What I am proposing is that we don’t become so focused on our “to do” list that we spend our days rushing through this one life we are given. I’m so tired of having to say the words “we don’t have time” to my husband and kids. If we have reached the point where we no longer have time for each other, then we are doing something wrong.

Like I said, maybe it’s just me dealing with having a high schooler and the thought that my “baby” starts big kid school next year, but I can’t shake the feeling that my time could be better spent when it comes to my circus and my monkeys. Sending my kids back to school this week was not a relief, it was hard. I know I sound like I’m complaining, and I guess in a way, I am. I have become increasingly jealous of our time. Anyone out there face this same struggle and have some words of wisdom to hand down to young momma’s everywhere dealing with these feelings?

 (I should have warned you all that this was not my most inspirational post ever written…sorry!)