Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~TTFN, Ta-Ta For Now~ November 27, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 2:28 pm

It has been a whirlwind of a week. We’ve squeezed in as much friend and family time as humanly possible in the middle of trying to pack up years of living. We’ve shared meals, chatted over coffee, had rowdy sleepovers and cried more than I ever thought possible. I’m so thankful for every person who has taken time out of their own busy schedules preparing for family gatherings to send us well wishes or grace our door one last time.

Our caravan is all loaded up and ready to roll but I had to post one last time from this house. The house where I started out as a single momma with the cutest little blue eyed boy you’ve ever seen but I’m leaving with 5 kiddos in tow, moving closer to kid #6! It’s amazing how when you take the time to look back you see just how God has worked in your life, lining up every step in accordance with His perfect will.

As we pull away, I’ll watch our little hometown fade in the rearview and forever be grateful for all that my small town life has taught me. Love you all, until next time ❤️

My how time flies

 

 

~Leaving Home~ November 20, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:54 am
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All week I’ve tried to sit down and write this post. It’s not that the words wouldn’t come, but more like they won’t stop along with the tears that seem to be ever present. One week from today, we will load down a uHaul and leave the only place I’ve ever called home.

While I am excited for the next chapter of our lives, I am also terribly sad about leaving our quaint little community that has blessed us with so much more than just a place to live. Every place I’ve gone the last couple of weeks has brought me to tears. The preschool with the same sweet teachers who’ve taught all of my babies, the grocery store where I know everyone by name, and don’t even get me started on my church.

I really wanted to write some eloquent post about all the lovely people that I am going to miss and I just can’t, there are far too many to mention. What I will say is this, you all know who you are.

  • The friends who have loved me, cared for me, cried with me and laughed until we cried…you’re the best friends a girl could ever hope for, irreplaceable and lifelong sisters.
  • To my kids friends…I’ve watched you grow up right alongside my own children. They have been equally blessed with fabulous friends who have filled this house with giggles and strange odors…both of which I will miss more than I can put into words. Please come visit!
  • My cross country team, who has made me incredibly proud not only of their athletic ability but also of the caliber of young people they are. It was an honor to be your coach and I will always be one of your biggest fans! Remember, one at a time 😉
  • My family who has dropped everything to be there for me when I needed help, a hug or a swift kick in the behind…now you just have to make a road trip!
  • My church family, who leaves me in awe week after week just by being you. Your compassion, hospitality and genuine love for one another is a true reflection of Jesus. I will always call ANC home.

That’s really about all I can muster. The tears are blinding but my heart overflows with gratitude. Please pray for our family as we go through this transition and I will keep you posted on our adventures!!

Love, hugs and prayers. ~Valeriefriend prov

 

~Don’t Deposit Opinions~ November 12, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:20 am
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“What’s the matter, Emma?”

I had just picked up the last of my school kids yesterday and my typically chatty, smiley girl was sulking.

“Nothing.”

I lowered the rear view mirror so I could quickly lock eyes with her.

“Emma, we all can tell something is wrong so just spill it.”

“Susie Q called me stupid!” (Name changed 😉)

“Well, are you stupid?”

“NO!!”

“Of course you’re not, so why does it matter what she said? Baby, just because someone said something about you doesn’t make it true.”

And that seemed to be enough for my girl. She was right back to her normal self, not giving another thought to the opinion of one of her peers. That’s when it hit me, how many times have I sulked over something someone said to or about me?

We all have had someone be the opposite of nice to us. Someone’s called you a name, spread a rumor about you, sent you a nasty-gram and in the spirit of total honesty, you’ve been the guilty party as well, I know I have. Some of you blessed souls out there genuinely seem to have the ability to let it roll right off your back while others really struggle with letting opinions take root. I’m somewhere in the middle, depending on the offender and the depth of “meanness,” I can either shrug it off or take it to heart. When it comes to what others think about you, you have a choice, save it in your memory bank or delete it.

While I do think it’s wise to give thought to what others say about you, brief thought that is, I do not believe it’s healthy to let it alter how you see yourself. My husband, wise man that he is, once shared this little nugget of truth with me when I was seriously damaged goods because of another’s words, “Who you are is defined by how you live and how God sees you. People’s opinions, although worth considering at times, are not the final definition.”

Words hurt, friends, I get that. It is impossible to control what others say so it is up to us to guard our hearts and minds from such things. smile

 

 

~Your Gift is a Gift to You Too~ November 6, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:43 am
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It’s been two weeks since I’ve sat down to write. Normally I would chastise myself for allowing so much time to pass without doing what I truly feel is part of my calling, but not today. Today I am simply thankful for the opportunity and the gift of writing. Too often I believe we take our gifts for granted, thinking of them as only being beneficial to those we serve. However, this morning as I carved out a few minutes of quiet to let my fingers fly, I realized just how much my gift is a gift to me also.

Sharing my life with you is a blessing to me. Writing gives me the freedom to be gut level honest about my struggles and my victories. While it’s always my hope that it will minister to whoever finds their way to my page, there has never been a post that didn’t speak to me first and inspire me to take stock of my own life. What I realized this morning as I sat curled up under my fleece blanket with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand while the rest of the house was perfectly still was simply this: when I write, I am forced to shut everything else out and focus only on what the Lord has laid on my heart in that moment. And that is the gift.

The last couple of weeks have been busy with our typical commitments mixed in with some major life changes. I was looking at my writing as one more thing I had to do, another obligation, and in all honesty, feeling somewhat bitter about not having the time to fit it in but for the wrong reasons. This morning as I slowly let the words come out, I realized how peace overtakes me in those moments when the only “noise” that seeps in is the sound of my fingers on the keys.

What is your gift? Have you stopped to reflect on how it changes your life? Maybe say this little prayer with me today:

Dear Lord, today I am thankful for the gifts and the talents, both great and small, that you have given me. Help me to see how even while I use them for your glory, they are a blessing to me. In your precious name, Amen. James 1