Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Avoid Mockers~ February 22, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:56 pm
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We’ve been gone from home for just at 3 months now. One thing about moving hours away from everyone you’ve ever known, you have lots of time to think…perhaps a little too much time! Now I’m not saying this is specific to me, but it is something I’ve observed having been removed from varying situations.

I’ve had a rather painful, if not obvious revelation: some people want to see you fail for no other reason than sheer malice.

Fortunately, for every one of them, there is someone who celebrates your triumphs, encourages you & truly wishes you great success…hang on to them.

You shouldn’t be overly concerned with those who wish you no good, who seem, in fact, to thrive off your misfortune. Don’t try to interpret why they have such harsh feelings for you, your efforts will likely prove futile. There is a solid chance they may not be completely aware why they have such feelings of contempt aimed squarely at you. Even those you have wronged and forgiveness seems out of their reach, don’t allow yourself to become all-consumed by it. If you’ve made your peace with them and more importantly, the Lord, let it go.

“Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” (Proverbs 22:24-25 NLT)

Instead be thankful for those who love you, the real you, the ones who forgive your shortcomings, shoulder your burdens and actually defend you against the cynics.

I have said this in numerous posts and I’m going to say it again, be kind always. Add to that, even when you’ve been wronged, feel misjudged or when someone shoots you the death stare….be kind always. We are all a messed up bunch of sinners and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we can get on with the business of loving one another.

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~Superficial Change~ February 11, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:23 pm

May I be so bold as to say that we have all found ourselves at a place where we were desperate for change at one time or another. Circumstances have left us far from content and we find that we are searching for some way, any way, to feel better. 

Oftentimes when those feelings rise up, when we’re down in the gutter of life, the first thing that comes to mind is that which will bring instant gratification. A new hairdo, a wardrobe makeover and a tighter physique are all within the realm of possibilities. We’ll rush to the salon, whip out the plastic with a resounding “charge it” and exercise like a fiend all in the name of “something new.” When that doesn’t bring the satisfaction we had hoped for, we start looking at the bigger picture. Conceivably, a shift in our line of work, a new home, a different locale… even a brand-spankin-new family, springs to mind as the fix we need. 

We’re flailing, doing everything we can conjure up to mend whatever is broken or find what we believe is missing all the while accomplishing nothing other than added frustration. We feel hopeless to deal with the heart of the matter so we continually fight to manipulate that which we can control. 

While I am by no means an expert on such matters, I have had a single moment of clarity in the midst of my own past struggles:

No amount of external changes can give you freedom if you are trapped inside your mind. 

“You can’t put lipstick on a pig,” in other words, you can’t hide what’s underneath. And there really is no point in trying to, because eventually, the facade cracks and you’re left exposed. So let’s spare ourselves the exhaustive work of trying to recreate our outsides and just deal with the insides from the start. How? The answer is simple…and complicated…get wisdom.  

 

Seek to find the root of the problem and be receptive to the solution. It requires more strength, courage and gumption than simply skimming the surface but it’s effects are longer lasting. 

 

~Annonymous Tears~ February 3, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 11:51 am
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Today started out as one of those days where the tears were just beneath the surface. It was the craziest thing because I couldn’t even pinpoint the source of my sudden sensitivity. The feeling of tension in my chest was ever present as was the constricting of my throat as I choked back the waterworks.

For those who don’t know, I’m a natural cryer, meaning I do it often and for seemingly no real good reason. I’ve been accused of being tenderhearted more than a time or two in my life, which is a blessing & a curse. Typically, even if no one else can comprehend what is causing my emotional distress, I usually know which is what had me flabbergasted this morning.

Rather than try to hash it out, I chose avoidance. I attempted to beat the weepies into submission. First I tried the death machine, (elliptical in layman’s terms), to no avail. Next up, I pounded the pavement. For a solid 2 miles my mind was jumbled & I was growing more frustrated by the minute. The release of endorphins usually works. That’s when I started talking to Jesus, nothing heavy, just a “Hey Jesus, what’s up with me today?!” There was a nice, soft breeze while I ran accompanied by the lightest of showers, and that’s when I got my answer and felt at peace.

Sometimes, it’s ok to just be sad; inexplicably, possibly even somewhat irrationally sad, because even if we don’t know the source of our sorrow, Jesus does and he knows precisely what to do with it. It could be there is someone you love going through hell and that sudden sadness you feel is a stirring in your spirit to pray for them, even when no name or specific need comes to mind. Maybe there’s something in your own life that you haven’t given much thought to and this is the Lord’s way of calling attention it so that it can be dealt with before it festers. It could be something else altogether!

My point is, when those feelings of overwhelming sadness strike, rather than run from it, (literally in my case), take a moment and pray about it. There is a verse that has always brought me comfort that comes to mind and I hope that it brings you peace as well.

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Even when unnamed, silent tears fall, they are never in vain. Not one goes unnoticed by the One who knows the number of hairs on your head. Let that sink in today.