Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~13~ September 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:23 am
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Photo cred-cuz Kristy

Photo cred-cuz Kristy

Effective today, at 12:43 pm to be exact, I will have been a mommy for 13 years. There is no greater accomplishment that I could ever achieve that would bring the sense of pride I feel as a parent. God has so generously blessed me with a large family that I don’t deserve and it all started with the cutie in the picture above.

From day one, this kid has had my heart. We are so much alike in numerous ways and yet so completely opposite in others. He is analytical, I’m emotional. He’s hardcore competitive, I’m driven more by having a good time. He is strong willed & self confident, when I tend to be concerned about others opinions & still struggle with insecurities.

In spite of all our differences, he gets me & I get him.

This picture was taken at a recent cross-country meet and I feel it sums up our relationship quite nicely. I have always & will always be my boys number one fan, his momma-coach. I will be there to push, encourage & support him in all that he does. He will never have to question the passion I have to see him succeed. He will never doubt the love that I have for him, my first born. The one who gifted me with the title “Mommy.”

“And his mother stored all these things in her heart.” Luke 2:51

Thirteen years have gone by way too fast. I watched him walk into the school this morning, a teenager, knowing full well that as rapidly as these years have passed, the next five will go even quicker. My momma’s heart can’t take it. I want my boy to be my baby forever.

I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.-Robert Munsch

Happy birthday to one of my greatest blessings, Peyton Andrew. You are a joy and a treasure. Words don’t always convey the depth of emotion behind them, but know this, there has never been a momma more proud of a son than I am of you.


~My Mom~ January 17, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:33 am
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Today is my momma’s 50th birthday!!!  I know, I know, hard to believe when she could still easily pass for my sister, right?

me and mom

In honor of her 50 years on this earth, I thought it would be fitting to list 50 things that she is and has been for me:





My Biggest Cheerleader

Kid spoiler


All-knowing (through my teenage years)

Backstage Momma- no diva dance mom here, she was totally selfless

Hairstylist for every school dance

My confidant

Nurse…even as an adult

Shoulder to cry on

Problem solver

Babysitter-woot woot, send the kids to Nana’s!

Partner in crime





My safe place

Towel wetter when I was in labor

On-call fixer


Sounding board for all my ideas…good and bad

My how-to book on parenting questions

My voice of reason

Bold when it’s necessary

Gentle when it’s not



The best Nana my kids could ask for!

Energetic…cause she’s 50! 50 years old 😉

Running partner

Short order cook because God forbid my kids have to eat something they don’t like

My “hey, can you bring this when you come” person



Hugger of necks

Kisser of boo-boos

2nd Mom to many of my high school friends

My right hand after the birth of my last and was forbidden to use the stairs…not easy when laundry is in basement for fam of 7

Unwavering in her devotion to our family

My “yes you can” when I’m “no I can’t”

My backup

My happy place when I’m a donkey on the edge

The glue that holds us together

Helper to many

Friend to most

Priceless to me

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA!!!  You are my best friend, sister and Mom all wrapped up into one fabulous package!  Love you to the ends of the earth.

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 

(Proverbs 31)


~James Isaiah~ October 17, 2013

I’d like to begin by asking for your prayers.  We now, officially, have a teenager in the house!

Dear Lord, please give me grace to survive this difficult time.  Help me not to strangle him when he rolls his eyes at me.  And if it’s not asking too much, could you please not turn my hair gray all at once.  Thank you, Jesus and amen.

Now that we have that out of the way, HAPPY 13th BIRTHDAY, James Isaiah!!

Name meaning time!

James is my husband’s name as well as his father’s.  Knowing it was a biblical name, I was expecting it to mean something godly.  Substitute.  James means substitute.  I was a bit confused by this until I thought about the job of a substitute teacher.  They fill in for another, doing all the duties that one is unable to perform.  In other words, they stand in the gap for someone who needs assistance, for whatever reason.  While this may not always be the case with my son, (he is a teenager and they’re not always known for being the most helpful), he is wonderful with small children.  I’ll give you a perfect example.  Even though today is his birthday, a little league football coach has asked him to help run his practice after Isaiah attends his own hour and half football practice, and he willingly agreed.  This coach sought his help because the younger boys look up to him and it inspires them to play harder.  I’d say that sums up what a substitute does rather well.

Isaiah is probably one of my husband’s favorite books in the bible.  He chose this name for his son.  It is the name that he answers to, unless he’s in trouble in which case he gets the 3 name holler.  It is one of my favorite name meanings for my children.  Isaiah means God’s helper.  Yes and Amen.  That is exactly what I desire for my young man.  He already shows a willingness to help with church activities and I pray that as he grows physically, his desire to serve the Lord will develop as well.  There is nothing that matters to me more in his life than raising him to be a godly man.

I love you, muchos, Izzy!  I am so proud of the young man that you already are and beyond excited that I have the privilege of watching you continue to grow and mature.

Daddy & his boys (birthday boy is in the middle)

Daddy & his boys (birthday boy is in the middle)

“…for you are a chosen people. You are (a) royal priest, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

(1 Peter 2:9 NLT)


~Courageous Warrior~ September 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:53 am
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Today is an incredibly special day.  On this day, 12 years ago, I delivered my very first miracle.  At 12:43 pm on September 24th, 2001 Peyton Andrew came into this world. 

For those of you who read this blog on a regular basis, you know that when my children’s birthdays roll around, I have shared with you their name meanings.  Today will be no different!

First you should know that when I named my son, I had no clue what either name meant.  The first name was chosen because I am a football fan and at that time Peyton wasn’t ragingly popular like it is now!  Andrew was a bit more sentimental, it was my Pa-Paw’s name and also the middle name of my baby brother.

After a little research I found that Peyton means “warriors palace” and Andrew is “manly, courageous, brave.”  Naturally when I relayed this information to my son, he puffed out his chest and said, “yeah, I’m manly.”  Crazy kid!  In all seriousness, I do feel that it describes the young man he is becoming.  He has battled sickness in his body like a mighty warrior, refusing to admit defeat.  In spite of his smaller frame, he doesn’t back down or feel inferior to larger opponents on the race course.  He is confident in his abilities both intellectually and athletically.  And when the mockers come, (and boy do they come out of the woodwork once you hit middle school), he doesn’t let that deter him from giving his all at whatever he does.

On this day that belongs to my boy, this is the man that I pray he becomes as he continues to grow in the Lord:

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

(Psalm 1:1-3 NLT)



~My Name~ July 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 1:02 pm
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Today is my birthday! If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, then you know that I have recently looked up the name meanings of my children and when their birthdays roll around, I share it with you. So I thought for fun, that I would look up my name too. My name is Valerie Deaune (pronounced Dion…like the football player). Valerie means to be strong and Deaune means divine.
When I first read ‘to be strong’ I thought, “that is so not me.” First of all I don’t look strong physically. Secondly, I am usually the girl that can’t hold it together when she hears something sad. I am a cry baby.
Then I got to thinking about some of the things that I’ve been through in my 32 years and realized that I’m probably a lot stronger than I think. Strength doesn’t necessarily mean that you can handle whatever life throws at you without batting an eye. To me it means you get through the struggles and pains, complete with battle scars & war stories because strength means to endure and I have certainly done that. I have endured an absentee parent, emotionally abusive relationships, the loss of a child, the debilitating sickness of yet another child, fighting for my children when their BM broke their hearts…not to mention the daily battles that women face every. single. day. So, yeah, maybe I am kinda strong.

Divine was what really threw me for a loop because it means to be “of, from or like God.” All I could see was the word ‘like’ and it was tripping me up! Zoom in on the middle word though…from. Now THAT I am! I am from God.  That put a smile on my face!

vals fam

I am one blessed woman 🙂


~Strong Couselor~ May 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:09 am
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autumnToday is my daughter, Autumn Rayne’s, 11th birthday.  As some of you may know, I have not been her mother since birth but God chose to give us each other when she was 4 years old.  When she was named, it wasn’t for any particular reason other than her BM (biological mother) liked the way it sounded.  So when I looked up the meanings of each of my children’s names this year for Easter, I was disappointed when Autumn only meant “born in the fall.”  I wanted them to feel special when they looked at the framed picture and nothing about born in the fall signified importance to me, especially since she was born in the Spring!  Then I looked up Rayne.  Rayne means “strong counselor.”  I could not think of a better name for our beautiful Autumn.

She may only be 11, but she has a heart for God.  Her desire to serve Him has made her a leader among her friends and even in this family.  She prays eloquent, heart-felt prayers over those that she loves and even those she does not yet know.  Her daddy and I have often discussed how we feel she is being called into ministry.  We sometimes joke by calling her our little missionary!

This past weekend, we received even further confirmation of just how God wants to use her.  Seeing as how this is her story, I wanted it to be in her own words.  She wrote about her experience and has given me permission to share with you.

“This weekend I went to a kids retreat with my church.  I had a great time!  There we heard two bands, saw one clown, watched four drama skits and went to four great services.  We even had some fun time where I faced my fear and rode my first ever upside down ride, it was AWESOME!  I want to tell you about one particular service.  It was Saturday night, we had an altar service.  It was AMAZING.  The Pastor said if we would like to we could go up to the altar to pray or we could pray at our seats.  I went up to the altar.  We were praying for the gift of God’s language.  When I was praying I heard a voice saying, “Autumn, I want you to serve my son by preaching about him.  I want you to be a pastor.”  I knew that was God’s voice saying that.  I felt joyful!  Right then I bowed down on my knees and prayed that God would guide my life of being a pastor and I thanked Him for everything.”

I was completely overwhelmed when she shared this with us.  As soon as she started to tell me about it, she started to cry…well so did momma.  I am beyond proud of my little girl for being so open to hear from God.  She wasn’t afraid, she didn’t try to tune Him out and she is already putting in the work to do what He spoke into her heart that night.  If only we would all respond to God’s call with such childlike faith.

So now you can see why the name “strong counselor” is so fitting for my girl.  Her BM may not have known why she named her Rayne, but God most certainly did.  I am one lucky woman to be her mother and I thank God for bringing her to me.  She inspires me to be a better person each and every day.  I pray that she would be abundantly blessed as she matures and grows in her faith.

Happy Birthday to my sweet girl and thanks for sharing your personal experience with us!

“At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”

For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.”

(Matthew 18:1-5 The Message)


~Devoted to God~ April 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:41 am
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BabyBellaFrameToday is my baby girl’s 2nd birthday!  It seemed only fitting that my post today would be all about her.

She came into this world with difficulty.  I was mentally and physically exhausted after she made her arrival, so much so that we did not even name her until the next day!  I couldn’t wrap my mind around a single name that was appropriate for our newest, (and final), addition to our little family.

Throughout my pregnancy, I had been completely convinced that this baby would my line-backer so I had not considered any girlie names.  I had always been fond of the name Grace so that was a given, but I was coming up empty handed on first names.  Cue the hubs.  He and my mother both loved the name Isabella and having no better suggestion myself, she was given the moniker Isabella Grace.

Just recently, for Easter, I decided to look up the meaning of my children’s names to print & frame as part of their gifts.  I know this is something I should have done before I named them, but hey, lesson learned.

Very much to my surprise, we had unknowingly named our baby girl perfectly.

Isabella- Devoted to God

Grace- God’s Favor

I can’t think of a better namesake for our girl who already sings praises to Jesus and asks, “I go church?”  She is full of life & love and is the happiest child in the bunch!  She has brought me more joy just by being herself.  Her ability to make anyone laugh is not unlike that of her father.  The fact that she also is the spitting image of him has earned her the nickname, L.J. (Little Jamie), while her daddy calls her Belly Grace based on her extreme love of food.

I can not imagine my life without this girl.  I would like to think that I am molding and shaping her into the godly woman I pray she becomes but truthfully, I think she is making me the better person.  There is much to be learned from our children and my beautiful Isabella has taught me to slow down and enjoy each day for what it brings.  Whether that day be filled with non-stop requests for more of everything, fits of tears when I tell her no, shouts of joy as we run through the yard, or quiet cuddle times as we watch her favorite movie.  I am forever thankful that God has given me this precious gift in the form of a stocky, short-legged cutie-pie, who may be a girl but I haven’t completely ruled out the possibility of her future football career.

Happy Birthday, my sweet, sweet girl.  Your smiling face is a reminder of God’s abundant love for me each morning.  Why else would He trust me with the most wondrous creation of all?

“Children are a gift from the Lord;

They are a reward from Him.”

(Psalm 127:3 NLT)