Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Irony With a Side of Coffee~ October 30, 2013

progressIt was 6:45 on Tuesday morning and I was attempting to get a little Jesus time.  Problem was, I have two little girls who were dead set on interrupting my quiet time.  Just when I thought I’d found my happy place, one of the intruders burst into a string of demands.

So, with my Unglued book in hand, how do you suppose I handled this invasion of mommy time?

“Will you ever stop?!”  I snipped at my chubby cheek girl.  Her response…she giggled.

And so did I.

You see, I had just that very moment sat reading about raw emotions and not allowing uncontrollable circumstances to dictate my reactions and I failed, epic fail as my children would say.  So I had a choice to make, I could let this slip up ruin the remainder of the day or I could show myself a little grace and move on with my life.

On this particular day, I chose grace.  I pushed aside my study materials, scooped Bella up and went to the kitchen to fix her a snack, a cup of juice and fired up her favorite movie.  I didn’t get to finish all that I wanted to accomplish in my bible study guide but I did get the opportunity to apply what we are studying about.  I like to think of it as life application.

I am so incredibly guilty of allowing unexpected interruptions to define how my day will go.  I am aware that this bit of information shows just how much of an OCD control freak I can be, and I am ok with that BECAUSE admitting that is a step in the right direction.  Learning to adjust my reactions when things don’t go just as I imagined is a process.

Thankfully I am not going through it alone.

“So be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.  For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you.

He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

(Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT)

I’m not about to say that I won’t ever have a meltdown again over some random, uncontrollable glitch in my day.  I am human.  I will make mistakes.  But by God’s grace I will move forward, not backwards.  I will press on towards my goal of being a calmer, more easy-going version of myself.  I will learn to accept that I am not master of the universe and the fate of the world does not rest squarely on my shoulders.

 

~The Truth & Nothing But The Truth~ May 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:43 am
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blurredtruthEver know anyone who said the Bible is open to interpretation?  I know parts of the Bible can be confusing but I don’t see any “gray” areas.  Granted, some secret things belong to the Lord and only the Lord “but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of his law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Knowing that, how can anyone say that they believe in God and then go through His Word, picking and choosing what is truth and what is subject to opinion?  The Bible in it’s entirety is what we are to live by in order for our Christian lives to be whole & complete.

In Deuteronomy 4:2, Moses tells the Israelites:

“Do not add to what I commanded you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.”

As oftentimes is the case, I see comparisons in God’s word to parenting.  My oldest son is the worst about doing “half” of what I ask him to do.  For example, I say “Isaiah, take all your dirty laundry downstairs, put your darks in the wash, your whites in the basket.  Don’t forget to bring up your clean clothes and put them all away.”  While he manages to get the clothes to the laundry room, they end up in a heap on the floor in the vicinity of the washing machine.  Clean stack may or may not reach it’s destination but they certainly do not find their way to the closet.  The end of his bed is about as far as he can manage.  When I call to his attention that he did not quite follow directions, I get the exhausted response of a teenager.  As he huffs and walks away, I explain the importance of listening to every word that is spoken, not just the highlight reel!

See the resemblance?  Some like to think that as long as they obey the main points of the Bible; do not kill, steal, cheat or lie that they can overlook the more intricate details lying just beneath the surface; details that can lead to a more intimate relationship with our Creator.  God is not a waster of words.  If He saw fit to give it as a command, then there was good reason behind it.  His word is for our benefit.  He didn’t throw out a random list of rules in hopes of making our lives miserable.  Just as any good parent would, He set boundaries for us to prevent us from self-destruction.

 

~Quit Blaming Your Upbringin’~ April 26, 2013

If I hear one more person say, “I can’t help it; it’s just the way I was raised” my next post will be from the confines of my holding cell at the county courthouse seeking bail money for “involuntary face smacking”!

I am well aware that your up-bringin’ plays a major role in what kind of adult you will become.  At some point though you have to stop riding on the coattails of mom and dad and be responsible for your own behavior.

So Mom was an alcoholic and was never there for you because she was face down in the pillow 18 hours a day.  Are you going to dive head first in the nearest bottle and drown your sorrows, setting the same,  shining example in front of your kids or are you going to learn from her mistakes?

Dad was a violent man who beat anything and everything that moved, his preferred punching bag was mom and sometimes you.  Is that going to be your excuse for wailing on your wife and kids every time you are disappointed in yourself or will you refuse to follow in dear ol’ dad’s footsteps?

What about the workaholic parents whose main purpose in life was to be the best at everything?  Everything except parenting that is.

I am not trying to make light of some very serious issues, I am simply trying to show that your past does not have to dictate your future.  As children we have no control over what we are exposed to but when we become adults we can choose how those events will shape us.  You can use the pain and emotion from your traumatic childhood experiences to push you to be a better human being or you can use them as your crutch to behave irresponsibly.

If you were not raised in a godly home and were subjected to these circumstances, you may not know how to be anything different than what was lived out in front of you.  The good news is that there is a self-help book for that.  It is known as the Holy Bible.  It is full of insight and wisdom on how you can be a better version of you.  Perhaps the best place to start would be approximately mid-way through the Bible at the book of Proverbs.  In the opening chapter, it tells us that “Fear of the Lord is our foundation of true knowledge.” (1:7)  Within it’s 31 chapters you will find practical instruction on real life issues such as day-to-day life, money matters, raising children and dealing with social matters.  Don’t stop there.  All throughout the Bible, answers that we all desperately need can be found in order to ensure that we do not simply squeak by in this life.  Promises of an abundant life over-flowing with the blessings and goodness that come by way of a relationship with the Creator can be found throughout the pages.

You see, no matter where you came from, you can always choose to change your final destination.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

(Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT)

OR

“If you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve…But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.

(Joshua 24:15 NLT)blamegame