Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Hiding~ January 1, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:24 am
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I’m going to begin this New Year with a confession. Don’t get too excited, nothing really scandalous, just something I’ve refrained from sharing.

I have not been to church since we moved in November. There it is.

I have my reasons, all of which can be argued as insufficient. My main reason, I miss my church and in my mind, no other group of believers can live up to their legacy. I realize how silly that sounds but for those of you who know me and how long it took me to find a church, I’m sure you understand.

Of course now that I’ve opened myself up to think about it, I can see just how unfair I’m being to any potential “new” church. I’ve been closed off to the idea of being close, family close, to another part of the body. My mindset has been like that of a toddler, “I don’t WANT a new church! I want my OLD church!!”

But here we are, looking for where we are going to settle in the next couple of months. I came across a house that on paper, looks perfect for us. In my excitement, I mapped out distances to hubs workplace, our beautiful daughter & her family, the beach….and on a whim, I searched out churches in the vicinity. Upon finding two whose beliefs and mission statements aligned with our home church, I realized just how much I missed it. The feeling of family, safety, hope & unity….I need it back in my life. So as much as I deeply miss my people, this new year needs to be a time of making new connections & finding a place to grow & serve.

So, say a little prayer for us if you will. Pray my old anxieties don’t creep back in & that we find somewhere we can all be plugged in. Thank you, my faithful friends and Happy New Year!

Church should feel like family because we are brothers & sisters in Christ.

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Heb 10:25 NLT)

 

~Say Thank You~ December 5, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 9:46 am
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It sounds simple enough, but we oftentimes forget. Especially in the everyday things that we tend to take for granted. Our appreciation goes unspoken leaving those around us feeling undervalued and quite possibly unloved.

Well boo on that!

It literally takes a moment to say thanks to those who deserve to hear it from you. Something that requires so little of your time has the power to make someone’s day.

I believe in leading by example, so I’m going to use this platform to go first!

Thank you, to YOU, my readers! I try to reach each one of you personally but that isn’t always possible as my stats tracker doesn’t exactly tell me who is reading my posts. At times I find myself ready to lay aside the writing when life gets busy. I justify my thoughts reasoning that no one really reads my ramblings so it wouldn’t be a big deal if I quit. Then one of you lovely people will send me a note of thanks or encouragement and I’m reminded that if even one heart is stirred by something I say, then it is totally worth the effort it takes to maintain this humble page.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thes 5:11 ESV)

Thank you to my church. I am so incredibly blessed with the lovingest bunch of people to do life with that it’s almost incomprehensible. They have celebrated my highs and helped to dig me out from my lows. Even when I’ve blown it BIG time, they’ve extended grace and offered help when it would have been just as easy to cast stones and dole out judgment. You all rock!

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Heb 10:24-25 ESV)

To my tribe, who puts up with my crazy on a daily basis, surely your eternal rewards will surpass all others! My sweet Bella with her sunny disposition, thanks for making momma smile first thing every morning. To my micromanager, Emma, thanks mini-me for running the show when momma is away 🙂 For Autumn, my little evangelist, thank you for your faith in Jesus AND people that never falters! Peyton, the kid that gets me, thank you for still making me feel needed even though you’re a teenager now. Thank you to Isaiah, who somehow always manages to make me laugh even on the days when I really just wanna cry. Big ol’ thanks to my coffee making, foot-rubbing, problem solving husband who has yet to kill me in my sleep. I adore you all and couldn’t imagine how boring my life would be without my circus monkeys!

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3 ESV)

“Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Eph 5:33 ESV)

This list could go on for miles, but I think you get my drift. A few minutes out of my day to let people know just how important they are to me. It cost me nothing, but will hopefully brighten their day! I’ve always heard that it takes two weeks to form a habit. So why don’t we all make it a point to say thank you to at least one person every day for the next 14 days? Maybe then we won’t become forgetful and inadvertently make those around us feel underappreciated.

photo cred-Sherry Phillips via Pinterest

photo cred-Sherry Phillips via Pinterest

 

~Stay Strong~ April 17, 2013

Fear of FailureRecently while trying to help our oldest daughter practice a song for church, my husband pointed out to her that she was not completing her words.  Let me explain.  Instead of singing, “How great is our God,” she was singing, “How gray is our Gaa.”  It was actually quite funny to hear him sing it back to her but the song kind of loses its meaning when you don’t finish strong!

He comforted her by pointing out that a lot of children make the same mistake and encouraged her to keep at it.

Later I was thinking about this little lesson and it reminded me of how we can be in our work for God.

When we first begin a new endeavor, we go into whole-heartedly, fully devoted to what God has called us to do.  We start out with boldness and determination.  There is nothing more important than fulfilling the purpose that God has suddenly laid on our hearts.

Then we hit the first road block.  This new ministry is not going to be as easy as we had thought.

People are not always receptive to your style of teaching.

The funds that you were prayerfully expecting did not come through.

The church you attend is not into contemporary worship, drums in church, never!

Suddenly you’ve lost your “umph.”  You no longer spend hours in preparation, honing your craft.  The desire you once felt for your calling has dwindled from a raging blaze to a barely smoldering ember.  The song in your heart no longer sounds like full powered version of, “how great is our God.”  Now your spirit quietly mumbles, “how gray is our Gaa.”

I can almost hear God saying the very same words to us as my husband spoke to our daughter, “It’s ok, lots of children make that mistake.  But don’t give up just yet.  Keep trying, you will get it.”

“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”

(Hebrews 12:1-3)

Just because your new ministry isn’t taking off quite like you had hoped it would, does not mean that it is a failure.  Regardless of what your platform is; teaching children, leading Bible study, singing or playing on a worship team, writing a devotional blog ; this message can apply to you.  Just think of where we would be right now if Jesus had called it quits at the first sign of adversity.

 “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.  Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”

(Hebrews 12:12-13 NLT)