Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Beware, Unchecked Emotions On the Loose~ October 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:08 am
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Yesterday, a small group of women from my church started the bible study, “Unglued” by Lysa TerKeurst.  For those of you who either know me really well or even just through this blog, you are aware of my ability to sometimes spew my emotions onto my family.  My hopes are that through this study, I will learn to stop letting my feelings get the best of me in life’s tricky situations and use God’s word to combat my raw emotions before I allow them to sabotage my most valuable relationships.

Before we’d even left the church yesterday, I knew there was something from the guide that I would be sharing with you all today!  Lysa gave us a list of “animals,” asking which described us best when faced with an unglued kind of situation:

Wounded bear:  I am hurt & unpredictable, so watch out!

Agitated skunk:  I may or may not create a stink, but the threat is always there.

Deceptive peacock:  Who me?  I’m not upset.  Look at all my pretty feathers!

Crouching tiger:  I many not attack now, but I will strike back when you least expect it.

Screech owl:  Prepare for a tirade!

Barricading beaver:  No time to say what I’m really feeling.  I’m too busy building a wall between us.

Or maybe you are another animal altogether.

Here is what I found interesting about this word picture, I am a different animal depending on who I am dealing with.

Outside of my home, especially in church, you are going to get the deceptive peacock.  I will put on a happy face and present a calm, collected exterior while on the inside my emotions are just below the surface begging to come out.  I do the same with my husband.  You know how it goes, “Honey, are you ok, what’s wrong?”  “Nothing.  I’m fine.”  Nobody’s buying all that fakeness so stop trying to sell it!

Now, with my poor kiddos, beware of the screech owl!  Granted I don’t yell at my kids all the time, but definitely more than I should.  Nine times out of ten, the tirade begins after I’ve attempted to make my point calmly a time or five to no avail.  I let my anger get the best of me and just like a rubber-band that’s pulled taut, I snap.  Only to instantly feel ashamed and guilty that I could be so vicious with the most wonderful gifts I’ve ever been given.

There has to be a better way to deal with these out-of-control, reckless emotions…and that is my goal during these next 6 weeks.

I am curious as to which animal you all relate to best, that is if you are willing to share.  Either way, I invite you to examine yourself and be totally honest with how you are handling your relationships.  Are you being controlled by your emotions like I can sometimes be?  If so, whether you are doing this study along with us or not, let’s allow God to show us a better way to deal with the circumstances that trigger our unglued reactions.

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”

(James 1:19-20 NLT)


~Big Girl Pants~ August 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:12 am
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Have you ever had someone hurt your feelings and you really, really wanted to pout about it?  Then your big girl panties start digging in and it reminds you that you’re too old to be walking around with your bottom lip sticking out so far you just might trip over it.  Unfortunately, pouty face doesn’t garner the same response when you’re in your 30s as it did when you were 2.

So, what is a nice Christian to do when someone triggers that childlike reaction: pull-up your britches, wipe your nose and whip out the Word.

In Luke 6 verse 29 we are told if someone smacks us in the face, we should turn and offer them the other side as well.  But not only that, if they steal our coat we should take off our shirt and hand it over as well!  Now imagine your elementary school self, someone smacks you in the face or steals your stuff and you likely would have done one of two things: hit them back or went crying & screaming to tattle to the teacher.  Here we are in grown-up bodies and we are faced with the same issues with the same inclination to fight back.  A harsh comment gets thrown out in your direction & it feels like a slap in the face.  Your gut reaction is to offer an even more vicious counter remark or whine to God about how unfairly you are being treated.  I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that ain’t how good Christian folk are supposed to behave.

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”

(Luke 6:27-28 NLT)

“Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.”

(Colossians 3:13 The Message)

The next time you feel a younger, more immature version of your self trying to creep out to fight your battles for you, remember that as children of God we are called to be set apart, a holy people devoted to Him, living for Him and honoring Him with ALL of our actions.