Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~A Love Like No Other~ May 24, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:02 pm
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“Do you love me?”

“Yes, you know I do.”

“Well, how come?”

If you have been in a relationship for any length of time in your life, you’ve likely had some variation of this conversation. I personally like to harass my husband at random by feigning ignorance and insisting on a complete rundown. The ‘how come’ is usually followed up with a list of reasons. “The list” is probably comprised of things you do or say to make your significant other feel special along with different qualities and traits they find endearing.

But God loves you just because you exist. There is nothing you can do or say to add to or take away from His affections.

His love is everlasting, free from conditions and expectations.

People can & do stop loving you, either because of something you did or because they had a change of heart. You can’t force God’s hand on this one. You can push Him away & deny His pursuits but His invitation remains open-ended.

When God says “I love you” there’s no list of why attached or bullet points to be met. He simply does. All you and I have to do is accept it.

 

~Don’t Confuse Silence with Absence~ April 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 9:47 am
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“Can anybody hear me?
The silence is deafening
Why do You feel so far away?”

I heard these lyrics this morning after I dropped the kiddos off at school and it pulled at my heart.  I am not at this place in my life right now, but I know some of you are.

You pray and you cry out and it feels like all you get in return is silence.  It seems as though your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling as they remain unanswered.  Surely God has removed His hand from your life as is evident by your current circumstances.  Everything is going to hell in a hand basket.  Your feet aren’t firmly planted on the solid rock but sliding continuously down the mudslide that has become your existence.

People, I have been there and done that and I didn’t just buy the t-shirt, I got the sweatpants, hat & sunglasses to match!

I have literally screamed at God, “Why aren’t you answering me?!?!  What have I done that you would turn your face from me?!”  You know what He said…nothing.  Radio silence.

Take a look at the next verse of the Meredith Andrews song that caught my attention on this beautiful day:

“When I know You’re here with me
But I just need the faith to see
Nothing can separate me from Your love
From Your love.”

There it is, that promise that we hear over and over again, not one thing can cause God to stop loving us.  Even in the moments when we are certain He has totally abandoned us, He is right there in the valley holding our hands and leading us through.

This song is hands down my favorite reminder of how strong God’s love for us truly is.  Please listen and be blessed by the ministry of Jeremi & Amy Richardson.  (http://www.jeremiandamyrichardson.com/)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:38-39 NIV)

 

~Benefits of Wisdom~ February 12, 2014

Day 2-Proverbs 2proverbs 2

Yesterday we discovered the entire purpose behind the book of Proverbs is to encourage us to seek wisdom and understanding from the Lord so that our lives would be in alignment with Scriptures.  The same point is reiterated in chapter two.  Something you may have noticed about the Lord, when something is really important, He gets a little repetitive.  I suppose He thinks we’re hard headed and need to be told multiple times to be sure it sinks in.  He’s right, by the way.

Did you know that you have to ask God to give you wisdom and insight?  He wants us to seek out understanding.  Think about it, when someone asks you for something you know that they believe you have what they need.  Asking implies that you want to learn and are actively listening.

Once we have sought these gifts from the Lord, he makes us four promises that require very little from us:

1.  He (the Lord) grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.  

Honesty has always & will always be the best policy.  I can say there have been times in my life that telling the truth was painful, either to me or the person I was sharing with, but it is absolutely necessary in order to live the blessed life.  You want to have deep connections with people & know how to respond in any given situation, be honest-with them, yourself and the Lord.

2.  He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.

Moral uprightness, strong principals…that is how integrity is defined.  The Lord wants his children to have a backbone and stand by their convictions.  You stand up for what the Lord declares as true and he will shield you from your adversaries. 

3.  He guards the path of the just

Be fair.  Stand up for the innocent.  Don’t condemn the guilty.  The Lord is the one who sits on the judgment seat, thank goodness because I do not want that job and quite honestly I don’t want you in that position either!  Let your hearts and minds be open and kind and the Lord will direct your steps.

4.  and protects those who are faithful to him.

I like this one.  God had promised his divine protection over my life if I am committed to him.  God’s love for me is steadfast, does he not deserve the same in return.  I think yes.

(Proverbs 2: 7-8 NLT)

Seek wisdom, trust that God wants to grant you understanding, have a reverential fear of Him and watch how your life is transformed during this reading challenge.  God is moving, people.  It’s up to us if we go with Him or sit and watch from the nosebleed section.

*This is day 2 of our 31 day reading challenge, it’s not too late to join us!  One chapter of Proverbs a day, February 11-March 13.  There will be a post here for each reading. Blessings!*

 

~Mourning that which you never had~ January 29, 2014

Just over a week ago, I attended the funeral of my closest cousins’ grandfather.  We grew up very close so I knew him as a child and was happy to honor his memory.  I sat behind my cousins and watched them shed tears as they made peace with the finality of the moment.

As I left the funeral home, I cried too, but for a different reason.  Watching people very close to me grieve the loss of someone dear to them made me realize I was lacking something.  I don’t have a grandfather.

I had no relationship with my biological father so by extension, no relationship with his dad.  As most of my readers know, I was raised by the man who chose to be my father, (not a step-dad,never, ever call him that, he is my dad).  His father, my Pa-paw passed away when I was young.  He was a very quiet man and difficult to get close to.  Not because he wasn’t loving, he just wasn’t expressive with his feelings, if you know what I mean.  When he passed, I don’t remember feeling sad because I was too young to really grasp what was going on and we didn’t have that closeness that some do with their grand-dads.  Then there would be my mom’s father.  I will not share personal details of my mother’s story but this man was not someone I cared to know nor was he someone we were ever around.

And that’s it.  I can’t really say why this sudden realization saddened me, but it did.  I wanted those precious memories that my cousins will now cherish.  I wanted the words of wisdom that can only come from an older, wiser, more seasoned generation.  I have no old phrases that “grandpa used to say.”  So my ride home became a time of mourning that day as my heart ached for something I would never have.

Death has a way of doing that, doesn’t it?  It makes you think on things that would normally escape your attention or that you would typically push deep down inside the safety of your heart.  A blogging friend shared this quote yesterday and it gripped me at my core:

There is a wealth of unexpressed love in the world. It is one of the chief causes of sorrow evoked by death: what might have been said or might have been done that never can be said or done.
Arthur Hopkins

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is.  You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.  My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” 

(Psalms 39:4-5 NLT)

I pray that it doesn’t take death to make us appreciate life.  My hope is that I will learn to cherish each moment I am given and that I will never waste an opportunity to show love.  If our lives are but a moment, wouldn’t it be a shame to waste it?

As for my hurting heart from the lack of grandfatherly love, you never know, the Lord may just place a surrogate in my life.  He loves me that much.

greatest loss