Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~My Helpmate~ November 6, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:57 am
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Yesterday we attended the regional meet for our cross country team. This was our final stop before state championships. My nerves were frayed as they often are in these types of situations but luckily for me, my calmer, better half was able to attend.

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t tell you how my rockstar husband ensured that our day went as smoothly as possible.

First off, you need to know that yesterday’s weather conditions were horrendous. For those of you familiar with cross country, you are aware that the courses are on grass so you also know that rain is not your friend. Well, it rained the entire time.

Cue the husband.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil 4 ESV)

He took a half day from work in order to be there with us and honestly, I worked the poor man like a rented mule. He hauled our ginormous cooler all the way to the pine trees where the teams set up camp. I should probably mention that the parking lot is precisely half a mile away from the campsites. Yes, a half mile, in the rain, on nothing but slick mud and chewed up grass. Once we got into the sanctuary of the trees, we quickly realized that the rain was too heavy for the canopy of pines to shield us from the elements.

“Honey….would you be willing to go get our tent?”

You guessed it, the tent was in that same parking lot, half a mile away. But off he went to haul our rather large, incredibly awkward tent all by his lonesome. This feat alone earned him some serious bonus points, but wait, there’s more! One of our guys FORGOT HIS RUNNING SHOES! We asked every team we knew and not a soul had extra shoes. So what do you suppose husband of the year did? He traded shoes with our runner, cramming his feet into boots at least a full size too small, and spent the rest of the day with his toes curled.

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Heb 13:16 ESV)

My man was “Johnny on the spot” the entire day. Whatever I needed, whatever I couldn’t or wouldn’t do, he filled in the gap. This morning as I reflected on how differently the day would have gone had Jamie not been there, this Scripture came to mind:

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Gen 2:18 KJV)

Today we would use the word helpmate. However if you look at the origin of the words in Hebrew, help comes from the word azar, meaning to surround, protect or aid. Meet is from kenegdo which translates as, corresponding to, counterpart to, equal to matching.

I’d say that sums up our marriage quite nicely. Not only do we protect one another as husband and wife, but with our combined talents and strengths, we make up a whole. Where I am weak, he is strong. What he lacks, I make up. Not to be cheesy, but we complete one another, just as the Lord intended when He created the institute of marriage.

Take a look at your helpmate today, paying careful attention to the numerous ways you are polar opposites. Instead of viewing your differences as obstacles to overcome, focus on how they strengthen you as individuals and as a couple. Now thank God for the gift He gave you, I know I will.

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~It is OK to Say No~ April 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:59 am
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no-newThis goes out to all my fellow over-doers out there…you know who you are!  The word “no” is not in your vocabulary except when applied to yourself.  You say “yes” to every task someone asks of you.

  • You sit on three different boards and offer to chair all special committees.
  • You are the room parent for each of your children.
  • You head up every fundraiser at work, school and church.

This list could seriously go on forever so I will spare you.

However, when your mind, body or soul screams for rest, you give it a resounding no.  I would venture to say, that like myself, your people-pleasing tendencies make you feel riddled with guilt whenever you take time for yourself.

The Lord has dealt with me quite often on this matter and more times than not, His voice sounds eerily similar to my husband’s.

Allow me to share with you some Biblical truths as to why you should occasionally so “no” to everyone else and give yourself a “yes”!

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones.”

(Psalm 127:2 NLT)

I am not saying you should walk in to your place of employment today and quit on the spot!  We are responsible for providing for our families.  What I am saying, is that you have to set boundaries.  It was never God’s intention for us to spend every waking hour slaving away for “the man.”  If you are overworked, (and no doubt underpaid), allow yourself time off.  Do not be consumed with worry over where your next meal will come from.  If God provides for all the animals of the earth, do you not think He will do the same for us whom He loves more than every living creature?

“Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.””

(Mark 6:31 NIV)

When you are constantly surrounded by other people who “need” something from you, it can be utterly exhausting.  This is especially true for those of us with young children and the many who are caring for aging parents.  You can get so wrapped up in taking care of them, that you deprive yourself of even the most basic needs.  It is good to have a compassionate heart that desires to help your fellow brothers and sisters and provide care for your family, but you must be careful that it is not to the detriment of your own well-being.  Mark out some quiet “you-time” on your calendar and make it a priority.  When the time comes, don’t allow yourself to make lame excuses as to why you cannot keep the appointment.  You wouldn’t dare cancel on anyone else and you are just as important.

“There is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.  For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.  So let us do our best to enter that rest.  But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.”

(Hebrews 4:9-11 NLT)

Even God himself took a day off!  What more reason do you and I need?!  Follow in His supreme example and observe the Sabbath.  It is a guarantee that if you continue to work at a break-neck pace, you will fall.  Whereas if you give your mind, body and soul the rest that it craves, you will perform at a higher level on the days you must labor.  Just as physical rest is necessary for your bodies to function properly, spiritual and emotional rest is a must in order to refresh your souls so that you will not become run down in your service to God and others.

One final Scripture to meditate on when you find yourselves saying “no” to your own needs a little too often:

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

(Isaiah 30:15 NIV)

Resting in God is more than just sleep; it is a peace that comes from knowing that He has offered to carry our burdens in exchange for His.  It’s the hope of our salvation that renews our strength.  It is in the promise of His return that we can endure the trials of this life and Still. Find. Rest.