Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Lessons From The Checkout~ May 18, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 2:58 pm
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I woke up yesterday morning feeling weepy. I had been working on a personal piece before bed the night before that had me bawling so I guess you could say I was emotionally hungover.

I chatted with my brother, my hubs & my bestie. Fortified by their words, it seemed plausible that I could venture outside the house.

Bad. Idea.

I went to the big box store, the one that makes me question humanity. I had a sentimental purchase to make, but again, I thought I was good so no biggie. I managed to only sniffle a bit while shopping. And then I entered the checkout line.

When I say the cashier was salty, I’m being generous. Normally I can deal with a total stranger being indifferent, but considering the previous 24 hours, I was praying she’d hurry the heck up before I burst into tears standing right in front of her. I made it, barely. I went snottin’ & snivelin’ through the parking lot and wouldn’t you know it was a rainy day so I didn’t even have my sunglasses to hide behind. To make matters worse, I had my two little girls with me. Ugh.

Who out there besides me cries even harder when someone asks, “what’s wrong?” Add in the fact that it was my babes looking up at me with their big doe eyes and let’s just say the dam exploded.

Once I got my wits about myself, a few things occurred to me.

  • I cry a ridiculous amount, to the point of dehydration.
  • I should never set foot out the door without tissues.
  • Rainy days & Mondays always bring me down.

Ok, seriously. What was really nagging at me was my interaction with the cashier. She was oblivious to the hot mess before her. Just as I had no way of knowing what she’d been through to make her react to me the way she did. Y’all know how I like to tell you to be nice always? This is why.

I really needed someone to be sappy, sugary, overbearingly sweet to me. But maybe she did too, and neither one of us could deliver. Both of us were looking to the wrong source for comfort.

“He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Had I taken the time to be comforted before I left the house, I might have been able to try a little harder to make that cashier smile. But I didn’t and an opportunity was wasted.Ā IMG_4096

We are all going to have bad days, when the last thing we should do is head out into the world without our “Does not play well with others” sign. It’s imperative that we take time to nurture ourselves if we intend to be of any use to anyone else. When your heart hurts, pray for peace, seek out the people who love you most and let their words & God’s comfort wash over you. And be healed. It’s really hard to shine your light through a cloud of hurt, bitterness, anger or the like.

 

 

~Don’t Deposit Opinions~ November 12, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:20 am
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“What’s the matter, Emma?”

I had just picked up the last of my school kids yesterday and my typically chatty, smiley girl was sulking.

“Nothing.”

I lowered the rear view mirror so I could quickly lock eyes with her.

“Emma, we all can tell something is wrong so just spill it.”

“Susie Q called me stupid!” (Name changed šŸ˜‰)

“Well, are you stupid?”

“NO!!”

“Of course you’re not, so why does it matter what she said? Baby, just because someone said something about you doesn’t make it true.”

And that seemed to be enough for my girl. She was right back to her normal self, not giving another thought to the opinion of one of her peers. That’s when it hit me, how many times have I sulked over something someone said to or about me?

We all have had someone be the opposite of nice to us. Someone’s called you a name, spread a rumor about you, sent you a nasty-gram and in the spirit of total honesty, you’ve been the guilty party as well, I know I have. Some of you blessed souls out there genuinely seem to have the ability to let it roll right off your back while others really struggle with letting opinions take root. I’m somewhere in the middle, depending on the offender and the depth of “meanness,” I can either shrug it off or take it to heart. When it comes to what others think about you, you have a choice, save it in your memory bank or delete it.

While I do think it’s wise to give thought to what others say about you, brief thought that is, I do not believe it’s healthy to let it alter how you see yourself. My husband, wise man that he is, once shared this little nugget of truth with me when I was seriously damaged goods because of another’s words, “Who you are is defined by how you live and how God sees you. People’s opinions, although worth considering at times, are not the final definition.”

Words hurt, friends, I get that. It is impossible to control what others say so it is up to us to guard our hearts and minds from such things. smile

 

 

~God Never Wastes A Hurt~ June 22, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:37 am
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“God uses adversity in this life to strengthen your faith.

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. (1Peter 1:6 NIV)

God never wastes a hurt.” ~from sermon “The best of times in the worst of times” Pastor Chad Dunford

It was that last line that comforted me, like a warm hug offered at just the right moment. Read it again and let it resonate, God never wastes a hurt.

I often encourage my kids to refrain from using words like “always” and “never” because of what they imply. To say someoneĀ never does such-in-such means, “at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever.” Quite definitive language, wouldn’t you say? Now insert that definition into the aforementioned promise:

God, at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever, wastes a hurt.

Wow.

God does not cause us pain and suffering, it is the result of living in a fallen world. And yet His Word assures us that we will never walk through any tribulation on our own.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 ESV)

Even when we sit alone, certain that no one cares about the tears that stain the carpet….

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You haveĀ recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)

Just when we allow ourselves to believe that it will always be this way…..

Ā “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 ESV)

God can take your mourning and turn it into dancing. He can take that hurt that is pressing in on every side and use itĀ to mold andĀ strengthen you and glorify His name. When you think all hope is lost, take comfort in knowing:IMG_8085

God, at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever, wastes a hurt.