Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Schedule Timeout~ June 9, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 9:52 am
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4bb96d984e48796a3b689df7f22a66f6Some of my faithful readers may have noticed that my posts over the last couple of weeks have been a bit sporadic.  Thanks to the several end of school year activities, I had little time to think much less put those thoughts out there to share with you! The kids are finally out of school and I woke feeling almost giddy this morning thinking of our laidback summer…that is until I walked past our calendar! I remember when summer break was just that, a break!

Now that I have active teenagers under my roof things have taken a turn. For starters, the kids break has been shortened so the amount of time we have already feels rushed. My oldest, the linebacker, has weight & agility training 3 days a week with only 1 dead week all summer. Boy 2 is playing soccer with an out of town league, and has cross-country training to prepare for the fall season. Thankfully the girls and I don’t have any commitments during the week, only the normal church activities with a couple of special services here and there. But when I looked at all the scribble across our family calendar for the next 2 months, I will admit, I had my mad face on.

All during the school year, we rush from one thing to the next. The phrase, “Hurry up, we’re going to be late!” became redundant. My naivety had me dreaming of a calm, rush-free summer and when the realization came that our time was still not our own, I was pouty.

Then it dawned on me that the only person overbooking my schedule was me! I really dislike it when I discover that blame rests solely on me, kind of makes it hard to whine & complain when the fault is your own. When did I become this nutso, schedule driven, order barkin’ momma?!

We’ve become so accustomed to the busyness of our lives that we rarely enjoy any of it! It has just occurred to me that I have been living like a “Martha” when my heart desires to be a “Mary.” Martha, always running ragged to make sure everything is “just so.” Cooking, cleaning, errand-running, carpooling Martha. No time to relish the beauty of the moment because there is always something else that must be done, right now, Martha. Meanwhile Mary sits at the feet of Jesus simply listening to the sound of his voice & enjoying the rest that comes from being in his presence. Mary always takes times to capture the sweetness of life’s little pleasures. Chores can wait, life is but a vapor, not gonna miss a thing, Mary.

Yes, that is my desire for this summer. We will honor our commitments but on a lower key, stress-less schedule. We have been given only one life. Why rush through it and miss out on all the precious opportunities to create a memory that lasts a lifetime? Will you join me in making a vow to simply relax & enjoy these next few weeks, even in spite of whatever activities you have on tap? Let the beauty of a moment resonate in your spirit each and every day and let’s see if our outlook on life looks a little less bleak.


~Expectations~ April 25, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:11 am
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Expectations-v-RealityThis may come as a shock to you, but your loved ones expectations of you look nothing like you think they do!  I am still in what I would consider the early stages of both my marriage & motherhood.  In my mind, my family expects me to keep the house spotless; all the laundry washed, pressed & put away; home-cooked meals on the table every night; chauffer to the many activities; be the perfect entertainer to all our friends; and do all of this while looking magnificent!  Now, thanks be to God, that is not what they really expect of me but are in fact pressures I put on myself!  If you asked my man what mattered most, he’d tell you that he doesn’t even notice if the house is clean, he simply wants my time & attention.  My children haven’t the faintest idea if their clothes have been pressed or not, all they care about is having a mother who stops what she is doing to focus on them.  And lets be honest….the entire family would be more than happy to feast on pizza every night of the week!  So why put all these unnecessary stressors into my life?!  I enjoy doing most of these things even if it isn’t what my family requires of me.  But I have slowly begun to learn that getting myself all bent out of shape when something isn’t done “just-so” is a waste of time and energy because no one even notices but me!

However, this has been a particularly difficult struggle for me this week.  I am on the board at my children’s school and I am in charge of coordinating two big events this weekend.  We have a Spring Carnival Friday and we are hosting our first ever fundraiser run on Saturday.  In theory, it seemed like a great idea to do them back to back, now I question my level of sanity.  This entire week I have run myself ragged, making last minute preparations, sending out reminders to my volunteers, and checking the weather every five minutes.  I have been guilty of spending my devotion time totally stressed out because I haven’t been able to shut my mind off from my to-do list.  I have worried myself sick that things won’t go smoothly and I will let someone down.

That is when I recalled the story of the sisters, Mary & Martha in Luke chapter 10.  When Jesus came into their home, one sat quietly at His feet listening as He taught.  The other ran around like a mad woman making preparations for a feast & no doubt worked herself into a frenzy.  Martha finally came to Jesus with her complaint of her “lazy” sister, Mary who sat doing nothing while she did all the work.  Jesus replied

“My dear Martha, you are worried & upset over all these details!  There is only one thing worth being concerned about.  Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

(Vs. 41-42 NLT)

There you have it, straight from the mouth of Jesus.  There is a time for the daily tasks, mundane chores and filling commitments that must be done.  However, do not miss out on life because of them.  Make it a point to ask Jesus to clear your mind when you spend time with Him so that your devotion time isn’t squandered.  Don’t allow yourself to become consumed with responsibilities to the point that you forget about your most important one, your family!  When the house starts to look a mess, the sink is overflowing with dirty dishes and you have a dozen emails to send; your daughter comes to you and asks so sweetly, “You read this?” remember that all those worries are just details.  They are not worth getting upset over.

After all, the dishes will still be there tomorrow or there is always paper plates!