Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~I See You~ September 26, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 2:45 pm
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Hey you, I see you over there criticizing yourself.

I saw you chuck that poptart at the back of your kids head as they raced for the bus sans breakfast again because you overslept which translates to defcon 5 in your mind. I saw you sink into your bathrobe as perfectly manicured neighbor lady shakes her head in dismay because she always serves her babes eggs, toast, bacon, juice, milk & apple slices for the most important meal of the day. Whatever, she’s a liar. I saw Fruit Loops in her buggy at Walmart. Besides, I was known to eat a sugary “pastry” a time or few in my youth and look at me, 33 and still kicking!

I see you too, momma of the insanely picky tot who refuses everything with nutritional value. I know they eat instant mac & canned pasta every meal & you’re freaking out about brain development. It’s cool, momma. Many a college friend lived solely on Raman Noodles and still turned out to be successful docs, attorneys & teachers. One day they’ll outgrow the picky stage and gnaw on a piece of lettuce instead of a Cheeto, who cares if today is not that day?!

And you, football mom. I was totally giving you a fist bump in my mind as you served your kid concession stand nachos last night at the game. I was the one next in line to dish out salty goodness with a side of processed cheese for supper too. So what we didn’t cook organic beef with homegrown veggies for dinner?! Our kids just leveled someone twice their size on the ball field. That’s what I’m talking about!

I’m a health conscious mom, for the most part, but we all have those days when the theme for dinner is: “good luck family, you jokers are on your own!” And it’s all good. You are not a failure because of what your kid does or does not eat. Stop being so judgy about your parenting.

Consider this an act of solidarity: the next time you see me in the store and your 3-year-old is throwing down some Nilla wafers you haven’t paid for yet, I’ll simply wink and toss some gummies at mine to silence the madness so we can make it out alive.

You’re my hero, sister. We’ll win the healthy food choice battle tomorrow.picky-eater

Sidenote: Y’all know I like to tie a Scripture in to the majority of my posts. I asked my bible app for a verse on picking your battles and this is what it gave me from 2 Timothy “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” Seriously laughing out loud!

 

~Holiday Blues~ November 19, 2013

Ever have one of those days where all you want to do is cry?  You may be crying for a very specific reason or, like I sometimes do, for reasons that you can’t quite explain.

Welcome to my Tuesday, and if I’m to be completely honest, it’s how I spent Sunday and Monday too.  I haven’t been able to get a grip, and do you want to know why?

Guilt.

How the world makes me feel.

How the world makes me feel.

What has me feeling guilty?  My kids Christmas list.  More specifically, my boys list.  Like most boys their age, every request they have made is a pricey one.  They are no longer content with legos, nerf guns & balls of various sizes.  Now the list consists of a laptop, cell phones & a huge trampoline for the yard.  It’s not that our kids are ungrateful for what we give them, it’s more about their hobbies and interests changing drastically that causes the rise in price of gifts.  Naturally we can’t buy all of these things so they will have to settle for the items at the bottom of their list.  And they will be content with that.  Christmas morning they will give us a sweet, understanding smile and express gratitude for what they have…and that makes me cry even more!

Here is the problem, I have let my guilt of not being able to give extravagant gifts steal my joy.  This time of year is my absolute favorite.  I look forward to Thanksgiving more than any other holiday.  But this year I’ve lost sight of what the holiday is about because I’ve been so consumed by the very opposite.  I have gotten sucked into the trap of materialism and the commercialization of the holidays.  So I decided to sit and list all the reasons I have to be thankful…and it’s too long to share.  Next up, I decided to list all that we can and do give our kids and weighed it against what we cannot provide.  And you know which list was longer?  Of course you do.

Does all of this stop the flow of tears?  Not yet, but it will.  I can’t help but desire to give my family more.  I do suffer with guilt because I don’t add to our family income.  I can hear the words of my sweet friends who reassure me that I am giving my family something of greater value by just being a wife & mommy, but still I struggle.

I share these very personal feelings with you all because I know I am not the only one who battles these emotions, especially this time of year.

Are you the parent who wants to spoil their kids just this once?

Or maybe it’s your spouse that you long to lavish with the beautiful jewelry she deserves for all the love she pours out year round.

Perhaps your parents are the ones you wish to repay for all the years that they have given selflessly to you and you’d love to surprise them for a change.

It could be that all of the above apply to you and then some.

May I ask that we pray for one another today?  Can we take a moment to call on the Lord on behalf of others who are in the same position?

Lord, I ask that you be with me and those like me today who are struggling with feelings of inadequacy due to what we are unable to give.  Shift our focus to all that we have to be thankful for.  Show us ways in which we can express to our loved ones just how much they mean to us without feeling guilt over lack of material things.  Remind us, Lord, what these upcoming holidays are about: gratitude, family and most importantly, You.  Let us not be so consumed with what the world pushes us towards that we miss what you are calling us to.  And when the overwhelming emotions come, comfort us as only you can by speaking straight to our hearts. 

 

~Worship Monday~ July 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:51 am
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Mondays are tough.  How we start our Monday morning can set the tone for how the rest of our week goes.  I woke up in the middle of the night with a song in my head and when I got up this morning, it was still going strong.  The fact that this may not be your style of music is irrelevant, it’s not really mine either.  The message is what matters.  Take a listen and sing along…out loud.  Don’t just sing the words, sing them to the Lord.  Let’s see if that doesn’t get us a great start to our week.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is stop what we’re doing and worship.  Let’s put aside our petitions today and lift up our praises instead.  Nothing more from me today, time to show God some love.  Happy Monday.