Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Hiding~ January 1, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:24 am
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I’m going to begin this New Year with a confession. Don’t get too excited, nothing really scandalous, just something I’ve refrained from sharing.

I have not been to church since we moved in November. There it is.

I have my reasons, all of which can be argued as insufficient. My main reason, I miss my church and in my mind, no other group of believers can live up to their legacy. I realize how silly that sounds but for those of you who know me and how long it took me to find a church, I’m sure you understand.

Of course now that I’ve opened myself up to think about it, I can see just how unfair I’m being to any potential “new” church. I’ve been closed off to the idea of being close, family close, to another part of the body. My mindset has been like that of a toddler, “I don’t WANT a new church! I want my OLD church!!”

But here we are, looking for where we are going to settle in the next couple of months. I came across a house that on paper, looks perfect for us. In my excitement, I mapped out distances to hubs workplace, our beautiful daughter & her family, the beach….and on a whim, I searched out churches in the vicinity. Upon finding two whose beliefs and mission statements aligned with our home church, I realized just how much I missed it. The feeling of family, safety, hope & unity….I need it back in my life. So as much as I deeply miss my people, this new year needs to be a time of making new connections & finding a place to grow & serve.

So, say a little prayer for us if you will. Pray my old anxieties don’t creep back in & that we find somewhere we can all be plugged in. Thank you, my faithful friends and Happy New Year!

Church should feel like family because we are brothers & sisters in Christ.

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Heb 10:25 NLT)

 

~Word of the Year~ January 5, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:51 am
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In January of 2014, I accepted a challenge from a fellow Christian blogger to choose ONE word as a motto of sorts for the year. This girl right here chose “reckless.” My thought process was to live reckless for God, letting go of my need to have all the details ahead of time and just follow where He led me.

Well, that’s not how my year started. I was reckless alright but not in a good way. As is oftentimes the case, right about the time I made up my mind to follow hard after Jesus, that’s the precise moment when the devil tried to intervene. Our number one enemy is a crafty little evildoer, so he found my weakest point and went to work convincing me that all hope was lost.  I found myself floundering and confused, feeling pretty darn certain that my whole life was falling apart. For a brief, yet excruciatingly painful time, I lived reckless with my heart. I shut out my family, my friends and worst of all, my Jesus. But as smart as satan may be, God is greater. Just when my heart couldn’t take anymore, He sent His saints to pull me back up and snap me out of my funk.

In retrospect, I can see that nothing was as bad as I had made it out to be. I let my guard down and gave the enemy a foothold into my life and it could have ruined me if not for God. I spent the remainder of 2014 living reckless in the way that I had intended, leaning hard into God’s will for my life and trusting without fail that His ways, while sometimes difficult to understand, are higher than my own.

Now that a new year is here, I debated on choosing a word for fear that it would be an open invitation for the devil to come at me again. Now I ain’t scared, but I ain’t crazy either and I’m not one to go looking for trouble when things are going just fine. But I don’t want just fine. I want spectacular.

So, this year, my word is GUARDED.

Not in the way that you might think.

“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” (2 Thes 3:3 ESV)

I will guard my mind from thoughts that have no business occupying my time.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8 ESV)

I will guard my heart, filling it with promises from God so that I don’t find myself questioning His love for me.

“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.” (Rom 8:38-39 NIV)

I will guard my mouth, making it a priority to choose my words carefully.

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (Prov 13:3 ESV)

Lastly, I will guard my time, taking care to not overextend myself or my family to the point of exhaustion.

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12 ESV)

I am believing for a beautiful 2015, for me, my family, my church and for you, my friends. A closing bit of advice, if you decide to choose a word for 2015….remember to choose wisely 😉

be on guard