Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~You Gonna Scratch That Itch?~ July 22, 2014

For just about a week now, I have been trapped in some twisted version of Hell. Sleep has evaded me night after night as I lay tormented. My mind has been clouded,  rendering me completely unable to focus. All I can think about is that itch that I desperately want to scratch.

That’s right, friends, I have quite the impressive poison ivy rash. I got you, didn’t I?!

Ok, so this may not seem like a teachable moment but stick with me.

At the peak of my hellacious discomfort, when my ability to reason was rapidly slipping away, the thought of how heavenly it would feel to scratch almost made me cave. Digging my nails into the blistered skin would have brought instant gratification. Miraculously, I managed to regain my composure and resist the temptation because I realized that the “oh that feels good” feeling would have been temporary. Had I given in to this little desire, I would have opened myself up to infection and pretty much guaranteed that my recovery time would be extended. So in the end, I was able to rationalize that one moment of “oh yeah” wasn’t worth the potential consequences.

While my choice of analogy may seem silly, you can see where I’m going with this. We all have found ourselves in this type of predicament at least once in our lives. What do you do when you’re faced with an opportunity to do something that not only would feel good but that you really want to do?!

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.”

First off, you need to realize that you are equally susceptible to temptation as Joe Schmo who has never set foot in a church. Your life as a Christian does not protect you from being tempted. Secondly, you are not the only person to face this struggle. Regardless of what your demon is, someone else is fighting that same battle right now.

“And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

(1st Corinthians 10:13)

There it is, a promise from God that He won’t allow you to be overwhelmed. Not only that, but He will provide you with a means of escape. All that you & I need to do is look.

The next time you find yourself facing an itch that you desperately want to scratch, take a look at the consequences. Is that moment of pleasure worth a heinous infection that will poison other areas of your life?a53ca0f130778460c5521725ae02df3b

 

~Too Busy to Give Thanks~ April 8, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 1:38 pm
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busy

Don’t be “this” girl

Today I have been met with the hard reality of an overbooked schedule.  And I am exhausted.  I won’t bore you with the details of all that’s being juggled, just know that I am not exaggerating when I say I am overwhelmed.

But worse than being worn out and frustrated at my lack of time, I feel horribly guilty.  Our women’s group has started Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts.”  While we are about two weeks in, I have barely managed to read the first chapter much less start my list of gifts.  How in the world have I allowed myself to get so busy that I don’t even have time to write one thing that I am thankful for?!

Our house is being shown this afternoon so I have been cleaning like a lunatic & washing everyone’s bedding.  Why?  I don’t know, just in case the potential buyers want to check things out Goldilocks style and try out each bed.  I’d hate to think the house didn’t sell because of drool stains on the pillowcases.  My husband just ran by and noticed the extreme fatigue in my face.  Once again, he delivered some profound truth:

“Honey, we all appreciate a clean home but there is no reason to wear yourself out.”

How bout that?  Here I’ve been running myself in circles trying to get it all done meanwhile neglecting something as precious as naming my blessings and it’s all of my own doing.  No one has placed these crazy expectations on me, I do it all by myself.

Sometimes I wonder if I even read my own blog.  See the following:

https://peacefulpromises.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/someone-else/

https://peacefulpromises.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/it-is-ok-to-say-no/

https://peacefulpromises.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/expectations/

Clearly, I have allowed my “to do” list to take priority over my “need to” list.  So what if there’s a little dog hair on the couch or the laundry basket isn’t completely empty when company comes calling?  I believe it’s time to start that list of things for which I am thankful:

1.  A husband who reminds me that I am loved for who I am, not what I do.

“It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
    and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know he enjoys
    giving rest to those he loves?”

(Psalm 127:2 The Message)

 

~I Get To~ September 10, 2013

privlege

I woke up nice and early this morning so that I would have time to post without interruption.  Just as I was firing up the computer, two little cuties came tearing around the corner giggling and dragging their blankies behind them.  I really wanted to be aggravated that once again my “me” time was facing a full scale invasion of little people, but then they crawled up on the couch and wrapped each other in a hug.  Immediately my frustration with them dissolved and I was thankful that I held off on an early morning tongue lashing.

I can’t tell you how many times this same scenario has played out differently.  The kids, the spouse, a friend need my attention but my mind is so consumed with the “I have to’s” that I push them aside or worse, berate them for asking more from me when clearly my plate is already full.

A prime example would be this blog.  I can be sitting at the computer, fingers flying across the keys, and then one of the five will approach me.  In one of my not-so-shining moments, I might say something like, “Can’t you see that I’m right in the middle of something?!  I have to get this done and posted by 7!”

Why?  Why do I have to have my post out by a set time?  Does the internet shut down?  No.  This is one of the many random, unrealistic, unnecessary expectations that I have put on myself and then went on to punish my loved ones as if they somehow made me this way.

Not nice.  Not nice at all.

A lot of my friends are in the throws of what I would call our “busy season” so I know I can’t be the only one feeling the pressure and strain of an overwhelming schedule.  My prayer today is that each one of us would check our “have to’s” at the door and replace them with “get to’s.”

I don’t have to fix my kids breakfast, I get to.

I don’t have to drive an hour to watch my son play 2 minutes of football, I get to.

I don’t have to do 5 loads of laundry today, I get to.

It is an honor and a privilege to take care of others, not an obligation.  Now, if only I can remind myself of that the next time I start to come undone when I am interrupted from the task at hand.

“But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.”

(1 Timothy 5:8 NLT)

**Bonus Material**

As I was attempting to complete this post this morning, let me give you a rundown of how it all played out.

Kid one:  “When are you going to tape my finger?”  (football injury)

Kid two:  “Hey momma, can you fix me that peanut butter toast?”

Kid three:  “When you get a chance today, can you go buy me white cheer shoes?  I’m the only one who doesn’t have them?”

Kid four:  “I thought you were going to pack my lunch today?!”

Kid five:  *non-stop screaming*

This is truly laughable!  Every time I would start to write again, the next kid would roll in!  Could it be that the devil really didn’t want me to blog today?!