Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Prayer From Paul~ March 19, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 9:31 am
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Some days, I question why God has placed any trust in my ability to be a mommy.  I have a very active toddler, a 6 year old diva, two pre-teens trying to find their way and one teenager who knows it all…sounds like the making of a good joke, doesn’t it?!  The problem with this vast range of ages is that every day presents a new parenting challenge.  Somehow, I am supposed to be able to transition from overseeing timeouts, to monitoring social media, to talking about sex, to navigating peer pressure and back to time out corner to release my prisoner.

I’m not gonna lie, it gets incredibly overwhelming.  How in the world is it possible for my husband and I to do this kid-rearing thing without ruining them or going bonkers in the process?!

One word, prayer.

It is very easy for me to get wrapped up in the moment and let my mean momma come out when my kids disappoint me.  I want to throw out not-so-helpful words rather than taking the time to allow God to give me the words that I should speak.

I want to be effective with the things I do and say to my kids.  The truth is, most kids only pay attention for a brief time, so if you are rambling on, they tuned you out after about the first 5 minutes.  In order to make that tiny little window of opportunity count, we should be giving careful attention to how we choose to deliver a valuable life lesson.  To ensure that we are giving our absolute best attempt at this parenting thing, we need to be in prayer for ourselves and for our children.

While I pray that God would help me to control my fleshly side that sometimes wants to trade in my precious babes for billy goats, years ago I determined that this would be my prayer for my kids:

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.  For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.  May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation-the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ-for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” (Philippians 1:9-11 NLT)

My desire is that we all would continue to move forward in our faith.  It is definitely a process of growing and maturing together, learning from one another how to be Jesus guys & gals and conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel while living in a world that is going to hell in a hand basket.  To achieve this goal, we must remain in the Word and continually seek guidance as opposed to going at it in our own stubborn way.  andystanley

 

~What is Happy?~ January 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:04 am
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“I just want to be happy.”

So many times I have had friends look at me with tears in their eyes as they whispered those words.  And my heart broke because I could see the pain and confusion they were feeling….and I could relate.  I too have been the girl who sat crying, feeling lost and wondering where my happy went.

But what is happy?

Is it a feeling, a state of being, an action, a choice, a lifestyle?

Truthfully, I have no idea.

I did turn to google for an answer, and as always, it didn’t disappoint.  I was provided with a rather long list of synonyms for the word that made me wonder if we’ve got it all wrong.

First up was a list that dealt with your outer appearance:  smiling, beaming, grinning, radiant.  So part of happy is a choice to plaster the smile on your face and look the part.  “By all accounts, she appeared happy from the outside looking in.”  In this case, it is easy to fool others into believing you are good when truthfully you are falling apart on the inside.  This kind of happy can be deceptive.

Next was an abundance of synonyms that I would consider to be feelings:  thrilled, exhilarated, ecstatic, overjoyed.  All of these typically come as a result of something great happening to you.  In this case, your happy is dependent on outside influence & the feeling may be fleeting once the circumstances change.  “For the first time in a long time, she was happy because she was rewarded for her efforts at work.”  What happens when the initial excitement wears off, does the feeling stick?  This kind of happy is fickle.

Then it got a little deeper:  pleased, content, satisfied, gratified.  To me, these words imply a constant, unchanging foundation.  So in other words, this kind of happy is not contingent on anyone or anything, it’s an inner peace that cannot be shaken.  “She was happy with her life.  Through the successes & failures, highs & lows, gains & losses…she was happy.”  These kind of people don’t have different circumstances, they have a different attitude toward their circumstances.  This kind of happy is steadfast.

So the question is:  What kind of happy are you looking for?  Is it a feeling that comes and goes based on the world around you?  Or are you seeking a deeper sense of contentment that is firmly rooted in something that doesn’t waver?

“I have learned to be satisfied with what I have and with whatever happens.  I know how to live when I am poor and when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of how to live through any kind of situation—when I have enough to eat or when I am hungry, when I have everything I need or when I have nothing.  Christ is the one who gives me the strength I need to do whatever I must do.” (Philippians 4:11-13 ERV)

happy people