Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Don’t freak the freak out!~ September 23, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:13 am
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Some days I have these moments of clarity where all is right with the world, everything makes perfect sense and the word zen could be used to describe my state of being. So far, today has NOT been that day!

We have some changes happening in Chez Rutledge and up until this morning, I was pretty relaxed about it all. For whatever reason, I decided at approximately 8:15am on a Wednesday was a great time to freak the freak out!

How are we going to make this work?

When will everything fall into place?

Why are we not getting clear & precise direction?

What the heck made me think I could be all calm and cool about anything?

My “nature” is to worry and fret and plan ahead and know what’s happening “play-by-play” style. We are currently in a “roll with it” stage and my brain went all spastic and nearly short circuited. Then in true Jesus fashion, I had a gentle one word reminder…rest. My first thought was, “Seriously, Lord?” Then I reread my devotion about stillness and quickly pulled references on “rest”.

“And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14 ESV)

No matter where we go, what we are doing or whom we are with, the Lord himself goes with us which should give us rest in the form of peace.

“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat;for God gives rest to his loved ones.” (Psalm 127:2 NLT)

Being a child of God gives us an assurance that we will have what we need, when we need it without fail. In these words, we find rest in His provision.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matt 11:28-30 Message)

If you’ve ever found yourself seeking counsel from a Christian during times of hardship, I am sure you’ve heard the phrase, “God never gives us more than we can handle.” Sometimes when the struggle is real and deep or even painful, those words feel empty and crass. However, there is profound truth in the verse above. God gives us rest in His promises. We will never be defeated so long as we walk according to His plan for our lives.

So don’t freak the freak out over whatever is happening in your life right now. What seems overwhelming to us is simply all in a day’s work to the one who never slumbers. Y’all, He’s got this so just rest already!season

 

~Momma’s Gonna Need a Minute~ October 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:49 am
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“Do you ever have one of those days where you just want to be left the heck alone?! Like no talky, no touchy, no looky, ‘get the heck out of my personal space’ kind of days?! That’s how I feel today!”

This would be the text message I sent my husband yesterday.  I wasn’t mad at anyone. No one had really done anything to upset me or make me feel ill, but I’m pretty sure it was within the spectrum of possibilities for me to physically assault someone. Grumpy doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling. throat punchI’m a little embarrassed to admit that I have days where I feel downright hateful to the point that I’m concerned for the safety of those who get too close. Days like that I think I need to be forced to wear a warning sign around my neck, “Danger!!  Contents may explode upon contact!!”

Anyone else ever suffer through days like that?

Take heart, I may have pinpointed the cause. Every day, all day, I have someone “all up on me,” as I like to put it. The littles tug at my clothes, using me as a human paper towel and the occasional snot rag. My boys find humor in poking and throwing stuff or hiding around corners to scare the beegeezus out of me. My man just needs a little affection at the end of the day but sometimes, THIS is not huggable!

Physical touch is a beautiful thing but if you never have a moment to yourself, you may start to feel a bit like a foreigner in your own land, so to speak. This tends to happen most often when our calendars are so full that there is no way to pencil in some “me, minus all of you” time. I’m here to help you out, friends. The next time someone asks you to do something you have zero desire to do, don’t ignore that tightening in your chest that accompanies the realization that you’re never going to have a moments rest. Smile & say “No, but thanks for thinking of me.”

Now, take a seat in your favorite chair and forget about the to-do list that is invisible to the rest of your fam. Enjoy the entire cup of coffee before it has the chance to get cold because whatever the world needs from you, can wait a dang minute.

If you feel guilty, let’s all just take a minute to remember that even Jesus had to get away from the crowds and sit in silence in order to be refreshed to fulfill his life’s purpose.

 

~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)

 

~Today is your last day~ January 31, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:53 am
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should havesWhat if today was really your last day?

Would you have regrets?

Would you be content with the life that you have lived to this point if it suddenly came to a screeching halt?

While today might not be your last day, it very well could be.  So, ask yourself this….knowing that your time here is limited, would you change anything about your life right now?  Is the change something within your means to make?  If so, what are you waiting for? 

I am painfully aware that this post is nothing  more than a series of questions with no real answers which goes against everything I’ve written up to this point.  For whatever reason I have found myself in a perpetual state of what ifs.  I can’t say that I am lost, but confused and searching, yes.  Time for some me time.  A time of refreshing, where no one is looking to me to meet their needs so that I can tend to my own.  While this may sound incredibly selfish, (because it is), it is also absolutely necessary.  Please forgive my transparency.  I hope that it doesn’t disappoint my readers to know that I am human and battle the same stumbling blocks as you.

I will return to blogging, soon most likely.  Maybe even in a day or two.  But if it takes me longer, just pray for me.

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat,he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  (Mark 6:31)

Yeah, no time to eat (think, sleep, etc), I can relate.

Blessings, friends.

 

~It is OK to Say No~ April 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:59 am
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no-newThis goes out to all my fellow over-doers out there…you know who you are!  The word “no” is not in your vocabulary except when applied to yourself.  You say “yes” to every task someone asks of you.

  • You sit on three different boards and offer to chair all special committees.
  • You are the room parent for each of your children.
  • You head up every fundraiser at work, school and church.

This list could seriously go on forever so I will spare you.

However, when your mind, body or soul screams for rest, you give it a resounding no.  I would venture to say, that like myself, your people-pleasing tendencies make you feel riddled with guilt whenever you take time for yourself.

The Lord has dealt with me quite often on this matter and more times than not, His voice sounds eerily similar to my husband’s.

Allow me to share with you some Biblical truths as to why you should occasionally so “no” to everyone else and give yourself a “yes”!

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones.”

(Psalm 127:2 NLT)

I am not saying you should walk in to your place of employment today and quit on the spot!  We are responsible for providing for our families.  What I am saying, is that you have to set boundaries.  It was never God’s intention for us to spend every waking hour slaving away for “the man.”  If you are overworked, (and no doubt underpaid), allow yourself time off.  Do not be consumed with worry over where your next meal will come from.  If God provides for all the animals of the earth, do you not think He will do the same for us whom He loves more than every living creature?

“Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.””

(Mark 6:31 NIV)

When you are constantly surrounded by other people who “need” something from you, it can be utterly exhausting.  This is especially true for those of us with young children and the many who are caring for aging parents.  You can get so wrapped up in taking care of them, that you deprive yourself of even the most basic needs.  It is good to have a compassionate heart that desires to help your fellow brothers and sisters and provide care for your family, but you must be careful that it is not to the detriment of your own well-being.  Mark out some quiet “you-time” on your calendar and make it a priority.  When the time comes, don’t allow yourself to make lame excuses as to why you cannot keep the appointment.  You wouldn’t dare cancel on anyone else and you are just as important.

“There is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.  For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.  So let us do our best to enter that rest.  But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.”

(Hebrews 4:9-11 NLT)

Even God himself took a day off!  What more reason do you and I need?!  Follow in His supreme example and observe the Sabbath.  It is a guarantee that if you continue to work at a break-neck pace, you will fall.  Whereas if you give your mind, body and soul the rest that it craves, you will perform at a higher level on the days you must labor.  Just as physical rest is necessary for your bodies to function properly, spiritual and emotional rest is a must in order to refresh your souls so that you will not become run down in your service to God and others.

One final Scripture to meditate on when you find yourselves saying “no” to your own needs a little too often:

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

(Isaiah 30:15 NIV)

Resting in God is more than just sleep; it is a peace that comes from knowing that He has offered to carry our burdens in exchange for His.  It’s the hope of our salvation that renews our strength.  It is in the promise of His return that we can endure the trials of this life and Still. Find. Rest.