Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Satan Has Commented on Your Post~ May 6, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:47 am
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This morning I picked up my cell phone and saw that I had a notification from WordPress:

“Satan has commented on your post.”

Say what?

I rubbed my eyes thinking surely I, in my groggy morning haze, had misread the name. With both eyes now open, I looked again. Yep, still there.

Touché, Satan, you have my attention.

Upon opening my email, I see that the post that warranted feedback from “satan” was Do I Have To Be A Doormat?

Here is what the ol’ adversary had to say about it: “Yes! It’s about time I got to use you Christians as a doormat, instead of you trampling me under your feet!”

Oohhhh, good one Satan, you’re quite witty with your comebacks! 

Seriously, I’m still laughing about it! While I’m sure this comment was meant to offend and ruffle my feathers, it has done just the opposite. Whoever is using this screen name simply validated one thing, I, along with fellow Christians, have succeeded in putting the devil exactly where he belongs, under our feet.

So I’d like to say thanks, clever shadow writer, for the compliment and just the words I needed to encourage me to continue fighting the good fight through my words & actions.

Friends, do your part today to remind Satan of his place in your life, let him have it!

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20 NIV)

 

~Imperfect Progress~ November 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:08 am
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It’s 7 o’clock at night and my 2 year old is already in bed.  And all I can think about is waking her up to tell her how much I love her and how mommy’s so sorry she yelled.

But I won’t.  But I will write down the accounts of my evening that led to my now guilty heart.

I came home from my run to find my house in total chaos.  I’m fairly certain that every toy, book and crayon we own were scattered through every room in the house, with the exception of the boys room because they had enough sense to lock their door.  My dog, Kansas, is in heat so as I step over the broken crayons I see the tiny little spots all across the floor because apparently I am the only one equipped with the super-human powers it takes to wet a paper towel and clean it up.  The above mentioned 2 year old is screaming.  Why, you ask?  No reason, just because she really likes the sound of her voice at inhumane levels.  But I didn’t yell.

Next up I attempt to finish cooking dinner while Bella insists that the center of my closet size kitchen is the only place to build her blanket fort.  I somehow manage to convince her 2 sisters to clean up the messy house that they had no part in making, (yeah…right).  Bella takes off down the stairs after her sisters and I’m starting to feel pretty good about keeping my “raw emotions” in check.  As I wrap up dinner and call for the kids to come eat, little miss comes tearing around the corner…naked from the waist down.  “Bella,” I said rather cheerfully, “where are your pants?”  She snaps the towel from the counter and says,  “Dem’s wet so I threw em down the steps.”  I peek around the door down the stairs and I see not one, not two but three dark puddles on our lightly colored carpeted steps, three different steps naturally.  So as the kids sit down to eat, I scrub.  But I didn’t yell, yet.

Finally the mess is clean…enough…and I fix my plate right about the time that Bella decides she doesn’t want mac n cheese, she wants cheese crackers.  I give her a simple no, and her world as she knows it comes to an end.  Or so you would think had you seen the fit she threw herself into.  I stepped over her and attempted to eat with her kicking my arm and swinging her baby doll at my chicken and rice which was quickly losing it’s appeal.  (My life groupies are laughing, thinking I should have taken Carol’s advice and served myself first.)  And still, no yelling.

Finally I think our evening is calming down and that’s when I realize it’s quiet, way too quiet.  “Bella??”  No answer, dang it.  I hear someone in the bathroom, Lord, please don’t let that be my precious little one getting into trouble.  Sure enough, I push open the door and there she stands on top of the toilet, pant less again, looking for her toothbrush.  There is a puddle at her feet & on the floor around her.  Now…I yell.  I mean seriously, she was in the bathroom for heavens sake…on the toilet no less, and yet she manages to pee her pants again?  This mommy had reached her peak.

So, I fuss about her accidents and messy behavior and not eating her dinner, you know, because surely she knows exactly what I’m saying.  This is when I declare “It’s night-night time right now!” a whole hour before her normal bedtime.  Of course it was met with protest, “Mommy, noooo!”  “Sorry kid, momma ain’t having it anymore.”  (My fellow Unglued ladies are shaking their heads at me right now thinking, ‘I know what we need to discuss next week.’)

I drag her to bed and listen to her cry for a whole 2 minutes before she went out like a light.  I knew she was exhausted since she has also recently determined that she’s too good for naps.

And that’s when the guilt crept in and I had to resist the temptation to wake her so she would know that mommy isn’t really mad, just tired from an aggravating day.  But I let her rest.  Why should I disrupt her just to make me feel better about myself?

As the night wound down and I was able to sit and reflect, I stopped shaming myself for my not-so-nice mommy moment because the fact that I immediately realized I had overreacted revealed to me that I am in fact making progress.  That’s the beauty of bible study & devotions, if you are plugged into applying what you read, it will seep in and find it’s way into your heart.

There is a line from our book “Unglued” that sums up the woman that I desire to be.  Guys, don’t feel left out, it could easily be reworded to include you.

A Jesus girl who rises up and unexpectedly gives grace when she surely could have done otherwise reveals the power and the mystery of Christ at work-in her life and in the world. -Lysa TerKeurst

When looking back at how my night played out, I initially felt justified when I unloaded because look how much I had let go before I finally lost it.  But there isn’t to be a limit to our grace, the life of Jesus teaches us that.  Had I taken a moment to think before I spoke, I would have remembered that it isn’t my little girl who I am war against, it’s our enemy, Satan and I wouldn’t have given him a foothold into my night had I simply paused before reacting.

Today, amidst the pile of toys, accidents, crayon marks down the wall and whatever else may come at me, I am choosing to remind myself, “I am not an angry woman, I am a child of God.”

 

~Do I Have To Be A Doormat?~ September 20, 2013

I have been on the receiving end of a lot of rude behavior in my life.  Now that I love Jesus, I wonder how I am to handle these rude encounters.  I know we are to turn the other cheek and all, but when somebody does something directly offensive to you…repeatedly…to the point that there is absolutely no respect for you, your family or your property, then what?

Does being a follower of Jesus mean I am to be a doormat, allowing anyone & everyone to treat me as they choose and simply smile and walk away?

There is a specific incident that I am referring to from my own perspective.  While I usually attempt to be very direct with my posts, I am intentionally being vague as to avoid “pointing fingers.”  However, I will add just one more tidbit of information.  The offenders who have me seriously upset are church people, (let me clarify that they are not from my church people).  The reason that this is incredibly relevant is that as I watch this continued offense unfold before my very eyes, I wonder if this is the way they treat all people?  Are they at the local grocery store showing a general lack of respect for others, acting as though they deserve preference?

**I had typed to this point as of yesterday…while the offense was taking place.  Then I took a break because I was very aggravated and needed to change courses in my mind before I unloaded.  That’s when I found my way to Lysa TerKeurst‘s page.  The Lord really has a way of guiding us when we pause.  The title of her post I came across, “And I had the perfect comeback.”  In it she describes an incident on a flight where a couple is incredibly rude to her and her friends.  Below is the exert that spoke to me in my circumstances:

Have you ever wanted to put your Christianity on a shelf and be as mean to someone as they are being to you? You know, just let loose and seriously break bad on somebody.

Maybe not, because you are nice. And most of the time, I am too. But in this moment I didn’t want to apply a single bit of my own “Unglued” advice. I won’t tell you what I wanted to say but I can assure you it didn’t involve being kind or gentle.

But this is the exact point where I had to make a choice.

A choice of who I wanted to partner with in this situation…God or Satan.

If I chose to go the route of anger, harsh comebacks, and retaliation, I would have basically stepped into Satan’s camp and caused conflict escalation. If, however, I chose to go the route of gentleness and grace, I would be partnering with God and would continue to make progress with my raw emotions. Like Philippians 3:16 reminds me, “Only let us live up to what we’ve already attained.”

And there that is!  I was amazed at God’s perfect timing once again.  I do not believe that God wants us to take abuse from anyone, so please understand that this is not what I am referring to.  I am referencing those agitating offenses that we are guaranteed to face from family, friends and complete strangers.  Yes, at the time it may seem like a major ordeal that requires us to puff out our chests and give them a serious tongue lashing.  But when you pause and look at the big picture, is it worth blowing your witness to “go off” like a crazed person?!  As Lysa put it,  “Why would I want to trade the peace of partnering with God for a few cheap moments of putting someone else in their place?”

Proverbs19_11

Thank you, Lysa, for your sound, biblical advice once again.  And a special shout out to Jesus for keeping your hand over my mouth and leading me to your truth once again.