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About Eric’s Wife

Some may say I am a "Stay at home Mom," but that is not even close. I am Eric's Wife. I have exhilarating strokes of genius, followed almost immediately by paralyzing pangs of self doubt and, for whatever reason, here is where I blog about it - warts and all. I serve a merciful God with a clumsy hand and at the end of each day I go to sleep thankful to be His servant and Eric's wife.

I’m a Terrible Gardener, However…

July 10, 2013

My neighbor had a stroke on Memorial Day weekend.  What I know about him mostly comes from observations over the fence.  This man is in his seventies and spent hours each day working in his yard and giant vegetable garden.  His niece recounted a story to us about how, before he even built his house on the land, he lifted up a handful of dirt and said, “This is MY dirt.”  Because I knew only that he had a heart for his land, and a fondness for putting Scripture in his self poured concrete, I took only a second’s thought to agree to tend to his garden while he recovers.

I always thought that I wanted to have a nice big garden, but now I know that I have no desire for anything bigger than a few square feet.  Working this land has been like babysitting someone’s hyperactive sextuplet toddlers to decide whether or not you want kids.

It is certainly a big job, but one I feel was given to me at the exact time when I needed something big and difficult to manage.  I have a lot of big and difficult things flying around my head that cannot be managed, dealt with, or changed.  Nothing unusual to me or to the human condition, but enough that my chemo brain and recovering body slipped into a depression like I have never experienced before.  There are days and weeks when I feel moderately better, but then there are entire months when I would rather just crawl back under the covers.

Here’s the thing about gardening: it happens in the sunshine and you cannot do it from under your covers.  If it was my own garden, I would have left it alone and let it die, but I feel a certain charge to have my neighbor return to see his land was not neglected.  This charge has seen me spend hours pulling weeds, watering dozens of fruit and nut trees, and having most of this time all to myself in the quiet outdoors.   Dirt under my nails has not cured me completely of depression, but I do believe it has kept me from disengaging altogether.

And so, while my dear neighbor works to come home, I am also working to come home.  I needed this deliberate quiet time to chat with God and marvel at His creation and I never in a million years could have guessed this would help at all.  I thought I just needed a cruise to Cancun, but whatever.


Debating the Undebatable: Abortion

June 27, 2013

I believe that Jesus is God and that He came to redeem my soul through His death on the cross.  Outside of that belief, I try not to get into dirt kicking contests in the public square.  I let other, more knowledgeable folks debate the peripherals about what walking with Christ should look like.  Please pardon me then, as I am about to attempt to discuss a difficult issue with my very amateur sense.

I want to address my dearly loved friends who believe that the pro-life movement is borne of a hatred of women.  I am not a Republican, though I agree with their general stance on abortion.  My reasoning is not because I care to get involved with what you do with your girl parts and I do wish we could have a chat about abortion without bringing them up.  It is not because I believe sex is dirty and nobody should be doing it.  It is not because I believe that everyone should agree with my thoughts on unmarried sex.

The simple truth is that I believe that life begins at conception.  We can debate all day long when that life has value and worth, but I do not think you will ever convince me that worth only applies to one side of the womb any more than I could convince you that life only has worth after pre-school.

When you think of the pro-life movement and determine that they are a bunch of Bible beaters who have a perverse desire to dictate how you operate your uterus, you dismiss the reality under which they work.  Lines like, “Don’t want an abortion? Don’t get one.” have no more more power in the argument than if I were to say, “Don’t like throwing toddlers in front of buses?  Don’t throw one.”  Because we believe that life in the womb is the most vulnerable stage of human growth, there will always be a fight to be had in this arena.  You will never, and I mean this sincerely, have abortions without protests.

In truth, I wish I did not believe that life begins at conception.  My life would be far less complicated if I could just agree that there is no living, feeling, one of a kind person growing in the womb.  But I can’t.

I understand that there are cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother hanging in the balance, though I would argue that those are extreme cases and extreme cases make bad law.  Abortion is a multi billion dollar industry in this country and it is highly doubtful that extreme cases make up more than a tiny fraction of yearly procedures.

It appears as though our society is at a place where there will always be abortion and this means that there will always be protests.  These protests are not because angry white men want to police vaginas – but rather, the protests are because people like me are deeply moved to protect what we believe to be lives with worth.

(I welcome comments on this post, but I would appreciate it if we could stay on the topic of abortion and not delve into any other policies of either political party.  As I said, I am not a Republican, an Independent, or a Democrat.  This is not the place for CNN style commenting.)


My Apologies

March 9, 2013

When I was in middle school I had a friend whose mom was fond of saying, “Sarcasm is the lowest form of comedy.”  To which I was fond of responding, “That’s just because you have never heard it done correctly.”  I considered myself an artist and sarcasm was my favorite medium.  My friend’s mother has been haunting me since yesterday and I am now forced to make a formal apology.

<deep breath>

Dear America, I mishandled sarcasm in a brutal and confusing manner.  I am deeply sorry for the confusion.  Sincerely, Eric’s Wife

See, what had happened was that there was a blog post floating around the internet called, “Dear Mom on Your iPhone.”  I won’t link to it here because I suspect the author of the blog post would like for the heat to die down and I respect that.  In her post, the author wrote a lengthy and guilt heavy letter to some anonymous mother she witnessed at the park.  This mother got caught in the blogger’s crosshair when she was witnessed staring at her iPhone instead of paying attention to her kids as they played.  I must confess that the post made me angry and I responded in kind.

I was not angered at the notion that most smart phone owning parents could stand to practice better smart phone etiquette, but rather, I was angered at the author’s use of guilt to preach to the unaware mother.  Her choice to slap us all around with guilt is nothing  new to the mother sisterhood.  I’ve done it and I’ve had it done to me enough to recognize its bitter taste well before it reaches my palate.

I wrote a heavily sarcastic letter parodying hers and posted it with no explanation as to the source of my screed.  I am sorry if you thought it was meant to seriously attack smart phone using parents and I am especially sorry if you thought it was directed at you.

The fact is that most mothers have their bags packed and ready for a guilt trip at the drop of a hat.  The lightest of touches can send us to the train station with ticket in hand.  I don’t think I am being heavy handed when I say that it is cruel to attempt to use guilt to correct another’s behavior and it is especially cruel to use guilt against a mother who is likely treading water and barely keeping her nose dry.

If your kids are fed and they know they are loved by you, I’ve got nothing on you when it comes to parenting.  You may make different wrong choices than I do, but that is okay and you are allowed those wrong choices.  If you are like me (a growing human), I expect that you will learn from those wrong choices and adapt to better choices.  In the end, I expect that we will both have raised adults who can function in society reasonably well.  If I see you on your smart phone in the park, I can’t judge because right now my kids are eating cold cereal while I blog.

Here’s the funny part of my having to chew on my words for the past 24 hours: I realized that I was guilty of the very same effort that angered me in the first place.  In my own way, I was trying to guilt that mommy blogger into feeling awful for how she tried to make other mothers feel guilty.  Face->Palm

Here’s to a Saturday full of new mercy – new mercy given to us freely from God, which we can then offer to the parents in our midst.