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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.

On Memorizing The Word

January 17, 2014

“Believing God’s word is vastly more crucial than memorizing it. But O the mighty service rendered to faith by such memory.” -John Piper

Much has been written about memorizing Scripture.  I can’t intend to write a post about why you should commit to memorizing bulk portions.   What I can do, is tell you how it has matured my walk in ways I couldn’t have known when I started and then let you decide if maybe this is something you can do as well.

I began my efforts for no other reason than to see if I could.  I cannot pretend that I started with high spiritual reaches in mind.   I did include talks with God in my efforts, and I felt I walked closer than usual with Him while I worked.  I memorized the book of Ruth.  I chose it because it was that or Esther and Esther is 10 chapters, while Ruth is 4.  Seriously, I had no intentions that this would also be an exercise in my faith walk.   I am a very slow student, but God is a patient Teacher.

After Ruth, I added the first 3 chapters of Genesis.  The time I spent in those chapters remain very precious to me.  I felt like God was constantly saying, “This is My story.  This is Who I Am.”

Still, I plowed through my work as though it was more an assignment than important meal.  I added the book of Jonah, Genesis 4 and 22, Isaiah 51-54 to my list in this same way: Always treasuring the very real introduction I was receiving from God in His Word and how it was transforming my daily life, but not making the connection that the key factor in those seasons was that I was committing His Word to my mind and heart.

Such a slow learner.

During the time that I was cured of MS, I spent 9 days in isolation.  My nurses spoke no English and I spoke only during my doctor’s three times daily visits.  I entered that time with the full knowledge that God was in the middle of it.  I felt Him prowling that room like a Lion.  I woke up from my transplant with these sweet words on my mouth,

Awake, awake,
put on your strength, O Zion;
put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city;
for there shall no more come into you
the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Shake yourself from the dust and arise;
be seated, O Jerusalem;
loose the bonds from your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion.

I was healed.  I knew it and He had put His Words in my mouth to seal it.  That was about the time that it occurred to me that I had stumbled onto something much bigger than a simple brain exercise.  Slow and steady wins the race.

After we returned home, I began working on Esther.  Because I also present these Scriptures dramatically, I had decided to only do the first 8 chapters because it felt like it ended well there for staging purposes.  I worked on those 8 chapters with a performance date on the calendar.  If you haven’t read it lately, you should know that there are seven eunuchs, seven nobles, 2 regions and a lineage in the first three chapters.It was glorious work.  I don’t know that I have ever gotten it 100 percent right on stage, but I have all by myself and it’s a joy to have it rattling around in my brain.

By the time I got to Esther, I’d had my light bulb moment.  I knew that every word mattered, every name, every town.  These were people.  They lived and this is how God operated among them.  This is how God operates.  I took that Word and I memorized it, I meditated on it, I let it seep into my marrow.  More than any Bible study I’ve ever attended – and I’ve been to some great ones – more than any good spiritual book, more than any anything I have ever tried or had suggested, this has been the one thing that has finally settled my soul.

I have found much gain from fasting, Bible study, small groups, good books, and a host of other opportunities in this land of plenty.  Through it all, I still wrestled with wanting to really know Who God is.  Bulk Scripture memorization settled my soul.  I don’t know if it will do the same thing for you, but I wanted to let you know what happened to me when I did it.

 

 

Does this Word Look Heavy on Me?

September 4, 2012

Words are heavy.  I like to pretend that context is heavier, but I fancy words too much to carry on with that false reality.  Words are heavy and I want to weigh mine carefully.  Sometimes, short words are the heaviest.

And now, for no other reason than because this is my public street corner on the internet and I get to hollar whatever I want, here are my four super heavy words:

  • Love – I love my husband.  I love my kids.  I enjoy Dove’s dark chocolate.  Do you see what I did there?  I understand that you know context if I were to say that I love Dove’s dark chocolate – you would know that I do not want to marry or kiss the chocolate, but that I have a fondness for it which defies reason.  I know that you know what I mean, but I think the real problem lies not with the hearer, but the speaker.  Love is perhaps a softer example.  the next word was the first to begin weighing on me
  • Hate – I hate cancer.  I hate child abuse.  I disfavor stewed tomatoes.  This word really struck me years ago when I met a woman with a long list of people, places, and things she claimed to hate.  She hated this professor and that dean.  She hated this television program and she hated those shoes.  She especially hated people who were judgmental or over 30 and she later grew to hate me.  Her list was long enough to inspire me to ponder my own list of people, places, and things which I hated to see if it compared.  As the years have passed by since I met her, I have found my list dwindle down to almost no thing or place and absolutely no people.  I cannot honestly say I hate much of anything, so I won’t.
  • Amazing:  The grace of God is AMAZING.  The fact that I get to be a Mama to Ian and Mackenzie is AMAZING.  The $125 Diesal brand skirt that I bought for only $1.25 at the Salvation Army is a fantastic find.  I also include the word “awesome” in this category.
  • Scared(/Scary/Afraid):  This is an easy one to toss around in our current political climate.  At some point in the last three or so years, I have been blessed by the Holy Spirit with a spirit of courage and not fear.  This was an answer to prayer, though not the answer I wanted.  I wanted God to remove the things I was afraid of, and instead He made me unafraid.  I serve a King who says to take heart because He already overcame the whole world and anything it can throw at me.   I have nothing to fear.  Because of this, I will likely never make a Facebook update about an act of congress with the comment that it is “scary” and I am “scared.”  I really can’t think of a good context for this word, unless I were discussing what life would look like if  God was not in control.

You may still hear me casually toss these words around, though I know it will become more infrequent as the Holy Spirit continues chiseling.

(Unrelated to this blog post, but totally related to Holy Spirit chiseling: my dear friend was laid up in the hospital recently for the umpteenth time in ten short years.  She was in really bad shape and she asked me, “What is wrong with us, Amy?  Why does God have to keep working so hard on us?”  To which I responded, “Clearly, we are horrible, horrible people who don’t learn lessons easily.  It’s a wonder God gets anything done with us in His fan club.”  (This is an example of using heavy words sarcastically to make a point.  I try to do this sparingly.)  For real, though, praise God when it gets rough and the mountain is impossible.  He is setting the stage for His glory and you get to help.  Be patient when you’re getting chiseled.)

(Did you notice my haphazard use of parenthesis?  Rebel rouser.)

 

 

 

We Should All Be a Little More Chicken

January 17, 2012

Last spring we became members of the backyard chicken owning community. It was all Eric’s idea, but the whole family quickly took ownership and grew to love on all the chickens. Much to Eric’s dismay, we named them and you can’t eat a pet you have named, duh.

They were all babies when we got them and we learned after a few months that we had two roosters and seven hens.  The smaller of the two roosters found a new home because, well, they don’t say “too many cocks in the henhouse” for nothing.  You really can have too many.  (When you own chickens, you quickly learn the truth to the countless sayings we have that were borne in a chicken run.  They really do have a “pecking order” and you’ve never seen anything “as mad as a wet hen.”)

Our hens began giving us eggs towards the end of summer.  We can count on at least two dozen eggs a week and have found it to be a surprisingly great pleasure.  A few days before Christmas, I came out to the run and found my mom patiently waiting outside the coop.  She needed another egg for her baking and was waiting while the hen inside finished laying it.  You can’t get eggs fresher than that, I tell you what.

We have different breeds of chickens and most were purchased because they would be good egg layers (or good eating.  Sorry again, Eric.)  Eric did buy two hens based solely on the fact that they were cuddly and cute and he thought my Mom would immediately adore them.  The breed is called “silkie” and they lay tiny and almost worthless eggs, but they are just so precious that we happily took them home.

The kids named the smaller of the two”Snowflake”, but the larger of the two never had a name that would stick so we just called it “the bigger silkie.”

As all the other hens laid their eggs and immediately walked away from them with no regard, the silkies did not produce for some time.  Finally, Snowflake did lay an egg and did not seem concerned with what became of it.  As novice chicken farmers, we just assumed that chickens were too dumb to know what to do with an egg unless we went through the fifty steps recommended on chicken farming websites if we hoped to have any of our hens try and hatch an egg.

The bigger silkie finally laid an egg one week before Christmas and then disappeared into the coop with it.  Certain that she would lose interest in short order, we waited for her to emerge.  After one week, we began to worry about her.  She did not come out to eat or drink, but stayed firmly and militantly roosted on top of that egg.

Everything we read told us that this was a futile attempt.  The weather was intermittently freezing and she eventually had stayed in there longer than the 21 days we learned were needed.  I started to feel sorry for her poor little Mama heart.  Whenever anyone tried to move her, she pecked fiercely until that hand was removed.  I began to wonder if maybe we would have to force her off her dud egg.

But then, this morning happened.  While we were eating breakfast Ian says, “I hear chirping!”  We all ran outside to the coop and, sure enough, there was a baby chick sitting in there with the unnamed silkie.  When that Mama silkie saw us looking at her, she quickly tucked her little baby right back under her warm body.

We are stunned.  I am not sure how many times we all thanked God with a hearty laugh for His faithfulness to His creatures, even as all the odds were against her.  After very little deliberation, it was decided that “the bigger silkie” deserved a name and that name should be Hannah.

I have always loved the story of Hannah from 1 Samuel.  She was barron, but faithful and never doubted that God could grant her a child.  When God did show mercy and give her child, even as all evidence said she never would, she raised him until he was three and then she returned the child into God’s service.  Samuel was his name and he was a diligent and wise servant of Elohim.

On the day that Hannah returned him, she prayed the beautiful prayer I am going to close this up with. Before I do, I have to remark again on the wonders of this world God created and the marvel of our little hen’s innate resolve to see this little chick through to today.  We all believed she was on a futile mission, but she knew better than we that God knows His creatures.

Then Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

“Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the LORD is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.

“The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.

“The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.

“For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s;
on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the LORD will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.

“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”