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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.)

 

 

 

More of Thee and Less of Me

January 30, 2012

 

On a good day, I am sure that right around half of my thoughts somehow relate back to how I feel about all things Amy.   “Am I hungry?”  “How do I really feel about doing laundry?” “Who am I kidding?  I’m a joke.” “What’s that delightful smell?  Oh, look at that.  It’s my hair.  I wonder if other people can smell my hair as well as I…”  I could go on, but I’d like to retain some dignity.   (I told my Mom that I had guessed “half” my daily thoughts were about me, and she says to me, “Half?  I bet it’s way more than half.”  For the purpose of this post, I’ve decided that she was referencing all mankind and not just me.)

By my guesstimate, a person has roughly 100,000 unique thoughts in a day.  (I could google for a real number, but let’s not carry on pretending I’m a legitimate news source and just work with my numbers for the purpose of illustration.)  If 5,000 of those thoughts relate to reasonable self care thought processing (Am I hungry?), and I’ve conservatively estimated that half my thoughts in a day are about me, then I have roughly 45,000 thoughts a day all about me that are purely superfluous.  Superfluous!  

Upon further reflection (thinking about me. what a world, what a world), I realize that my thoughts about me take a very familiar path on most occasions. “I think I will make tacos for dinner.  They served tacos at my old elementary school.  The cafeteria lady’s son was in my class and I teased him one day until he cried and we had to go to the principal’s office.  Man, I was a jerk kid.  Why does anybody like me?  I am a truly awful person.  Stop it.  You stop it right there. God has redeemed you and He promises to complete the good work He has begun in you.  Chill out and make those tacos.”

Here is my biggest thought as of late:  What if I actually could somehow donate the use of all that wasted thought time to a more productive thought activity?  What would I look like if I turned that thought time over to God through the Holy Spirit and just let Him get cozy as the bulk of my 100,000 thoughts? The above thought process would look like this: “I think I will make tacos for dinner. (pause for Holy Spirit intervention on my behalf.)  Chill out and make those tacos.”

This idea is both exciting and unnerving to me when I examine it closely.  This would mean taking thoughts about my reputation, ability, talents, role in relationships, and feelings about the past, and releasing them to the Holy Spirit to do with as He sees fit.  What would that leave me looking like?  Am I talking about a spiritual lobotomy?  Let’s be honest, I think I am about as weird as I want to get.  Do I trust Him not to turn me into an even bigger weirdo?

What if He compels me to grow my hair to my waist and wear skirts that I make myself and I like it?  What if I turn into one of those bloggers who won’t.shut.up about “Holy Spirit this and Holy Spirit that?”  What if I end up in a wheelchair, wearing velcro tennis shoes (my vainest fear), and I’m downright pleasant about it?  What if I decide that door to door is the way to evangelize? Please, oh please, oh please don’t make me look weird.  I understand discomfort (social and/or physical) is sometimes necessary, but, how about a nice and relaxing endurance shaping event?

I wrote last year about putting it all out there for God to examine and repair. I’m still in the exam room, but I thought I would just update you and let you know that it’s starting to look a little weird and it’s not all that bad.

(Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home if you might be in a lack of Bible reading rut: Read the book of James every night for a week.  It is five short chapters that you can get read in twenty minutes or less.  No need for commentary.  Just read it every night for a week and see if it doesn’t get you out of the rut.  Here’s a teaser from James 2:”Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!”)