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I am Eric’s Wife. I am also mother to two teenagers on the very cusp of adulthood, the founding director of Scripture from the Heart, an avid world watcher, bold and insecure at once. I serve a merciful God and I love a guy who makes my knees weak. This is where I write about it all.  Thank you for reading!

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Advice: How to be Deeply Humble in Half the Time

June 30, 2020

Who doesn’t love the presence of a deeply humble person in the room? I know I do. But, have you ever looked at the lifetime of failure, loss, recovery, failure again, repent, repent again, apologize, speaking up, staying silent, and just generally coming in second place that it takes to be deeply humbled? Who has the time? Not me, and I bet you don’t either. Grab you a pen and take some notes. This will be very helpful.

The first thing you might notice about a humble person is that they have spent many hours in quiet time, meditation, and prayer. This being the end of days, you need to concern yourself more with the appearance of such a lifestyle because time to invest is over. Find a cozy corner in your house, pour a cup of coffee, open your Bible to something extra fancy, like Psalms or something, but not Haggai. Nobody reads Haggai. Now, when you are feeling super in the moment, take a picture with your phone and post to social media. Hashtag quiettime, hashtag coffeeandJesus, hashtag mostimportant.

After posting your picture, you will start to get a lot of social media notifications. This is a good sign that your example is doing its work. Your response to these comments needs to be carefully measured. If you respond too quickly, it will look like your quiet time was a photo op and you know you spent a for real 20 minutes reading with your phone face down, so, like, be cool about responding.

While time with your Bible might seem like a key feature to growing in spiritual maturity and humility, an unsung hero of spiritual growth is spending hours reading and watching news reports about current events. It is fine if you invest in one news source and read mostly headlines. In fact, if you can can create an echo chamber that reinforces and congratulates you for your opinions, all the better. Share news reports with your friends and family who do not know the bad news. They need to know these things and you are doing them a favor.

Because you have invested so much effort into being informed, you need to use your platform to share in great detail your feelings. Feelings matter and yours are especially important to whatever the news of the day is. Never forget how vital your voice is. Specifically you. If you don’t speak up, who will?

Once you have started the brave and humble act of speaking up on a matter, you might find yourself in a chorus of many others, also speaking up. There might be a strong temptation to feel pride at having joined such an elite bunch, but, resist! Pride in humility is understandable, I mean, look at you! You are a fine specimen of humble appearance, even as your muscles tremble at the exertion. The good news is that the end is near, so you will only have to maintain this humble effort for a very short while.

I hope you have found this advice to be very helpful. Humility is something I have gotten very good at, so I imagine this advice will be used far and wide. As always, you are very welcome.

Advice: How to Destroy Your Family’s Love of Peanut Butter

June 25, 2020

Now, aside from allergies, I can hear you asking, “But, Amy, why on earth would you want to destroy your family’s love of America’s favorite sandwich go to? Think about the cookies!!” And to you, I’d say that I did not set out to destroy my family’s love of peanut butter, but I did so with great success and I want to share my complete victory here. Maybe you are a mother who has made a thousand PB&Js and you are done. Whatever your reason is for wanting to destroy your family’s love of peanut butter, read on. Let’s learn something together.

It all started with me thinking that I had exceptional skill in the kitchen. I do all right behind the stove, and 20 years at it has seen lots of practice. Not once, even that time I substituted orange drink for orange juice in an orange chicken recipe, has my family cried uncle. But then, the day came when I had 1.5 pounds of beef tips, too much peanut butter, and Google. Enter: Thai Peanut Beef.

The sauce was a mix of peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, Sriracha sauce, and a touch more peanut butter because it looked like it needed it. The recipe was for stir fry, but, who has time? What I did, and what you should definitely do if you want to heed my advice, is to put it all in the crockpot. Set on “Low” so it can slow cook all day for maximum effect.

This is the part where science that I can’t understand and can’t explain takes over. Your house will smell like a peanut butter cookie. All of the spices you added to the peanut butter will be absorbed by the beef tips. After several hours, you will feel like you can test a piece of meat for doneness. One bite and you will be convinced that you have hit recipe gold and your family is going to be begging for Mom’s Thai Peanut Beef for special treat meals. But, don’t buy the plaque just yet.

The recipe will give you options for serving. Some serve this meal over a ginger spiced salad, some use rice, but still others like to use pasta. In my case, I had recently made an excessive spaghetti noodle purchase at Costco during the great toilet paper and pasta rationing of 2020 episode we had, right before the murder hornet episode. I decided to go with spaghetti noodles, and you should, too, if you want to win this challenge.

Time to serve your family. Oh boy. They have been smelling peanut butter all day, the beef tip taste test was a major win, mouths are watering, the darlings can hardly wait. In your best dinnerware, slop out a generous pile of pasta and then use a ladle (yes, you want to be sure they get lots of sauce) to drench the pasta with peanut sauce and beef tips.

Remember that mysterious science we covered earlier? Here is where it will pack its punch. The beef tips are tolerable and eaten with no complaint. The pasta, the sauce, oh you, that sauce. What you served your family turned out to be spaghetti noodles with hot peanut butter and bits of spicy beef tips. I don’t mean spicy peanut butter, that might have saved the day, I mean just hot, melty peanut butter.

As proof that my advice here is solid, Eric just walked in on me searching for stock images of peanut butter for this post, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? PLEASE NO!!”

I hope this advice has been helpful. You are very welcome.

Do You Kiss Your Grandma with that Mouth?

June 24, 2020

(Yes, another post about social media. It is a very useful servant, but a terrible master. It crept in on me like a fog and I am trying to have a reckoning.)

My Mom had a large record collection of pop culture type stuff that she brought into her marriage to my Dad. From her records we heard the Jackson 5, the Carpenters, John Denver, Mamas and the Papas, and, to her chagrin, Cheech and Chong.

One of the albums that I never listened to was Bill Cosby’s 8:15 12:15. It was a set of two records, each containing full Cosby stand up routines. I was growing up in the era of the Cosby Show and knew him only as America’s Dad. I knew that the 8:15 record was family friendly and that the 12:15 record was for an adult audience. Somehow it gave me great pause to know that he would ever say something not meant for my ears. It made a crack in my opinion of him at a very early age, even as I couldn’t communicate why.

Returning to Facebook recently to promote some upcoming events has brought back that same sense about people I know as I got reading the cover of that Bill Cosby collection.

Social media shows me a lot of people’s 12:15 material that is not meant for my ears. I only know their 8:15 show self that I see in church or at social gatherings that we used to have in the olden days. Without social media, I might only ever know their 8:15 self; it’s a self where I may disagree on certain matters, but in person it is discussed rationally and left alone. With social media, I am still aware of the areas where we disagree, but the language changes dramatically. They cast a wide net that catches me and a whole crowd of varied minds, “People like you make me sick. Unfriend me if you can’t handle the truth I’m spittin.” Then, to my face, they say to me, “I love you. I respect you.”

As I consider my place on the internet, I know that it is impossible to not offend someone somewhere. Most comedy is an effort to highlight the absurd and there’s always going to be a toe stepped on. Believe me. I know things. I once made a FB post about oatmeal that turned into a legendary 175 comment thread with raging passion about rolled oats verses steel. Also, there was my postage stamp post that garnered 125 comments that roared about government verses private business.

At the very well known risk of offending someone, I want to say that we should all be nicer on the internet. Nobody who knows you in the flesh, disagrees with your politics, and follows you on social media grows fonder of you by the day if all you share is fear and anger. Social media is not real life. There are people in your real life that have to hug you in the flesh on Sunday morning, even though they know you would hate them if you knew how they voted. Perhaps we could all take a pause and consider the people in front of us. I intend to take many more deliberate pauses from social media. I rather prefer it when there’s not a 12:15 elephant standing in the middle of the room.