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About Eric’s Wife

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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Know Thy Number

July 23, 2020

Some years ago I was reading an article about data storage. I don’t recall who wrote or what the “so what?” was of it. What I remember crystal clear was the story she told about her experience with personal data collection.

The writer was a journalist tasked with researching how personal information is stored and used by different companies. She decided to use her own self as a case study. As the story goes, she had a two year membership in an online dating site. She visited the site an average of once a week, offering bits of information here and there. To write her article, she went through a multiple hoops with the dating website to finally have them give her a copy of every bit of information they had on her. She printed it all out and it filled an office conference room with cartons of document.

Everything went fuzzy on me when I saw the picture of that conference room. So. Many. Boxes. And the stunner of it to me was that this was only one website. What if she got the same documents from Google? Facebook? The mind reels.

My initial thought was that, after 25 years of internet use, I could fill about three warehouses with documents, and I bet I’m grossly underestimating. I pictured those warehouses and then it occurred to me that those warehouses exist. Somewhere, in digital form, every bit of information about me exists. It chilled me. I’ve told Google every one of my darkest secrets. The internet knows every possible thing about me, to the point where it can now predict correctly what I’m thinking about.

Just as I was about to fall into a pit of anxiety about what the 1984 just happened, I had a second thought.

God

knows

more.

And He loves me.

God knows the me that I don’t even know. That’s terrifying; until I remember the dual reality that God knows me and He loves me. He has seen every millisecond of my life; every failure, every twisting of His Word, every swear, every casual back stab, every tainted good, and still, He loves me.

I took an Enneagram test today, after years of side eye for it. I dearly love people who highly esteem the Enneagram, so I want to be careful in sharing my thoughts. When I got my results, there was an offer at the bottom of the e-mail to take an Enneagram class to “help you learn more about yourself and others.” That quote, together with my thoughts about data collection, sealed my continued side eye.

God knows me. Every last detail. And, this is key, He defines who I am. Studying the results of the Enneagram for personal growth seemed to me to be about as helpful as taking down one of the cartons of documents on me in those 3 warehouses and studying just that box.

If you are a huge fan of the Enneagram, feel free to brush me off. I don’t want to try and talk anyone out of it. BUT, if you are like me and wouldn’t mind finding out what God knows about you, but you don’t feel comfortable about God+something else, here is what I do: I meditate on His Word. That’s it. I meditate on it and He tells me who I am, who you are, how I respond to you, how I should respond to you, why I act the way I do, why you act the way you do.

Enneagram if you must, but, if you are a Christian, do due diligence with time in your Bible.

For the Ennegram fans who are still with me, you’ll not be surprised to hear I am almost equally and heavily an 8 and a 5. See if that helps you figure out why I still have side eye. Are 8s side eye types? Maybe? I love you and I care. Zero judgement from me, but lots of opinions.

Advice: How to Rest Like It’s Your Job

July 18, 2020

Like walking, breathing, or chewing with your mouth closed, it might seem as though resting is just a thing we all know how to do. But, you’re probably wrong. How do I know you’re probably wrong? Because I was once wrong and I feel pretty certain I am among an elite few who know how to do it right. You will want to share and save this post. It will be very helpful.

There are really not many medical adventures you may encounter where a doctor won’t tell you to rest. Broken leg? Rest. Just had a baby? Rest. Severe flu? Rest. Sprained ankle? Rest. Eyeball fell out onto your lap? Rest. It is recommended so broadly, that it gets treated like the eat kale of medical advice; you can skip the kale, but things will go slightly smoother if you don’t.

In the 24 years that I have shared space in my life with an autoimmune disease, I had a pretty strict rule about when to rest: I rested only when I was exhausted. I would do my regular day’s work (laundry, cleaning, homeschooling, FB posting, dog washing, eyebrow/chin hair plucking, cooking) and then, usually right before dinner time, I would be dragging really bad. Dinner served, I’m off to bed to scroll the internet on my phone or play games on my phone, with something Netflix on in the background. I would look back over my day and see that I had gotten a lot done, which was good, because I knew I’d be in or near bed for the next few days. You know, resting.

As 2020 started, my health began to slip. By February of 2020 I was in the hospital for a relapse of Multiple Sclerosis, after 8 years of remission. Now, I am not suggesting that I brought that relapse on myself by poor rest, but, what I did bring on myself was a horribly long recovery.

When I got out of the hospital I had a need to use a cane for a few weeks. The cane worked like a boot on a car for me, keeping me constantly mindful that I needed to sit down and not push. Right about late March, right as the whole world was shutting down everything fun, I was feeling all better and ready to bounce.

This advice will be most helpful for you if you have ever been sick or injured and you only rested because you were too sick/injured not to, but now you feel better and you want to bounce.

Don’t. Bounce.

I cleaned out closets, I scrubbed floors, I fixed that one drawer in the kitchen that was always sticking, I vacuumed my sofa and chairs, I cleaned out the AC vents, and I planned an incredible socially distanced graduation party for our senior. It’s not like I took up rock climbing. I was just living my life. But, looking back, really, I was living my life in increments of 2 days on, 3 days off. After six months of walking through a flare by running my gas tank to empty, only filling it halfway, running it back to empty, filling it up a quarter, back to fumes, etc, my feet went numb.

The flare that put me in the hospital in February had started with numb feet. In my mind, this could mean only one thing: the disease was progressing. While I waited for an MRI to confirm what was so obvious to me, I started to make plans for a possible repeat of the bone marrow transplant I had in 2012 that started my 8 year remission. I could see no other possible paths.

I had my MRI in early July and received shocking news. The MS showed to be stable. No new lesions. Old lesions from February were gone or much smaller.

In my head, I already had my head shaved and bags packed for another round of HSCT, but, suddenly I did a 180 and had to ask my doctor for his best possible advice for how I could get better. What medicine? What remedy? Steroids? Immunotherapy? Enya?

His answer: proper rest.

Have you ever heard such a thing? Proper rest? How is that different from the days I spent in bed, recovering from activity?

As it turns out, proper rest to help your body heal is only proper if you rest BEFORE you get tired at all. Did that just blow your mind like it did mine? You can fold a load of laundry AND proper rest, but that will likely mean that you fold four items, rest for five minutes, fold a few more, rest for five minutes, finish folding, rest for five minutes, tell someone else to come and put it away. It takes longer, but you can do that all day without ending up exhausted. And then, when you go to bed, not exhausted, your body will actually get restorative sleep. I know, right? So wild.

I have long made daily to do lists, but I recently modified to them to “to do ONLY” lists. It’s a lightly loaded list and I cannot add to it, no matter how fun, unless I take something out. Currently, I’d love to paint my toenails, but, it’s not on the list. I did put a visit to a neighborhood garage on today’s list, so that was nice. Maybe toenails tomorrow.

I am only a few days into this new resting like it’s my job lifestyle. I haven’t seen results in my health yet, but I feel awfully virtuous, so it must be working. I hope this has been very helpful. As always, you’re very welcome.

Looking Awful, Feeling Bold

July 10, 2020

According to people who have seen me lately, I look awful. And, it’s not “you need a nap” awful, no, it’s “Can I call someone? Why did you leave your house?” awful. I appreciate the concern, even though it hurts my feelings. I don’t love making announcements on a blog, but it feels warmer than Facebook, even as it is more sterile than in person. Forgive the medium.

The reason I look awful lately is because I feel awful. The relapse that hospitalized me back in February let up for a few months, but it is still going on and is getting a little bit worse every day. I have three lesions on my brain and one on my spine. My symptoms seem related to the spine and some to cognitive function.

Next week I am meeting with my neurologist and having another MRI. This meeting and MRI is to confirm what I’m feeling in my body and to discuss what’s next. I’ll be discussing that information in further detail on my health related blog.

News aside, this is not my health related blog, but my health has certainly colored my view of the world since we been throttling through 2020. I have been given a front row seat to the reality some are only seeing for the first time. “Normal life” is an illusion that never existed. A life without peril never existed. We have all, always, been living our lives on the very brink of disaster every day from the moment of birth until we die. It has always been the truth, but 2020 seems to be a big ol’ highlighter.

So, if you are new to life as a roller coaster that never ends, welcome!! If you are sad to hear that it never ends, do try to keep up. The roller coaster will not stop for you to straighten your hat. You can take a moment to adjust your hand on the rail, but be prepared for the rail to suddenly disappear.

Through my 2019 and 2020 I have been made to (by principal of church obligations, not personal piety) memorize and meditate on the words of Micah, James, and John. I have memorized most of Micah, all of James, and almost all of 123 John. This work is what has saved my sanity in this storm. I tell all of my friends and strangers to memorize Scripture. I believe it is imperative now more than ever.

Fear does us no good in this climate. I see fear everywhere. I confront it personally with some people and have heard the response that some fear is reasonable. Hear me: NO FEAR IS REASONABLE. Perfect love casts out fear. John told me that and I believe it.

I’m not on my death bed, but do please hear me from my fainting couch. I only know to consider it all joy when I face trials of various kinds because I meditated on the words of James. Reading is fine, but you’re really only skimming the Word if you aren’t meditating on it. 2020 needs Word meditaters and believers. Currently we have more news meditaters than Word meditaters and it shows.