Saturday, February 23, 2013



These last three posts are not meant to be a formula, merely an artistic display of how Father and I work and play together.  And in my humble opinion; minimally, all art ought to have an affect on the emotions, and spirit.

I was tired, tending, always tending…sleep was interrupted, the irritated screaming my son couldn’t  control was draining and went on for days sometimes weeks.  
I was guilt ridden; there were words in the bible that said I wasn’t to grow weary whilst well doing.  Problem was, I was “well doing” and…I felt weary.    
My body felt weak, therefore, my soul suffered somewhat, my spirit was less affected, but affected.  It is okay, human to feel tired, even exhausted.  
Growing weary, or despairing takes in the whole of us, bodily exhaustion, a disconnected soul and an unresponsive apathetic spirit.  No one wants to despair, but sometimes…*sigh, there we are, in the pit.  
I looked to my secret-spirit-spot, where His Spirit dwells and felt hope (He will always be with me), opened the eyes of my faith wide; there I saw the only One who has the credentials to restore/make-better-than-new, my soul. 

I have hunted and mined these word-picture-nuggets, they help my understanding of the soul and spirit differences.  But then, I am a very visual learner.  Now I am able to share with you (though, I’m sure you already know, as I am usually at the back of the class). 
To me, they are much like a tree diagram.  My spirit is the root (my source of power/grounding), the upper tree my soul, personality, or that which is perceived by others.  This part of me converts Light into that which is usable for my “tree” from the air/world around me.  This is how I grow, or not.  
Nature speaks; if the root is healthy, the tree grows.

I envision, High Father, the Holy One, creating my unique body out of His organic artistic materials, you know, mud and such.  He then hollowed out a placed inside of me that is perfectly fitted to His shape; a spirit spot, a place for Him to dwell closely with me, a place from which to help me navigate my living out of pure poetry, sheer artistry.  This is my deep place, my secret place, His and mine and I cherish this place.  
I stand back and watch The Gardner, The Artist spill plentiful seeds, gifts and talents into my soul/mind.  He smiles and I wonder, what kind of seeds are in me?  It will take a lifetime for me to know each special plant, to display them all.  I am convinced, beyond a lifetime.  I show off His artistry most optimally when all my places are for one goal, my highest spirituality (not to be confused with a list of rights and wrongs, or behavioral modification).  Then and only then will I be wholly, me…A healthy, useful tree.

*You will find the name, He and Him pertaining to, 
Father most of the time in this post, 
but I believe, God has no gender, 
is without form and is as congenial as a loving Dad,
 yet as complex as ALL: Indescribable Beauty.   

I apologize for any redundancy, but I 
feel I need a short recap for any who missed 
the last two blogs.

THE BODY , the content given to blog number one, is fairly easy to understand.  It’s a temporary tent, husk (as St. Paul calls it), or the temple of the Holy Spirit and carries our spirit and soul around while we live life on earth.  It is a good idea to take care of that temporal part of our forever being.  It is made up of organic material, therefore, it is expendable.

We are told that those who are inhabited by Love, will get a new body in Heaven.  I can’t even begin to explain the latter.  It is far to high for my finite mind.

THE SOUL, as discussed in the last post, is that part of the three that is me, plus.  I will not be whole if I don’t add, The Plus.  
I like to call the soul the seed-house of the inseparable-three, the spot where, if I choose, I allow my unique seeds, gifts and talents to be husbanded by the Inhibitor of my spirit-spot to recreate me, with my help of course.  He and I are constantly working to eliminate weeds (we will be pulling weeds till kingdom come), or in other words, selfish traits that hurt my relationships with He and others. 
  Gifts and talents, I have found, left doormat are seeds that don’t push towards the heart, then up and out toward Light.  They often end up ingrown and can, if left untended, move toward self-serving.  If I seek out the Gardener and walk with Him through our secret place, I notice that His eternal light causes me to grow green, strong and healthy, plentiful for all to glean from; those within and without The Kingdom.
When souls and spirits are well tilled, planted, watered and tended by ourselves and The Husbandman, it is, as some say, the perfect storm.


THE SPIRIT is slightly more complicated, mysterious might be a better word, but I am going to try to explain it simply.  
As stated above, it is my thinking that we are all created with a place for, the Highest Spirit to reside, to take up a comfortable residence as our helpful Muse, our Teacher and our Comforter and if you will, the Light, the Power, that grows our garden well; from our secret place and that place alone, He aligns all of our three parts, spirit, soul and body, to be in perfect harmony.

This Magnificent Being, who created each child carefully, has the potential to slip inside of that spot if we are open to who He is and desire Him.  He is not a bully, or a rapist and will not force His way in to the secret place, but it is my belief that He will hover and woo each child till that child either, invites Him in, or dismisses Him as nothing, then as the bible states, you have grieved Father and He bows out gracefully submitting to the wishes of that child.  He is after all, The Father of all Fathers.  However, even those of us who invite Him in must realize that He will only be as useful, in that place, as we allow.  He makes Himself vulnerable, to me, this is one of the most enduring qualities of, Strong Father. I have heard some explain Him as a metaphor, not the actual All Powerful Being He is who exists without form.  This shuts down the Light.  Neuters His propagating power in and around me. 
If that is true, I state without apology, I would be in big trouble.  

IF GOD is all knowing, why did He allow man to fall?  This dying thing is sort of gory and weird; why didn’t He make us like the angels so we could be forever with Him?  
Well, because I love story, I will just say this, He is the Ultimate Author.  He is telling a magnificent story and you and I are just special enough to be a part of it. 

Now we are enabled (because goodness resides inside of us) to reconcile our selfish nature unfit to rule our triune selves, and call the High Father in to help us take in hand our new nature.  Now we are free.  He did not make puppets, but co-laborers.  He gave us that power, that gift through His death.  I’m ever so thankful for that.

Magnanimous Being hovers (I love that word) around me.  He is over all, creation speaks of Him, but the best place for Love Spirit, as stated above, is inside of my spirit spot, my holy garden, where He tends me uniquely with the utmost care. 

There, in our secret place, our spirit and soul are now joined with, Spirit.  Our garden blooms and grows into a most glorious place.  Harboring more beauty than we could have ever imagined; a place where others are welcome to come walk, enjoy and more importantly, where we work, co-labor together with Him to create the most useful, happy garden we two can possibly grow.  Eventually, one little human being, the real us, all that is forever, spirit and soul, becomes a mature and useful garden.  

*Note, patience required.

NOTE, OUR FERTILE field, our spirit place is either filled, or waiting to be filled with The Husbandman, the Comforter, so that it might begin to grow, but it can also be filled with any number of other gods, small g’s.  What comes of the latter will be a garden spot ill tended, tares will grow there and go unchecked.  

  Streams looking for our Source.

What about those special people that can’t speak for themselves?  I live with my son who has autism, day in and day out and I’m certain my Zach has found his Source and dwells with Him in that beautiful garden spot of his that some might feel is unfruitful because he can’t speak and doesn’t appear right.  If he is capable of having a unique relationship with his family (and he is), I believe he has the ability to have a relationship with Father.  I sense the greenness in his soul, whatever that may look like (that is between he and Father), and I am assured, his garden grows well.  I am also aware that Zach may be one of the most pure beings I’ve ever met.  Yes, even when he bangs his head and yells at me because of frustration.


When I am worn and tired, I get myself quiet, I hear the longing of my spirit spot, crying to be tended and I know it is The Gardener who is calling.  I need to take some time to go inside of my secret garden, and to abide there with Him.  We carefully tend what needs tending, pull what needs pulling.  Without Him, it is a lonely desolate place.

I’m certain my garden is laced with lavender

ME and YOU, plus HIGH FATHER equal powerful, purposeful 


beautiful to the Kingdom on Earth and the Kingdom of Heaven.

Like trees planted by springs of living water our roots will run deep, we will not be moved.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013



Quickly…two updates from past blogs:

Taken 2/5/13

NUMBER ONE update comes to you from my last post, A Caregiver’s Vigor…day 40 is here!  Stats, Web’s energy level is high, his RA is under control (without pharmaceuticals) and he has lost nearly 24 pounds!  Real, organic raw food is his new medication.  We have added small amounts of protein along with freshly made juice for at least one meal a day, preferably two if time allows.  We are in this for life.  It really has been a Godsend for Web’s illness.  And I have benefited as well.  My weight has leveled out and I continue to feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, yes, this saying comes direct to you from my lovely mother.

NUMBER TWO update comes from, Beginning A New Journey blog posted September 2012.
Are we moving?
It appears not.  We have been offered a position here in the valley (announcement coming soon) and are happy to tell you, ourselves and mostly Zach that for the time being, we get to stay on our very favorite hilltop and in our beloved emerald valley!  Hip-hip-horray!

HAVE YOU EVER ASKED, FATHER, “Who am I and why am I here?”  What an enchanting and lovely dialogue it will spurn between you and He!

I enjoy the culinary arts…

lavender is my favorite flower…

I enjoy photography and
worshiping with my whole life…(Isreal, 1999).
My family, I love them all so much it hurts….

THESE ARE THINGS I enjoy and love, but they are not the whole of me.  I am not sure we ever know ourselves entirely (I think that is in the bible somewhere), but we can know in part when we ask the One who created us, and look on, if you will, as He peels away the layers of our complex being.  I know He is smiling big with delight every second of our “big reveal”.  
Having said that, a part of who we are, and why we are here is tangled up in our loves and enjoyments, gifts and talents.  Some of our whole belongs to the spaces that fill the gaps between verve; the tears, the yawns (I love a good yawn, don’t you?), the prayers, hand holding and smiles.  Our humanity, it is part of who we are for now, so make friends with it; yes, love it if you can.  

I SUPPOSE I HAVE WONDERED who I am and why I am here for a good part of my life.  Strange as it sounds, I wasn’t aware that I could ask God why He made me, or who He made me.  I thought that would be considered impertinent.  I have learned that as a child of, God no question is impertinent.  Ask what you will.  You will not find a more gracious Teacher, Friend, or Father.  It is a beautiful journey to begin.  

A SMALL SNIPPET OF MY STORY:  One remembrance continues to come to mind often, why I don’t know, but perhaps it is because Father hammered the memory steadfastly to my soul at age eleven, so that He might show me something profound at age fifty-five.

I was in grammar school, probably around the sixth grade.  I sat on the cold dark green seat of the long yellow fuselage shaped school bus and prepared for the fourth-five minute daily drive to the town where I went to school.  I stared out the small rectangular shaped window allocated to my setting, as we careened down hill, over dale and zipped along treelined country roads.  As my body dipped, popped and leaned with the movement of the large machine, I dreamed, I thought and I prayed as was my custom.  

I prayed especially hard that day, as I stared out of the window with tears burning my eleven-year-old eyes, I asked God to change me.  I wanted to wake up bubbly, funny and smart, like Susan (not her real name).  Susan had long shiny hair, sparkly eyes and her personality drew people to her like wild flowers reaching for the sun.  I just wanted to be someone others would like to hang with and appreciate, well, in a nut shell, I wanted to be popular; I was anything but.  My roots were country (that is a good thing, but in a town school…not so much) and I was the third of six children, poor as can be and insanely insecure.  I didn’t like me when compared to the popular girls.  I’d stare longingly at them, carefully, so that I might emulate, and I’d feel my lack, like a non-personality, overlooked and sometimes unappreciated.  I would never be one of them.

HE DIDN’T answer the way I thought He would, with instant change and all that.  I thank Him for that.  
I’m sure Father smiled as He listened, He always listens, but…well…He had formed me; inside and out, larger than normal nose and all, given me all sorts of unique seeds of potential because…as He stared lovingly at His child, at what He had designed, He said, “I did good” (paraphrase mine).  He longed to watch me unfurl into all I could be and I wasn’t to be like Susan at all, but rather, fully Karen.  He created little ol’ me, he loved, Karen Ekstrom-Staunton, born in July of 1957, shy and demure, dreamer and meditator and thinker on things too deep for me to understand, the mysterious and the everyday.  Yes, the one who thought herself boring and invisible was/is loved and hovered over by, Father. 

No person in all of eternity would, or could be the Karen Ekstrom-Staunton, plus Jesus mix He wished to bring to earth….so He hovers, watching….to draw only those in this time that We together would draw….He hovers….no one would love my husband, my children as I could; He hovers, he watches intently as though there were a web cam following me everywhere I go, not to spy, but to love, to breath the best out of Himself towards His child.  
I now love, Karen Ekstrom-Staunton and I don’t pray to be changed.  I pray for transformation, yes.  But that is quite a different prayer than to pray my very being be changed into someone else (but that was the heart of a hurting child and I know He knew and used it, otherwise, why would I remember such a small blip of my life?).  

As I yield, He has been and continues to transform the, selfish me (I can be quite self absorbed).  This is simply proper Kingdom etiquette and though some of us may bristle at the words, proper and etiquette, I have learned that there are Kingdom standards that require transformation (a very multifaceted word).  I find it to be a mysteriously full of life and that it brings out the real powerful me.  Our original selves, untransformed, they would function sloppily in the Kingdom where justice rules and if I do say so, even in this present selfishly slanted world. 

*A transformed person, is simply a justified, adjusted soul in order that one might function fully in the Kingdom and into, Jesus’s likeness.  It requires a new heart and a tamed mind.    

AS CAREGIVERS, most of us know we are to grow and learn how to serve those entrusted to our care.
 But sometimes who we are can get lost in all the giving.  Really real is the deal.  If I am having a bad day, I should not act like all is well.  No fake plastered on smiles will do here.  I quote, “learn to smile from your liver”.  To me, this means to hunger and fill yourself with all that is God.  Then, no good thing will be withheld from you.  It might take some sitting at, The Feet, some meditating and some prayer.

Dancing at a wedding

DO I HAVE THE drive, or more appropriately in the caregiver’s world, the energy to live a crazy energetic *abundant, life?  I try to.  My previous post about the body states how I try to maintain a balanced triune being, body, soul and spirit.  And for me, for the most part, I do live a vibrant life, but I don’t always have the energy to dance a jig.  There are times when my creative life is setting on the couch after Zach is in bed, I light a candle, I make a cup of hot tea and pop in a favorite movie; usually I “watch” the flick with my eyes closed.  Exciting ay?

I try to carry verve inside of the constricting walls of caregiving and outside of those walls as well?  That life brought forth will look different in each household.  I believe we are purposefully created to happen wonderfully in our world, whatever that world looks like.

HOW OTHERS SEE ME is partly who I am also.  I am not sure all see me the same, but still, I know this to be a truth.  Behavior modification for the sake of being liked, outside of being real, is not who I am; as a christian that is called false piety.  False piety evokes in me the vision a pompous prig.  I try not to be this!  Not a pretty sight, nor much fun to be around.  The eyes and hearts of others know what is real and what is fake.

IN CLOSING, I, KAREN was given a feminine soul and placed inside of a woman’s body.  The feminine soul is a side of Father that compliments the male side, both are equal.  There is nothing about God that is less important than the other, all are needed to show the fullness of God.  My spirit is neither male, nor female and when I get to Heaven, to quote Jesus loosely, I will not be a sexual being, but like the angels.  I will be a transformed me, but me, in relationship with Father as He pleases and others; me the one who loves to nurture, who likes order and beauty, the culinary arts and creating by seeing through the lens of  a camera and writing with words on paper, I love old books, the smell of libraries, etc.    
Will I cook with Father in Heaven?  Might I be a part of the kitchen staff at the Marriage Supper?  Will a photographer be needed at that highly creative event?  Might I be involved in the decorating of the tables?  I wonder…..but here, in this life as a woman, showing the feminine side of God; am I using my gifts, am I being knit into the Karen-Jesus He intended?  Do I re-present Him well and am I at ease (“My yoke is easy…”) being His uniquely created being?

WHO WE ARE IS HIGHLY COMPLEX and dare I say, much like an iceberg.  It is partly who you know yourself to be, partly who others see you to be (listen and learn) and partly who you will come to be, this is the tip of the iceberg.  Partly we are the part of the iceberg under the water; the mystery.  
If we leave off our selfishness, not our personalities, our big bold beautiful selves will have more room to move about.
He broke the mold after creating you and I.  There will never be another, _________ created throughout all of eternity.  So love Him deeply for that, and so much more and appreciate who you are, value yourself, learn to love yourself and in this you will love others. 

Reading recommendations:

Who Switched off My Brain, by Dr. Caroline Leaf, The Art of Being You, by Bob Kilpatrick, and if you are an artistic soul, Walking on Water, by Madeline L’Engle.