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.



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