I don't really like pickleloaf.

I don't really like pickleloaf...I don't really like blogging. But here I am, blurting out whatever is on my mind.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

New blog?

Well this blog has had a virus of some kind for a long time so I made a new private blog. If you want to view it please send me an email at ekvemshagen@gmail.com

I'm not sure if I still want to blog, but we'll see. I may start using this one again too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Zoe,what do you see?

Zoe is at a fun stage now where her babbelings are becoming words. I can tell that she is as excited about this new ability to be understood and communicate as I am. Were I to ask, where is your_________ (baby, bottle, soother, shoes, hat, jacket, wakey bear, bath, bubble dog, etc.) she runs to the item, or searches for it, and proudly brings it over to me (or alternately repeats what she wants over and over again "bath" "bath')
She points out things she sees outside, or inside, and when we go for walks I find I often ask her, "What do you see?"

Which has been helping me ask myself the same question. It has been so humbling to learn that I am not looking at life as fresh and hopeful and beautiful as I used to- that my mind is preoccupied much of the time, rather than being saturated in the present moment. But Zoe; she is delighted by every morning and every hand gesture, and every post-bath nudie-on-the-loose run around the house. She loves walking up townsite hill and picking up pine cones and rocks.

It has been very rainy here, much like the coast, and Zoe and I were out on a walk and puddle jump, when I started to ask her again, "what do you see?". It was almost like a re-training session for me, to see the different colours of rocks in the pavement, the green grass growing through cracks in the walkways,
the round balls of white flowers on the bush in front of our house that we didn't know about last year (we moved in August)

the contrast of grey road and bright bright little happy girl

And it wasn't quite silence, but it was pretty soothing for my heart. 
And the best things about it is, when I too am delighted by the things that delight Zoe, that catch her eye, we share our joy and deepen our relationship with each other. I don't want to be too full of my "to-do's" to notice these things- and wonder sometimes what it is about them. Zoe helps me remember that we do indeed live in a wonderland, doused with God's creativity and beauty. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Zoe life lessons 12

There is a picture A.O. took at Zoe's birth where my eyes are wide and I have this expression of complete surprise and shock and awe at this little baby on my chest (but I didn't post it- no breast shots of me on the internet!!). I still feel that way. I almost have this disconnect-awe because I just simply can't wrap my mind around being a mom, having a baby, and the miracle that is Zoe and her personality.

I was thinking about it yesterday. I do not feel possessive over Zoe in some senses, because I know that she is so much more than David and I- that she was created by God. She is just pure gift. It is an amazing incredible mind boggling privilege that God entrusts us with human lives, to love and raise with discipline and compassion. I already feel that I am failing so badly at this! But there is so much grace!! I am so humbled by this work of parenting.

The truth- that we are created and loved by God and so so special is true for all of us. I want to take this belief into every conversation, visit, thought and prayer I have for myself and others. Everyone. My prayer is for everyone I come across to feel that I value them, what they have to say, to bestow dignity and grace and service towards them. Amen.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Natures lesson today


(I didn't have my camera or phone with me today, otherwise I would've snapped a picture. This one is from Japan, but you get the idea)

As Zoe and I were walking up the townsite hill today, as we usually do, we noticed at the bottom there was a mama deer and her baby fawn. The baby fawn was behind a big chain fence, and there was only a tiny crack in the corner, where it must have gotten behind it. The fawn was squeaking and running around, trying to get out. 
I was so worried for the little guy, said a prayer and hoped it would find the tiny crack in the fence. After a couple minutes it still hadn't, and I worried that it would not make it out- the fence was waay too high for it to jump, and maybe mama too. 
I looked over to the mama, who was watching Zoe and I, to see what she would do. She folded her legs, and lay down. Then, the fawn, following suit, awkwardly lay down too. 
I was surprised by how calm the mama deer was. She didn't get all in a huff. This man made obstacle didn't worry her or concern her, and she knew exactly what to do to get her little one to relax too. No doubt, after laying down for awhile the fawn found the exit. 
Today I'm going to listen to this lesson from my mama deer friend. Stay calm. Teach your baby calmness and peace through example. Man made obstacles in my day need not worry me or alarm me. Thank you God for this gift!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Zoe: life lessons 11

Zoe likes to play this game with anyone where, she holds something out for us, we take it, give it back, she looks at it for a second and then immediately holds it out for us again. This continues on as many times as we give it back. She will extend her arm and give it back again. I like to give her the item back (cheerio, cracker, weeble wobble, stuffed animal, book, whatever) because I want to build that trust in her, that she can generously give and share, and always know her hands will not be empty.

I was reading the book of Colossians today, and about this abundant and new life that we live. I thought, "well I trust God", but questioned myself further, and knew that I really don't. I get anxious when I think about total surrender. All my "what ifs" and "yeah buts" and "well in my situation that wouldn't work see..." I don't trust that God's way will lead me into total joy and abundance. I can say it, I can mull it over, but there is still anxiety and worry balled up in me.

The good news is; I think God has a lot of patience :)
Not only that, but I think that He is totally willing to play a trust game with me, like that game with Zoe, over and over and over again. If I have to give up a part of my life, and have God replace it with something better, or just give it back to me over and over again, until I trust, I think God is okay with that.

The best part about this game, or this prayer, of giving and receiving and trusting, is that your hands are always open, and they are almost always full.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Zoe life lessons 10

(this picture is funny. Anyways.)

Yesterday was a tough day for me to be grateful and happy. It was totally yucky out, the night before I had run over a girl's dog with our car (Although it was a miracle! The dog was okay!) I was worried about getting a job, and also worried that I was being too worried and not trusting God, and the same old woes about being used for the Kingdom. We were (are) all sick with a bad cough and runny noses. We were tired and weary.
Zoe had been crying and fussing on and off all day, basically unhappy to do anything for too long. I couldn't get myself motivated to sew anything, even though David was here and could technically look after Zoe while I cut out patterns etc. 
Desperate for some rest, I sat down in Zoe's room and nursed her, hoping it would help her get to sleep. As she latched on and off to cry and fuss, I decided to try the "eucharisteo" dare of thanking God, out loud. "Thank you God for Zoe, for her ways of communicating, for her warm body, her cute toes and dog ears..." 
I kid you not, she stopped fussing, not that she needed to in order for me to readjust my attitude. I think David heard me praying, and he came into Zoe 's room and lay on the floor. Zoe wasn't going to sleep, slipped out of my lap and walked over to David. We were all in her room, all pretty defeated by tiredness and sickness and worry about the future/present. It struck me then, how beautiful this was. We continue to stick together, to put worth in family, just being together even when it is yucky or boring. There is an invisible strength in the family unit, a strong woven thread of love that binds us together. God lives in the midst of us and strengthens and encourages us. And He makes me see beauty in small ugly things. He shows me how to appreciate all the great gifts He gives to me, especially a family. A daughter who lives and breathes and laughs and gets sick and heals. A Husband who tries and works and plays and dreams and stands by me, even with no certainty for the future. 
Not every day can be productive, exciting, super happy. But every day can be a place to see God's gifts, to hold my family and to say, "Thank you". 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I've been feeling like a perma-frost. A numbing that is just a couple inches from the surface. There have been beautiful life-stilling moments in my days, and I can feel them, but not deeply- not really. What do I need? What will do the trick? Repenting? Praying? Giving? Sleep?

I listen to an online sermon. God cracks open the rock and water pours forth, for the grumbling Israelites.  God cracks open his own Son, for my suffering. The Preacher says his last words and the track stops. I want a little more, a little more of someone's voice but I'm left with the thrum of the refrigerator, and the buzz of the computer. The silence goes down into my gut. I think of putting on youtube, but I stop myself. I can be so blinded by this world. By my fantasies. By my situations. I am not always honest with God. And today the wind blows through the Tamaracks and the bushes with yellow and white buds.

And I feel tears well up behind my eyes. I don't know exactly why. God's mystery never comes with a warning like I think it will- or with corners and perimeters. I think it has to do with my desire to know Jesus. Who he is;who he was. Not who I think he is, or think I need him to be. But right now he caught me off guard and with a swell of warmth came upon me, and I can't do anything but collapse.

Jesus. And a magnificent mind shattering centuries, millenia- old plan. To love me.