12 February 2008

the storycorps interview is here!

[Approximate video running time: 40 minutes]

NOTE: If you would prefer to download an audio-only mp3 version of the interview (in order to burn to CD or upload to an iPod), right-click on this link to access the save options.

First of all, heaping amounts of gratitude are in order. Sharing this interview is only happening because we had some help. And have we mentioned how excited we are to share this with you?!

Our StoryCorps experience would not have been possible were it not for the orchestrations and masterful maneuverings of God. Christianne and I really and truly mean that; we are both incredibly humbled that God chose us for this experience and that we have the opportunity to share it with you. If you don't know the story, I'll give you the abridged verson. It happened like this ...

Thanks in part to an unrelenting double-tall soy latte addiction, Kirsten makes a totally impulse purchase at Starbucks of the Listening is An Act of Love Gift Set. She falls in love with it and writes a blog post about it to share it with those she loves. She even gives a copy away to another lucky blogger. Marisa in marketing at StoryCorps finds said blog post and informs Kirsten they've linked to it on their own website. Cool!

Fast forward about four weeks. Marisa follows up on Kirsten's original post and finds Christianne's comments, sees that Christianne lives near Orlando. StoryCorps will be in Orlando to record interviews January 10 through February 2; would Christianne be interested in participating?

Okay, now rewind a little bit. At the beginning of December, Kirsten bought a plane ticket to go visit Christianne from January 29 through February 2 (which, in addition to being an insanely good deal, works perfectly with Christianne's and Kirk's schooling schedule). E-mails exchanged between Florida and New York and Washington state with all sorts of excitement brimming over our this most unforeseen opportunity. Would we like to interview one another?

Um ... YES!!!!

And that, in a nutshell, is how it came about. We could not have pulled this all together if we tried and are ridiculously grateful that the opportunity was handed to us as it was. So it is with utter humility, profound thanksgiving, and much prayer we share this with you, asking only that it go forth and bless our friends and whomever else might find it. God is big and He is great. And so we surrender this as offering of love, for Him to do with as He will.

We sincerely hope you are blessed in listening.

A special thank you to Christianne, who spent hours upon hours on her Mac in an intensive labor of love to put it together in the video format for you. We are so happy to share with you not only from our interview, but with photos of the beautiful time we spent together. We desire for you, our readers, to feel included in this since our relationship was reforged in your company.

And a very, very special and large thank you to our friend, Biola alum, and fellow honors program survivor Sean, who is not only a good friend, but a very tech-savvy and generous guy who is hosting our interview in the mp3 format and who has been so encouraging and supportive in this process. Thank you Sean, from the bottom of our hearts, not only for offering up your technological know-how, but for listening and encouraging us.

So without further ado ... enjoy the interview, friends. We are so proud to share it with you. We know that this does not belong to us: feel free to share the love.

blessings & peace ~ c & k


  1. ok, so i get home after a crazy long day that included counseling and conducting a quarterly continuing ed workshop for my counselors...i get home at about 10:00 completely punch drunk and start blogging (first mistake) and then just when i've said a yearly quota of silly things via comments (second mistake), i spot this post and can't help myself...i listened to the whole 40 minutes drugged and stupid-tired. and i don't regret it.

    it was a joy to hear you two pouring your hearts out and telling your stories. i even heard my name in there which was an unexpected treat. (i'm totally famous now, huh?) anyway, thanks for the trouble you obviously went through to make this available to us. it was an amazing privilege. i'll probably have to listen to it again when i'm a little more coherent, but i don't feel too bad about that either.

    it's a good thing my morning counseling session canceled so my earliest session isn't until noon. i think i can pull off "really smart and compassionate" by then. love you guys!

  2. (This is for both of you =)

    Caleb went down for his afternoon nap and I indulged in 40-minutes of listening in on the conversation of two very sweet friends. Your hearts were reflected in the gentleness of your voices. Thanks so much for sharing yourselves with us.

    And, I must say, I blushed and smiled when I heard my name come up! I'm glad God used me (indirectly) to connect the two of you together again.


  3. terri - i think i know that feeling you're talking about ... crazy long days, you've been completely poured out, you're exhausted, but want some semblance of connection, relationship, & what you know to be your life when you get home. probably feeling a little nutty [if prior comments are any evidence, lightning bolts]. ;o) i was going to wait until this morning to post it, but God told me that someone somewhere is going to be up really late & not going to bed & is going to get on the blog & find this. i didn't know it'd be you, but i'm glad it was.

    thanks for listening & wanting to listen again. it was funny, we totally listened to the interview in the car on the way back to christianne's house even though we had just done it. it was great to pick up things we hadn't before, to have those new things stand out to us, to share those broad smiles & looks of recognition that we were the part of something special.

    and you were too. we love you, terri. something fierce.

    here's to a slower & saner day. happy listening. be blessed!

    and aren't you packing yet?? ;o)

    rebecca - yeay!! i'm glad you found it! i saw your earlier comment about voting & wanted so much to tell you it'd be posted soon!! and you're famous, too!! you were definitely instrumental in bringing christianne & i together!! God definitely used you in an amazing way. thanks for encouraging us both to the blogging life!! ;o)

  4. I sent this to Christianne in an e-mail yesterday, but I wanted to share with you as well...

    wow, Wow, and WOW!!!

    I just got done listening to the story. What an incredible journey you two have been on. Man, how amazing is it to heard how God has fused you two together through this process as well! So much wonderful stuff to digest! I'll have to listen to that again in another day or so. I'm sure the photos will only add even more to the conversation!

    Thanks for the props in the bottom, but it is the least I can do to keep the chumskillet network alive. Let me know if you need anything else!


    Sigh. Enjoying the love over here. Ahhhh.

    Sorry I'm getting to the party so late (and by that I mean that, knowing you planned to post it this morning, knowing I'm three hours ahead, and knowing that I want to chime in IMMEDIATELY, I thought I'd likely be the first commenter!). I feel like I've been running nonstop since yesterday morning, and it doesn't seem like it's going to stop anytime soon. I just KNOW you heard that drowsy slowness in my own voice last night when we talked on the phone. Ergh, I hated that I wasn't as present toward the end of that conversation as my heart wanted to be.

    All that aside, clear the decks for me to say: HOOOORRAAAYYYYYY!!! It's up and the lovefest has begun!

    It was already so fun to learn about Terri's and Rebecca's experiences, and to realize that both of them were part of the interview, too. That is so cool the way that worked out -- blessing and including people without our even realizing that was the effect it would have on them when they heard it. So glad the two of you were blushing and blessed by that. :)

    Sean, you are the sweetest. You are your chumskillet lingo makes me laugh and smile so much. Takes me back, boy! Thank you again for your gracious hosting of the MP3 and your very reader-friendly (so easy to follow!) instructions on how to convert and upload that file.

    And people, I just have to say that making that little video was so much fun. I can't tell you how many hours I spent staring at photos, selecting them, moving them around, dumping them, re-selecting them, getting the timing of each one just right where it belonged . . . all the while with a HUGE WHOPPING SMILE ON MY FACE because KIRSTEN IS SO FREAKIN' CUTE!!!! Man, that girl takes up a whole wing in the house that is my heart.

    Love to all of you, and so glad this is finally here, presented to you.

  6. Sweet biscuts and gravy. I can not wait to listen. I am about 3 appointments behind today and have 10 hours to go. I look forward to hearing it when I get home though!

  7. I so wish I'd had this yesterday, when I was home on my couch (that's not to be read as a criticism, BTW, just a wish).

    As it is, I'll listen when I get home tonight. Yay.

  8. Wow! That was amazing. And great to add voices to text and pics.

    And as for grace, yup, what a concept. I think I still struggle with the beautiful irrationality of that.

  9. I haven’t been checking blogs much recently but for some reason I felt compelled to take a tiny little break from studying and pop over just for a sec. I wound up listening to the entire recording! I was mesmerized by the photos and by your peaceful voices. Could you two be any more lovable? I feel like giving you guys a big hug. You have such kind spirits and beautiful hearts. Thanks for sharing this with everyone. I’m so happy for the friendship you have found with each other.

    KIRsten-I was horrified to realize that I’ve been calling you Kristen! I’m so sorry for that. I know you won’t hold it against me, but it is awfully embarrassing!

  10. Hi Kirsten
    I just finished listening to the interview here. It is so awesome to be able to just sit back and watch the hand of God rest upon your path. Of course I include Christianne in that path. The two of you remind me a lot of Jonathon and David. God joined their hearts together in such a powerful way.

    I sit with anticipation waiting to see where your paths will take you both and what God will do in your lives. I feel very privileged to know the both of you.

  11. sean - you, my friend, are a rockstar. our technology rock-star guru. and oh my, how the "chumskillet" reference totally took me back! thanks again for all your help.

    christianne - i agree. i think i'm going to have about as much fun finding out people's responses to the interview as we had actually doing it. there is so much love here on display already & wow. I'm loving it!

    you did such a terrific job on the video!! i'm glad you had fun doing it & i just have to say ... if you look in there, all kinds of cute are staring back at you, sister! you are so lovely in just ... well, every way imaginable!

    carl - here's to hoping your day went well & that you are blessed in the listening!

    sarah - being sick recently myself, i know what you mean! i hope ending your day with this makes it just a little bit sweeter. ;o)

    dean - welcome! i've seen you over at terri's & christianne's sites and am very happy to see you visiting here. i just saw your profile & see that you live in cape town! i know it's quite a ways away from you, but i spent some time in durban a little over 5 years ago. did a habitat for humanity project there. so glad to meet you & hope to see you again soon!

    chloe!! - so happy to see you here. i know you've had much on your mind & heart lately, so i'm honored that you've come to visit ... & how fortunate it's on the day that i post the storycorps interview. and well, it just goes to show how observant i am that i didn't even notice the juxtaposition of the "i" & "r" in my name. ;o)

    big hugs right back at you!!!

    tammy - thank you so much for your kind words! i'm so excited we got to talk for a little bit the other night; it was so great to hear your voice. and i thought it was so funny that while i'm on the phone with nate, you're on the phone with christianne, & then christianne called me just after you had called nate. so much love going on!

    anyway, that is a great comparison; the friendship christianne & i share is so rare. i can't say i've treasured someone as much as her before, or that there's been one where we can understand & connect with one another like we do. it's pretty amazing.

  12. just popping in again to say how much i love hearing everyone's stories here. so fun!

    but i have to say, chloe, your story in particular caught my attention. i know how carefully you've been guarding your heart and your space because of all you are carrying and entering into these days . . . i love that you entered on into this and that it touched you.

    i just realized how much i wish i could hear ALL of your guys' voices live. wouldn't it be fun if we all started podcasting?! :)

  13. oh-oh! podcasting! i love it. i've loved hearing these voices lately & now i'm addicted.

    good idea, christianne!!

  14. O.K., I think I have stopped sobbing now!

    Wow what a story. I am glad it will be saved for generations to come!

  15. Yes, yes, yes!
    this was a gift.
    thank-you for sharing it with us here.
    stories are alive, living things.
    I love them with my whole heart.
    and yours is a beauty.

  16. Kirsten, I remember reading in your earlier blogs a mention of your time in Durban. I hope it was awesome and that you've been left with great memories of my country and fellow countrymen. Habitat does some great work and you'll have seen first hand the radical impact that building a pretty simple house has on the lives of those who receive them. The radical contrast between rich and poor is so evident here. Thanks for doing something to make this a better place for us all to live.

  17. Just finished the interview. Wow. Sounds like a fantastic experience. It was beautiful to hear the two you interact.

  18. oh carl! - you have such a tender & feeling heart. i'm so glad to hear that the interview touched you. maybe i should repost it with a warning to have tissues nearby ... ;o)

    bella - i loved your affirmation of "yes yes yes!". thank you so mcuh for taking the time to listen, to absorb the words. it makes my own heart happy to hear that it was a gift to you.

    dean - the time i spent working with habitat was one of the most transforming experiences of my life. there was something so life-affirming in being there, in being a part of something far bigger than myself, far bigger even than the one hundred houses that were built. i feel that i received far more than i gave & i was so terribly humbled. to see such joy, such complete abandon, to see someone unlock the door to his first home. well. you can imagine. when i tell people about that trip, i often say that i wish it had come with a soundtrack. i just can't get those zulu songs out of my head. our new homeowners sang all day long. i loved it & sincerely hope to return one day. it would be amazing to see the neighborhood now where i helped build a home five years ago.

    chills!! thanks for coming again & i do look forward to future conversations!!

    nathan - now you've gotten to hear us interact in the interview and in realtime! i'm glad to hear that you found beauty in the experience that christianne & i shared together. there will be many more such conversations to come.

    blessings to you, friend.

  19. just listened to you two for the second time ~ tried to listen and watch in the background at work yesterday but found myself not being able to decipher your voices even today as i tried to recall who said what. so i tuned in again, fully. watching, listening, taking notes. seriously.

    (spontaneous vacation day woo hoo!)

    Love your voices. I still must say they sound so close...and the pics were so well done christianne. they helped connect who was speaking but also said so much more, magnifying and mirroring the words being spoken.


    the first note i jotted down was
    Kirsten "This is what I'm meant for" call out those gifts, see who she is becoming. connected immediately with rom 4:17 as shared with christianne yesterday...God calls out things that are not as though they were...amplified translation: as if they already existed (my interpretation: because they do!) Be who you are. Being called forth.

    then christianne speaking how words are a BIG EMBRACE and does this not perfectly embody what her words do constantly? yes.
    abide by rules-create something that nobody tells me to create - first step timid. trying. too hard. writer/editor? "let myself go creatively"
    here's where some dots really started to connect those deepest truths about you with "how it started" technical proficient. @ language and ideas and other peoples...wanting to help others.
    i'm getting glimpses into how these seemingly at odds things will so beautifully come together inside and outwardly as you then pour your divinely integrating self into others. helping form them. teach. reform. restructure. reorganize. shadow artistry..helping others become.

    as terri might be able to connect with how i am connecting this with our counseling ministry..."renovation" oh my. and as my husband is transitioning from working on computer hard drives to working on human hard drives....well, they really do translate.

    at least in my random thought processor ; )

    i have more notes....i should probably be doing this by email.

    i'll wait to hear from you two what you prefer.

    how do you know you're a pirate?
    ya just arrrr.

    just one more thing...skipping to the end...


    thank you. thank you. sweet voices

    both - for a lovely conversation - an anchor into your future. I can see the book now...

    Two Steps Into the Crazy Unknown or "Letting Go of the Ship's Reigns written by Kirsten and Christianne (with random case notes and technically proficient editing by Christianne and company)

    you both have magnanimously big hearts with room enough for everyone...broken, tender, crying hurting places...all are welcome here.

    the place that Jesus touches.

  20. di - wow. oh, just WOW!! i love that you **took notes!!!** & reflected them back to us here. i told christianne i was loving hearing what our friends are picking up on & taking with them just about as much as i enjoyed actually doing the interview. it's like what i was saying about writing: about how others reflect back to you things you say, call out those gifts [i love that rendering of the verse: calling them out as if they exist, because they do!!]. i love hearing what caught your eye, your mind, & your heart.

    i can already see i'm going to want to go through your notes again & again, soak them up, let them bless my socks off. oh yeah.

    and i love the title of the book you suggested!! whaddya think, christianne? after all this, think we could write a little sumpin'?

    oh, looks like one of nate's colloquialisms is rubbing off on me! ;o)

    and may i just echo: GRACE TOTALLY RULES!!

  21. ahhhh!!!! i don't know what to do with all that is bubbling up inside of me these days that finds its resonance so much with what's happening RIGHT HERE.

    di, you blessed my socks off. thank you, thank you, thank you, girl. i loved reading all your notes. you are such a special girl. so fully alive and attentive, creative and present all at once. you are so beautiful!

    i love the book title too -- two steps into the crazy unknown pretty much sums it up. and letting go of the ship's reins -- ha ha ha!! that was such a silly moment of reckoning for me in the interview, like "whhaaaa? that didn't make ANY sense!" :)

    what touched me most about what you said in response to my story is how you see strands of helping pull things out of others even in my teaching and editorial work . . . how that gifting is reflected even here, in this place where i now stand. wow. i'd never thought of it that way before. and it makes me feel so much more full because it's like God is making use of EVERYTHING he placed inside of me. nothing is lost.

    i agree with kirsten: hearing how different parts touched different people is the best part of this all. shows the diverse nature of the body right there.

    as for grace, um, yeah. i think you all know my feelings on THAT one. :) what's been amazing is that the past two evenings i attended two different church services / worship services. in both, there were different songs that incorporated the word "grace" all over the place, in so many different contexts and melodies. i could hardly contain the joy inside -- i wanted to dance in the aisles, run in place, splay my arms wide open. as it was, a huge smile crept onto my face at one point, and it just kept getting bigger and bigger. i could not help myself, sincerely!

    i have a lot of things to say about grace. probably it's some way God wants to keep using my words. guess we'll see what happens!

  22. accompanying notes...
    as written hoping you can connect with them

    Bohemian girl -
    embracing the messy
    unformed parts of life
    "I'm a writer"

    [inserted comment...indeed, writing the next chapter is part of the MYstory of HIStory] lame...hush danny

    love the shadow pic!!
    K to C...heart conveyed through words

    C-calling out each other's thoughts encourage and lift each other up

    K-"most of whom we've never met" crazy still can't get my head around

    C-pressure to have everything together-deterministic-confining-suffocating choices. not having it all together - relief to find others who don't require that

    K-reawakened to discovery I'm meant to be a writer!

    BIG SKY pic - sky's the limit

    Both looking up - something together
    edge of precipice
    hand over eyes
    not going to give you a peek just yet...

    [hmmm. maybe just a little]

    step into the crazy unknown
    letting go of the ships reigns...
    [i actually wrote down reigns to which my little inner akeelah bee part shudders at the subtle misspelling then wonders what would freud think of that little slip?] Ship's Reigns.... hmm.


    open theist!

    Standing together on the bridge.

    Kirsten - faith journey
    Mike - eharmony

    "holding to what is True"

    lot of tears and late nights - God met me in those places He was so so close

    heart was suffocating
    couldn't breathe anymore

    let go of need to contain God
    Boundlessly joyful & free
    value learnings of catechism
    learned to be ok with ...
    I know who I am
    I'm at the center of His heart and He's at the center of mine

    everyone around you questioning

    This is the way you should go-walk in it.

    >my puzzle story<

    Trust in the ambiguity
    God with/and leading you

    wholely holy changed and new
    wouldn't trade it for anything

    ~Bridge shadows~
    I'll walk with you
    shadows behind you now

    Email led us to where we are today
    "chaos of everyone's opinion"

    get book-Singleness of Heart

    self exhaltation vs motivated by God

    understand Grace? Rules!

    How do you unlearn ...
    20 years of doing -



    then based on falseness-what would make me good ... now rest - just be

    what's the heart underneath

    "Don't let THAT wild thing come out"

    fight with vengeance for other people with Grace Rules!

    then you won't conform to the rules appropriately - freed from whatever they are trying to live up to that is so not grace

    [magnanimous hearts] blog comments

    Big heart - room for everyone
    Broken tender crying hurting place
    the place that Jesus touches.

    Thank you,
    Thank you.

  23. Di, have I ever mentioned you are sumpin else? You really do impress me.

  24. WOW, di. thanks for posting that. honestly. it blesses me to no end to discover what others are gleaning from this. i'm with nate: you knock my socks off!

  25. me too, di. so precious. it kind of felt like flipping through a rolodex, each card of which has a little something special written on it, and little notes to the self on top of that.

    so glad this ministered to you. way beyond what we could have imagined! oh yeah, i guess that's God, huh? :)

  26. yikes. thanks you three...really didn't mean to derail so let's get back on track ~ hoping all that ministered to you as intended. i'm with kirsten...off to the gym.

  27. Kirsten & Christianne,
    Just saw this posting and wow! You guys have the most loving and enthusiastic readership! I'm so glad you two were able to record your story in Orlando. Great job putting the audio together with photos from your visit. Beautifully done.
    All the best,

  28. K and C - Thank you for telling some of your journey! I loved listening. It made me cry. As you spoke of your childhood dreams, it reminded me of my childhood memory of sitting and singing to Jesus. I love how you went back to some of your truest longings as children as part of your story. My own memory reminds me of that safe, intimate place with Jesus. And...no matter what age I am, he loves to have me come and sit with him and sing. :)

  29. suz,
    i am so glad you enjoyed the interview & that you found something to ble=
    ss you there! =

    keep singing, sister!!

  30. i agree, suz. this message from you blessed MY socks off! i loved hearing your own heart for singing to jesus, how it takes you back to that pure place of childhood. i know he loves it when you come and sing to him. he lets you crawl into his lap. :)

  31. I finally listened to this. While making vegetarian shepherd's pie. Seems somehow apt. For you were to each other as shepherds are.

    And it was nice to hear your voice before meeting you. Soon.