14 February 2008

wondering today

most of the time, i try not to make a big deal about today. while it is most certainly true that i find myself looking on that empty heartspace just about every day, on a day like today it is particularly poignant as red and pink and ribbons and balloons and flowers and poetry swirl around me, flitting across my gaze but never coming my way: all reminders & expressions that others have found the treasure i still seek.

so today i'm going to practice being in love with myself.

today i'm going to take extra good care of myself: i'm buying flowers, fixing a beautiful dinner, opening a bottle of wine, sharing a wonderful meal with mom & sis.

today i'll be ridiculously good to myself, indulge in some special things that i normally reserve, not because i feel i don't deserve them, but because i don't want to them to become common.

today i will laugh.

today i will rejoice with my friends who have found honest-to-goodness love, because it is good & it is real & reminds me that it is possible. it reminds me that god is the best possible matchmaker.

those loves are personal incentive & potent reminders not to settle for anything less, even when the ache is bottomless & even when those mediocre somethings seem like they'll be better than this seeming-endless stretch of nothings.

today i will remember god's love for me is big & crazy & wide & deep and that if i don't have love like that with another person, that it is precisely because of that big, crazy love god has for me. even when ... especially when i can't make sense of it.

today i'll remember that god made that heartspace & he respects its dignity. even he sees it as sacred, a space reserved for another. so today i'll remember that and not try to sanctify it or shape it into something other than it is. i won't let anyone else do that either.

today i'll let my heart be soft, let the tears come if they want to. i'll feel the wanting, & just sit with it for awhile.

today i'll embrace the fact that i am happy & sad, that i am thankful & longing, that my heart is full & empty.

today, i will remind myself how very surrounded by love i really am. i am simply marvelling in how much goodness & blessing is circulating in our sphere these days. god is up to something good & amazing, & we are in it. i rejoice in the giver of all of it.

today i read mccabe's poem. i felt undone in the reading of it; my eyes & cheeks were wet at the end of it. the details vary of course, but the ache is very much the same: going up & down the roller coaster to the heights of hope & to the depths of disappointment, over & over again, getting tossed upside-down & sometimes feeling like you'll surely lose your cookies. feeling deflated, despaired. feeling the leadweight of never. feeling more & more eroded by every disappointment. feeling exhausted, like i can't possibly try this again. feeling a fool for ever having believed any of it was real, that any of it could happen for me.

that poem did something to the soil in that empty heartspace, churned it up, made it good & loose: turning up rocks, revealing roots. it reminded me of those who have come & gone, whose thumbprints are still on the heartscars they left, & also reminding me of the work ahead of me, the soil god & i will be tending together.

i just wonder where is he in whose eyes i might find the color of trust? i guess i still wonder if he is.

flowers for the single girl photo by kirsten.michelle


  1. kirsten - i feel your pain, and i hear your sadness and longing. enjoy the day today, revel in the luxurious wonder of you. i took today and tomorrow off from work to do just that. am so glad i did. ~peace & HAPPY v-day!! :)

  2. My heart is sad for you tonight. Peace and love, Love, LOVE to you.

  3. The color of trust. A great line.

    Wishing you sweetness and joy and love.


  4. It's not easy to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the merriment of Valentine's Day -- especially when we're inundated with it from every side. I think your decision to embrace it is the best choice. Revel in the love; be good to yourself; dispense it to your loved ones. Hug your heart! Much Love . . .

  5. i love you, my beautiful friend. and i left you a little love note over on my blogspace, without even knowing you had put this out there. (i posted it in response to my thoughts of you today and your most recent post on your Cloud blog.)

    i am sorry you are in this place because i would always wish happiness and peace upon those i love. but i also know without doubt that you are exactly where God wants you and that He is up to some kind of crazy and wonderful work in you right in this very moment. you are responding in exactly the way that He would hope: entering into it, being present with it, feeling the truth of it, offering those feelings up to Him, and simply receiving the love you know He has for you.

    so i guess in all that, i'm glad that you are in this place, too. because He is moving. He is working. He is so in love with you. just like me.

  6. ah suz! - i knew you would. i think we're in good company on a day like today. thank God i am surrounded by so much love. i am so grateful!

    sarah - thank you, dear sister & friend. i feel & know your love.

    laura - thank you. this evening was indeed sweet & joyful & so very rich in love!

    nathan - thank you! it is good to have friends who can relate. normally not a big deal, this day; but after reading that poem ... i think i was done for! love to you!

    oh christianne - you so get where i'm coming from, sister! of all the friends i've shared this burden with, your response has meant the most to me. you've never treated it as trite, never said or even implied i shouldn't feel this way. the emphasis you feel for the dignity of human souls is evident in how you've spoken with me about all of this.

    you are so right about this being a good place: i'm here with the reality of it, knowing love & the not love, keenly aware of my need for dependence on our yahweh-god.

    i love you, dear friend. thank you again for meeting me in this place.


  7. Falling in love with yourself…that’s possibly the most beautiful thing I can imagine. I admire you for knowing how precious you are and treating yourself so kindly. It’s so easy to fill up space with the wrong people (I know this all too well), but takes great faith and courage to sit with the ache, and wait. You are my hero today.

  8. Hey girl
    My new blog is dedicated to you and the rest of bloggers anonymous. I have bought 2, count them 2 seasons of Spongebob an have not even watched more than 10 minutes of the first dvd. Why? my little happy self is blogging.........Kirsten this is serious....no really this is serious. I have dropped Spongebob for blogging, what has happened to me, i don't recognize myself anymore?

  9. You are one wise woman, do you know this?
    I am inspired by your open heart. Open to feeling what you feel, even the sadness and those spaces you hope to one day fill with another. Open to your own beauty and dignity. Open to love, love for yourself, which heals like nothing else.
    Thank-you for sharing with such honesty, compassion and tenderness.

  10. He is passionately pursuing you Kirsten and as you look into your heart even into these waiting places you see him looking back at you. Your heart is so wide and deep and open to him and his pursuit of you even deeper still. What a place to be...He is preparing you for today and beyond. He has found room and is making more...for ever more.

  11. I sent you chocolates, just a day late. Check your facebook!

    I know it is not the same, but I know the longing that the heart has to meet that someone who fills a vacuous void in our heart. Just keep looking to him who knows your inner most desires, and most importantly knows what you need, not necessarily what you want.

    Be blessed and celebrate the love that you do have today. The love of a family, and the love of God who loves you rediculously soooo much!!!

  12. Kirsten
    I should have responded to this yesterday, forgive me. There is so much you have said here. You left yourself so vulnerable, man that is not easy. I am moved by the way you pour yourself out like that, that is really hard at least it is for me. Girl if i am mad i can spout of almost anything, but to express this level of vulnerability, you guys are still teaching me that one.

    Valentines Day, I am a day late here. That is such a hard day to deal with. I have, what i refer to as a hopeless romantic side of me. That is very difficult for me to express, except in poetry and i am not like Nate and put it out there. I am not sure that i will ever get that brave. As a matter of fact, i have written a few very deeply romantic poems, that i do not share with anybody.

    Actually the person that they were written to and Nate are the only two people who have ever read some things with that kind of content.
    To be honest I have thrown more romantic poetry away than i can count because somebody threw my heart away with the words. so it all ends up in the trash my heart, my words, my love.

    There is this beer drinking country song that says looking for love in all the wrong places, my only regret on that one is that i did not write it. I could have though.

    All the endless romantic movies always leave this cruel notion that this fairytale ending is real life. It is nice when someone finds that but there are a lot of miserable people in the world because of this craving to be loved, and they are still looking around every corner for that happy ending.

    I will tell you the honest truth i have spent my whole life in this tailspin and i am tired. I have had my heart ripped out of my chest, and at times that felt more physical than allegory. I have loved someone so deeply that i thought i would die when it ended. to be truthful i think a part of my heart DID die, and it has only been in the last two months that GOd has been raising it from the dead.

    Man I almost wished i had sent this in form of an e-mail, i do not talk about this stuff WITH ANYBODY, it is just lately i can be real with Nate and we have been friends for a long time. I really believe i am standing on a corner of a breakthrough in my life and a very large part of that came from GOds hand to me through this blogging. Not the blogging but you guys, the faces behind the blogging.

    As i was saying i am tired, i just want to shut out all the voices in my head so i can really fall in love with God. My heart feels things so deeply, i wear my feelings on my sleeve. It is a hard road to travel.

    People have crammed all kinds of advice down my throat about this relationship thing therapy therapy. This is the real truth in 15 years of therapy Terri is the first quote
    therapist who has said one beneficial thing. But i think for me i just have had to wear myself out. i have had to come to the end of myself, i don't know that i am there yet let me tell ya, this sea of self seems to be bottomless.

    Kirsten i said all this rambling to say i really do feel ya on this relationship thing and it is not something that you can just wake up and fix. I think this is especially harder for people who are poetic in nature, it just makes it worse. It seems like at times we see a whole different take on life. I am feeling ya my friend i feel ya.

  13. tammy, i love you. everything you shared here is so beautiful and raw and true to your story. i honor that.

    maybe getting to the end of ourselves, spending ourselves with exhaustion from nursing and counting our woes, is when God can dip down and touch those raw and tender places with a cool salve and then put a clean piece of gauze over it and tape it safely down with medical tape. and then gently tap our skin right next to the wound, sweetly massaging so softly, just to let us know He is there, He knows we're in pain, He feels us, and He's helping to make it better now.

  14. ps: i say all that with as much confidence as i have in the fact that the "exhausting ourselves with that bottomless sea of self" is also important. that's where we get to the truth of our hearts. that's where we are in a real, authentic place with jesus so that we know and he knows exactly what wound is being tended to. tammy, you seem to have a more acute sense of your own heart than i do. this is something i've just been learning in the past handful of years. it's still scary for me, and i often still get a knee-jerk reaction to self-protect and non-disclose the truth of my own heart's feelings. it's a conscious choice for me to pull back the veil and ask what it has to say, what it has to feel. so i really admire that you have such a keen sense of these things already for yourself. in that way, you're already well on your way to jesus.

  15. Christianne
    what can i say about you? you just have the sweetest voice, calming you would make a really powerful therapist.

  16. too bad we're not closer, kirsten. i would have taken you out on a hot date. wink ;)

  17. oh chloe - thank you for saying that. sometimes i have a hard time putting this out there, just expressing that in spite of all the amazing & good things in my life, this sad empty place still exists. thank you for affirming me today. your love & honesty speaks volumes to me.

    bella - coming from you, these words mean so, so much because i see the same in you: open, vulnerable, feeling what you feel without apology, without the need to explain. i am learning, stumbling. i am beginning to feel. even when the feeling is not good, it is good because i know i am *alive*.

    di - i want to hug you right now! God is showing up in these spaces; who knew so much loving could hurt so much sometimes? thank you.

    carl - thank you so much for your tender loving heart. it is good to hear from others who have walked the same path, who know what it is to feel this longing & wonder if it will ever be filled. if God ever intends to have it filled. i love our community, i'm beyond blessed to feel this surrounded.

    tammy - i just got off the phone with you. we talked an hour & a half, & i felt like we were just starting to scrape the surface. i love you something serious, girl. there is poetry way down deep in your soul. i think it was when i was talking to nate that i think it is those who allow themselves to love deeply who end up hurting the most deeply. if that's true, then i know you have loved with every inch of your heart. what else could cause such suffering & such pain?

    you have poetry bubbling out of your soul & it is so raw and vulnerable and honest and beautiful. right where you're at, there's nowhere else you need to be. God's never making another Tammy, so i'm glad you're here being real, being you ... you're blessing us all more than you know!!

    now i need to go shopping for plane tickets ... ;o)

    christianne - ah, the "truth of our hearts" bit has me. a piece of that came bubbling up last night. exhausting ourselves into that bottomless sea, that place where Jesus meets us where we finally realize our deep & bottomless need for Him. he met me in such a place last night. it is waking up & alive; i feel it sharply. i know tammy does too. oh, tammy. how i love you, girl!!

    blue - ooh girl, you are speaking my language!! i would have been proud to be seen on your arm! i'm going to need to take myself on tour to WV, TN, & FL now!! and MN of course. thank God for frequent flier miles!

    ALL - i love you more than i can say. really, you all bless my socks off something ridiculous. you know one big way i know God is good? because you are here.

  18. Hi- I'm leaving a comment because i can't get the email side to work. maybe my brain is non-functional. My name is Judy and I found your blog the other night after I googled Modified Ellimination Diet (which my chiro. has just prescribed for me). I love your blog and have already linked it to mine (http://picking-daisies.blogspot.com/). Anyway, I have questions about the diet that I haven't been able to find answers to online (i.e. is tofu okay?). Was wondering if you would be willing to email me offline and start a dialogue about this and your progress on the diet? Thanks! Judy

  19. sweet, lovely kirsten ~
    i just wanted to say hello...and thank you for your most recent comment. it touched me.

    i came over to your space for a while and am feeling your presence today.

    i enjoyed the interview with Christianne. learning about the journey of your friendship. giggled at the idea that you two met at Biola. years ago i went to a University day there, hoping to attend because i had a crush on a guy that went there...who went to Ponderosa Lodge camp with me each summer. i ended up going to Bethany in Scotts Valley instead. ; )

    loved hearing about your blog tribe/community and the influence it has had on your life. i can resonate so deeply with the most meaningful friendships coming from this tribe. it's refreshing to hear it from other people because folks that don't blog, think its freaky. ; ) but its not...its absolutely fabulous and profound.

    anyways, i'm rambling.

    i just want to say hello and that i enjoyed hearing your voices and stories and hearts. you two are angels with big strong wings.


  20. I checked out mccabe's poems and there were a number of them. Which poem was it that touched your heart in such a strong way?