Thursday, April 30, 2009

Friends and Ghosts

A few weeks ago, both Jahred and Bradford were gone and I could not sleep. My room felt suffocating and dangerous. So in the middle of the night I went into their room and crawled into Jenna's old bed (which the subsequent room mates have used) and felt the weight of being an other. I heard the dogs pounding across the living room, Bjork mewing on the porch, other flatmates closing doors and all the pets we have crawling around in the walls. I listened to the fan creak and the bushes scratch the window. I experienced my house from another room, and I missed all the other people that experienced it. All the people that were sleeping somewhere else now. I wonder if they ever think about that room.

Bradford moves out in a few days, Jahred a few weeks after him. My heart hurts when I think about it. When I walk into my house and pass that room, sometimes I feel like it is filled with ghosts.

I see Beth tapping away at her computer, her brown hair tucked behind her ears and a counseling book in her lap. Beside her Jenna sits on the floor, flipping through magazines for fashion and art ideas. Dana and McKenzie lounge on the bed, their laptops out as they discuss church and school and life. Jahred reads on his air mattress bed and Bradford does yoga.

I don't want any more ghosts, there will be no more room mates. I will take out the bed and put in a couch and my sewing machine and line the walls with racks of dresses and books. The ghosts can keep me company as I work and dream.

I am in a stage in my life where many people have left or are leaving. But I remain the same. In the same house, and as of Monday, return to my old place of work. This distresses me. I am tired of people moving in and out and on. I am sad to look into a face I love and know I will not see it again for quite sometime.

This is where the idea of a husband, of a consistent friend that won't move away seems incredibly appealing for the first time.

I was explaining this to God in prayer, and I was hit by a realization. I mean, I know it. I say it all the time and we hear it all the time and blah, blah, blah-


What I long for in a friend or a lover, Christ is. Christ will never leave me. He won't move out or get sick of me. I was hit with the full truth that Christ actually, genuinely, for really real likes to hang out with me. I felt in prayer how grateful I was to have this friend that will comfort me when other friends leave and rejoice with me over new relationships. I do not need a husband to anchor me down, I can have that in God. I can tell him about my day and talk to him about everything I experience, knowing he is experiencing it with me. I need to train myself to hear his language, to be more sensitive to the movements and whispers of the spirit. Because that language, that movement and whisper fills me with love and joy and utter gratefulness.

"At that time"—this is God's Message still—
"you'll address me, 'Dear husband!'
Never again will you address me,
'My slave-master!'
And then I'll marry you for good—forever!
I'll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness.
Yes, I'll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go.
You'll know me, God, for who I really am."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Memories and thoughts

I am on top of a building.

The wedding scene around me is so ethereal I can feel my heart constrict. I know that I am experiencing a time I will think about for the rest of my life. I want to memorize every detail, to come back and run my fingers through this moment as vividly as possible. I cannot stop time, so I freeze myself instead. My breath settles in my throat, my fingers touch my cheek and I am a statue observing. I watch, and I gather and I am so grateful everything about me is warm and glowing and prayerful. Wind ripples through the building top, nudging table clothes and hair strands . The setting sun casts halos around my friends and every imperfection is smoothed. I gaze at the people at my table, recognizing how arresting they are, how lucky I am. Jenna looks like a socialite from the seventies, her hair in waves, her orange one-shoulder dress vibrant against pale skin and a blue sky back drop. Bryan looks dashing in his dark suit, and in love when he teases his new wife. He says something ridiculous and she laughs at him and my eyes fill with tears. I don’t want them to go. Spain seems so far away. Jenn sits beside me and her laughter wraps around me, a wonderful constant the past few years. Cole rolls his eyes and makes a usual dry comment and Casey brandishes a knife and Bryan threatens to throw him off the building. My best friends laugh and I squeeze my eyes shut. I just want this moment to never end. But I breathe because time is passing and the sun is setting and I know my life will be made up of a thousand beautiful moments.

I am in the middle of a grocery store.

I am so hungry. I can feel the space in my stomach and the trembling in my fingers. I wander through the aisles, mentally tasting all of my favorite foods. I try to tempt myself with veggie burgers or pasta, hummus or burritos. My heart beats faster and faster because nothing sounds appealing and I do not understand it. There is a connection that I am lacking. When I am hungry, I desire food and am satisfied. That connection, the hunger and the want, it is natural. There is something unnatural about me. I have no desire for food, just a hollowness in my stomach. I am horrified with myself. It is not logical and I should be able to just turn it off but I can’t. My friend is annoyed with my indecisiveness, and I move away from him so he doesn't see me cry. I stare at frozen dinners and press my hands against my cheeks. I don’t understand myself. I want to eat. I want to be healthy. I have had a good day. I am happy. There is no reason for me to not eat, but this thing has grown without me knowing. I don't know what to do. I wipe my face and settle on peanut butter and jelly but my heart keeps pounding.

I am dreaming.

I am in a city, and following someone into a building. But then I realize that I am dreaming and perhaps the laws of physics might not apply to me. So I stay in this back garden area and leap high in the air. I float and land gently. I bound upward again and brush my hand against the side of a building and feel the sandy crumble of cement. I slide my fingers against cool glass and the dirt on top of a ledge. I touch the shirt I am wearing, a dark cotton with small flowers on it. The material feels a little scratchy and it flutters in the wind. I have now experienced what it is like to fly. It is one of my favorite memories.

I am dreaming while awake.

The ability to dream, in and out of sleep, is such a wonderful ability. Rilke says that even if he was locked up for the rest of his life, his days would be rich with memory- the memory of a delicious dish or a favorite place in his imagination. In the book 'Papillon' the main character spends years in solitary confinement, and during this time his imagination is freed to wander the world, speak to the people he's loved, climb old gardens and city buildings.

I am a bit of a dreamer. Sometimes my dreams take me to delightful places, sometimes they take me to terrible. But the very fact that I can go at all, seems so stunning to me today. I drove to Jacksonville this morning, was listening to Wilco's 'big, blue sky' and dreamed the most beautiful dreams. I opened my own store, I went back to grad school. I created a beautiful dress, I finished a story, I imagined road trips and restaurants in Europe and backpacking through Peru. And I thought of this, one of my favorite verses,

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

I feel that Spirit, gentle within me. I worry my dreams are too much for God and my nightmares, but I don't think that is true. I think my worry and fear is too much for my dreams.

I am happy to experience the full range of life, the bad makes the beautiful more fragrant, the terrible pushes me inward to God, and the hope of the future is so exciting I can only work and leap toward my wildest dreams.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring part 2

"If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing, but if we roll back on God that which he has put on us, He takes away the sense of responsibility by bringing in the realization of himself."

I love this idea, and I feel both Oswald Chambers and Christ have been incessantly pounding it into my head. It's not good enough to do things for God, as though we are servants that work for a boss (like a boss!), now we are called friends, and I do things with my friends.

When I think of the future- I picture the short essay I posted below. That I am speeding towards something that will crush me. In the past few weeks, that view has changed, slowed. I can feel the future unflowering gracefully, and I can feel God starting to work and prepare me. It is this gentle thing within me that I am so amazed by. That the very moments I feel despair or anxiety I can close my eyes and, in the lovely words of Plath, all the world drops dead. I am immediately reminded that God is whispering affirmation and direction.

Things have just seemed sweeter as of late. I love the feeling I get when I am driving over to Jamie's in the morning. Our office is beautiful and the light in the morning bathes everything in this surreal glow. I love the sounds of music coming from Seans room as I work on dresses. When I read in the morning at Starbucks I feel deeply content. I get to be mentored by Jamie, who is an amazing teacher in all things fashion and sass. It seems a wondrous thing that people are wearing things I have restored.

So I am going through life with Christ, and absorbing sorrow and impatience and despair through him. That sounds weird and Christian-y, but I just have to ask to see things the way He did. That people were broken but still beautiful, that everyone just needs affirmation and a good ass kicking, and that we really can make a difference, for a few people at least. Maybe this gentle thing in me is hope. How lovely.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Dresses Up!

Tell your friends please! And please follow me here:

Matt and I had a ton of fun shooting these. You can check out his stuff and our photoshoot at

Saturday, April 11, 2009


It is spring, it is spring, it is spring.

This may be a bit early, as I always like to think that I am better before I really am, but I feel a spring within me. I look at the past few months, and I feel a sense of accomplishment and a great relief to be, hopefully, done. I can see all that has been painfully pruned from me, all the seeds faithfully planted, and something new arises. I see beauty in faces, as broken as they may be. Hope comes more easily, a sense that God is moving and I move with him. Christ has done a good work in me.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. so don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in anyway. James 1.

James in the Message is. so. good. check it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I am hurtling through space. The icy blackness whips through my hair always changing, darker, longer, blonder. One day is a second and I’m flickering and flailing and tumbling. People whiz with me and by me, all of us racing through time and life. We crash into each other, cut into one another, our trajectory changes and friends glimmer away and toward me. Christ pulls me behind him with chords of silk easily broken for a boy who kisses me and strikes me and disappears and reappears for thousands of shuddering days. Friends orbit around me until they explode against someone else and are shot into other directions or maybe I push them and for many seconds I am alone. I run into someone, and another and another and they fly by with words of love and knives and my blood splatters. I have a knife in my hand too and words I want to scream but I am lost and changing and I just want to stop flying and falling and hurting. I flicker rapidly getting smaller and darker and less familiar and friends try to hold on but the wind spins them toward other Futures. The flesh of the past accumulates under my fingernails and my hands are raw raw from grabbing and holding and breaking. I just want to stop. I want to stop. I want to stop. I crash into a star and we hold each other like parachute jumpers but it lets go and grabs me back and lets go and there's something wrong inside of me. Someone crash into me please, and don’t let go. No, not someone, just one. I am speeding towards you, love. I am hurtling with you, Christ. Catch me, catch me, catch me, please.

Start this morning off right- kinda

Everything about this song is wonderful. The video is pretty terrible. I mean, really terrible.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I am not a robot.

No, for really real, I'm not.

A few weeks ago my counselor told me that I was like the robot from Terminator 3, except for Jesus. I thought that was a compliment. It was not. He keeps telling me to have grace and compassion on myself. To stop beating myself up for my emotions. And it sounds like straight therapy bullshit. I see so many people walking through life completely unaware of how they hurt others or why they do the things that they do. I don't want that to be me, and so when I mess up, I want to own it and make sure I never do it again.

I hate my emotions, they are irrational and lead me to death. Nothing is worse than making emotional decisions. I only end up hurting other people and that is inexcusable. I should be perfect as Christ is perfect.

I want to ruthlessly eradicate all weakness, I want to never hurt other people, I want to learn from my mistakes, I want to never make them.

Hence the robot comment.

So that means punishment. I have to punish myself so I fully learn my lesson. I mean, it makes logical sense, that is how the world works- but it's not how God works. The punishment has been taken.

I made some, perhaps, poor decisions lately. And as a result, in the past few days I have been struggling badly with these punishment issues. Today I was so anxious, so sick, that I almost passed out in starbucks. It was crazy. I was trying to read and pray, but I was so angry with myself. My stomach felt so tight and I was afraid I was going to throw up. My heart was heavy, so heavy. My mind was spinning with accusations. I slumped down in my seat and my pen felt like a great weight and my hand so weak, that I had to drop it.

I looked down and saw the verse about the spirit inteceding for us with groans and I thought "Oh God, please help me."

And then I heard words and voices. But the good kinds.

Dickie: The past is the past. What good is it to dwell on it? I mean, really. Move on, don't do it again. The end.

My counselor: You have compassion on everyone but you.

Keirsten: Namaste.

Jahred: It's okay to feel. Emotions are what make you real.

Jenna: You're killing yourself. This is not what Christ wants.

And so I took a deep breath and picked up my pen and wrote: I am not a robot. I am a woman. I have a heart, I have emotions, I am not perfect. Even if I broke one law, the spirit of Christ is alive in me always. I know I am pursuing God first, I want him to have free reign in my life. But that doesn't mean I will be perfect. It's okay. It's okay. I am loved. It's okay.

All of my sickness felt like it was pulled out of my stomach and out through my heart. I mean, it just evaporated. Gone.

It was incredible!

I have been getting these ...whatever, panic attacks, or deep self loathing sessions for six months, the past two months they have been so overwhelming and frequent I have not been able to eat very much or sleep. Being refreshed through prayer and the word has been what has kept me afloat. Every morning my time with God fixes my perspective, things that seem dark and ominous are restored through Jesus. Christ keeps me from a daily depression, but not from these attacks. When these thoughts come upon me, I can only wait to fall asleep, and hope it is gone in the morning. I cannot pray, or call someone or even pick up the phone. I have never been able to pray or talk myself out of them. I just talk myself deeper in. Until today.

I don't even know if I can express my joy right now! I AM NOT A ROBOT. I AM LOVED EVEN WITH MY IMPERFECTIONS.


I am glowing. I am so glowing right now. God's love is not dependent on my actions, and I have not ruined my life. If anything, maybe that was supposed to happen, just so this could happen. And even if not, redemption is a gift.

And then I read in Romans and Corinthians and it is all just so good! Romans 12 talked about how when we fix our attention on God we are changed from the inside out, that we come to a deeper maturation. I know that God is working something Good in me, and I am so grateful that I was able to get a glimpse of it today. I know that I'm not completely over this time, but I finally see a light. I see a little bit of my Hope.

My quiet time today was better than an orgasm.

I could only write VICTORY in my journal over and over again. And when I told the story to Jahred, he smiled and said: Victory.

I am glowing. And I like you all very much.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I am happy.

When Paul received his sight, he received spiritually an insight into the Person of Jesus Christ, and the whole of his subsequent life and preaching was nothing but Jesus Christ - "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." No attraction was ever allowed to hold the mind and soul of Paul save the face of Jesus Christ.

We have to learn to maintain an unimpaired state of character up to the last notch revealed in the vision of Jesus Christ.

The abiding characteristic of a spiritual man is the interpretation of the Lord Jesus Christ to himself, and the interpretation to others of the purposes of God. The one concentrated passion of the life is Jesus Christ. Whenever you meet this note in a man, you feel he is a man after God's own heart.

Never allow anything to deflect you from insight into Jesus Christ. It is the test of whether you are spiritual or not. To be unspiritual means that other things have a growing fascination for you.

"Since mine eyes have looked on Jesus,
I've lost sight of all beside,
So enchained my spirit's vision,
Gazing on the Crucified."

-Oswald Chambers

If I was not a Christian I think I could have been perfectly content being a cop at 18. I would have kicked in doors and locked up 'bad guys' and let hot guys off of speeding tickets, and went home with a satisfied, simple heart. I'm sure days would have been hard, I'm sure I would have gotten jaded, but I also think I would have thought I was making the world a little better.

If I was not a Christian I could have been completely satisfied being a criminal profiler at 20. Hiding myself away in cases and minds- in theories and other peoples stories. Every case I helped solve would strengthen my resolve for the next.

If I was not a Christian, I could have been completely satisfied being a counselor at 21. I could have helped people believe in their own worth, walked them through lies and abuse. I would have been content to see people come alive, and to find myself in that.

If I was not a Christian I could have been perfectly content writing movies at 23. I would have written movies with social justice themes and gone to bed thinking I was doing a good thing.

If I was not a Christian, I would now be perfectly content sewing dresses. I could lose myself in fashion and colors, in seeing something come alive in my hands, and being loved by another person.

But I am a Christian. And so, nothing else satisfies but Christ. And honestly, that kind of sucks.

I cannot be happy without him. His Spirit is heavy in me, in us all, no matter how much we feed our Minds and Hearts over him. Living in/with/through Christ is the only thing that gives my life hope or meaning.

I am the most discontent when I let a person, a job or idea define my life. As hard as I try, I cannot find satisfaction in those things, the spirit will not allow me.

I have to be honest. There are times I wish I did not have the Spirit, and there are times I wish some of my friends didn't. I want to be happy, I want the people I love to be happy. And I know, that I know, that I know we never will be if we have one foot in Christ and one foot in the world.

So let me caveat this by saying that I am by no means a spiritual guru. I have chosen to pursue Christ with both feet because I'm afraid that I will go crazy if I don't. Honestly, I'm not strong enough to do it on my own.

My friends with the spirit: I have it stuck in my head that you will only be content when you are praying and reading and loving and seeing the world through Christs eyes. That is why I bug you with this cheesy christian shit. Cheesy Christian shit like this: You were made for more than a job or a lover or an ideal. You were made to be the fragrance of Christ.

So: "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Read Colossians or Phillipians (and as though I need to say it- read it in the message, you can feel things in that text, instead of just reading them) remember your favorite story of God, remember the last time you felt his presence, remember Christ in the garden, try to see people as Christ sees them, and remember how much he loves you, wants to be with you. Put both feet in.

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. IIt wasn't long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.

Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Col. 3:1

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kate King Vintage BITCHES!

So I quit Westgate last week. That job was so great for me in past years; bought a house; traveled the world; got to be generous and buy dumb stuff. But after working with Renee and doing something that grew me creatively and spiritually, I couldn't handle going back to an office.

So eff that office.

A few different things started coming together, and the more time I spent with God, the more I felt this gentle leading towards focusing on the things that I love: writing and creating things and spending time with people. This was SUCH a big deal. Money has ruled my life for the past few years, and I finally accepted the gift of poverty last week.

My house will mostly likely not be mine in a few months. I will be throwing one AMAZING good bye party. I love that house. But I can be a slave to it no longer

So. Quit that job. Worked on these dresses.

Thank you, Abba.