these came to mind…

thought bubble

i had a typically schizophrenic week–running from deep conversations at the refuge to driving carpools, from 8 degree weather in colorado to 72 degrees in so. cal to share at a gathering of missional leaders, from paying the bills to talking to social workers to working on faith shift edits.

on friday afternoon, i finished up a down we go workshop & looked at my phone.  the text was from one of the twins and said “mom, call dad ASAP, it’s an emergency!”  my heart fell to my feet, assuming someone had died (i always go to the worst first).  i then glanced at the text above his that was from my husband, jose, which said “where are the twins’ new passports?!? theirs expired in december!” we were leaving in a few hours for a trip to thailand we had been planning for at least 6 months for my middle son’s graduation (one of the amazing gifts of working for the airlines). i knew then that no one had died or been hurt, but i also knew we were hosed. you just can’t travel into two other countries with expired passports. i called him and all’s i could say over and over again was how sorry i was. i was the one who assumed that their expiration date was the same as the other kids, and i had looked at my daughters a few weeks ago.  it never occurred to me theirs would be different.

i cried off and on the whole way home. i haven’t had a drink in almost 20 years, but i came this-close to ordering one. anything to take the edge off of how horrid i felt.  but then i kept thinking to myself how the last thing my kids needed was for me to be a shame-filled mess.  that what i would want for them when they make a mistake is what i need for myself. so when i got home, i was honest, i cried, i said i was sorry and so disappointed, and then we started to move on and figure out a plan B.  we did, and we’re leaving on a fun adventure today for a week that didn’t require passports. it’s not thailand, but it’ll be awesome. we’ll be together. and i get to chalk up yet another experience of why my love language is definitely grace.

my entire drive home from the airport, i kept thinking about a post i had written many years ago called the flogging machine.  it’s the place that’s so easy to go whenever we make a mistake.  then i started thinking of all of the other posts i had thought of this week in different conversations and moments, and i decided that’s what i’d leave up this week while i was gone. it’s just a list of posts that in some way came to mind.  some of you may have read them before; others may not have.  meanwhile, i’m unplugging this week to be with my boys–jose and the my three youngest sons.  will be back on sunday to watch the broncos win the super bowl!

thinking in blog in the past 7 days…

the flogging machine – i’m learning to stay in there way less longer

plant new trees – after hearing yet another story of a woman fighting an uphill battle in her church for equality, one of my all-time favorite posts came to mind. sometimes it’s just not possible to change existing systems; we need to plant new trees.

well behaved women won’t change the church – it’s possible i think of this every week, but in some conversations i was in with both men & women, i thought of how there’s no way around it.

the pro-life pro-choice paradox – this came up in a beautiful (and always hard to talk about) conversation about abortion.

10 ways churches jack people up – oh goodness gracious, sometimes i just want to scream. especially when i hear stories of such amazing sincere people who lost themselves in church.

three things about one word: power – we can’t talk about almost anything without addressing issues of power.  it’s the root of so much ugly, but used properly, it can be the root of so much good. in a conversation with a friend about church leadership, i couldn’t help but think of this and how we are always looking for a king.

over, under, or beside – we know how to live over or under another, but the work of our lives will be to learn what it means to be “beside” one another.

why prepositions matter – for the sentralized gathering, i shared on to, for, and with.  i always love that conversation and am grateful for so many people wrestling with what that means.

descent – this post sums up some of my thoughts on downward mobility.  i always think of what henri nouwen says, “the spiritual life does not lead us out of this world but deeper into it.”

why i love “the church” – i just do, but i have a very loose definition of it.

there’s a difference between building churches & cultivating communities – in the down we go workshop i did, this comes up every time, and we have to respect the differences.

we may look like losers – when we choose this path of life-in-the-trenches-with-people, none of the old measures will work.

connection, resiliency, and identity – these three things are such core parts of becoming healthier people. it’s why i am so grateful to be in a healing community; i always need to keep growing in these areas.

dignified dialogue – can’t escape it, always see what it’s like to be with people who practice it and those who don’t.

rebuilding after deconstructing – this series comes up all of the time, and when i ‘m with people whose faith has been wrecked by the system but they long for God still.  plus, the next few months are going to be crazy with edits for faith shift & so this material is on the tip of my tongue.

i thought i’d end with the quote i always use and remember and think of, and came to mind about 100 times this week:

“i’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – maya angelou

see you next week. peace, kathy

Posted in ,

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.


  • Oh man that sucks – feeling for you Kathy. Please don’t beat yourself up.

    At times like this, I find it helps to get my compassionate image out and meditate on that. A pleasant surprise to me is to find the God sometimes is more angry than loving and for me anyway, knowing I have messed up on something, I go to God and he puts his gentle arms around me, and says son, I love you. The problems don’t go away, but somehow they seem different, diminished.

  • Oh I am so so glad that it worked out. Hoping that you guys have so many good memories that it feels like it should have been that way all along. 🙂 And that line keep ringing in my head about how your kids don’t need you as a shame filled mess. It remains to be seen why it is so much easier to dole out grace like it is air than to forgive oneself. But I hear in my head a lot how it is just a waste of time to go there and stay. The ground on planet shame is so damn sticky!!! Re-reading the flogging machine was so good and it reminding me that my time-outs there happen less and less. #babysteps

  • Well, ouch. I am so sorry! An easy mistake to make, that’s for sure. Kudos for hangin’ in, flexing, adapting. What choice do you have? Sit and sulk/cry or enjoy each other anyway. You made the right choice, even though I’m sure it was tinged with pain. (Please don’t tell me you were in Santa Barbara this weekend – I couldn’t go to the Labberton/Claiborne event here in town because I was preaching today – for the first time in over a year – and needed to be here, glued to the computer. If you were here, I’m so sorry to have missed you!!)

    • no santa barbara this weekend, i was in costa mesa sharing down we go stuff at sentralized. i’d sure love to hear you preach sometime!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *