if 2009 was a book, i'd title it "tunnel vision is under-rated"

it’s so hard to believe we are on the last few days of 2009.  i do think this year goes down in history as the fastest ever.  i always like to wrap up the year with some kind of time to reflect on what happened in the past 12 months and what i hope for in the upcoming year–not to make-way-too-lofty-goals-that-will-just-make-me-feel-bad-when-i-don’t-do-any-of-them but to take some time to consider where i’ve been, where i’m going.  i posted a modified version of this on communitas collective today, and thought i’d include it here as well.

if you are up for it, take some time and reflect on these questions a bit.  some might feel annoying (the refuge-es are used to it), some helpful.  but the bottom line is that taking a little extra time to consider, ponder, celebrate, say out loud some things that we might not have a typical space to say them, is sometimes a useful exercise.  let me know how it goes.

here’s the template in pdf – looking back, looking forward

i thought i’d share my responses here since in different weird ways you have been on this journey with me this past year.  thanks for being part.

in 2009

3-4 words that describe this past year… busy, wild, lost hope, gained hope, present


if 2009 was a book, i’d title it...“tunnel vision is under-rated” (i have come to the conclusion that while it is good & important to know what’s going on “out there” in the big ol’ Church-world, sometimes i need to keep my head down and focus on what’s right in front of me–beauty & creativity & healing & change & love & hope & doubt & people-willing-to-go-the-distance-with-others.   that’s plenty.


i am really glad i tried… 4-8pm with no computer-use-at-all during the weekdays. it was a good shift our family made a while back. oh, and doing the 12 steps together at our summer house of refuge. i had wanted to do that for a long, long time and it finally happened.


something that really surprised me was… how fun it was to write some spoken word pieces for the voca femina share parties.  those evenings were inspiring (and surprising) on so many levels.

the most courageous thing i did this year was…. work the 12 steps this summer and reckon with unhealthy codependent things i was doing in some important relationships.  and then actually doing something about it, yeah!


i tried to let go of…. people & places who aren’t good for my soul


i tried to hold on to… people & places who are


i felt more hopeful about… the refuge & the strength of our community.


i felt less anxious about… trying to keep people on the fringes of our community happy.  it’s not that i don’t care about them; i love and care and want them to find what they are looking for, but i realized this year how important it was to let go and let people make their own choices instead of trying to convince and cajole.


a relationship i feel extra grateful for this year…. too many to count, but one that stands out is my lovely friend stacy.  her belief in the work that we are doing resulted in quitting her job, moving to denver, and joining us on our crazy little journey together.  her presence & help has been so comforting, strengthening, hope-inducing.


this year, i noticed God at work in… my family.  we have been through a lot faith-wise & practically in the past few years, and in 2009, through a lot of weird and unexplainable ways, things just felt more solid, more connected, just-plain-better.

in 2010

words i hope describe this upcoming year…. peace-filled, present, surprising, risky, fun


something new i really want to try… checking facebook only once a day. period. did you hear that?  once-a-day.


a relationship i want to pour more of my heart and time into… i want to spend more time at the reserve in 2010, an apartment complex where there’s a lot of darkness & a lot of lovely people in need of hope.



a way i want to take better care of myself is… um, for the 20th year in a row, attempt to work out more? really, though, i want to last and at some point if i don’t do a better job of this, i won’t.  i need to take the whole self-care thing more seriously before more damage gets done.

a way i want to reach out to others is… i think i want to just keep doing what i’m/we’re doing with ever-evolving grace & love & peace.


i’d really love to experience more of God’s peace in…. our finances.  raising our big ol’ family of 7 is expensive and sometimes overwhelming; having money tight at home & no money at the refuge all at the same time sometimes does me in.  i don’t think a bunch more money’s coming, but i think more peace could.

i’m going to need God’s courage to…. take all my kids to africa and step into this opportunity to learn & listen & teach & preach & pass on what we are learning to some other pastors and not feel completely inadequate.  oh, and the biggie–send my baby off to college across the country next fall.   it’s going to be hard on all of us.


this year I hope i let go of… caring so much about the “church system.


this year i hope i can hold on to…. the Good News in hard places–noticing it, bringing it, experiencing it in small ways, big ways & everything in between.


one dream i have for 2010 is…

  • small dream: to experiment with facilitating an online spiritual direction class to help “make some wind” for those  feeling stuck & alone.  wanna be part?
  • big dream: a sugar daddy/group of people with a heart for single mommies/hurting families/those-who-need-a-break who wants to fund a 4-plex or buy a big old house or two or rent a few apartments or ? to create a place of refuge, a transitional housing/advocacy & healing hub.  know anyone?

happy new year, everyone. looking forward to what’s ahead.

* * * * *

ps: check out a recent article on the sojourners blog that highlights my friend todd fadel’s (of love is concrete & the bridge church in portland) passion for creativity & the church – could church become a playground for all?


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.


  • I thought about your little community (big dream) today. Please let me know how it develops. I’ll be interested, and praying!

  • I’ve never done an on-line class but your spiritual direction class would be of great interest for me. I loved life coaching but am feeling the need for deeper challenges and connections in my life. Let me know if the class happens, I’d love to join!

  • As always, Kathy, you amaze me. I just love how you boil it down. I hope you find those sugar daddies. Quite a beautiful dream indeed. Love ya!

  • Great template for thought. I printed it out today, and I am working on it. I think the online class sounds great. I wonder if I could be part of that?

    Oh yes… I may use this template for my blog, too. Great idea.

  • 2010 holds?

    Not sure … but I’m walking into it boldly and looking out where the Wind will take me, my sails are up, I can already feel a little breeze.

  • lori – i will for sure keep you posted. hope to see you soon!

    patty – i will let you know, i think it will come together in february/march. i think you will dig it!

    april – thanks for reading & passing on…

    angie – i am glad that you are reading & are part from afar, we’ve all come a long way since the 90’s, eh?

    laurie – i am glad you liked it & can pass it on. i will email you with details when “wind” comes together….

    mark – i can’t wait to hear…thanks for always making me laugh & infusing a sense of wonder & hope…

  • tunnel-vision, yes! i need a little more of that in 2010. thanks for this lovely post about looking forward with dreams for the new year!


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