when christmas is hard.

kathyescobar advent & lent, faith shifts, healing 15 Comments

Oh, this time of year! Some people love it, some people hate it.  There are so many things tied to the time from Thanksgiving to not just Christmas but also the start of a new year.  It brings to light the reality of losses, financial pressures, broken relationships, shame, family brokenness or non-existedness, faith shifts, depression, and dreams that keep on not coming true. You name it–this season stirs it up. I wrote a series a few years ago called “When Christmas is Hard” and thought …

race & ferguson & what might be swirling around in our heads and hearts

kathyescobar dreams, equality, incarnational, injustice, leadership 11 Comments

It’s been an interesting paradox of a Thanksgiving week. The joy of having our kids all home for the holiday and not wanting to think of anything other than being together, contrasted with the reality of the painful events in Ferguson and what it means for all of us.    As a white woman of privilege, I’ve been thinking about some of the thoughts, feelings, actions or non-actions a lot of us seem to be wrestling with right now. I’m wondering who might relate to some …

tender faith stories, handle with care.

kathyescobar faith shifts, healing, spiritual formation 7 Comments

Can you say “vulnerability hangover?” Brene Brown talks about them and at The Refuge we joke about them, and let me just tell you–I have a big fat one right now. When I first saw the clip online from my conversation on The Work of the People, I could feel it in my stomach. That knot, that uh-oh feeling, that oh-my-goodness-what-have-I-done-by-sharing-so-much-so-publicly about one of the most tender places in my life, my faith? It’s scary enough to put it in print, but there’s something even more …

mental illness: 3 sets of 3 things

kathyescobar church stuff, healing, incarnational, synchroblog 39 Comments

* Note: I originally posted this in December of 2013 but am republishing it tonight as part of the October 2014 Synchroblog centered on Mental Illness awareness. October 5th through 11th is Mental Illness Awareness Week. I will put the link list at the bottom of the post once it comes out tomorrow.  It’s so important to talk about this issue together.  The inspiration behind the synchroblog was Sarah Lund’s new book–Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness, Family, and Church. This is …

bargaining: the what if’s and if only’s

kathyescobar faith shifts, healing, spiritual formation 12 Comments

we’re on day 3 of grief week and i have appreciated the comments & emails & thoughts that this has stirred up in different ways.  if you are just joining us, we started with denial.  then yesterday was a look into anger.  today, we move into the third stage that is part of any grieving process-bargaining. this is the stage–and one we often come back to in our healing (remember grief is not linear)–where we look back with regret and wonder: what if i had… if …

grief week: it starts with denial

kathyescobar faith shifts, healing, spiritual formation 17 Comments

well, exactly a year ago i said i was going to do a one week series called “grief week”, centered on the 5 stages of grief that can be part of church and life losses alike. then a friend from the refuge died suddenly in a tragic accident and i decided to start my summer blog-break early.  it’s been quite a year since then. the refuge moved into our new home (it’s been amazing, exactly what we had hoped and are in the process of raising …

leaving church to save our souls

kathyescobar church stuff, ex good christian women, faith shifts, fundamentalism, healing, incarnational 49 Comments

goodness gracious, people get riled up over conversations about “church.”  i wish we could get as much traction on justice & poverty issues!  it’s fascinating, really, how passionate many are about this topic, especially when someone threatens the church in any way.  i didn’t read all of donald miller’s post last week about why he doesn’t “go to church” much anymore (language that drives me nuts) but it sure did stir up a lot of discussion from all different angles. the one post i did read …

“i just don’t see how he could do that” & some thoughts on abuse

kathyescobar crazy making, healing, identity, incarnational, injustice 21 Comments

**warning: this post is about sexual abuse (and emotional, physical, and spiritual too) and so if you are extra sensitive to this topic, please know there could be possible triggers. abuse is one of the most damaging things that can happen to someone. and there’s never an excuse for it. young or old, male or female, or all of the different circumstances of where, when, and how the abuse happened don’t make a difference in its impact. once it happens, that person’s life is forever changed. i’ll …