a thing or two about narcissism (+ church).

kathyescobar church stuff, crazy making, faith shifts, injustice, rants, relationships 73 Comments

For a lot of years now I have been journeying with a lot of women who have been in marriages or relationships with narcissists. I’m not talking about plain old self-absorbedness, of which we all have a touch of in different ways. I’m talking about something far more insidious and confusing, too–people with true blue Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or just-plain-real-and-deep narcissism that makes people around them feel crazy, unempowered, abused, and emotionally stripped. Several years ago The Refuge hosted a gathering for women who had …

in my living room: choices

kathyescobar healing, relationships, spiritual formation, the refuge 6 Comments

One of my favorite times of the week is our Wednesday House of Refuge group that gathers at our house. A fun, open group, it’s been going since the beginning of The Refuge, almost 9 years now, and it’s always one of the most interesting times of my week. We have a potluck, and it’s wild and chaotic, with kids running to and fro and people eating and laughing and catching up. After dinner, the kids go downstairs and the grownups participate in spiritual conversation, which …

redeeming old words (like “redeem”)

kathyescobar faith shifts, healing, spiritual formation 38 Comments

Oh, I’d love to know how many of you cringed when you read the word “redeem”? It seems like an additional hard part about some of our faith shifts is that particular words we used to love and appreciate have become ones we begin to avoid or cause us to twinge. For all kinds of reasons, certain words just stop working and just become too loaded. I recently had to enter into an online site where people were talking in extreme Christianese. I knew enough to brace …

outsiders.

kathyescobar advent & lent, church stuff, down we go, ex good christian women, faith shifts, jesus is cool 32 Comments

One of the things that has been the hardest about shifting faith is moving from being an “insider” to an “outsider.” I have always been one of those people who looks like an insider, like someone who fits in. The truth is that underneath a lot of that has been a prevailing feeling that somehow, I just really don’t. The more I’ve talked to people of the years, the more clear I am that we can be lonely in a group or as part of the …

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 …