Being Bob Cratchit: What Should You Carry into the New Year?


By Amanda Cleary Eastep Bob Cratchit got fired from his low-paying job on Christmas Eve. Sure, it was a miserable job–the office was freezing in the winter, the hours were long, and he had only one day off each year. Christmas Day. And then there was his boss, Ebenezer Scrooge. As I watched A Christmas […]

Read More

Why Advent Hope Is Way Better than Junior Prom Hope

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I REALLY wanted him to ask me to prom. I waited. And waited. And. Waited. Until one day, when it seemed all hope was lost, a nervous young man twitched his way over to my locker and sweated out an invitation to our junior prom. Except it was the wrong young […]

Read More

Leaping in Faith: A willing suspension of disbelief


  By Amanda Cleary Eastep I’ve always wanted to skydive. To feel my heart about to come out of my mouth, to stop myself from vomiting upward into my own face, to fall and be yanked back in the nick of time. But leaping didn’t happen that way. I decided it would be way more […]

Read More

You wouldn’t believe the stars

By Amanda Cleary Eastep “You wouldn’t believe the stars.” My daughter tells me this in one of her voice messages from the refugee camp in north Africa. She and her friend had dragged their bedding out onto the desert sand, staying up until 2 a.m. as if this was some junior high sleepover, chatting and “wow”ing and awestruck. We live 30 […]

Read More

Are we still gazing up at the clouds?


By Amanda Cleary Eastep Easter Day 2015 I have one raw egg in the fridge. My youngest is at a missionary camp in Florida. My other daughter and son are at their dad’s girlfriend’s for the first time. These things don’t negate the fact that it is Easter, and the sun is shining. But I […]

Read More

The Year of Living Courageously


By Amanda Cleary Eastep I’m a little afraid to write the words. Be. Courageous. Writing those words in my journal means I can’t tell God it was only a fleeting thought. That I was “writing drunk,” as Hemingway said, and planned to edit sober later. And I can’t blame someone else. No one’s handwriting is that bad. But it’s […]

Read More

The Sound of Calling


My grandmother never imagined when she was sewing the curtains out of the same sunflower- patterned sheets that covered my bed in her spare room that God would see them.

Read More