Thankfulness from Behind the Rubber Mask

By Amanda Cleary Eastep As the days grow colder and closer to change in my life– children stepping outside the radius of a mother’s embrace, the loss of income that helped put a roof over our heads, separation from my daughter as she leaves for the mission field– emotions rush beneath my skin, which I wear loosely like a rubber Halloween mask […]

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Planting gardens in us

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I pinch seeds like fuzz from a winter coat. It is the last day of visiting my cousin. Every one of his homes has seemed a retreat to me. He incessantly has his eye on some dilapidated structure full of hoarder treasure or bat guano, yet he somehow sees past the cracked […]

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She Heightened My Awareness of the World and I Didn’t Even Know It Until Now

[Written for catapult magazine’s Sensory Experience issue https://www.catapultmagazine.com/sensory-experience/article/she-heightened-my-awareness-of-the-world%5D From across the uncleared dinner table, my grandmother feeds me stories—how she ran opossum traps in the morning before school, how she gathered herbs on the Round Bluff, how she watched her little brother die of pneumonia. I listen to the same ones over and over, because […]

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View of a Kentucky Field

January 1, 2011, and our last day in Millersburg, Kentucky, for the holiday weekend… From where I sit I can see–just outside the sliding glass doors–the line of scrub trees separating the expanse of the old house’s back yard from the cow pasture that swells gently up to the south and is crowned with tombstones, […]

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Dating Boaz

The first time my elder daughter tells me she’s going on a date, I will die. Maybe not all of me, but that part that believes she will always be content to sit at the computer chatting online with her friends or watching reruns of “The Nanny” with me at midnight. I’ve had it easy, […]

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Tribal Parenting

A moment of leading the tribe instead of managing the children

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Death of a Friend

While I slept beside my husband, Clare was slipping away, trying to hold on, I imagine, until Charles made it to the hospital just minutes away.

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