An Encouragement Roundup: Writing, Reality, and Wartime Heroes

shoreline

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I read. A lot. About writing, art, marketing, business, religion, and homesteading. That’s in between the novels. I do this primarily to learn. But I also do it to encourage myself, which is something I’ve needed more lately. Writing as an intentional practice has been arduous. As an emotional and spiritual […]

Read More

Leaping in Faith: A willing suspension of disbelief

jump-tall-building

  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

What He’ll Be When He Grows Up

[AUGUST 26, 2015: I’m updating this post from 2011 for this week’s #wholemama link up, which has moved over to Erika Shirk’s blog, Overflow. I love this post and feel it fits so well with this week’s theme, BE.] By Amanda Cleary Eastep At 7, my son is in earnest. Gripping the back of the seat as we drive […]

Read More

Celebration: A marriage of joining and loosing

chinese-laterns

By Amanda Cleary Eastep On September 20th, CELEBRATION… …will be a banquet hall garden with neat rows of white chairs and flowers and a white runner separating the bride’s and groom’s families until we are joined like the teeth of a zipper as she marches up the aisle… …will be a bride who will be more beautiful than she ever […]

Read More

The Dance of the Elders

By Amanda Cleary Eastep That summer night on the rain-shiny driveway, we danced like crazy people…   …and we sang, all of us happy remnants of the Sunday afternoon party that celebrated the graduation of my three kids. Their whole lives lay ahead of them as we friends and family honored the big steps of […]

Read More

The Spaces that Hold Our Gardens and Barbs

garden-spider

This post is part of the #wholemama summer series started by blogger Esther Emery. Last week’s theme was SPACE. Even though I didn’t write in time to add it to the Tuesday link-up, there are posts focusing on “space” from 20 amazing women on Esther’s website. IN MEMORY OF SOMEONE WE LOVED By Amanda Cleary Eastep There was […]

Read More

How to Pray Like a Refugee

hands-in-stream

By Amanda Cleary Eastep From out of the desert of Africa, my daughter brings home the custom of praying with your eyes open and your hands held out, palms up, as if you are just that expectant, that trusting, that bold. The first evening she is back at our house church after five months of perspective […]

Read More

Quiet Riot

winter-girl

By Amanda Cleary Eastep 1. Nearly every day for 15 years I have heard my son’s voice until the judge decides my son will live with his father while his two sisters and I will move out of the house, but I leave most of the children’s books because it upsets him to see me pack […]

Read More

When Your Power Ain’t So Super, Woman

By Amanda Cleary Eastep He wants me to wear a cape to the grocery store. “I don’t have a cape, Sweetie.” My four year old streaks out of the kitchen, the red cape I sewed flying out behind him. My next door neighbor regularly ridicules me. How the hell can I let my son run […]

Read More

Half of a #WholeMama? The weird transition from Mommy to Mother

By Amanda Cleary Eastep My 18-year-old and I lay in the grass taking Instagram selfies (which I liken to showing vacation “slides” to the entire world). This youngest daughter returned to my arms recently after five months away, two of those in N. Africa. She wanted to show off her armpit hair, which is not nearly […]

Read More