Obeying a Call (even if it means fishsticks)

children-running

By Amanda Cleary Eastep The Small boys lived next door to us in the “new subdivision,” one round block of bi-levels and tri-levels on the outskirts of a small farm town. In the summer, all of us children scattered, bike wheels and skinny legs carrying us all the way to the other side of the […]

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Friendly Advice 5 cents

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I had settled into a comfy writing spot at a tiny coffeehouse & bookstore in Fairhope, Alabama when two older women toddled in pushing a stand just like the one Lucy uses in the Peanuts comic to dole out “helpful” advice. They asked if they could take one of the chairs […]

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This is us: the story of midlife writers and co-conspirators

By Amanda Cleary Eastep It was a year ago November that Michelle Van Loon and I met for the first time. I was attending the Deeply Rooted conference in Chicago with my daughter and two friends, and Michelle was a speaker. She delivered her message about restlessness (which just happens to be my middle name) […]

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Growing Deep–and Broad–Roots in the Dirt and Light

By Amanda Cleary Eastep  I was behind the wheel for the first time at the age of 9. OK, so it was just a lawn tractor, and I didn’t see the tree coming. I was looking over my shoulder at the cart I was pulling with my little brother and two older cousins riding in […]

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Seismic Shift or Gentle Nudge (& a sneak peek!)

Sneak peek, dear Readers! You will find the rest of this post about “faith shifts” in a new space I’ve been building with author and friend Michelle Van Loon. MORE on that SOON! By Amanda Cleary Eastep I always imagined that someday I would be one of those people who younger Christians look at with a wistful […]

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Wander on Purpose–A Collaborative Film Project

By Amanda Cleary Eastep UPDATE: Episodes 1-4! Episode 1: Healthy Habits Episode 2: Joy, Anxiety, Trust, Hurt Episode 3: Surprises, Purpose, Worthlessness Episode 4: Meaning and the Mundane Day 1: Finding Healthy Habits Day 2: Finding Courage, Giving Up Fear Day 3: Wandering into Surprise Day 4: Leaving Anger Along the Path Day 5: Dropping […]

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Just like a 1970s sleepover gone horribly wrong

cleary-eastep-writer

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I stuffed my overnight bag into my narrow grammar school locker, already counting the red-handed seconds until I left my 4th grade troubles behind and walked two blocks to my best friend’s house for a sleepover. My presence always caused a bit of angst for my friend’s mother since–although I was […]

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The Terror of Our Blank Pages and Days

girl-sun

By Amanda Cleary Eastep Nothing is more exciting, or more terrifying, than facing a blank page. That’s true for more than writers. Today, my lifelong friend faces a blank page each day. It seems to her that little is left of the story she spent so many years painstakingly writing in blood tears prayers struggles. […]

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Going Dark–or at least Going Dim–to find your way

writing

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I love going to the movies. I love sharing an overpriced pop, gorging on Good and Plenty smuggled inside my “movie purse” because it makes up for the pricey Pepsi, and watching people wander into the theater and spend that awkward 15 seconds making their personal seating preference known to an audience of […]

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