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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Look Out, Labor Force. Generation X is coming…right after our hip replacements

By Amanda Cleary Eastep “I’m a Millennial in a Gen Xer’s body,” he said. I was interviewing the former VP of concept and design for McDonald’s for an alumni magazine article. In recent years, his career trajectory had shifted from corporate to the social and public sector, which included a stint in Kenya helping a […]

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Wander on Purpose docu-series is live! Watch it now.

amanda-cleary-eastep

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I’m not sure why I jumped at the chance. Maybe it just sounded fun. I’m not one to come out from behind written words and the pretty copyright-free stock photo, so taking video footage during my local hikes was a new outlet. When my friend, filmmaker Erin Dooley, invited hikers to […]

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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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A simple prayer from the woods

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By Amanda Cleary Eastep The narrow path teaches obedience and strength and trust,   But be sure to make room for others. Be sure-footed, But remember to look up. Stay deeply rooted, But know there is forgiveness after a fall. Grow where you’re planted…even in dark places, But let the light in, too. Don’t follow […]

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What happens to friendships when our memories are only ghosts?

empty-swings

By Carlton H. Colby & Amanda Cleary Eastep Memories by Carl I met J and his younger brother in a crab apple fight. I lost. Of course, it wasn’t fair, me against the two of them along with another brother who couldn’t throw far because he was still a little guy, but he tried anyway. J […]

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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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Day 7: Walking the Path Alone

forest-trail

He hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. All 2,179.1 miles of it in 6 months. Alone. I chatted with him at a recent event at Lake Katherine Nature Center. His essential gear–water pouches, bedroll, and a “cookstove” made from the bottom of a soda can–were spread across the display table.

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Day 6: “Wander” what your purpose is?

I’ve been oddly obsessed with the concept of “purpose” since I was a kid. I had what I would call an “encounter” with God at about the age of nine, and I was convinced that when God “called” you, that meant you had to be a missionary to cannibals. Cannibals eat people. So I just lay in my bed and balled my eyes out.

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