Nature is marking this long trail of days

I just barely remember my first walk in the woods. My grandmother took me. Maybe it was in the patch of forest across the street from her square little house with the wringer washer and the beagle who ate locusts.

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The power of your naming…

As much as I hate the “tell us your name and something about you” exercise, I planned for this time of introduction with teen writers to be a little more creative . . .

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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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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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We, Like Sheep: On being shepherded into the new year


By Amanda Cleary Eastep As I travel the roads through the Scottish countryside, acres of pastureland carpet the space between my rental car and the horizon. Sheep meander across the green like earthbound clouds, and the setting sun turns their fleece golden. But I see no shepherd in this idyllic still life that has hung in […]

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Of Warp and Weft…and being Deeply Rooted


By Amanda Cleary Eastep A few days ago, I joined about 100 other women at Wilson Abbey in Chicago for Deeply Rooted: A Gathering. My 20-year-old daughter was with me, and aside from a few friends, I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know their credentials, their triumphs, or their sins. I didn’t know if they were longtime […]

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The Terror of Our Blank Pages and Days


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


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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Who died and made you King of the Jews?

  By Amanda Cleary Eastep “That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.” Luke 23:12 Did you ever notice this verse in the crucifixion story? It hit me like a Roman brick this morning. We can pretty easily recall the scene in the Good Friday story where Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate […]

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What happened to the Year of Living Courageously?

By Amanda Cleary Eastep Feeding chemotherapy meds to your three-year-old, knowing it may not make a difference, takes courage. Honestly talking out that painful subject that sticks like a burr up under your heart takes some courage. So does running into a burning building, walking into divorce court, preaching the gospel to cannibals. Fill in the ________. […]

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