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

sheep-pasture

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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A Communion of Chocolate and Generations

elderly-hands

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I break the chocolate wafer into pieces while it’s still in its holiday foil wrapper. Caramel oozes from the cracks as I carefully unwrap it and offer it up to my great aunt. “It’s like communion,” I tell her. She chuckles and says it’s sticky. We are visiting her in the […]

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I Will Welcome Winter as a Sabbath

fallen-tree-snow

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I have two memories of snow. They stick like individual snowflakes to window glass, their intricacies blatantly announcing God’s mathematical genius…his ability to condense the universe into a melting, faceted jewel (or the savior into a newborn)… I am nine and caroling with my parents and their friends and children. The sky is […]

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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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Of Warp and Weft…and being Deeply Rooted

weaving-board

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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So far so good! (said the falling man)

jump-tall-building

By Amanda Cleary Eastep Here’s the joke… An optimist falls off a 10-story building. As he passes the sixth story, someone yells from the window, “How’s it going?” The man yells back, “So far, so good!” This is kind of how it feels after you make a big leap. Like quitting your job. Depending on […]

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Hitting the reset button on your life

girl-skateboard

By Amanda Cleary Eastep My breakfast was so pretty I took a picture. And posted it on social media, of course. I felt proud, like it was my kid, and this was her first day of Kindergarten. Ok, sure, it was just two fried eggs sprinkled with roasted and crushed kale, diced fresh tomato, apple […]

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