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Events and Learning Cohorts

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The Wonder Years: Living Fully, Deeply, and Joyfully in the Second Half of Life

Tue 11.05.19 @ 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM CST

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Why do we feel we’re racing against time? How do we respond to a sense of loss, invisibility, limitation, and fears about the years ahead? We’re all getting older, but “aging is not for the thin-boned or the faint of heart,” Leslie writes; rather, how do we make the second half of our lives the best half?

Leslie Fields, award-winning author of ten books, has compiled and edited the accounts of forty impressive women of faith spanning ages 40 to 85. In her book, these women upend their anxieties about aging with compelling first-person stories full of humor, sass, and spiritual wisdom. Highlights include essays on everything from Elisabeth Elliot on “Sacrifice and Offering” and Brené Brown on “Cultivating Creativity” to Lauren Winner on “Living with Intention” and Luci Shaw on “Embracing Adventure.” In her presentation, Leslie will unpack the wisdom needed to age honestly, beautifully, and faithfully in our “years of wonder.”

A full breakfast* will be served starting at 8:30 am. Our program will start promptly at 9:00 am.


Leslie Leyland Fields is the author of twelve books, including The Wonder Years: 40 Women Over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty and Strength and Crossing the Waters: Following Jesus through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt and the Seas, which won Christianity Today’s 2017 Book Award in Christian Living. Her essays have appeared in Christianity Today, In Touch Magazine,, The Atlantic, Orion, and Best Essays. Leslie has won four Evangelical Press Awards, a Pushcart nomination, and three “Best Book of 2010” awards (for The Spirit of Food). Her forthcoming book is Your Story Matters: Finding, Writing and Living the Truth of Your Life (April 2020).

With graduate degrees in English and Journalism and an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction, Leslie has taught extensively in undergraduate and graduate programs over thirty years. Since 2013 she has led The Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop on her family’s island in Alaska with guest writers including Ann Voskamp, Philip Yancey, Bret Lott, Luci Shaw, and Jeanne Murray Walker. Additionally, Leslie leads The Lake Michigan Writer’s Workshop, teaching writers at all levels the craft and art of spiritual memoir. She also travels and teaches on a range of faith and culture topics at conferences, churches and retreats throughout the U.S. and the world. But home is best. She lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska, where she and her family commercial salmon fish during the summers. And where she gets to smoke salmon and make jam all summer long.


*We enjoy extending hospitality to our community. If you are able, we invite guests to consider a $5 contribution for breakfast on the day of the event.



Tue 11.05.19
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM CST


Upper House
365 East Campus Mall, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53715 United States
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