A Mother’s Prayer

I have prayed for the future wife of my son since he was an infant. Today my son will marry the woman of his dreams, and I am thankful. I sat with the bride’s mother last night at the rehearsal dinner and learned that she too prayed for her daughter’s future husband. God has been faithful to answer our prayers.


My new prayer is that their marriage will be grounded in faith in Jesus Christ and His teaching. I pray that they will cherish and attempt to outdo the other in giving, forgiving, and loving.

I hope my daughter-in-law will come to love me as a second mother and I pray for God’s wisdom as to how I can be a good mother-in-law.

As I see their joyous smiles, I pray their new life together will be filled with faith, love, laughter, and hope.

Thank you, Father, for answered prayers.

A New Direction to Hope

I’ve decided to take a new direction with my blog posts. This site is not going to be about me, but about HIM. My deepest desire is for this site always to inspire hope. God has given me the idea to invite friends to share true stories of hope, and overcoming during a time of trial.

Last week, I attended the ACFW conference in Dallas. It was a blessing to meet so many talented Christian writers seeking to glorify God with words. Many gifted women have agreed to share their true stories of overcoming during a time of trial with you. There are also women in my community and church who will be sharing stories of grace. My prayer is that you will be as encouraged as I have been when you read their stories.

My deepest longing is that this site will be a place where women discover friendship and hope. If you have a story of hope to share, please send an email to

Stop by often for Friendship, Hope, and Fried Fruit Pies. There’s a fruit for every season. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” Galatians 6:23-24

#friendshiphope&friedfruitpies #hope4women #hopeforwomen

Mission Possible Through Prayer

I apologize that it’s been three weeks since I last posted, but I’ve been to Kenya on a mission trip. Your prayers made this mission possible.  Thank you. On the morning of our departure, my phone zinged at 4:30 am, and a text message notified me that our flight was cancelled. I posted an urgent prayer request, you answered, and God worked out the details.

After twenty-eight hours of getting off and on planes, six of us landed at the Nairobi airport on time. Two of our team members were re-routed through London, and they arrived the following morning without luggage. We spent Saturday resting and going through orientation. loading truckEarly Sunday morning, we climbed into the ACTS truck and departed for the Tharakaland District.


After four hours, the tarmac disappeared, and it was rough roads for another four hours. The long journey was worth the effort. Click on the link below to see and hear the believers who welcomed us.

On the first morning, Pastor Daniel told us that he’d been praying for missionaries to visit for thirty years. There is much we can learn about patience and hope from Pastor Daniel.

pastor daniel

We partnered with the local church members, and Kathy, our host missionary, divided us into eight teams to visit homes. Each team consisted of one American and four or five Kenyans.  Every person had a role: Greetings and introductions, sharing our testimony, explaining God’s plan for salvation, inquiring about prayer request, and offering an invitation to accept Christ.

Some teams walked in the equatorial sun for five hours. I had the opportunity to travel to homes on a piki-piki. I could have changed teams, but my heart was drawn to Jennifer, Janet, Pastor Pious, Pastor Silas and Meshach. I was reluctant to ride the piki piki, but I remembered the scripture. John 21:17 “A third time he asked him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Then feed my sheep.’”


Our assignment was to help the local believers to learn to share the gospel. The eight teams shared the gospel with over one-hundred and fifty people that afternoon and about twenty accepted Jesus as their savior.





The next morning started up with Vacation Bible School for the children.  One group of children traveled a very long distance the day before, thinking that the first day was the beginning of the activities.  Thankfully, the local folks took them into their homes for the night, and they were able to return the next morning.  The first day the children came slowly, all through the morning – the second day there was a huge crowd by 9:00 am!  Day one ended with around 90 total and on the second day, there were over a hundred.  The second day the gospel was shared with the older children using the salvation bracelet colors, and many of them accepted Jesus as well.

parachuteDuring the last two afternoons, adult classes were offered.  The first day the Women and Men split up, and the Women discussed health issues that relate solely to women.  We had a good time of fellowship as we shared how God made women from both America and Kenya so much alike.  The Men started out discussing Livestock issues and challenges, feed, and how to make a fly trap to decrease the number of flies around their cattle and ended up talking about HIV prevention and Men’s health issues.

treatmentThe last afternoon, we held the adult class together and discussed General Health and Hygiene Issues and Water Purification.  Just over a hundred people attended that class.  At the end of each session, the gospel was shared, and an opportunity for people to respond was given.  On the last day, a few people were treated to reading glasses and some minor external medical treatments.

On the third night in Tharakaland, we showed the JESUS film and over one-hundred people attended.

filmAt the invitation time, there were several who responded and prayed to accept Christ.  All in all around sixty decisions were totaled during the week!  Before this week, the preaching point that was meeting under the tree averaged around twenty people.  The Sunday after the team left, forty-five people were in attendance!  One of the highlights of the work was when everyone gathered to pray, bless, and officially open the group meeting under the tree as a ‘church.’

I hope to recruit a team to visit Niger in August 2016, and return to Kenya in August 2017. I am praying for dentists to join the Kenya team. When Don Phillips asked me to go to Africa on three different occasions, I declined, and he asked me to pray about it. When I finally prayed, God removed all barriers, and I knew I was called to go. So I’ll ask you to do what Don asked me to do. Please pray about it.

JenniferThere’s always one person who touches a special place in my heart on a mission trip. This year, it was Jennifer. She held my hand as I approached homes to share the gospel. If a stray dog came close, she stepped in front of me. Each morning, she was one of the first to arrive, carrying a bench from her home. When we lined up to accept gifts from the local church, she had an extra gift for me. I didn’t know what to do when she handed me a young chicken. In a home that probably only had one chicken, this was a great sacrifice. Her act of generosity made me reconsider whether or not I could return to Kenya and Niger.

Your prayer made this mission possible. My prayer for you is that you too will be called to go. Come with me, and experience what it means to be someone’s answer to prayer. It is a blessing I will never forget.

#AfricanMissions #prayerandmissions #kenyamissions



What’s In a Name?

Most American names are difficult for African nationals to pronounce. Therefore,  on my first visit to Africa, Hamsetu christened me with the African name of Waseela. My sister was given the name Miriama which might be considered a version of the name “Mary” and another teammate was called Nadia or “delicate.” When I asked the meaning of Waseela, I was told it was a common name for a servant. My posture became rigid. “Servant?” I questioned. And she nodded.


Later that evening, we were having dinner at the home of our host missionaries, and I met a kind man helping in the kitchen. His name is Hama. The missionaries we were visiting don’t have a household of servants, but there is desperate poverty, and they do their best to help others by giving them work. Hama’s face brightened when I said, “My name is Waseela.”

Hama clapped his hands together. “My sister’s name is Waseela.”

It shames me to tell you of my prideful heart. I was offended because I’d been given a common name for servants. Shame on me. Perhaps a better name would have been “Arrogant Ostrich.”

Through the week of working with children, God removed a few scales from my eyes as I played with children and cleaned their beautiful faces. One little girl, in particular, touched my heart. Her name is Nafeesa. If she said “Waseela” once, she said it a thousand times.

I had taken fingernail polish to paint the little girls’ nails in VBS. What I hadn’t realized is that nail polish won’t stick to dirty nails. Being the germaphobe I am, I’d carried an excess of hand sanitizing wipes. As I cleaned Nafeesa’s rough hands and calloused feet, I was reminded of Jesus cleaning the feet of his disciples. “Father, forgive me,” I prayed. I painted her nails a bright shade of orange, and the look of joy on her face will stay with me forever.

I believe one of the reasons God has burdened me to return to Africa time and again, is so that he can complete the work that’s necessary to change my prideful heart. At least He’s helped me understand that Hamsetu honored me when she called me, “Servant.” Please pray that I can live up to my African name in the coming days. My name is a Waseela, and I am a servant of the Lord.

#Africanmissions #Nigermissions



Do Your Own Thing

This weekend my community hosted our annual Garden Spot 5K walk/run. What I love most about this event is that I see many people I know, but with whom I rarely cross paths. It’s a time of fellowship and fun.


I walk most days with my dogs, but I rarely push myself, so I knew winning was unlikely. But when the starting horn blared, my competitive nature kicked in, and I was in it to win it! At least for my age category.

When I crossed the first mile-marker, my head was up, and I was pushing forward, with everything I had, knowing that no one in my age bracket was ahead of me. Then an old schoolmate, Jane, passed me. I was huffing, but and Jane was smooth and in the groove. She was barely sweating. I called out to her, but she couldn’t hear me because she was listening to music. In fact, she couldn’t see me. She was focused on the road.

As the gap between us lengthened, I slowly deflated. I finished the race in good time, but I didn’t push myself after Jane passed me. After the race, my husband patted me on the back and said, “You finished great. You still had gas in the tank.”


As I considered what he said, I was disappointed in myself. Not because I didn’t win. But because I didn’t do my best. I’d forgotten something important — to run my own race. Comparison is crippling.

I congratulated Jane for placing third and teased her about passing me. She was a gracious winner and said, “This morning, Mickey told me, ‘You’ve got this! Do your own thing.’” Mickey, Jane’s husband, gave her good advice.

Maybe next year, if God continues to bless me with the ability and health to be in the race, I’ll remember Mickey’s words. Perhaps, when I cross the finish line, no matter where I place, I’ll feel good because I’ve done my best.

Comparison is crippling. “Do your own thing.” Push yourself to do your best, and you can have a smile as bright as Jane’s.



#doyourownthing, #runyourownrace, #doyourbest

The Benefits of Being Covered by Prayer

As I count down the final days before my mission trip to Africa, one might think I would be nervous. After all, earlier I started having panic attacks. I am definitely outside my comfort zone with this adventure for many reasons. Travelling in a huge truck over rough terrain is daunting. If it rains, the roads will become muddy. We are going to be camping. Many of the people we will meet have never seen a white person. The food will be unfamiliar. It is impossible for me to control the sanitation of the water or the food that will be packed for us. There are countless other things that have caused me to lose sleep. But I’m now in the period that I like to call “the period of prayer.” I feel confident, excited, and hopeful. And I know this is not because of my faith. It’s because of you and your prayers. Many of you have already started praying for us, and I am grateful.

a woman is praying to god with hope

Some of the ways God has answered your prayers this week is by providing VBS material featuring people of Africa that included language written in Swahili. I’m a librarian with skilled researchers available, but I came up short. I’d given up and was resigned to using a children’s Bible written for children of color. On Monday evening, my sister reconnected with a friend who has travelled on many mission trips to Tanzania. She discover he had the material we needed. Lifeway discontinued a line of posters featuring people of Africa. However, they gave him the material in PDF format with permission to reproduce it for mission work in Africa. Talk about a needle in a haystack? The material is being printed on laminated posters for the team “Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy!” Psalm 126:3


Another resource God provided this week was language help. Our library recently subscribed to a service called Mango Languages. While reviewing the tutorial yesterday, I discovered it includes Swahili, and there’s an Ap. for my phone. I had a sheet of common greetings, but I wondered about the pronunciation.

I serve a God, who meets my every need. Thank you prayer warriors. God has answered your prayers. Please keep praying for our team. “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive it, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22

Three Words

I’ve been working on my “Brand” and let me tell you, this is not an easy assignment. The task is to identify three words that will distinguish my writing from other writers. Three words or less that will give my audience an impression or expectation of how my stories will meet their needs.

Brand Branding Marketing Commercial Name Concept

This exercise prompted me to consider my mission. What do I want to accomplish through my writing? Who is my target audience? How will the reader benefit? What expectations have my readers already formed?

I write because I want to share God’s plan for salvation with sensitivity and grace, in a friendly, non-threatening manner. It’s my desire that everyone have hope because they have Christ.

I want my readers to feel as if they’ve spent time with friends.

Two girls are enjoying living room.

The setting for my stories will always be a rural community in the South because that’s what I know.

Coffee table with teacups and tasty pie in garden

What three words would you use to describe my stories and blogs? Why do you read my blog? What is your expectation?


I’m anxious to see your opinions.

Until I post again,



Do You Have a Super Power?

As we approach the leave date for our mission trip to Kenya, there are countless small details to nail down. On top of that, summer is the busiest season in the library where I work. Also, my agent is waiting for my polished proposal. I’m sure you too have countless tasks waiting for your attention. It seems we all lead busy lives.

The other night I tossed and turned as I mentally worked through my “To Do” list. Lord, Help me! I prayed.

On Thursday morning, I dressed in my super librarian t-shirt, added my boots and cape and couldn’t help but laugh at myself. As I considered how I’d started my day, I discovered the root of my problem, and it’s not that I have too many things to accomplish. My normal routine is to start the day in prayer and Bible study. But I’ve been skipping my “Daily Bread” and launching head-first into my writing work.


When will I ever learn? “I can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I’m back to my normal routine of starting the day in His word, and the result is that I feel powerful. I feel like “I can do All things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens me.

Put God first and fill yourself with His “Super Power” and you can accomplish His will. And that is all that’s  important. Not my will, but His will be done.


Footsteps and Fingerprints

Allen County’s citizens celebrated their bicentennial this week, and I was honored to serve on the Scottsville Rotary Club’s time capsule committee. The container will be opened on July 3, 2065. I walked the streets of Scottsville and snapped pictures of people working in local businesses. It’s easy to forget that we are living history every day and leaving footprints.


I can’t help but wonder if anyone will remember me when the container is opened. What will be the evidence of a life well lived?

Will the children who visit our library have a fond memory of Mrs. Shelia? If they do, I hope it is a sweet memory of discovering a lifelong love of reading. Perhaps one of them will be the library director.


Will the children who attend my church remember me? Is it too much to dream that one of these children will develop a passion for African missions? Maybe Niger will be considered a Christian nation in fifty years.


Last week I wrote about Camp Habitat’s five-year anniversary. Wouldn’t it be something if Camp Habitat has spread throughout the nation in fifty years?


Fifty years will pass in the blink of any eye. I am thankful for the reminder to consider the opportunities God has given me to leave fingerprints on the lives I touch today.

“So then neither the one who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:7

“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against these things there is no law.” Galatians 5: 22-23.



Do Something

I’ve spent the week working as a crew chief at a Christian youth service camp, Camp Habitat. A coworker asked me, “Are you ever going to do nothing?” My off the cuff reply was, “I’m looking forward to that day.” But I immediately regretted my thoughtless remark because I know that if I’m doing nothing, it will be because I am physically unable. I am thankful for my health and ability to serve.

Many people have disabilities and feel they can’t help. But the volunteers at Camp Habitat proved that most of us can do something. Two members of our Camp Operations staff were on oxygen, and another two have physical disabilities that require them to use a walker. In the weeks leading up to Camp Habitat, they made phone calls to recruit volunteers, solicited donations, and assembled first aid kits. During the camp, they monitored who entered and exited the building and gave minor first aid. If we arrived at a job site and needed additional supplies, all we had to do was call Camp Ops., and they would send someone with the requested item(s).


I learned that one of our crew chiefs had to take the morning off for a dialysis appointment. Roy doesn’t make a big deal about his condition. When I asked him about his condition, he said, “When I was diagnosed with this illness, I was given a life sentence, not a death sentence. I decided to live my life each day to the best of my ability.” I appreciate Roy giving me permission to share his comments with you. In the picture below, Roy is the gentleman standing in the back wearing the green t-shirt. He and his crew repaired the steps for this homeowner.


I pray I can appreciate each day, regardless of my circumstances, with the grace that Roy demonstrates daily. Anyone who spends any amount of time with Roy will see that Jesus Christ lives in his heart.

I’ve served with Camp Habitat for the past five years with each of the volunteers below and hope to be able to continue this activity. At the age of fifty-four, I was the youngest crew chief. I was blessed to be able to serve with Roy and other senior adults who could be home enjoying retirement and doing nothing. Instead, they’ve seen the value of living life to the best of their ability and serving others.


Camp Habitat has a different theme each year and this year’s the motto was, Do Something. And the kids and volunteers lived up to the motto. There were eight crews comprised of four teens and one adult leader. We worked on projects such as painting, cleaning gutters, trimming shrubs, cleaning aluminum siding, caulking windows, building handrails, repairing steps, and washing windows. These eight crews worked on thirty-five home sites in our community and completed seventy-eight projects. The most important thing we did for each homeowner was to pray with them, and many of them prayed for us. I received blessings and more blessings.

I am thankful for the health and ability to participate in Camp Habitat. The homeowners were a joy to meet, the youth gave me hope for the future of our community, and the other volunteers inspired me to serve to the best of my ability. Each of us has a gift to offer, but if we don’t use our talents, sometimes we lose them. Please don’t squander your gifts. Look around and seek opportunities to “do something,” and you will be blessed.

#camphabitat #habitatforhumanity