Enjoy these thoughts, memories and reflections.

Greeting the Unexpected

Sep 22, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

Have you ever had your week nicely planned, ready to go, and then something happens and it all falls apart? That happened to me this week. I was expecting to enjoy a week-long retreat in North Carolina with my Brigit sisters. We planned this months ago. I bought all the ingredients for the food I planned to prepare for a meal. I bought the food necessary for a Sunday School picnic on Saturday before going to the retreat. Then I got an email...

Thanks for coming

Thanks for coming
Sep 14, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

Last Saturday, I had my first book signing event. One lady walked into the Cedar Springs Christian Store, looked to her right and saw me. She mouthed, "Are you an author?" I said, "Yes." She came over and said she was also a writer. We talked about that and the Authors Guild. Another arrival was a friend from graduate school I hadn't heard from in nearly 20 years. As I signed her book, we caught up on a few things. It was great.

I'm launching out into unknown territory again

Sep 08, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

This week, I've been on my first podcast, Read My Lips, Cool conversations with creatives. It was a lot of fun and the link will be available soon.

Authors like to write, not market

Authors like to write, not market
Aug 23, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

As with most authors I've talked with, our passion is writing. However, if no one knows what you've written, it defeats the purpose. So, for the last three years, I've been part of Women in Publishing (WIP). Alexa Bigwarfe is amazing. She has created so many resources for authors to learn how to market, publish, write and sell their books. I have learned SO much. I got started during the COVID pandemic as WIP put on a virtual summit. It was worth every penny. Afterwards, I joined their mentor program and again, picked up so many ideas. It also built my confidence and courage. 

At Home

Jan 24, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

At Home

by Leoma Gilley


John 15: 9 Remain intimately at home in my love. (The Message)


Visitors are met at the door.

Residents just come and go.

Visitors may be invited in.

Residents know they belong.

Visitors are told where they can go.

Residents enjoy the run of the house.

Into the Unknown

Dec 08, 2022 by Leoma G Gilley
The first book of my memoir series is Releasing the Known before Launching into the Unknown tells the story of my unexpected adventure. Using a letter writing format, I share my experiences with my family back home, and also now with my readers. I think you will enjoy this examination of the world outside my normal boundaries. Laugh and learn with me about how different and yet how similar life in another culture can be.

Where is your HOPE?

Nov 15, 2022 by Leoma G Gilley

Psalm 42:11 says, "I will put my hope in God!" 
In reflecting on these words, I decided to put the emphasis in different places. Here's what I discovered.

I will put my hope in God. This is a choice that I have to make. No one can do it for me.
I WILL put my hope in God. This is a decision that I must actively pursue. It won't just happen.
I will PUT my hope in God I will turn loose of my fears and worries, and give them to the One who loves me best.

Not How I Planned It

Not How I Planned It
Nov 06, 2022 by Leoma G Gilley
In my 20s, I thought I had life figured out. Don't we all? But God had other things in mind for my life, and when I gave control over to God, strange things happened. I found myself with two degrees in Speech and Language Pathology and a comfortable job. The next thing I knew, I was studying linguistics in Texas and shortly after that, on my way to Africa. Who would have thought that!? And so life has been one adventure after another. That's why I titled my new memoir series: Not How I Planned It.

A New Series Is On The Way

Aug 29, 2022 by Leoma G Gilley
I'm excited to announce that my previous book about Sudan, Every Day But Not Some, is growing into a series. At nearly 500 pages, it was bulky for a travel book, and the print was small (otherwise, it would have been bigger!). 

Ramadan begins on April 2, 2022

Mar 07, 2022 by Leoma G Gilley
Are you aware that during the month of Ramadan Muslims are seeking to hear from God? Yes, they are also obeying one of the 5 pillars of Islam. Having lived in a predominantly Muslim country for many years, I wanted to find a way to pray for my Muslim friends during this season. Prayers of Faith and Hope was written to help guide us in this endeavor. Join me this season to pray for Muslims around the world.

Reflection for Psalm 31:21

Jan 31, 2022 by Leoma G Gilley

Praise the LORD, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. (Psalm 31:21 NLT)


When I was young, I knew about your love.

As I faced various disasters and challenges, I felt your love.

As I moved into new and varied cultures, made mistakes, burned out, I learned of your unfailing love.

As I wait on you, listen for your voice, hear you call my name, I begin to behold the wonder of your unfailing love.

A task unfinished

Jan 24, 2022 by Leoma G Gilley

I have a task and there’s a deadline

Don’t know what the deadline is—

Just that there is one.


Happy Birthday, Mom

Happy Birthday, Mom
Dec 24, 2021 by Leoma G Gilley

On this 24th day of December 2021, my precious mother, Frances Mable Christabel Tripp Gilley, would be 103. She left us 10 years ago, and it is hard to believe that much time has passed. I still miss her.

Advent 1

Dec 06, 2021 by Leoma G Gilley

I have a Lover who waits for me;

Offers me love and blessings for free.

He promised any good gift, you see

If I accepted his ransom for me.

Tis the Season

Tis the Season
Nov 10, 2021 by Leoma G Gilley
We are barreling into the holiday season. Much of the "stuff" we want is still sitting in containers on ships in the ocean waiting to get to port. Maybe this is a good time to BUY LOCAL. 

It is also the season for craft fairs, that present us with a great opportunity to BUY LOCAL. Recently I've attended several of these shows, as a vendor. I sell my books, and it is fascinating to watch how people respond to a table filled with physical books. They either look the other way and keep at a safe distance or light up and rush over to look.

Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing
Sep 29, 2021 by Leoma G Gilley
Forest Bathing

I grew up among water and trees
but recently learned forest bathing frees
us from stress, relieves depression, gives rest.

"Come sit with Me at water's edge."
"Maybe later" I always pledge.
But how can I stop? So much to do.
When is there time to follow through?

Living in Lockdown in Uganda

Living in Lockdown in Uganda
Sep 08, 2021 by Leoma G Gilley
We had all just arrived and settled into the Lweza Training and Conference Centre. There were 27 students and about seven staff members. We were beginning an intense eight-week course with the Institute for the Development of Languages and Translation in Africa (iDELTA). The COVID-19 situation in Uganda had been getting worse, but it was still a surprise when the government ordered a lockdown. Public transportation was stopped. Private cars had to have special permission to travel. We were well and truly staying in Uganda!

Hurricane Ida

Aug 31, 2021 by Leoma G Gilley
As rescue workers and others assess the damage from hurricane Ida, they need our prayers for strength and success. There are so many in need of help. Here is a prayer from Praying for BIG Things.



Aug 27, 2021 by Leoma G Gilley

As we watch the horror, chaos and trauma that is today's Afghanistan, our hearts go out to the many who want to leave but can't. We feel for those who have left, but are still in an in between (liminal) space, having left, but not yet having arrived. My book Praying for BIG Things has a whole section on praying for refugees, miggrants and others in stressful situations. Here is a prayer against discouragement.

Life is like a box of chocolates...

Jun 19, 2021 by Leoma G Gilley

I admit it; I was too confident. I’m fully vaccinated. I tested negative when I got on the plane. Then I got to Uganda and was in contact with two COVID-19 positive people. Sometimes I had failed to wear my mask, after all, I’m vaccinated. Right? Wrong.


For the past few days, I felt achy and lethargic. I dragged myself to class, returning to my room to collapse on my bed. My allergies started kicking in, so I started treating them. Then I got the “runs”, which I still have. I think that may be giardia (my not so favorite friend and frequent companion in Africa). Today the tiredness was just beyond what I could stand, and just walking around made breathing difficult. I felt like I had a low-grade fever, so asked Margaret to give me a COVID test. Yes, I’m positive. I’m the 3rd teacher on the course to fall to this.