Enjoy these thoughts, memories and reflections.

How we probably live Psalm 23

Nov 10, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

What we say and what we do often are not the same. The words of Psalm 23 bless many: The LORD is my shepherd. I have everything that I need. But as I've looked at my life and the lives of those around me, it looks very different. In reality, it probably goes more like this: The LORD is my backup plan in case I have an emergency. What are we cheating ourselves out of? God wants to be our Shepherd, our Coach! But we leave him on the sidelines until we've messed up so badly, we have to call God to help us out.

Fully Present

Nov 03, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

Sometimes I’m here,

But also trying to be there.

Therefore, I am nowhere.


To be here in this moment,

I must be fully present –

Taking in the sights and sounds

Listening with ears and heart and mind.


If I’m also trying to be there,

I miss the value and joy of here

And feel frustrated and anxious about there.


Don’t let me miss my best life

By trying to be both

Here and there.


Help me be in the present with all my being –

Enjoying the moment to the full

Before moving to the next.


Then I shall know I have truly lived.

When the blinds fall down

When the blinds fall down
Oct 26, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

I moved into my house 13 years ago, and my first purchase was the window blinds required by the Homeowners Association. They have been fine for these many years, until one morning a month or so ago. As I opened the horizontal Venetian blinds, one side dropped down, then the center dropped. I knew the other remaining side wouldn't stay up for long. Out came the ladder, and I carefully figured out how to take the whole blind down from the window to have a look. As I did that, pieces of plastic fell on the floor. There was nothing large enough to identify what it had been. I collected these in a plastic bag and headed to Lowe's where I had purchased them.

Finding what to say

Oct 21, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

For those who know me, Finding what to say may sound like a strange title. I almost always have something to say. But faced with what to say on a podcast or radio show left me speechless. What do I have to share that is unique? I know there must be something after all these years, but what is it? Also, the content needs to be evergreen (appropriate at any time). I attended a Podcast webinar on Thursday, and one of the speakers, Juliet Hahn, said something profound, at least for me. She said, meditate about your life. Go for a walk, take a shower, do whatever inspires you. Think what message I have that is unique and worth talking about.

Appreciate someone now

Oct 12, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

I have a close friend who has stage 4 cancer. There is a slim possibility that chemotherapy will extend her life for a year or two. But she isn't yet up to having chemotherapy. She needs to build up her strength and eat! So, we wait to see what the outcome will be. My friend has had a huge influence on my life for 40 years! I am the person I am today because of her. So, what can I do today to encourage her? She has many friends and colleagues, and one of them suggested we all remind her of how she made a difference in our lives. So, we are sending messages to her while she can read them and remember. Why wait until someone has died before we say all those nice things? They can't hear them then. Our words don't encourage them at that point. So, if you care about someone, tell them today. Don't wait. We never know when our time on earth will come to an end. 

When does passion become obsession?

Oct 06, 2023 by Leoma G Gilley

I recently read Learning Love by Mark Hicks. His fifth component of Love is Passion. He has some wise words like "Passion is not the icing on the cake. It is fuel in the car." (p144) or in other words, "Passion is the energy that propels love." (151) When we have the opportunity to work in an area about which we are passionate, work is not drudgery, it's a blessing. Sometimes I think, I would do this even if I didn't get paid! 

For those with a calling to accomplish something, passion is necessary to keep going in the face of challenges and setbacks. But there is a danger lurking here when "passion" becomes an "obsession".

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.