Friday, November 8, 2013


I wrote this for myself and Jesus told me to share it with you J

HINT: When you fail – start over at one – again & again & again

…Let me know how it goes! J J

Monday, October 28, 2013


For those of you wondering: WHAT NOW?

For the teens seniors about to graduate high school next spring, for the college students trying to navigate their majors, for the 20 somethings asking the question - when and how do I start??, for the Mom's who aren't sure of their daily impact, for the empty nesters asking a similar question of the 20 somethings - WHAT NOW?

Its common.  Purpose - is a life driver.  So it's okay to ask, depending on what season of life you are in, every year, every 10 years, or more.  For those of you wondering, I'm in the journey with you.

Here's just a little encouragement for you.  I just attended a women's retreat with my church and was so inspired by the speakers (2 ladies living out their calling!), and the fellowship of WOMEN!  There was good conversation, a few tears, and lots of laughter - the perfect recipe for inspiration.

So, I've come back with a little perspective.

A Quick summary of my post high years

  •  4 Years of Ministry & Training 
    After Graduating I went the Teen Mania Ministries to do a leadership Internship and then became a staff member, directing and counseling young women. 
  • 1 Year in India 
    After leaving Teen Mania I got prepared to spend an entire year in the beloved country of India.  I observed, I learned, I fell in love! (Spent time with and Anti-Trafficking Org & the Poorest of the Poor at Mother Teresa's Institution). 
  • 1 Year & Going at Home
    After being away for 5 years from my family and a community of people very near and dear to my heart, my main goal was to spend time here.  I also have been learning everything I can about homemaking, and have had the wonderful opportunity to develop my business skills while working at my Aunt's Fabric Store.   

All of the above were goals of mine - Although I only planned to be at Teen Mania for one year and then go to India directly after that and a slew of other things happened that I could have never EVER planned myself in the past 6 years - I feel absolutely honored and privileged and amazed at GOD and how BIG his plans are for my life.

Still, I find myself here - wondering.  Wondering again - Am I where I'm supposed to be?  Scared - Will I let my life go to waste?  Isn't that funny?  If you look at the list above you would think "She has the least reason to be worried," but I guarantee that you don't either.  That is just our little human heart - You can relate can't you?

Take a Moment - Think over the ways that God has orchestrated your life in the past 5-10 years or longer and see how many blessings you have to count. I encourage you to write them down and share them with a friend.  If you feel like you don't have many (and before you answer - Children are a blessing, family is a blessing, peace and joy are a blessing, knowing Christ is a blessing, and trials are also a blessing )- Ask yourself if you have been open to God's leading.

Have you:

  1. Asked
  2. Listened (Don't over-complicate this, God won't make it hard to hear, the hard part is the next step).
  3. Obeyed
  4. WAITED - this can be inserted before or after anyone of these steps ;))

80% of people miss the first step - ASKING

Jesus has a plan for your life - I promise!  God also has a mind BIGGER than you can imagine.  So try, try to out-dream him - You won't. 

I asked both ladies this weekend about their dreams and it was very obvious that God used a gift that he had given them and is using it for HIS glory.  For both of them, that dream was started in their (30's or later), and they agreed it was in God's perfect timing.  I guarantee that the time spent before that was not a waste though - they were in training.  

I walked away trusting that I am in this step: WAIT.  Just wait, and remember - This season is chalked full of purposeful things.  Trust that. 

Psalms 37:7

Things that everyone of us can do during the waiting season are: 
  1. LOVE - Take the opportunity and don't miss it to love the people around you, and love them well, really well.
  2. SERVE - Serve, serve, serve.  Yes - It is in fact, one of the most fulfilling things you can ever dedicate your time to. (Remember - 'Wait'resses serve)
  3. KNOW GOD - This is our ultimate purpose in life - higher than any other.  Know Jesus - as a friend, a Father, and Lord - know Him deeper, and better, and more - continuously. 

Any life fulfilling these three things is purposeful - I guarantee it - because it is in accordance with God's heart.

This is a great time of year to write down your goals for the next year.  Pray first, write them down and share them with a friend.  If you're serious about starting your dream I encourage you to meet with a friend or small group periodically to update and encourage each other on the progress of these goals.  Create a plan now.

I am challenged in this waiting season (and whatever season you are in) to live to the fullest - FULL of joy - Overflowing with love - Full of JESUS!

If you feel like you need a word on your current purpose in life - ask a friend!  Or please feel free to write me ( or on Facebook) - I would love to pray for you and see what God says.

Thank-you to all the ladies who refreshed my heart this weekend!

Monday, January 7, 2013


    Wanna know something that I've been doing this past fall?  Writing letters to a dear friend of mine - as a pen pal.  I write her once or twice a week and she writes back to me! 

    That's amazing, huh?  Well, I guess not everyone is the pen pal type of person, but I always was.  I remember having pen pals from different countries in elementary school, and to this day since being away from home in Texas and India I have stayed in touch with close friends through letters.  I write letters at least once a month.  My grandpa Troyer does the same thing, he is an avid letter writer, an Amish man with friends all over the states, and does such a good job keeping up with them!  (In fact he says he won over my Grandmother who was in another state by his letter writing! ;). 

    Some people don't like to write and the postal service definitely doesn't compete with our fast paced lives these days, however there is something special about it.

    A lot of times I write to others just to let them know that I'm thinking about them, in a way that the meaningful touch is kept in tact where in email and Facebook and even text it has the opportunity to be lost.  I write Melissa to pour out my heart.  I decided that I needed a pen pal this fall while I was in Kolkata, India because it would be hard spiritually and I wouldn't have any acquaintances there.  Melissa is a dear friend and she speaks the same language spiritually, I asked her if she would commit to writing to me - I needed her!  I wrote her the day that I arrived in Kolkata and told her about all the smells and faces that colored the city, I wrote to her every time that I needed a friend to talk to, every time I needed to share my heart, every time my heart was overloaded. 

    There wasn't an immediate response (in fact it took 2 wks for my first letter to get to her and 2 wks for me to get her response).  However my heart was not waiting in limbo at the response.  I knew that Meliss would understand and was in constant prayer for me.  Just writing it down and sending it to her did so much for me.

    We've continued to write back and forth since I've come home to the States.  What a lovely friend.  Sometimes we don't need to busy our lives with constant action, immediate response, gratification, or emotional reactions.  Indeed quick access can actually make our lives more stressful.  We do have emotions though and need a way to understand and embrace them! 

    Perhaps writing letters is a good idea for you?  Maybe you need to just go see that friend in person once every two weeks and pour your heart out - instead of just texting or FB!  See her!  Write her!  But do it well, and then your dear hear will rest!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Life in Simple


Dear Women - from my heart to yours…. A few words on Simplicity

I don't know about you but I am always in a hurry, even when I'm not in a hurry I try to do things as fast as possible.  Lately the most common thing I tell myself is…. "Shyla, just use both hands!"

Life can be so much simpler than we make it, and our minds and hearts a little ( a lot) more at ease in result.  Let's take a look at ways that we can enjoy our lives a little more:

Have a proper wake up.  Get up in enough time to wake up and ease into the day before you run into the shower, throw on a pair of matching clothes, and rush off to a busy day.  At least give yourself time to sit down with a cup of coffee and read a verse, but if you can: wake up, have breakfast with that cup of coffee, have devotions, and take time to pick our your outfit with matching shoes and jewelry ;). I learned this from a mentor of mine (Lauren :).  You'll be amazed at how much better you'll  be able to handle your entire day.  

Give yourself time.  We often underestimate the time it takes to do something.  Whether it's baking bread or putting on our makeup.  Start overestimating and giving yourself leeway in between.  You'll find yourself showing up on time to things and feeling less stressed and irritable.  If you hate wasted time, always keep a book with you to read. Give yourself two days to bake Christmas Cookies instead of one;  go Christmas shopping one day and grocery shopping on a different day; paint your nails when you have a good 2 hours to sit there and relax.  Otherwise you'll end up angry.  Everyday.

Don't multitask all the time. This is one of my faults, it's like a game I play with myself, how many things can I juggle at one time?  Put the thumbprint in the cookies once they're halfway baked, and respond to the laundry as soon each load is done, and don't make too many dishes, and call the electric company before noon, and jog around the house 5 times remembering what I need to do. My brain gets all twisted and I end up needing a nap by 2pm.  Yes, us women are pretty good at multi-tasking but, sometimes we need to protect our sanity. Just do one thing at a time, and don't let your mind go anywhere else.  Enjoy putting thumbprints in those cookies without racing on a time clock, then go to the next thing.  Make a list for yourself in the morning and once you've completed something check it off and go to the next.  Don't keep lists in your head. 

Don't do it.  When you simply find that you won't have enough time to do everything without stressing yourself out, don't do it.  Don't make a batch of cookies for your neighbor; it was a nice gesture but maybe you can do it next week.  Don't do the laundry today, wash the pair of jeans that Johnny needs and leave the rest for tomorrow.  Don't make a full coarse meal every night, by pop-it-in -the-oven answers  to meals for those times you need it - or order pizza!  Just don't do it.  Sit down for 5 minutes instead.

Know your priorities.  This will help you decide what not to do.  What are the must do's for you everyday? Is it that your kitchen is clean every morning?  Make sure you finish your dishes the day before while you still have energy, don't leave them as the last thing you do before bed, you'll be more likely to leave them for the morning and then your next day you will feel stressed at the start.  Priorities let you know what comes first in your life, and second, and third, etc.  Make a list: (1. God, 2. Famliy, 3. Job, 4. Church….).  When one task fights for the other you'll know which one to choose.  There will be sometimes that one just trumps the other though - maybe you have put off visiting your neighbor so long that you decide that today you won't clean the house, you'll go visit her.

*There are great ways to increase productivity and create systems in your life so that everything gets done, these rules are for when your smooth running system gets a bump in the belt. If you find yourself having to drop too many things you may need to check out the *re-prioritizing or *self-discipline charts. ;)

How Do You Like Your Life?
Life in Leopard Speed
Life in Flashing Red
Life in Glitter and Glue Everywhere
I like my Life in SIMPLE


*P.s. Check out my favorite Magazine: REAL SIMPLE
(They do things like create a meal menu for you for a whole month with perforated tear out grocery lists for each week in accordance - yeah that's awesome!  And you can look at the mag without being stressed out by a ton of ads).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mr. Rogers and Me

For my dearest Blog Friends - Thought you should see this video.

which did not inspire my blog :)....

I feel at home when...

I'm in Holmes County, Ohio

I'm with Nathan, Janet, or Travis
when I'm with any one member of my family I don't miss anything
Nothing is missing- I don't get tired of them

 I'm with a Dear Friend and we share our hearts with Each Other

In my Kitchen

I'm sharing My life Story - God's Beautiful Work in my Life - And the person Values It

When I'm Offering My Ear to A Woman
counseling a woman, bringing healing, showing her Christ's love; I feel a world at home there

I Pray in the Spirit

I'm Making a cup of Tea or coffee for someone

I'm with a Mennonite

I'm walking Arm in Arm with with someone 

I'm in any beautiful, Quiet Place with a Journal and my own Thoughts

When I'm Laughing
without restraint

I walk down the Indian Street

I smell a Barn

I take a Long Run

I speak about Knowing God

Standing in from a Group of People sharing a Word/ Teaching from the Lord

I'm with Jesus

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow I will say goodbye to Kolkata.  I am going home for the next two months to spend the holidays at home with my family, with potential to return to Kolkata once again.

I had such an enriching time serving with Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa's Order), and will greatly miss the 12 little brown faces and precious souls of the children in my class at the orphanage.

The lovely people at BMS, where I stay.  There's a community of young people who have travelled from Kolkata from all over the world to also serve with MOC.  I am thankful for this community.

Sweet Klara from Italy was like a sister to me at BMS

And the church that I very much felt welcomed into.  I joined the worship team and became good friends with the young people on the team, including 3 foreign girls volunteering at the church and locally.

This woman; my Indian friend, was like a sister to me.  An answered prayer.

Kolkata - an overwhelmingly chaotic, filthy, and rustic city has grown on me and overpowered me with it's beauty, kindness, and warmth.  Kolkata; a land of contradictions -yet the beauty shines through; The City of Joy.  

I will spend 4 days in Varanasi with Carl and Joann Benderoth (a family from my hometown serving in India for the past years).   Then I will tour in Dehli, the capital, for a few day's before I go home.

Ohio, See you on the 13th!