About Lelia


First of all, the name.

Tip: ignore the “I”.

I am named after my maternal grandmother and it is pronounced “Lee luh”. If you know me prior to 1995, you know me as Lea which is what I was called from the day I was born. It wasn’t until the age of 25 when I received my name tag at work with my birth name on it that I began to introduce myself as Lelia. So, if I know you before ’95, please feel free to call me Lea as I know Lelia doesn’t come natural for you. ~smiles~

In 2007 I started writing on my blog Write from the Heart and in July 2011, made my new cyberspace home here, dropping the name Write from the Heart.

I am currently working on a book for women encouraging them to stop hiding among the baggage of their past and let God use their story for His glory.

I have led 5 blog on-line Bible studies with author interaction from March 2008-June 2009 known as YES to GOD Tuesday’s with women all over the United States, Malaysia and even Australia. (All the posts from the studies are listed on the right side of the blog.)

Click on each book cover to visit the author’s website   YES to GOD study #1         YES to GOD study #2      Yes to God study #3   YES to GOD study #4 YES to GOD study #5                        

Part of my ongoing testimony…

In 2006, on the way home from volunteering for the 2nd year in a row at a Family Life Weekend to Remember marriage conference, my husband Gene and I confessed to one another that we had both been unfaithful in our marriage. Choosing forgiveness immediately, we allowed God to work in our hearts and on our marriage. Not only did Gene choose to forgive me for cheating, he also forgave me for a pregnancy by the other man and my secret choice to have an abortion. You can read more of our story in this post, Adultery: To forgive or not to forgiveSince 2005, we have been blessed to be a part of the volunteer team for the Weekend to Remember conference in our area every March and urge all couples to attend one. 

In July 2011 I was asked by author Pat Layton to consider becoming a National Trainer for her ministry to post-abortion women called Surrendering the Secret {STS}. After much prayer, I completed training in Tampa, Florida in November 2011 with Pat and am currently a Certified Leader for STS. You can read more of my healing journey of abortion here.

In 2010, God gave me the idea of starting a women’s conference. I had no details for 3 years, except that it wasn’t to be at a church. Every time I met with my girlfriends we’d pray about the conference. Finally, in August 2012 God gave me a clear direction on the conference and the green light to begin planning. The team was formed and monthly meetings began to plan for the first annual “Refresh my Heart” women’s conference. God blew us away with this conference. He provided everything, even the deposit needed for the conference site. He sold the conference out and brought women from not only Nebraska, but also Pennsylvania and Georgia to come together and refresh their hearts in Him. When God asks you to do something, my advice: Just say YES!

To sum it up…

I am a wife, mom of three and became a very young grandma of two before I turned forty in 2010. I love Jesus, family, friends, reading, walking and a cup of cappuccino with cool whip on top. I love to write and talk about God’s greatness and can often be seen driving through my neighborhood looking for Kane, the family’s faithful and adventurous dog.

I am a woman who has an ugly past that only God can handle all the details of and yet He still finds me usable, which blows me away. I have no idea where you are in your life or what you’ve done, but know that you have a God who is crazy for you and loves you no matter where you’ve been.

You can find daily posts on this blog that will make you laugh, sometimes cry and hopefully always leave you feeling encouraged. So that you don’t miss out on a post or speaking engagement, you can sign up to receive my posts to your email on the upper right corner of my blog.

Above saying “I do” to Gene Chealey, having his babies and becoming Gwamma, trusting God has been the best thing this woman in Nebraska has ever done.

God is worth getting to know and love.



1/22/09: Guest post on top Christian blog, It’s Almost Naptime on abortion. (Missy re-ran the original post on January 31, 2013)

11/2009: Devotional for  She Seeks (a division of Proverbs 31 Ministries) called Kept out for my own Good on the topic of boundaries.

4/2012: I was invited to be a guest on a conference call with Proverbs 31 MinistriesMelissa Taylor. After hearing my story of God’s redeeming love, she wrote a post on her blog called “Dirty Bad Girl”.

5/2012: I wrote a post for the blog of Proverbs 31 MinistriesRenee Swope, which she titled “Confessions of an Empty Heart.”

8/2012: Asked to re-post my blog post: “Don’t call me that, Jesus doesn’t” on the ICU blog, an amazing ministry of mobile ultrasound that allows women considering abortion to see their baby.

8/17/2012: My blog post, “Don’t call me that, Jesus doesn’t” was re-posted by Focus on the Family‘s Facebook page, I Am Pro-Life.

*Photo credit: Tami (Lyman) Maytum, childhood and lifelong friend