Interview: Penny Estes Wheeler

What's new?

I have my first grandchild, a little girl. Age 2 and a half. As any grandmother will tell you, she has captured my heart. She has deep brown eyes and when she smiles the whole world lights up.

What's your happiest memory of this year so far?

My sister gave me a surprise birthday party, and I was totally blown away. Despite the fact that all my kids were home, I didn't suspect anything. They pulled it off. The theme was "Turn the clock back and be a child just for tonight." I opened the door to the church fellowship hall, and found a crowd of people blowing horns and yelling surprise. The next biggest surprise was a few minutes later when they set me down at a table. A phone rang and my sister told me to answer it. It was my cousin Robbie on the phone, calling from Texas--or so I thought. A moment later she walked out to the crowd's cheers and my loud screech of joy.

Tell us about your life today.

It's a busy summer. I've just returned from New York camp meeting, an old-fashioned weeklong gathering under a big tent at Union Springs Academy. In the mornings I taught a seminar on prayer, and in the afternoons I accompanied Larissa to the Beginner meetings. In two weeks I'll take a quick trip to Los Angeles to speak at the one-day Alabaster Box womens' retreat. This fall I'll participate at the Women of Spiritual Praise convention in Orlando, Florida, and a fundraiser for Women of Spirit, elsewhere in Florida.

As ever, life is too busy. I'm a person who always has more to do than I possibly can get done. Busyness is one of the devil's greatest tools, distracting us from what's really important.

I understand you've picked up a new hobby.

It's not a new hobby. It's something I enjoyed as a teenager, and I've just started it again--scrap booking. When I sit down and scrapbook, everything else seems to fall away and I just relax. It's an outlet that lets me enjoy some tangible creativity.

About a year and a half ago I started a local reading book club, held at a quaint little bookstore that I've enjoyed frequenting for years. Our reading covers a wide span of topics, from classics to essays on life to social issues. It's amazing how we grow better and better acquainted as we discuss the books.

What are you reading in Scripture nowadays?

I love the book of Jeremiah. It's an incredible story of God's relentless pursuit of His children, no matter where they are or what road they take.

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