I am a life-long foreign language educator, specializing in Spanish Language and English as a Second Language. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies, and a Master of Education degree in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and Language Acquisition. I am fluent in Spanish, and have ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language) Bilingual Certification at the Advanced level in both oral proficiency and written language in Spanish. I have taught Spanish at all levels, K-12, in both public and private schools, English Immersion grades 2-5, and Spanish Immersion grade 4. After a 30+ year career in K-12, mostly in Tulsa Public Schools, I moved on to manage the adult ESL and citizenship programs of YWCA Tulsa’s Immigrant and Refugee Services for almost eight years.
Throughout my life I have also been involved in music and writing. As a singer/song writer, I have experience in both religious and secular venues. My writing has been published in both print and online formats, including the Tulsa World, Arizona Literary Magazine, and the Amy Writing Foundation. I have won awards, including cash prizes, for my writing in poetry and inspirational/creative non-fiction categories. My current book, GodSway: My Anecdotes with God, is under contract with MSI Press, LLC, and will be released in October.
Phew! Now that all the formal background stuff is out of the way, the most relevant work here is my life-time involvement in faith-based communities, spiritual growth, and church leadership. I was part of a gospel trio, a worship team, and for many years have attended and led Bible Studies and Life Groups. At my current church I have served on the Prayer Team, the Host Team, and the Chazown Experience Team, and as a Community Leader. This important work continues…
My journey-of-faith account in GodSway: My Anecdotes with God, details a lifetime of extraordinary divine encounters. Beginning with messages from God in my childhood, my faith in God was for many years countered by episodes of engulfing fear, culminating in one terrifying attack at age 16. In a last-ditch effort to rid myself of the torment, I challenged God’s love for me and trusted Him to overcome the darkness. God responded and over the years filled my life with a heavenly outpouring of messages, dreams, small and large wonders, and outright miracles, molding me into a woman of audacious faith in the powerfully loving and intimately involved Creator.
My first realization that my true stories about God could be life-changing for others came while prepping my 4th-grade Spanish Immersion students for Spring testing. One of the vocabulary words tripping them up was ‘anecdote’ which they confused with ‘antidote.’ I used a personal story from my life to illustrate the difference. At the end of the anecdote, several wide-eyed youngsters asked incredulously, “Mrs. Keathley, did that really happen?!”
Since the first time I shared a personal story and saw the impact it had, I love nothing more than telling my amazing God stories to anyone who is present when it seems relevant to share them. In addition to family members, I've exchanged God stories with coworkers, with teacher friends, with students of all ages, and with my host family in Mexico. I even did a project with my high school Spanish students at a private Christian school, challenging their faith and their Spanish language skills with their own Anécdota con Dios assignment.
Now retired from YWCA Tulsa I & R, I’m doing what I love most - sharing my God stories whenever and wherever He leads me.
Many people are familiar with verses 8 and 9 of Psalm 145: “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Those words are so true and comforting, but most people don’t know the larger, overriding theme of the Psalm about declaring God’s mighty deeds to others. Just the list of verbs is impressive: praise, declare, meditate, speak, utter, sing, bless, talk, make known. These are among the ways in which we are to spread the knowledge of God’s incredible goodness and power. Some of the verses refer to the mightiest work of the cross. By extension, however, I believe these verses also include all of the wonders and miracles that each of us is privy to – the specific amazing things God has done in our own lives and in those close to us.
“One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.” Psalm 145:4-7
“All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom.” Psalm 145:10-12
We can and should take the message to heart from Psalm 145 and declare the mighty works of God to encourage each other and remind ourselves of the incredible things He has done in the past – this is especially important in the waiting seasons, before we see the evidence of His movement in our current situation.
You are an important part of the GodSway movement. As you read the content here, and the book, GodSway: My Anecdotes with God, I would love to have your reactions and comments. Maybe you have had a challenge in your life similar to one of mine, and maybe God worked it out in a different way. I challenge you to think of an extraordinary, unexplainable, or miraculous occurrence - no matter how large or small it seems - and write it down. Or better yet, tell it to someone who needs some encouragement. If you can't think of anything from your own life, ask around among friends and family members. You'll be amazed to find them so close by.
If you are inclined to share it with us here, we would love to hear it! After all, the very last verse of the gospel of John, says "And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen." (My emphasis) So let's start filling up the world - write an anecdote about God and tell a friend about GodSway.