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Woman to Woman
“More Than a Pillow”
by Rushan Smyth

          It has been almost ten years since the birth of a vision God gave me known as “Peniel Pillows.” It is a vision centered on encouraging others in the word of God through pillows, of all things!  Since that time, God has encouraged me without fail, through His word and this “Journey to Peniel.”  (Gen. 32:30)

           When I established Peniel Pillows, with no real knowledge or experience related to sewing, some people (including my own family) thought it was highly unlikely that even one design would ever leave our home.  Nevertheless, through the encouragement of friends, and with a sense of God’s leadership in my heart, I began to run my race with a passion for “holding on to His word,” a genuine promise from His heart to mine.  How could I say “no” when the mission had come from the Lord?

            Many things have changed since those early days. Peniel Pillows has been blessed with wonderful opportunities in the marketplace.  Our story has appeared in newspapers and magazines.  We have been interviewed on television and radio. And, most recently, there have been increasing requests for speaking engagements. I am spending more and more time in appearances before women’s ministries, church convocations and seminars.  Through all of these venues, God has orchestrated introductions of new friends and, as a bonus, He allows the privilege of hearing exceptional stories of how these pillows have touched lives in unique and memorable ways.

            Here are just a few examples: 

           While visiting with one dear lady, she shared the recent news that a mass had been detected in her body.  She had lost both of her parents that same year and seemed so burdened and alone.  Feeling the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I gave her the pillow appropriately named “Healed,” which shares the divine promise of  Isaiah 53:5, “. . . And by His stripes, we are healed!” (NKJV)

           We stopped and prayed, asking that God would extend his healing touch into her life.  As we did, right there in the middle of our booth, customers browsed to our left and right.  And as they did, we approached His throne with the confidence that comes from knowing that His Word is true.  My new friend left the booth a little misty-eyed, but realizing she was loved.  To my amazement—and to God’s Glory—we received an e-mail several weeks later with wonderful news: Her next appointment had revealed no mass!  Praise God!  She was so thankful for our time in prayer and that simple gift of a pillow, proclaiming that she would recall God’s goodness and greatness every time she looked at it.  I believe that she will and that she will tell others what God has done in her life. 

            Another friend selected a pillow named, “Clay Pots” for a mother whose child had committed suicide. At the time of her purchase, she mentioned not really knowing why God had led her to choose that particular design, since she usually selected another design, “Many Mansions,” for such an occasion. When the mom opened the gift, she burst into tears.  But they were tears of joy.  She told of the burden of having lived with her child’s choice to end his life.  But, she added that she had prayed, asking God to let her know that her son was with Him in heaven.  “Clay Pots” ministered to this mom in a supernaturally unique way, because the last act of love between this child and mother had been the transfer of a plant from one broken clay pot into another planter.  She held tightly to this pillow, as a comfort from God Himself! 

            Isn’t it amazing how He is always interested in the smallest details?  My heart was warmed by that story.  And there have been so many others.

           Another woman, Linda, knocked on my door hoping to find a pillow for a hurting friend. We shared some time together and found that we have one special thing in common: our love for Jesus.  Since that time we’ve prayed for each other and encouraged each other daily.  God formed a friendship between us like sisters!   She now travels with me to speaking engagements, and we have a wonderful time in the Lord. 

           Ephesians 3:20 reminds us, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” (NIV)  Yes, God works in our lives in ways we can never explain.  He encourages us with answers to bold prayers whispered in confidence.  He comforts us with visual reminders that He has us right in the center of His nail-scarred hand.  He brings someone along when we need a friend.  He wants us to trust Him with the details of our life, to run when He gives instruction and to believe in His Power.  Truly, we can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength. (Phil. 4:13). 

           The relationship that we have with others depends upon the time we spend getting to know them, knowing their hearts as well as their hurts. The same is true with Jesus.  We cannot expect to really know Him, or His plans for us, if we just meet with Him casually and occasionally. 

            Revelation 3:20 declares, “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” (NIV)  Do you hear Him knocking?  Let Jesus in.  His friendship will mean more than you can ever imagine.

            And listen carefully.  You never know, He may have something very special He wants you to do.  Just for Him.

Rushan Smyth is the founder and president of Peniel Pillows, Inc., a company inspired by Jacob’s journey to Peniel where He met God face to face. (Gen. 32:30)  Peniel Pillows, Inc. is purposed to encourage people to “seek His face and live.”  Rushan and her decorative pillows have been featured on CBN’s 700 Club and in Southern Lady Magazine.  She is available for speaking engagements during which she illustrates how she began to truly seek the face of God—her own “Journey to Peniel”— with the use of more than 20 decorative pillows from her collection.  She also shares how God showed her that in order to “sow,” the seed of His word, she had to learn to “sew” themed pillows.  Each pillow comes with a New Testament tucked under the back fabric, an attached card with a corresponding Bible passage and a small sewn-in key emphasizing that knowing God’s word is the key to life.  Listen to Rushan’s 700 Club interview and purchase her luxurious, anointed pillows at 

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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