Gayle Peele is a woman on a mission -- one pillow at a time.
She is the owner of Two Mama's Gift Shop, a business that has been converted into a prayer ministry.
In addition to the Pikeville store which sells jewelry and purses, a back room is opened weekly for lunch and prayer time.
Adept at monogramming, she branched out from doing clothing to her version of personalized pillows.
She also sells other versions of the "prayer warrior pillows," including key chains and items that can be attached to car mirrors.
"This started about two years ago, for my ministry, because I pray with mothers for their children," she said. "Or if someone's in the hospital, I just go and pray with them and give that prayer pillow to them -- to say, hey, I'm standing up for you; I'm gonna fight for you in the army of the Lord."
The tangible reminder that the person is being prayed for has been a blessing, to the recipients as well as Peele.
It may be like a security blanket, she said, but there is also something life-affirming about the power of prayer.
The idea took on a new form recently, when she determined to take the mission to a different audience -- lawmakers.
"I'm going to make prayer warrior pillows and send them to Congress," she said. "I'm not a politician, but I'm sending one to all of them, and the president and vice president, also."
Her goal is to complete 370. So far, she's done 150.
It has been possible, she says, because it is a divine appointment.
She calls it an assignment from God.
"I believe we're in the last days and you can see the Bible being fulfilled day by day, and politics is a part of it," she said. "The more I have seen how the world is turning and how the people are, we as men and women of God have really got to stand up and pray more for these people. Don't criticize them. Don't put them down. Don't blame them but pray for them. And let them know we're praying for them."
Peele said her confidence comes from the belief that she is doing God's will.
"When I pray for someone I know God's got my back," she said. "I'm covered. But I had to learn to do this. It didn't just come overnight.
"But since I have gotten more into the prayer warrior pillows, I mean, wow. I'm excited whenever I can stand up for God."
This is not to say it's been smooth sailing.
There have been challenges along the way.
"The devil is fighting me over these things," she said. "The more I try to make the pillows, it's just like a wall -- the machine broke down, I can't find the thread and the material is hard to find."
The machine she uses for monogramming is in the shop for repairs, she said, and she has had difficulty getting the "prayer warrior thread," a two-tone red and white thread used to create her "kneeling woman" design that adorns the pillow.
Her preference is to use camouflage fabric, a salute to the military, but when that isn't possible she has a backup plan.
"I've gotten to the point now, I make them in pink or blue, it doesn't matter," she said. "Now I do any type of material, just so it looks military."
The premise and process is simple, a straight-stitch pillow stuffed with "just plain cotton," Peele says.
She has been blessed with good help, in the form of Chris Marcoux and Marti Jones assisting with sewing, and niece Ashley Gayle Arnette taking care of mailing the finished product.
"It takes a good 45 minutes for each one because monogramming is about 38 minutes," Peele explained.
But there is also an added, unseen, ingredient that illustrates the Bible's encouragement to have the faith of a mustard seed.
Within each pillow, three seeds, encased in a plastic bag, are also added. The number, she said, represents a prayer challenge from her pastor.
"I call them the three P's to pray for," she said. "God's people, God's pastors and our president."
At present, she is footing the bill for the entire project, she said. But she is accepting sponsors and donations from others who are like-minded and willing to back her efforts.
Her plan is to complete the prayer warrior pillows for lawmakers by July 10, unless everything is completed before then.
It has been a labor of love, and she said she has been enjoying every step of the way.
"I've been on a spiritual journey, and everything is supposed to open up July 10," she explained. "Right now, I feel like I'm on cloud nine, and I'm more excited because I know I'm on the right track.
"I'm excited because God's going to get His glory. I'm just a willing vessel."
For more information on the project, call 919-580-8657.