Nika Maples
About the Author

When a paralyzing brainstem stroke forced Nika to re-evaluate her faith and purpose, she followed the Lord into an unexpected career as a high school English teacher and later became 2007 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year. Nika is the author of Twelve Clean Pages, which gives an honest look...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for sharing your story, I too have the gift of encouragement. I have chronic illnesses that prevent me from ” doing” much, but I can always think of ways to encourage others by sending cards, prayers, small gifts, or by just meeting another’s need in a small way. I continue to pray that God will show me how to encourage those who need it most. It may seem like such a small thing, but a little goes a long way and pleases Him beyond measure!!

    • So glad you have found a way to keep offering your gifts, Kim. Those cards probably mean more than you could ever imagine. Real mail is so rare these days! Keep going!

  2. Such an inspiring story! I did gasp when I read the words ‘stroke’ and ‘quadriplegic’…at such a young age. I’m in awe what God did for you and through you during this huge trial.
    Thanks for this!
    ps Just found your site and saw all the exciting photos! So loved the one with George W.! 🙂
    Congratulations on Teacher of the Year – a little late! 🙂
    May you be abundantly blessed!

  3. I know exactly what you are saying! I recently experienced complete helplessness and found myself overcome with gratitude and thanksgiving. Is that a spiritual gift? I just know in these following days it is getting me through the darkest and loneliest moments of my life…

    • Isn’t it amazing how effective gratitude is to ease our difficulties. God never leaves us; that’s just who He is. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 89:8 … “Faithfulness is God’s character.”

      • Nika…I find gratitude in any situation is so healing to the giver and the receiver. I have pondered the question in the past, “Is gratitude one of the highest forms of love?” I would welcome any comments or opinions…

  4. What an amazing story you shared. And such a great example that He can use us in any circumstances as long as we are willing.

    • Yes, I think the more a situation seems humanly impossible, the more God has a chance to show what He can do with our surrendered hearts.

  5. Nika,
    I have the gift of encouragement. I use it every chance I can!! Love lighting up peoples lives with card, note, money, etc. If I sense a need I will immediately try to think of what I can do to help out. It may be to just pray and see how God works in their lives. It thrills me to no end making people’s lives a little better. People encourage me all the time and this is my way of paying them back–or paying it forward as it were!
    Thanks for telling your wonderful story of how God used an almost impossible situation and turned it around!
    Blessings 🙂

  6. Wow! You shared this so beautifully! Praying cannot be taken from us. I have found that to pray helps me and others at the same time. I had an illness that forced me to look inside for what God still gave me to do. Prayer was God sent. I had not thought of prayer itself as encouragement. I do tell people I am praying for them as encouragement. Now I will also think of my prayers as encouragment. Thanks.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story! Just as my last homeschooled child settled into college, prison ministry moved to full swing, and my first novel prepared to publish, I was struck down with Epstein Barr. This evolved over the last year and a half into an autoimmune disorder that continues to worsen. Most days I live with flu-like fatigue, dizziness, inability to concentrate, and sharp pain. This capped off over twenty years of continuing loss and hardship.

    Job-like I’m scraping by boils in the ash, reminding myself of God’s mercy, reviewing his promises, and seeking his face to ascertain how I can now use my gifts for him. I know he will show me. Of this I am confident. My heart is crushed, but I love him and trust him. I needed your words today. This is God’s mercy to me at this moment. Thank you for using your gift of encouragement for me.

    • I’m praying for you right now, Melinda. I know you face some days that are harder than others. May God make His sweet presence known to you in all of them. And don’t give up on that book … I don’t know if it is on pause or not … Your novel will have its moment to move forward in spite of your setback. Keep going.

      • Thank you, dear Mika, for your prayers. #RefugeNovel published in the middle of it all. By God’s grace I was able to think for the final edits. The challenges now are marketing, prepping my next novels, and keeping up on my blog. That’s it. All other work isn’t possible. My days vary, and I am only able to do about 20% of what I could in the past. All depends of trusting myself to God’s pace and plan for any given day. He is purifying me of self reliance. Thank you for sharing your story on this particular day. I needed everything you said right at the moment it arrived. I was smack dab in the middle of a pity party. God bless you!

  8. It is so wonderful that when we are at helpless and unable to “do” anything, the ministry of prayer is available to bring spiritual growth that lifts up others as well. I pray you find the joy of being in His Presence when all there is despair and the doubts creep in. May the Lord use His Word to keep you sustained and strengthened during days of distress. You matter to God and I know He is using your prayers to further His Kingdom.

  9. Such an inspiring story! I have a son with a serious medical condition so sometimes I struggle to remember that God can use my gifts even now. I think I spent time waiting for the right moment to offer up the gifts I have been given and now I’m realizing that God will always make the right moment.