Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Debra Peltier. My friends and family call me Deb. I always thought going by “Debra” was too formal, but as I’ve grown older I realize my name is associated with a powerful woman of God. So, especially in matters of prayer warring, I am Debra.
I am 58 years old and a 5th generation Montanan. My Montana roots go deep. My great-great grandfather founded Huson, Montana, owning a bar, hotel, lime kiln, and mercantile. I was born in Missoula, raised in Superior, and have lived at Rock Creek since 1992.
My husband says he rescued me – I have to agree. Together we’ve built a couple of businesses in Rock Creek. He is a very gifted carpenter, and I manage our vacation property management business along with our fly shop. I have a 20 step commute to get to work, which is perfect for a woman that is more home-body than career woman.
I have two grown children from my first marriage, and those two children have blessed us with 11 grandchildren ranging in ages from 22 down to 5 years of age. My daughter is married to a career army officer, and truly is my best friend. There is hardly a day that goes by that we don’t talk on the phone, no matter where in the world she may live – which has been North Carolina for the past couple of years with her husband and 3 children. My son and his wife blended their families, each bringing 2 children into the mix, and they’ve added 4 more together. Oh boy, do we have fun when we get together… and since they just live in Coeur d’Alene, we’re able to do that a few times a year. I look forward to the younger kids’ annual week-long visit to our house (the older ones are now either grown up or ‘too old’;)) and the adventures we go on.
One of my passions is gardening. It brings me great solace and I always feel like I can hear God’s voice when I am in my garden. That brings me to my greatest passion – my relationship with the LORD. My hope and prayer is that I will bring glory to Him in all that I say and do so that when I go before Him I will hear “well done.” I take my responsibility as one who calls themselves “Christian” seriously, and believe that if I call myself that, I must remember that I am going forth as His representative.
I think it was a little over 20 years ago that I was sitting at my table praying, and I asked the LORD what I could do to serve our church body. I heard Him say “you can pray.” I was never much of a pray-er before that, not really understanding that there was such a thing as praying for needs other than personal or for family members, but I signed up for the prayer chain at my church as an act of obedience. I’ll never forget the first call I received. The woman on the other end of the line was a friend, Betty Lucas, and after she shared the request, she started to pray. I had never heard anything like it! After I hung up I said to the LORD “are you sure you want me to do this? I could never pray like that! LORD, you’re going to have to teach me… I WANT to be an effective prayer warrior, but I don’t know how.”
Describe your perfect day.
Hmmm… well, I always say that every day is a good day because I feel that each day is a gift. However, right off the top of my head I have to name two ways I consider a day perfect. First, whenever my husband and I have the time to spend the entire day together fishing, that is a perfect day. I pack a lunch, and we load up the car (and our dog) and go. He knows I like small streams where we don’t see anyone, so he always takes me to places that he knows will bring me joy… and they feel ‘secret’.
Second, and this happens more frequently, when I can get out in the garden early in the day, just after sunrise, and I not only work in the soil, but I listen to the valley waking up. I can’t fully describe how special this makes me feel, like God has included me in something that not everyone experiences. But then, and I think about it in context and consider how many people live in my area and how few are out early like I am, I realize that God gives the opportunity to everyone, but very few take Him up on the invitation. All I know is, even the bees know me (I’m serious). The bee keeper has several hives positioned just outside my garden fence, and the bees know that I am the one that tends the garden and I am the one that keeps the water source (bird bath) filled with water. When I turn on the hose, there may be 8 or 10 at the bird bath drinking, but once that yellow nozzle starts filling the container, the bees come by the dozens.
So, my perfect day is spent with my husband fly fishing or tending my garden. I am happy and content to do both.
When do you most feel yourself?
I try to be myself always. That is the advantage of age I think. I remember reading something Tasha Tudor said, and it stuck – “I don’t do anything I don’t want to do” …well, that’s not really practical, but I decided that I wouldn’t do or be anything that contradicts who I am in Christ. That’s important to me.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
Actually, I need to mention two.
“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence” by George Washington and “I yam, what I yam and that’s all that I yam” by Popeye.
Tell us about a woman you admire.
Nelda Thomas. She was a great teacher who I admired enormously.
What was the last movie, TV show or book that really impacted you and why?
War Room… as a person that has been called to prayer, this movie started a new fire under me. I want to be Miss Clara!!
Describe your favorite meal.
I don’t know if I have a favorite because I JUST LIKE FOOD!!! I enjoy all types of food, though I like it to be ‘real’. I’m not into fast foods or junk. In fact, I believe a person should ingest the best they can afford. I grow organically, and in winter I buy organic. If I go out for lunch, my favorite is from a restaurant in Missoula called Plonk. I can’t remember the French name, but it’s a salad that has warm fingerling potatoes and fresh beans nestled in a bed of greens, topped with Green Goddess dressing and seared salmon. I don’t know if that’s my favorite all time meal, but I do love it.
Describe one of your happiest memories.
I think it would be my first Christmas without kids. That sounds weird, but I was so dreading it. I am the oldest of a bunch of kids, then I had my first child at 17, so all of my life Christmas was spent with kids and was about kids. But, my daughter had gotten married and they were stationed in Germany. My son was living in Alaska and had a family. It was just Joe and I, and I was very sad anticipating an empty house on Christmas Day. HOWEVER, my husband made the day great! We bundled up and took a drive up the creek with the dogs. We played in the snow and did nothing really special in and of itself, but Joe made our day an adult day. And from that point, we’ve had adult Christmases and we treasure them.
How would your friends describe you?
My friend Mary Ann called me today. She lives in Helena and we don’t see one another often. Here’s what she said though – “what I love about calling you is that you’re always available to talk.” So, maybe that’s a good way to describe me. I’m available when they need me. I will set everything aside and be present.
What do you value most in a friendship?
Truth… nothing fake.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
Self-discipline. That is my constant prayer.
Coffee or tea?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Introvert or extrovert?
Rural or urban?
Dress up or dress down?
Cats or dogs?
Both, but mostly dogs.
Sunrise or sunset?
Detailed or abstract?
Classic or modern?
Call or text?
Call!!! I wanna hear a voice!
Fiction or non-fiction?
Mostly non-fiction, but every once in a while, I enjoy a good fiction.
Salty or sweet?
Both. Sea salt on dark caramel dipped in dark chocolate, c’mon!
What do you love most about Montana?
I am a 5th generation Montanan. I have never felt the urge or had the slightest desire to leave. I love the mountains, the rivers, the sky, the lack of pollution, the fact that there are more cows than people, the people, the wildlife… my list is endless. Mostly, I love that I can hop on our 4-wheeler and drive to the top of the mountain where there is an old Forest Service lookout. At that place, I feel like I can touch God…
What’s a lesson you are currently learning?
I am learning that there is a difference between simply seeking God, and seeking His face.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
My husband, because he really did rescue me. What I mean by that is that he rescued me from a life lived without a true relationship with Jesus. He thinks he rescued me from Superior, but it was life with Joe that allowed me to see Jesus along with the plans and purposes He has for my life. On the day we were to have our first date (I was 34 years old) I had gone for a walk and was praying, asking God why I was so nervous…stating that I wasn’t a spring chicken, and this wasn’t something new to me. It was the first time I ever heard God speak to me. He answered “THIS is the man I created you for”…yep, before we ever had our first date I knew I would be Joe’s wife. I had no idea what God had in store for me, and I didn’t know a faith like this existed… just like I had never known love like I received from Joe. We don’t know the future, but God DOES have a plan for us, and it is good. If only we place our trust in him, and listen when He says “this is the way, walk in it.”