Five minute friday: encouragement

Write for five minutes. Don’t think too hard. Just write. Then share over @thegypsymama. There’s only one rule. Visit the link before yours and leave an encouraging comment.

The word this week is encouragement.


Have you ever prayed a prayer you didn’t know you were praying until God answered the prayer?

Yesterday, I arrived at work and looked at the schedule. There was a maxillofacial case on the board. We don’t get them too often here. My heart did a little leap. I thought Ooh! Maybe I’ll get to do that case. even though it was for later in the day and there were a bunch of other cases I could end up doing.

You see, after spending most of a year doing maxillofacial surgery, I thought it would be fun to do a case here. I could talk about Africa and Mercy Ships.

I forgot about it and moved on to my assignments. When I came back from lunch, the charge nurse asked me if I wanted to do that case!?

Isn’t God amazing!? He just worked his timing without me asking. He just knew. Such encouragement!


His… Michelle
Philippians 1:20



what I brought home from Africa Mercy

I’ve been home from Africa for just about 2 months. I visited all my people. I settled into a new place by the beach. I’m in my second week of work. My heart is filled with peace, joy, and contentment. Finally.

This week, I started thinking about all the things I learned over the last year while serving with Mercy Ships. Here they are for you in a list in no particular order.

  • I LOVE people. All cultures. All religions. All colors. Rich. Poor. Male. Female.
  • Turns out I’m not as nomadic as I believed.
  • I need more stability than I thought. My flexibility had a breaking point.
  • I had to leave before everyone else because saying goodbye kills me a little every time. I see that now as I watch via Facebook as so many of my friends are now leaving the ship.
  • I really do need steady alone time to be happy.
  • I can only work and live in the same place for short periods of time.
  • I don’t mind talking to large groups of people. I just don’t want to meet them.
  • I’m better one on one or in very small groups.
  • I learned to be okay with people invading my space. So much so that when the little old lady volunteer grabbed my shirt yesterday to look down and see my tattoo I didn’t freak out. But don’t get any crazy ideas!
  • I really missed having my own place.
  • Sometimes you have to go really far away to realize how content you really were.
  • It doesn’t matter how rich you are, if you don’t have Jesus you are poor. I lost sight of that for awhile.
  • I really want to keep serving the people of the third world.
  • Its okay to take a year to just be.
  • Sticky Tack for hanging things on a wall is a must have.
  • As Christmas approaches, I keep reading the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke. When the angel visits Zechariah in the temple to tell him his wife will have a baby, he questions the angel, How do I know you’re telling me the truth? is basically the gist of the question. The angel responds, I am Gabriel and because you didn’t believe, you’ll be mute until your son is born. I wonder why he didn’t just write down what happened when people asked him? When Elizabeth delivered John, Zechariah wrote down his name is John when the people said there were no Johns in the family.

    These are the things I’m thinking about. How about you?

    His… Michelle

    I’m linking up with my friend Lyli @ Thought Provoking Thursday. Be sure to go over and see what other folks are thinking about.

    what are you thinking about?

    This week I will start joining my friend Lyli at her new meme. I hope you’ll stop over there and see what other bloggers are thinking about too.

    I met Lyli’s wonderful husband on a mission trip to Haiti all the way back in 2008. It was the first international mission trip I ever took. When Bruce met Lyli, I could not have been happier for him. He’s such a good guy. The most amazing thing about Lyli is she’s so supportive of her husband. She’s honest and real. She’s a great teacher and a woman after God’s own heart. I’m happy to call her my friend. 😊

    So here’s what I’m thinking about.

    I get a devotional email everyday from Ravi Zacharias ministries called A Slice of Infinity. This week, one of the writers mentioned the practice of Ignatius’ conscious examen. One prayerfully looks back through the day to find and see all the places God showed up. Now I’m not the greatest about praying. I have good days and not so good days. But since I came home from Africa, I’ve really wanted to be still with the Lord. I looked into this practice of the conscious examen and found some inspiration to really be still and see how God is near me all through the day, to praise him, to thank him, to feel his presence.

    It makes me think of Eric Lidell, the Scottish runner turned missionary. He put of his missionary call to run in the Olympics back in the 20s. He said when he ran, he could feel the pleasure of God.

    Today, I had such a great day. I did a robotic laparoscopic Nissan fundoplication, which is a fancy way of saying a hiatal hernia repair. I’m not an expert in high tech, but I was calm. The patient was a guy from the Philadelphia area. His partner was with him for support. We had such a great conversation about Pennsylvania as we were waiting to go in the OR. He told me he knew he would like me from the minute he saw my tattoos. He told me he was happy I was going to be his nurse. As I poured out love and compassion to this guy I felt it. The pleasure of God. Jesus was standing next to me. He was smiling.

    Looking back on today through the conscious examen, I see how God was with me through every moment, leading me, giving me a peaceful heart and compassion for others I haven’t felt so strongly in a long time.

    I think I’m going to be okay for awhile sitting at Jesus’ feet. I think I may be able to be Mary after all. God is astoundingly good. He is with me. Immanuel.

    That’s what I’m thinking about.

    His… Michelle