30 years a nurse. More than half my life. Joy and heartache. Victory and defeat. Life and death. Almost everyday, I’ve thought about doing something else. What if I had gone to college for music like I originally wanted to? How different would my life look now?

This exercise in writing for 31 days about a particular topic has given me time to look back on a lifetime of calling, to ponder just how many lives I’ve had a direct impact on. 

I can’t be completely certain, but doing a little mathematical calculating, I can be almost sort of certain of an estimated number. 

There are 365 days in a year. Let’s take away 30 of those days for holidays and sick days. That leaves 335 days. Multiply that number by 30 years to equal 10,050 days. Now multiply that number by, oh I’ll say an average of 6 patients per day to arrive at an astonishing 60,300 patients I’ve had a direct part in caring for. This number doesn’t even account for the family members I’ve had direct contact with. 

I don’t know about you, but this blows my mind! Who knows what the ripple effect of my service has had on the folks I’ve cared for over the years? I can only imagine.

And it all started with witnessing the funny, compassionate care given to my dad by one nurse 36 years ago. The day the Lord flipped a switch and changed everything. The day I went from almost becoming a musician to completely becoming a nurse. 

This is day 31 of 31 days of five minute free writes. Be sure to head over to Kate’s blog to see what others wrote about too and thanks for reading along! It’s been a blast!



I’m so thankful I can incorporate my one word, thankful, into my favorite Friday activity – Five Minute Friday, which I confess takes longer than five minutes for me to compose because I’m a deep slow thinker, but only takes five minutes to read. That counts, right?

Plus! In the month of October, we are doing things with a twist by participating in write 31 days. But wait! That’s not all! I’m also writing around my life as a nurse! Good times!

This week, the word is bacon.


Every morning, I rise at 3:15am. I go for a hike or a run. I worship the Lord. I have a little Bible study. There is always coffee. I do a little writing. I shower. I get in the car for the 20 minute ride to work. I listen to a sermon. I get to work. I change into scrubs. Get the schedule and my assignment for the day. Have more coffee.  Set the room up with my partner of the day. Get the first case going. 

And when it is break time, I run to the cafeteria for a bagel with cream cheese and bacon. Because they say breakfast is the most important meal. And bacon. Yummy bacon should be included as often as possible! Because being a nurse is hard work!


LOL! I didn’t expect this word! 

This is day 30 of 31 days of five minute free writes. Be sure to head over to Kate’s blog to participate or read along or both.


Once upon a time, I went to the sea. I took all my nursing experience and joined Mercy Ships.

I visited Guinea, Ghana, and Congo Brazzaville. 

I joined a team of surgeons and nurses to help thousands of African people receive healthcare that is otherwise not available due to circumstances beyond their control.

It was one of the richest times of my life, serving the forgotten, unknown masses — to humankind. These are not forgotten or unknown to a loving God who created each in his own image. 

In going to the sea, I learned more fully what it is to be human. For that I am deeply grateful. And I have taken what I learned to be a better nurse. To love more deeply the sea of humanity. 

This is day 29 of 31 days of five minute free writes. Be sure to head over to Kate’s blog to participate or read along or both.