Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Tag: medical secretary


I got quite excited when I saw Five Minute Friday’s word for this week:¬† Five. I immediately scribbled ideas of everything I could think of in five minutes to do with ‘five’. Here is the result – enjoy!

I’ve always preferred even numbers to odd ones. This applies to all sorts of things: I’ll make myself six crackers with cheese for supper; I love symmetry. Having said that, I’ve always liked the number five.

When I was younger and made up stories in my head, I would often choose names with five letters (and preferably only two syllables): Chloe, Robin, Bella, Poppy.

I used to love reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series. For an animal lover, it was great that someone else would count a dog as part of the gang. Except that I don’t like ginger beer and the idea of eating tongue out of a tin does nothing for me, I thought it would be fun to hang out with Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy. I wanted to be a George but suspected I was an Anne (I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with all things pink but I think I’m there now).

When I started my first ‘proper’ job at eighteen, there were five of us medical secretaries in the Ear, Nose and Throat Department. We were a great team and most of us are still in touch today, a couple of decades later.

And here ends my five minutes on ‘Five’ for Five Minute Friday ūüėČ


The Perfect Administrator

‘Write these sums down and do them for homework. Hand them in next lesson.’

Thirty-odd eleven-year-olds dutifully scribbled the sums¬†into our homework¬†books.¬†I didn’t enjoy maths, didn’t understand numbers (still don’t if it comes to that), and didn’t look forward to doing¬†my homework.

Next lesson, I took in my homework book but the teacher never asked for it.

Over time, I lost heart. If my work was never going to be marked, what was the point?

In my job as a medical secretary, it’s important that I follow things through. Many of the specialists I’ve worked for over the years are great at their jobs but rubbish at paperwork. They don’t seem to understand that it’s not enough to initial a pathology result to say they’ve seen it if they don’t pass on the news to the patient. They simply file it in the notes, never realising that¬†some poor soul is sweating over unknown test results at home.

In Strictly Come Dancing, Craig Revel Horwood is always going on at the celebrities about hands and unfinished movements. Not being a dancer, I don’t understand exactly what he means though I can tell when someone has beautiful arm movements from shoulder to fingertips.

Following through and completing things is important on all sorts of levels. Unfinished business is frustrating.

I had a little worship moment recently when it dawned on me that God is the perfect administrator. He always finishes what He starts and keeps His promises. He doesn’t make empty threats or get our hopes up only to brutally dash them by losing interest or forgetting what He’s said. His timing is often different to ours and we may misunderstand Him, but that says more about us than Him.

Cleaning TrolleyPaul wrote to the Philippian church: ‘I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion…’

How good it is to relax in the knowledge that God will follow through on stuff and not leave anything undone. I can have confidence in Him to do what He says He’s going to do. This is especially helpful when He is having a delve in my life and chucking out the rubbish.

‘Fear of rejection? You really don’t need this Mandy, shall we shove it in a bin liner and take it to the tip?’

When we’re in the middle of a¬†soul spring¬†clean, it’s good to know that God won’t get tired or fed up part way through, regardless of¬†the mess He’s dealing with. He has begun a good work in me and has promised to complete what He’s started.



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