1. Tell us about yourself.
Hi! My name is Michelle Gelineau. There is nothing particularly unique about me. I am a mom of four beautiful daughters and the wife of my high school sweetheart. I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner by trade and I love to volunteer at church, play piano, sing, garden and hang out with my family. Oh yeah, one more thing- I love Jesus!
This may sound crazy (actually, my family thought I was crazy when this whole thing started) but Give Him 5 was an idea that God placed on my heart. It began four years ago as a prompting to encourage the kids at our church’s Vacation Bible School to spend time in prayer. The story is too long for a blog post, but you can find more details in the book To KNOW The Savior.
The abbreviated version is that I love Jesus! I know I already said that, but I am a changed person because of my deep love for Him. My life is lived differently because of the relationship we share. Let’s face it. Life can be difficult. When I look at my life and see what a difference it makes to have Jesus be a part of it, I want that for everyone!
I am also a natural encourager. I love to make people feel good. Not by showering someone with fabricated compliments, but by being sincere. My motto has always been, “If you are thinking something positive about someone- say it.” To the embarrassment of my children, I have been known to walk up to complete strangers and tell them how lovely they look in an outfit, how much I like their haircut or how well behaved their children are. I receive great joy from seeing someone’s face light up with surprise and happiness when they hear words like these.
This love for encouraging people is also the backbone for Give Him 5. Its purpose is to encourage people to develop a close relationship with Jesus Christ starting with 5 minutes of prayer each day. I also like to encourage people with my Give Him 5 facebook page.
2. What do you make?
In the Beginning
It all began with a little prayer bag. Simple and straightforward. There is nothing intimidating about five minutes of prayer, right? After all, who doesn’t have five minutes?
The sand timer is the key. Begin with a turn to start and prayer time is on. The most important part is that the five minutes pass and you aren’t interrupted. No obnoxious ding or alarm to jolt you out of your time with Jesus. What happens most often is a quick glance at the timer and another turn to continue. Five minutes is never really long enough. Once you get started you often want more time.
Thousands of these Give Him 5 prayer bags have traveled across the county and international waters to encourage prayer. This year, Lacy with Catholic Icing wrote a fantastic blog post about how she was using Give Him 5 with her kids for Lent.
I love hearing the stories from people who have used this ministry to begin or revitalize their prayer life. Comments like this – “I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful, inspiring work “Give Him 5”! I read through your inspiring book – it ministered mightily to me – had me in tears.
Just what I needed and will continue to drink from. What a clever idea the hour glass and generous coffee mug which I filled with my favorite brew and sipped with delight through many turns of the hour glass!” keep me motivated to spend time spreading the Give Him 5 message.
What God wanted next
The prayer bags were a big hit, but God had other things in store for this ministry. Imagine my surprise when during my prayer time I heard a beautiful message that would change everything. It was simple- Begin with FAITH.
It was an acronym for prayer that would transform not only the ministry but the prayer lives of countless people. I didn’t know for a few days what I was supposed to do with it. I kept asking God, “What do you want from this?” “Put it on a mug,” was His response. And with that, the Give Him 5® prayer mug was created.
Now every morning people can begin the day with a gentle reminder to spend time in prayer. The message is simple, easy to follow and works for everyone. Many people tell me how it “touches their heart” and “continues to work.”
Imagine my surprise when a friend called to tell me that her priest had used the Begin with FAITH message for his homily that Sunday while holding a Give Him 5 coffee mug. He used it as an example of how to pray. Wow! I was blown away and greatly encouraged. Here is a link to the homily if you would like to hear what he had to say.
3. Do you do anything else?
There was something else God wanted me to do!
“You want me to do what?” On April 15, 2014, the journal entry that I wrote during my Adoration time before the Blessed Sacrament said, “ I think God is asking me to write some kind of a prayer guide or something. I don’t think I can do that.” Well I was right! I couldn’t do that! But God could. So I began going to Adoration and writing. The book took shape and was centered around the Begin with FAITH message.
A good portion of it was written during Lent of that year and the book was completed one year later, just as Lent was beginning again. Even as I write these words, I am in awe and disbelief at how naturally it came together.
The book To KNOW The Savior shares a little of my life story, how I grew to know Jesus and how the Give Him 5 ministry began.
My favorite part of the book is the prayer guide and journal. It is an answer to the question, “How do I pray?” The prayer guide leads people through their prayer time using the FAITH acronym. It has 17 different subjects to choose from to individualize prayer time, and each day is followed with guided journal pages to record what the reader experienced in prayer.
The book is really meant as a guide to get people started and help them to become more comfortable with personal prayer. I like to think of it as something similar to training wheels. Once you get into your flow of praying and it becomes more natural, the training wheels come off and you can ride on your own. You will no longer need the guide but continue to journal your conversations.
I continue to be amazed at how God uses the Give Him 5® message. As you can see, there appears to be no limit as to what He has in store. I absolutely love being on this journey with Him and watching as He asks me to do something and then each time puts people in my life to help.
Speaking engagements about the message and prayer, Vacation Bible School activities and prayer audios are only a few of the ways that Give Him 5® has been branching out to reach people and encourage prayer.
One of my next projects is a children’s version of the To KNOW The Savior Prayer Guide & Journal that will have a QR code on each page so the reader can either read the text or listen to my voice reading it to them. The recording will be something similar to this audio.
4. Contact & Social Links
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