A woman with no voice

I love singing. I have played piano for well over twelve years and even still, singing is my favorite by far. The voice can sound so heavenly can’t it?

Last Wednesday afternoon I went to an ENT, he stuck an ungodly long contraption UP MY NOSE and down into my throat to get a look at my “voice box,” and whatdya know, I have vocal nodules. To use his exact words, “Very prominent” vocal nodules. Crap.

So, I’ve been put on vocal rest for however long it takes to stop sounding like an old man who’s smoked his whole life. Okay, it’s not really THAT bad, but apparently this could take around three months.

Vocal rest. Do you know what that means? No, I don’t have to cease talking for three months, although I almost wish they would make me! But seriously, as if that would even be possible for a gal like myself. I am CONSTANTLY talking. I talk so much my mouth hurts. I talk so much I give myself vocal nodules. The ENT said the damage was most likely done by something I do with my voice every day, and most likely nothing I’ve done with singing. I guess I started getting lazy with my pitch. Hrrmph.

There are three things I’ve learned since Wednesday.

1) I sing ALL THE TIME.
Like seriously, do you have any idea how difficult it is to be consciously aware of when you’re singing. I’ll be halfway through a song before I realize I have been singing since the beginning! It’s a lot more difficult to control than you realize.

2) Funny voices may be fun, but not good on your vocal chords.
I am a full time nanny. One year olds are tough crowds to entertain, but boy do they love my funny voices. Needless to say, we’ve all been suffering.

3) There are more ways to worship than one.
Maybe God didn’t give me nodules, but I’d be willing to bet He allowed them to happen, and for the simple fact that I needed to come to the realization that, while singing is the most impactful worship act for me it’s not always the most impactful for Him. What is the purpose for worship except doing what is most pleasing to Him.

I’m not saying God doesn’t appreciate worship in the form of music and singing, but there are somewhere between ten and twenty trillion other ways to worship our great and mighty God (Have I ever mentioned to you before how much I am prone to exaggeration?). I’ve realized that sometimes God allows us to go through trials like these so that we can learn new tools for His glory. I need to stop complaining about the trial and start learning something from it for crying out loud! So I guess this is my lot in life for the next several weeks. Learning to glorify my God without the use of my vocal chords.

Sincerely,

A woman with no voice.

 

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A natural born quitter…

I am a natural born quitter. We all are aren’t we? Adam and Eve sinned in the garden… why? They wanted to quit. More specifically they quit obeying God. They made the choice to QUIT. Wow. Isn’t that one of the hardest realities to face? The fact that ultimately, the choice was ours and we CHOSE to quit. Nobody made us do it, we chose it, and now we will have to live with the consequences of that choice.

I’m not even implying that all choices are bad, I’m just saying good, bad, happy, sad, whatever choice we make, there will always be consequences that follow, whether negative or positive outcomes.

I truly believe that our mind is the control center of our actions. Some of you are saying, “well, duh!” But I am not speaking of the primary motor cortex and all that schnazzy talk. I am referring to the way we view ourselves. The Psychology of it. If I think I’m going to quit something, I will. Simple as that. Kind of like a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Cogito ergo sum.

I think René Descartes was onto something when he said “I think, therefore I am.”

Let’s back it up with some scripture.

As he thinks in his heart, so is he.

~Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)

AP asks a very serious question in her journal right after she quotes this verse. She simply asks:

What are you thinking about?

What do you allow yourself to dwell on?

What we think about determines the kind of person we are going to be and the outlook on life that we are going to have. I don’t know about you, but I am struggling. I am struggling to have a peaceful mind. Everything in our world today is so fast-paced and stressful, on some days I can hardly think straight for all the things I need to accomplish before my head hits the pillow at night.

Maybe I’m speaking to myself.

If we are going to allow ourselves to think on the things that stress us out, there is going to be no room for peace. And what are the consequences of that choice? Unhappiness.

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

~Romans 8:5

What does the Spirit desire? We find that out when we look at the fruit of the Spirit. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. These, dear one, are what we are promised when we have our minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- If anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.

~Philippians 4:8

Well said Paul.

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

~Romans 8:6-8

The mind is what God is after and the mind is also what Satan is after. Whomever I allow to control my thinking, will ultimately control me.

Brothers and Sisters, we have a choice in front of us, and sometimes we think that this choice is made in our hearts at one specific point in time. But know that this choice involves a whole stream of continuous choices. We will weekly, daily, and hourly have to make choices regarding our thoughts. I am challenging myself, as well as anyone who is reading this, to make the choice to guard your mind and control your thoughts. Allow the things of God to flood your mind. I’m willing to bet that our outlook on life will get significantly more positive.

I’m praying for you!

Amelia