Do you remember the old song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”? (You might have to go to your grandparents’ collection of LPs and look for that one.) Well, this mama has a new version to that song. “I Left My Voice in Greensboro, North Carolina”!
I was there at last weekend’s Acquire the Fire event, and I knew I was in trouble Friday night when I felt a funny little swollen place in my larynx. I had flown across the country to teach at the parents’ session on Saturday. I tried everything I could think of—hot tea, lozenges, and lemon—to hold onto my voice. We turned my microphone up and I hoped for the best. I made it all the way to the end of the session and then—poof—my voice was gone!
When I got home, my older kids had already told my youngest, four-year-old Josiah, that I had lost my voice. He was so concerned. “Where would I find it?” he questioned me.
I was determined to do what all the online sources suggested to maximize my healing. Absolute rest of the vocal cords was prescribed. Total silence. The situation was urgent. In only five days I would be leaving with all the kids for a ten-day/two weekend event road trip.
The question on everyone’s lips (except mine, of course) was how will their extremely verbal Mom manage? No voice during the trip by van would be rough, but no voice at the speaking events? Impossible!
Ever try to lead a large family with only a notepad and marker?? Comical and downright frustrating! Out of desperation, I developed a special system for Josiah. He was to run to me whenever he heard me clap. He dutifully obeyed, and when he got there I had to get another kid to read my note of instruction to him.
When I have been away for a weekend, I often find a little bit of “play” sneaks into our systems. So Monday is my “jerk the slack out of the household” day. This Monday I did some interesting jerking with my notepad!
They say adversity can increase our gratefulness. A good case of laryngitis will work for that! What a great opportunity this has been for me to put Psalm 46:10 into practice: “Be still, and know that I am God…” I was encouraged by Isaiah 30:15 which says “in quietness and trust is your strength…” And I said to the Lord in faith, “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you…” (Jonah 2:9)
Now you may have heard Revelation 8:1 jokingly referred to as proof that there will be no women in heaven. I now have incontrovertible evidence that this is not true: I’ve been silent for much longer than half an hour.
I awoke one morning with a little squeak back. So I took my little squeak and directed my team, supplemented with whiteboards and markers, interpreters and phone answerers.
My closing prayer……Hurry Lord, it’s an emergency! This mama is desperate and my young ones are laughing! I could be about to lose my high reputation as a mom! “Hear my voice when I call (or rasp, whisper, or squeak) O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.” Psalm 27:7
Now read part 2!