Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Mommy, Where Did You Get Laryngitis?"

That's the question I received tonight from my seven year old daughter, Hannah. She seems genuinely interested in my predicament. Beginning last week, several of us have had colds. And, good 'ol Mom loses her voice. Every time! I only have to cough a few times and my voice just goes away. It is quite frustrating. Our read-aloud times, Bible and character lessons have been either put on hold or I let my oldest child read for me. Instead of leading the kids in singing during our worship time in the morning, they have decided they can now sing when they are exercising together. They were so cute today when they were trying to decide which praise song fit best with each exercise. I think "King of Kings" was sung during sit-ups. "Clap Your Hands" for the jumping jacks and "Seek Ye First" for the cool down period. They are creative.

There are times I feel ignored. Unless I hit the table, whistle or clear my throat, the children do not know that I am about to talk. Trying to call them back upstairs when free time is over is nearly impossible. Flicking the light switch on and off helps. Answering the phone? Not going to happen.

As difficult as it is for me to lose my voice, it reminds me to think about what is really worth saying. I know there are so many times during my day, that I just carelessly speak. Sometimes, the words are hurtful to someone or just a bad example of a quiet spirit. Sometimes, they are just a waste of breath. Oh, how I wish to end the constant chatter. Proverbs and James have a lot to teach about the tongue. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue". "Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." My desire is to choose my words more carefully, that my words would utter praise for my Creator and that they will encourage and edify my husband, my children and others around me.

I have a dear friend who was diagnosed with ALS(Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) a few years ago. A beautiful, vibrant woman of God who has touched so many lives. I had not seen her for a few months after her diagnosis, but would hear updates on the physical changes she was experiencing. First, she was walking with a cane. Not long after that, she was in a wheel chair. Then, she lost her voice. This is when I finally got to visit her again. She would gesture, write on her small white board and she would hug. It was a hard visit for me, but I so loved seeing her again and witnessing her trust in God.

I couldn't imagine really losing my voice. I would miss talking and really miss singing. I depend on my voice. But, you know what? Everything I have is from God and belongs to Him. If I lose my voice for a time or even for the rest of my life, will I still praise Him?

So, "Hannah, where did I get laryngitis?" Perhaps, I can say from God. I think He may be wanting my attention. I'm always so busy talking that I don't spend enough time listening to Him and using my voice for righteousness. And, besides, "laryngitis" is a great spelling word. It's going on the board tomorrow.

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14