Saturday, August 21, 2010
Mothering Without a Voice
For the past 5 months, I have had this weird hoarse voice. It kind of came and went at first, but when talking with friends and singing at church kept aggravating I finally got a clue and decided to get it checked out. I'm so glad I did! After going to the ENT doc, I was diagnosed with nodules on my vocal cords. Nodules are essentially callouses on your vocal cords from misuse.
Since the diagnosis, I have been forced to examine every aspect of my life. How did it get to this point? Let's start with mothering. Yes, I have admitted to all of you more than once that I am a yeller. When I'm frustrated my natural tendency is to raise my voice to get my point across. God has been working with me on this for years, but I guess He said, "Enough!". Also, the loud environment that I live in has caused me to yell over the chaos. I'm going to have to totally change my parenting style and the way I address my children. This is a good thing and I'm actually thanking God for this health problem. I have wanted to change this but so quickly slip back into old habits when I'm not filled with the Spirit.
Homeschooling has come to a screeching halt! I can't lecture anymore. I need to relearn how to talk, because when I lecture, my voice naturally gets higher-pitched and louder. I am giving this to Steve right now. He will homeschool them while he is off work until I can talk again. I'm thankful that he is willing to do this, and I'm also grateful that we homeschool all year around so the kids won't get behind. I will be ordering some good documentaries for the days Dad is working. I'm thinking about doing the "Rise and Fall of Rome" by the History channel. I saw it on Netflix.
My singing has had to completely stopped. This is a killer for a soloist! I've been straining my voice in this area since I was a kid. Even though I'm a decent soloist, I have never had any vocal training. I would strain my voice very easily. I love to sing at church. I love to sing with my children. I sing in the car, sing in my kitchen, and sing outside. Where I go, I sing!!! I'm forced to worship God in another form. I will be doing a devotion on this pretty soon, so I'm not going to go into details right now. I told you, God is using this in a good way!
I've decided to go on as close to total vocal rest as I can. I know I can't mother six children while Steve is working 24 hours by myself without talking. Who am I trying to kid? When I'm forced to talk to the little ones, I use an even, quiet voice (no whispering, that makes it worse). I use very little words. I can't argue with my children any more, unless they want to argue with a clipboard! I use my dry erase board to write instructions to the older ones who can read. They are helping me more with the little ones. I've also developed a series of signals with my coach whistle.
I have a lot more time on my hands, as I'm not talking on the phone anymore. I almost replaced my lost Blue Tooth the other day, but I'm glad I didn't since I can't use the darn thing anyway! I do miss chatting with my out-of-town friends and sister. I just added texting to my phone (so funny about God's timing).
I am supposed to not stress either. God is working with me in so many areas! I'm literally crying out to God and asking Him, "How am I supposed to do this? I can't cry, sneeze, cough, clear my throat, talk, and most definitely not yell". He is getting me through each day!
The best thing about this is that I'm not sinning as much. What you say? "Where words are many, sin is not absent."-Proverbs.
I'm praying that by the time I go to the voice specialist at OHSU, the doc will look down there and say, "What nodules? I don't see anything down there!" I'm going to try to be a good girl and do all I can so that they will go away. I think I've caught them early enough. But this will still be a lifestyle change, because if I continue the old patterns, they will come right back. I will be working with a vocal/speech therapist hopefully within a month. This person will help me change my speech patterns forever. Also, maybe they will teach me to sing better! Another perk!
I'm so thankful that I have a God "who does what it takes" to get my attention in the areas that need to be changed.