Using your voice

   I have a lisp. I had it since I was a child, I did speech therapy as a young child. My speech therapist’s name was Caroline, she was also Sis’s speech therapist.  For me a lisp was not so much a bad thing, I can talk, I can read, it also makes me sound like Kaa from Disney’s Jungle Book. As I was a child, I learned that I sounded different, but it’s something that I always dealt with. It is something that I learned workarounds.

   In Middle School,  I learned how cruel students were. There was a set of girls who would ask me over and over again to say Julius Caeser. They would snicker when I would comply. I would go home frustrated and upset that I had something that was a little different. And these mean girls thought it was okay to make fun of me.  Thankfully most people just thought I had a retainer for my entire life.

   High school, I moved to a new school, and most people always asked why do I talk like this. My patented answer would be no I don’t have a retainer. It’s called a lisp, and I’ve had it all my life.  However, through high school, I discovered that I don’t like to hear myself talk. There is a line in Princess Diaries the movie, where Mia says her life goals are to be invisible, I could relate.

   College came and went, and I thought my life goals would be designing greeting card somewhere where I could hide from people and communicate through my computer.

   I had one time when I met a speech therapist, and she asked me the litany of questions kids before asked. Do I have a retainer, no I answered? She keyed into my voice, and I explained I had a lisp. I then asked her why she was interested, and she responded that she was a speech therapist. But all my wariness shot forward and did not know what she would say after that.

   Then I got cancer, and I realized that God gave me a story that needed to be told. And that wouldn’t happen from behind a computer as often as I thought. It would be face to face, and I would have to face those demons that I hid away. The demons that someone would make fun of me because of my voice.  And to tell you the truth this was scarier than anything that makes me scared. SO I’ve done TV interviews, public presentations, and finally, things where I talk in front of people, and it’s never easy but this what God wants from me. I’ve learned some tricks along the way that are super helpful.

Never ask me to speak off the cuff, I need to know the questions and be able to form answers and practice what I am going to say. This helps me sound better and creates a better result for whatever I am responding too.

I take my notes with me. If I am publically answering something, I make sure I take my notes. Or I write notes beforehand and remember the answers.

I have a lisp, its how God created me and even though it makes me sound different its what makes me who I am. What’s your superpower? Own it.

I have a story, and God ordained it, and I also allow forgiveness for myself when I sound different or feel embarrassed about how I sound. He will never give you more than the handle.

Deuteronomy 7:9

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.

TTFN and God Bless and Keep You


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