Friday, March 16, 2012


Have you ever lost something and only then, realized how precious it truly was? I did. Here's the story.

As an elementary school supervisor, I also taught chorus and high school speech, along with office duties. It was the busy pre-Christmas season so programs were on the daily list to prep as well as classroom lessons. I developed laryngitis but kept teaching, singing and clearing my throat to no avail. Eventually I had very little voice left. When I did sing or speak it was raspy, strained and weak. Over the Christmas break I thought it would improve. It didn't.

I saw an ENT (ear, nose and throat specialist) who ran a little light down my throat. "You have a hair-trigger gag reflex," he informed me. You learn new things every day, even about yourself. Finally, however, I learned what I came there for.

"You have polyps on your vocal chords. They can develop into nodules and do permanent damage unless you go on complete voice rest." I think I saw Doug smile a little. Like blisters on fingers, the polyps could become like callouses.

The next few weeks revealed to me how valuable my voice is. It was a gift I'd taken for granted. In church, as others sang their praises to God, I could only scan the words in my hymnal. . . silently. Sometimes tears blurred the words. I remembered how mindlessly I'd sung in the past. My heart ached at the loss of teaching ability. Without my voice, I lost a lot.

Eventually my vocal chords healed. I've never taken speech for granted since then. I learned to take care of my voice and pay attention to a sore throat, rather than push it beyond limits.

What do you have in your life that you take for granted?

your spouse. . .

a friend. . .

good health. . .

your honor. . .

a job. . .

vision. . .

purity. . .

your children. . .

a good reputation. . .

freedom. . .

We have so many blessings that we overlook them, never treasuring them as we should. Don't wait until you lose something or someone to be thankful. Express your praise to God, your gratitude to others for how precious they are in your life.

Everything lost is not always found.

"For where a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also."


  1. Jerry Carraway wrote:
    The brain is a strange and wonderful thing. Just now while reading your latest edition, I could smell the perfume you used to wear back in the golden olden days in K/town. No idea what is was but that was definitely the fragrance I associated with you. many years ago WAS that? :-)
    4 hours ago · Unlike · 1
    Kathy Tippett Henderson wrote:
    Wow! Jerry, you were a kid and it was the early '70's. Amazing but I know there's a strong connection to the sense of smell and memory. Glad it was perfume and not BO!
    5 minutes ago · Like
    Jerry Carraway LOL.....No BO.

  2. Patsy Perry Spikes wrote:

    Great story Kathy--thanks for the reminder! : )
    17 hours ago · Like

  3. I had vocal nodules a few years ago and was put on voice rest. My husband smiled, my children said it would never happen and my boss and coworkers laughed hysterically! I believe I have them again and I'm dreading going to the doctor. Yes, we take so many every day things for granted and often failed to give thanks. Thanks for reminding us. Trisha Zeigler

  4. What a good way to tie your experience in with a life lesson! When teaching at the Y I have sometimes had trouble with my voice, but it never developed into nodules. One thing I did learn was how important it is to warm up your voice before using it.