A few days ago, one of my old blogs popped up in my Facebook feed.
It was the blog I wrote exactly one year ago this weekend.
I wrote about how I had lost my voice, due to not using it for so long.
What they say is true….if you don’t use it, you lose it.
This is true with many things.
Vocal chords being at the top of that list.
Here is an excerpt from that year-old blog post:
A Year Ago, May 1, 2016
Recently I reconnected with an old friend of mine named Kris.
We used to play coffeehouses together back in the 90’s.
I sang and played guitar, and he played drums.
Two weekends ago, the kids and I threw our stuff in the car and we drove to spend the weekend with Kris and his family.
He is married now and has 4 kids.
They live in a beautiful old wooded neighborhood right outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The view from the back deck looks like a scene right out of Bambi.
And in the basement of their massive house, there is a movie theatre for the kids. And a recording studio for the adults.
So while our kids played and laughed and romped around together all weekend, Kris and I sat in the studio and tried our best to relive our twenties, and start working on the Christmas album we always wanted to record together.
My guitar callouses are gone. My voice is too.
Kris recorded me singing our version of Silent Night.
It was painful to listen to.
So I said, “Well, it sounds like the dream will remain just a dream.”
And Kris, true to form, said “So that’s it? Um…no. You start practicing. You retrain your fingers and your vocal chords. Nobody just stops singing for 15 years and then walks into a recording studio and sings flawlessly. You keep coming back here to visit, and we keep working on it.”
The next morning, I woke up to fresh coffee.
Kris had made breakfast for everyone, and Lisa was giving the baby his bottle. Their oldest daughter, Grace, who is 7, sat down at the grand piano and played.
I saw myself sitting there.
That was me 36 years ago.
I spent my entire life singing, playing instruments, and loving music.
Then a year or so before my daughter was born, I got my feelings crushed. I let one producer tell me I wasn’t good enough to perform.
And I left that life. And started this one.
Grace’s song was short and sweet. As I listened, tears poured down my face.
How did I let my kids grow up without a house full of music?
Why was the negative opinion of one person so much louder than the positive response of the masses?
And I decided right then and there, that it is never too late.
So that day I played until my fingers nearly bled. The next day, I did it again. And every day since, I have been rebuilding those callouses on my fingers, and retraining my voice.
I don’t know if I’ll ever perform again. Or record anything worth listening to. But what I do know is that this experience has ignited something in me that I thought was long gone.
I want music back in my life.
Present Day, April 30, 2017
This morning I am sitting at the breakfast table with Kris.
Me with my coffee.
And he with his four kids crawling all over him.
His wife is in the kitchen cooking.
And my kids are still asleep.
Well, one of them anyway.
And I am just overwhelmed with love and gratitude.
Over the course of the past year, God has given me back exactly what I asked for.
And lots of it.
Shortly after Kris started pushing me to retrain my voice, my dad bought me a brand new Epiphone guitar and told me to get busy.
In the fall I met the owner of the music store in my hometown, who is also a drummer.
And resident butt kicker.
He introduced me to the owner of a recording studio, who is also now my guitar teacher and vocal coach.
So little by little, God has dropped these incredible people and gifts into my life, to bring back exactly what I asked for a year ago.
This weekend we recorded a cover of Over the Rhine’s Poughkeepsie.
This was my closing song at coffeehouses back in the 90’s.
I can hardly wait to share it with the world again.
You see, even when you ignore what God intends for you, it still has a way of finding you.
You can run from it.
Hide from it.
Curse it if you must.
But gifts are meant to be used.
And I have every intention of doing both from now on.
Visit my website for a selection of gorgeous guitars: