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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Find Your Voice

It never fails that whenever I leave North Florida, and all those who know me well, I ALWAYS get asked the question, “Where are you from?”

Not because of the way I look or the way I dress, it’s all because of the way I talk. With my, shall I say, ‘Southern Belle’ accent.

From California, to Chicago, to the Big Apple I have been asked this question. One place I NEVER thought my red-neck (I might as well go ahead and call it like it is) southern drawl would be brought up in conversation was in the Czech Republic. Most of these people don’t even speak English and the ones who do probably don’t even notice I am saying words with long vowels. But, believe it or not, it did come up in conversation, ON THE FIRST DAY HERE.

Anyway, I shared with the fine people who were commenting on (nice way to say “making fun of”) my speech, how there was a time that I really disliked the way I talked. When you are a public speaker you want to sound a little sophisticated and maybe even a little educated.

I even attended a Speakers class about 6 years ago and the only “advice” the leader gave me was a card with a phone number on it of a voice coach who would teach me to not sound so much like a hillbilly. (No offence if you consider yourself to be a hillbilly, I are one too)

Anyway, tonight in our last session, the speaker was telling us we have to be one of a kind. To find out who you are. Don’t try to be like someone else. God put a lot of time planning who you would be, where you would be born, and what your gifts and talents would be.

And yet we find ourselves not liking our voice, our gifts, or our heritage and we try to change it. And as we do we just end up frustrated and disliking ourselves even more because you will only master being who you were designed to be.

God put something in you that He put in no one else. For me, one of those things is the way I speak. For you it may be the way you care for those close to you. But when we all, who are uniquely gifted and designed, come together, we all become a part of God’s greatest symphony.

And we complete each other.

I had to learn to be myself, and to be myself in the Lord.

So, no matter if I am in Indiana or the Czech Republic, I am proud to use MY southern voice. It has become my badge of honor.

Blessings from Europe!



Pat said...

You are so funny Tina....I am always asked if I'm from "Tennessee" because I guess I talk "fast"...anyway I think you do a great job and I wouldn't want you to talk a bit different....loved the blog...and you're right..we are all unique and blessed of God...come home soon. Love Mom Johns

Anonymous said...

You are so very true, most of the time people is worrying about being like some one else, that's were jealousy comes in to play and causes lots of trouble.And your so right and very uplifting God took his time like you said on each and everyone of us and I know a lot of people don't like me to much because I love to give and if someones in need I'm going to do my best in helping that love-one. God planted that gift in me and. I love how you put all that out there like that good word Tina God Bless! alot of people that i thought was my close friend hate that about me.But i'm going to keep blessing other when I can.

Barbara said...

What a great post...and yes,, your hillbilly, redneck voice is wonderful when its got the Power of Almighty God behind it.....that's why it is so life changing. God knows what He is doing. Hope your trip is going well....Hope Pastor Mark is better.