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Last night I had the special privilege and honor of providing the musical program for "The Well" event at FUMC-Grapevine. "The Well" is a bi-monthly gathering of women for fellowship, a great meal, followed by programs from noted women's authors and speakers.

Ann Hailey had asked me if I could provide a musical program of Christmas carols for the event. I initially planned to decline. I had not accepted any invitation to sing since my 2nd throat surgery in early October. Between a fluctuating energy level and vocal problems, I just hadn't felt comfortable singing in public in front of an audience. After thinking and considering the invitation for a couple of hours, I felt compelled to accept. i replied back to Ann and suggested a Christmas Carol sing-a-long to help compensate for my voice not being at full strength. Ann thought it was a great idea, and we confirmed I would be there.

This week was a good week energy wise. I worked a good full-time week with no problems. However, my Thursdays usually start at 5:30 AM and usually end with my getting home at 9 PM, so I was a little worried about my energy level and my voice. Yesterday, after taking an hour break away from the office, I started rehearsing about 2 hours before the event, working on different keys for each song until I found my comfort zone. I used my new Taylor T-5 through the PA, and it worked just great. I am getting more and more pleased with that guitar every time I play it.

I took another break as dinner was served, and went up to my office to finish sipping through a Diet Sprite from Sonic, and to just relax for a bit. Perhaps I was also praying, I don't remember. I got up to head downstairs to tune up, and I had this calm sense of peace that it would all be OK. Many of the ladies attending know me or about me, so it wasn't a hostile crowd.

After Ann's very precious introduction, I started into a little Jamaican rhythm version of "Silver Bells" with the ladies joining me on the chorus. Then a slow version (is there any other way?) of "White Christmas." The 3rd song was a long time personal favorite, "Do You Hear What I Hear." Half-way through, I felt a warm wave of peace and assurance ... I almost started crying, but kept singing. I knew right then, and finally accepted for myself, that I was going to be OK, that the worry of the past 3 months of dealing with thyroid cancer and voice issues was coming to an end.

Vocally, I was doing pretty well through each song. It felt like I was getting stronger with each song. I was projecting with no strain, and controlling my voice with little effort or thought. In other words, I was getting comfortable. My throat felt relaxed and I was enjoying myself.

The final song was "Mary Did You Know," my favorite contemporary Christmas song. And, to quote a friend, " I just let it rip." Afterwards, as I thanked the ladies for their applause and participation, I knew and accepted that my voice was going to be ok. In fact, it may even be a little better!!! Given time and some re-training, I really believe I'm going to have a better voice.

It was good then, and is good today to feel at peace about it all!

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

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