This has nothing to do with this post, but it turns out that I really like to doodle trees. Here’s one of my more recent ones.

  My ring catches my eye as my fingers dance across the keyboard. The ring I wear now has a special significance. It reminds me to speak up. To open my heart, use my voice, and communicate what I think and feel to those around me. To some, this may be easy. Instead they may feel that not speaking, not opening up, and not being venerable is difficult. But to me, each time I open my mouth a part of me goes out into the world. Sometimes the world can be a cold heartless place, full of cynicism and defeat. It scares me to send even a detached part of myself out into that world. Even though it is no longer inside of me, those spoken words are still attached to me, my ears are taking in the things they have done, my eyes recording the actions they have caused. My heart responds to the reaction my words get, whether they are beaten or praised.  

                What if I don’t speak? What if my lips are stilled while forming sounds, and my fingers are stopped while making my words more permanent on paper? Does it really matter? Why is my speaking up so vital? The world got along with my being silent for many years before, why must I speak up now?

Because God didn’t make me silent.  

                Although I may not have realized it, and have still not realized it fully, I am a communicator. My spoken word is valuable, but my pictures speak long past the moment, and my pen holds the speech of a silent tongue. When I speak the sound reaches only to those near me, but my pen and picture can reach thousands I’ll never know. So then, what does it mean to speak? Does it simply mean to form sounds with your body and project them to the ones near you? Or does it mean something bigger, does speaking in this age include pen, paper, pictures, keyboards, and web layouts, not just my voice?

                Even if those things are part of communication today speech is still vitally important.   Ask me about the time my tongue was swollen to the point where every word I tried to say was painful and difficult. It helped me to realize that being able to speak to those around us is a gift we very often take for granted. To be able to scream in pain, sigh in relief, whisper in confidence, and laugh in joy is a precious gift. And speaking up, with your voice, really has no substitute. Because only when you open your mouth can you really see what those around you think of what you said. In a text, a letter, or a picture your body language, voice level, eye contact, enthusiasm, and even personality are all lost. The act of speaking, and to be spoken to, should never be done away with.

                So, I speak. But I also write, sing, and photograph. I believe all of these are important tools I need to better learn how to use. Just to bring a down to earth ending to this rather theoretical post, I am hoping to go to college to learn how to do these and many other things better. When I will go to college I am not exactly sure. There is a slight possibility of it happening in August, but this next spring may be more likely to work out. The school I’m looking at is Cottey College in Missouri. To go there I’m going to have to either save up a bunch of money before I go or find and receive some really good scholarships. (Side note, if you know of good ways to find scholarships, or scholarships I could apply for, please let me know. You’d make me a happy Anna.) I’m kinda curious to see how it happens. My goal after college is to help end human trafficking. It’s too big of a job for me, rather impossible really, and I’m even more curious to see how it happens, if it happens, where and with whom it happens, etc. But the driving reason for my going to college is so I can do better at that than I can now.

                Anyways, God bless, may his hope surround you and his presence be with you no matter what life comes at you with.
                Thanks, Anna Crumbie


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