Little Improvement

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But, improvement is still improvement even if it is only little. I should be pleased with my progress so far, and not beat myself up for the slow going nature of said progress.

I’m speaking of my accent, of course. If you’ve been following my recent posts you will have read of my obsession to rid myself of my native American accent, and replacing it with the tone of my residence. Living in the UK for over a decade now, I had hoped – assumed – that my accent would naturally soften and, by osmosis, I would gradually, but surely, lose the harsh American sound to my speaking voice. Like in so many other things, I’ve been woefully disappointed. After so many years with so little softening, I’ve come to the conclusion that hard work and retraining is the only way to get what I want. But, hard work is what it is. Very hard work.

I have undertaken elocution exercises. And, I am finding, like all physical exercise, it causes me a great deal of pain. My whole head aches with the effort.

Today, after the school run, I decided I would record some of this baby step yet painful progress, with the idea to share it here. I went to the computer…

I haven’t recorded anything since we got a new computer and everything was different. My recording software, the operating system. Different now. I’ve been avoiding recording anything lately because… well, I didn’t have anything desperately pressing on me to record (people still aren’t beating down my door for my music), but more because of the changes to what I was used to and could use well.

The new computer was given to us…and, I’m not ungrateful…but, it hadn’t really been given with helping me out in mind, but more for my husband and the children. Granted our old one was on its last circuity legs, but I was on firm footing with it and it was only that familiarity that allowed me to use it to record two albums and all my singles. It was a crap piece of machinery, but I did do true wonders with it.

So, school run done, I approached the new with trepidation, and…

Autism reared its head and I found myself unable to navigate the changes.

Frustrated and in tears, I walked away from the strange and hostile hardware and software. Talk about your technical difficulties.

Now, I have a voice recorder on my phone, but I can’t, for whatever reason, upload what I record there. I can share it via whatsapp message, but it won’t go anywhere else.

I resorted to downloading the soundcloud app on my phone, so I could use my existing soundcloud account.

After several attempts at getting it right, the above recording is what I settled with sharing here.

What I recorded yesterday, on my phone voice recorder, sounds better…truer. But, this is what I could manage today. It’s one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and one that particularly resonates with me.

Shakespeare is a benchmark, a starting point. The language and rhythm is helpful to mastering the necessary cadence. I know, I’m far from mastering anything here. And, there I go, beat beat beat, smash, hate myself for…

all my inability.

Can I go to bed now, wretched world?  No. Now, it’s nearly time to pick the kids back up from school.

I’ve wasted a whole day. My God, how miserable.

But, even pain sounds better in an English accent. Too bad my pain is simply and acutely painful and doesn’t yet – and might never – have that “better” thing going for it.

I leave you with the Bard and my imperfect voicing of his brilliant words.

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The problems are being fixed. Please wait…

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Wow, 921 problems corrected, immediately – with the click of a finger, in the blink of an eye. This morning, after clicking the notice given by my anti-virus for maintenance, my computer screen began speaking to me. I thought about how I wish I could fix my 921 (at least) problems by clicking a button; I wish human maintenance and mental and emotional health was that simple; I want to hit a button and have my mind defragmented!

However, when the day went on and the defrag continued into the afternoon and the evening, this is what hit me:

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While the 921 problems were rectified almost instantly at my click, this defragging biz takes time and is a longer process (especially when there is “severe fragmentation”). A sermon was forming…

Please wait…

Isaiah 30:18:

So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.

At the cross, 921 problems (and more) were – instantly and forever – taken care of when Jesus said, “It is finished.” There is no power in religion, only in relationship, and the way was made, then and there, for all time, for that relationship to happen. So, what now?

So now, people like me (with issues and “severe fragmentation”) have hope. But, the defragging (restoring of the soul) is something that doesn’t just – poof – happen. It’s a process that takes time. Just as the computer files have to be carefully worked through, so my “internal system”, my “hard drive” aka my soul (in other words: my mind, will and emotions) take some major sorting out. Or what? I will run sluggishly and I will, more times than not, crash.

Because of the finished work of Jesus, spiritually, I am peachy keen (that’s a theological term, don’tcha know). And, ultimately, I know, one day, I’m going to see this:

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BECAUSE OF THIS HERE:

Philippians 1:6:

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

But, right now I am here:

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And, I am promised that “the problems are being fixed” and am advised (over and over again): please wait…

Psalm 27: 13-14:

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the  Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Isaiah 40:31:

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

And, there are many, many more places where waiting upon the Lord is encouraged and instructed. So, here’s my little paraphrase, in light of my ‘puter’s defrag lesson:

St. Autumn 1:1-2:

Wait upon the Lord and you shall be defragmented. The problems are being fixed; please wait.

What is waiting? Well, the original Hebrew in these places where it says “to wait” more literally means to be expectant. So, it isn’t just a resigned sitting around. It is an expectant trust.

This is GOING TO HAPPEN (He’s promised it):

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But, it doesn’t just happen with the click (it only STARTS with the click). It’s a journey that He is committed to, that so must I be if I want an optimized operating system minus interference. I must…

Please wait…

And so, my response shall continue (with expectation) to be:

Psalm 130:5-6:

I wait for the Lord , my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.