The Grove – Voice

I used to think that the time to share my voice would come later.  It was that elusive “some day.” Some day…when I have more life tucked under my belt, when the kids are older, when I have more time, when I’ve had more training, then perhaps I’ll  have something of value to share.

So I held back, waiting for the “some day.”

Then I read about some women, some real-life hero/mentor kind of ladies.  These women were living in the “some day” of my imagination.  Their kids were grown and gone, they had years of living and learning to draw from.  Surely, they had people knocking down their doors, lining up to drink from their wells of wisdom.

But no.

These ladies were lamenting that they feel like they are too old, too out of touch, too out of style to be wanted, to be needed.

So they too hold back, feeling like their day has passed them by.

That’s when I saw it.  That’s when it all clicked.  There’s a force at work here.  Something, someone, wants to hold us back.  Someone tries to stall, scare, and deceive so that there is always a reason to be silent.

That’s because he knows.  The Deceiver knows the power of voice.  He knows that voice can break barriers.  It can unite lives.  Voice can bring truth, cause change, heal hearts.  So he’ll blow fear, whisper lies, stuff busyness, anything, anything to keep my voice and yours quiet.

Because the Spirit in me has something to say to you.  And the Spirit in you has something to say to me.

I don’t know what the Deceiver’s been whispering to you.  Maybe it’s…

No one wants to hear.

You have nothing to offer.

You’re not a real teacher/writer/speaker/artist/musician.

You have no time or opportunity.  

Today, can we all stand together and call these what they are?  Lies.  Deceptions. Ties holding you back from what the Spirit wants to say through you.  To someone. Somewhere.

I don’t know where or to whom your voice needs to be shared.  I just know this is a good place to start.

Share your voice with us.  Here’s how:

  •  If you don’t have a blog, share with us in the comments.  We have the amazing ability to post images in our comments!  So post your images and/or your words there.
  • If you have a blog, write or make art based on the prompt.
  • Be sure to add the Velvet Ashes link ( to your blog post.  Feel free to use the button code from our side bar.
  • Please select the permalink from your post (so not your blog’s url, but your post url:
  • Use the blue linky tool below to enter your link.
  • It will walk you through selecting which image you want to show up in the linky.
  • Then your post will show up in The Grove’s linky.
  • Then be sure to go visit other’s sites and share some comment love!  It’s the rule.  We applaud brave hearts!


Speaking of voice…

There’s this conference for women, a conference that actually comes to you.  Yes, you, right where you are.  It’s free, and it’s amazing.   And if you’re done with fake and fluffy women’s events, then this one is definitely for you.  Because it’s made up of women who have fought through the lies holding them back and are ready to share their voice.  The theme is “We need your story.”


This April, Velvet Ashes is joining up with the kindred spirits over at (in)courage to take part in (in)RL 2014, a world-wide webcast about the heart of community.  Click on over here for details, because you do NOT want to miss this.


  1. Kristi January 16, 2014


    An ache

    A fullness

    A trewnbling

    Growing in the center of my chest

    An inspiration

    A thought

    An idea

    Swirling around in my mind

    A lump

    A swelling

    A tingling

    Forming in the back of my throat

    It stirs

    Wanting to be felt

    To be known

    To be heard

    If only I would

    Let it out

    Set it free

    Give it permission to




    I open myself





    It trickles


    Gushes forth




    On paper

    My voice

    1. Anna Craig January 16, 2014

      Kristi! I LOVE your poem. It reads beautifully 🙂 you’ve got a way with words. What a way to use your voice 🙂

    2. Danielle Wheeler January 17, 2014

      The way this builds in tension and emotion! Wanting to be felt, to be known, to be heard – this, the voice within each of us.  Stunning.

    3. Patty S January 17, 2014

      Kristi, your courage to use your beautiful voice here inspires me!

  2. Anna Craig January 16, 2014

    Danielle: I love your entry as well ! You hit the nail on the head about Satan wanting us to keep our mouth shut by convincing us we don’t know enough or our opinion doesn’t matter. Thank goodness the Spirit within us compels us and gives us the ability to speak and be heard!

    1. Danielle Wheeler January 17, 2014

      Thanks, Anna!  Loved your story of growing brave and sharing your voice!

  3. Liz K January 16, 2014

    oh my freaking word!!! You are speaking directly to me aren’t you?  Like as in, you’ve read my thoughts, and heard me say “when I am older and have more life lessons to share…then I’ll write a book.”   And yet I have questions…how do I write anything worth reading if I don’t understand the total lesson yet?  I have found over the last year my blog posts have been less and less about deep things, and more and more about what we did on this or that day…which is fine too, but yes, I find I long to create something with words that will help someone.  Hummm…this is something for some thought.

    1. Danielle Wheeler January 17, 2014

      Haha.  So glad this spoke to you, Liz.  If we waited until we understand the total lesson, we’d all be waiting until the other side of eternity, right?!  As Amy Young says, we’re living in the messy middle of it all.  It’s here that our voices need to be shared, to help the rest of us in the mess!

      1. Liz K January 17, 2014

        you’re right.  And I think this is more of the lesson I am learning…I need to be vulnerable.  I can be real with people “after the storm” pretty easily.  It’s in the middle of it that is scary to me.  Ok, deep breath.  Maybe today I’ll get time to write something really real.

        1. Amy Young January 17, 2014

          And real can be real short 🙂 … don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just showing up somewhere (here, or other places) is REAL :). You go girl!

    2. Cecily January 18, 2014

      Maybe the questions are a big part of the voice.  Ask the question!  It seems that when the Lord speaks to me, much of what He does is to ask me questions.  Sometimes the answers are obvious, sometimes I have to ask Him for help with the answers.  But in asking the questions, I can see what is on His heart.  So if all you have on your mind is a big question, or many little ones, go for it and ask the question!

  4. Shelly Page January 17, 2014

    Liz, I can’t help but think that the way in which we live the mundane and ordinary days of our lives can speak to others. You might never read it in a comment to a post, but it spoke, it mattered to that one who took time to read it.

    My voice is stalled when I worry too much about being “deep and profound” or saying it “just right.”  After speaking I often question what I have said, worry about the response in the other, who has by that time left the room, and think of better ways of getting the point across. To my surprise and delight, the Father has come into my clumsily but honestly spoken words, offered even reluctantly, like Kristi’s poem suggests, and has helped the listener to understand my intention, to believe my “I am for you,” and has eased my anxiety by letting me hear “I needed that word.”

    As I write this I think that part of our VOICE and speaking for the good of the church and others is closely connected to how well we LISTEN to others who use their voices to speak for the good of the church and others. I am part of the church, and I need to be a good listener, too.  We can then help one another to find our voice and share it with others.

    Okay, back to grading the voices of my students’ oral assignments.  🙂

    1. Liz K January 17, 2014

      Oh Shelly, I think you are dead on about living out the mundane speaks volumes.  And I love this idea of our Voice being a gift to the church too.  That helps free me some.  That God has given me these thoughts, words, phrases and they are for good of the Body.  Thanks!

      1. Shelly Page January 17, 2014

        Liz, I am glad that you are helped–that’s exactly what our voices ought to do. We don’t bring something out of nothing as God did when He spoke Creation into being, but we do bring to life once again what often gets buried and needs to be resurrected. We can bring hope with our words…but, you know, we can also do that with our very presence. Hm?  In what way is our presence also part of what we call “our voice”? I “speak” with a touch, a look, a gift given or received, brushstrokes on canvas, floral arrangements, home decorations, the design of a blog page…Hm?

    2. Danielle Wheeler January 17, 2014

      So many good points, Shelly.  Really glad you brought up the connection to listening.  So true.  Voice becomes meaningful when we truly listen to each other.

    3. Cecily January 18, 2014

      I’m right there with you, Shelly!  When I write on Velvet Ashes, I think about it later and wonder, “What does the reader REALLY think about me?  I didn’t leave a very good impression of myself.”  After one of the first times I wrote, I came back to try to delete my comment, but I found there was no way to do that!

  5. Patty S January 17, 2014

    Danielle, you’ve not only given us the gift of your voice in this season, but also given so many others space to share their voices through Velvet Ashes!  Yay for you and yay for God!

    1. Danielle Wheeler January 17, 2014

      Finding my own voice here and watching others do the same has been equal parts joy!!

    1. Shelly Page January 17, 2014

      Amy I hear you loud and clear. There are a couple of people in my life that I have looked at similarly–wishing I was more like them in their way of expressing ideas and truths. BTW, your blog and what you share here “sound just like you” and I have had the privilege of hearing–not just reading–you. 🙂

  6. Amy Young January 17, 2014

    This isn’t what I wrote about in my post (and by the way, don’t you just love the balloons! Don’t know why, but I LOVE the picture I found) anyway. I went back and forth this week on writing what I did, or on writing about when we don’t have a voice. In the sense that we used to have one and something has happened and we’ve lost it. It can come through a whole variety of ways. But if that’s you, and you used to have a voice and now are in a season of it being silenced. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what you have lost. I think of Joseph as he said in jail waiting and wondering WHEN … IF he’d ever be released. We know the end of the story, but in the midst of it, for Joseph, it was a hard path to walk. And if that’s you, though you may feel forgotten, you are not forgotten.

    1. Danielle Wheeler January 17, 2014

      I DO love the deflated balloons! 🙂  So perfect for your post.  And such a good word to the silenced.  You are not forgotten!  That’s the second time this week I’ve heard those very words.

  7. Cecily January 18, 2014

    My voice has gone to a pity party, many, in fact.  The invitations came from different places, but at least there was an invitation to something.

    I’ve come a long, long way since the pity party days.  I used to spend most of my time there and wondered why nobody else wanted to come.

    The Lord sent a very important person to me who spoke into my life for seven years, and through these words I knew that I had to leave those parties.

    But now, in recent days, I hear those words from the parties:  you’re nothing, nobody wants to hear what you have to say, your ideas are dumb, somebody beat you to it, somebody else will do it better than you can, there’s no place for you…

    But instead of returning to the parties of long ago, I cried out to Jesus this morning asking, “Where is my place?  Is there a place for me, for my voice?”  And now I wait in hope for Him to lead me to my place.

    1. Danielle Wheeler January 18, 2014

      So glad you’re not going back to those crummy parties.  Standing hopeful with you.  Hope you find Velvet Ashes to be a place for you.

      1. Cecily January 18, 2014

        Thanks, Danielle!  I have found a place here and I am so thankful!

  8. Jennifer January 18, 2014

    The challenge of finding your voice when there have been enough times when no one has wanted to listen… Has not even been prepared to do anything to correct a misunderstanding and even try to make things right.

  9. Cecily January 18, 2014

    Yes Jennifer, and it seems that much is required to overcome this pattern.  As others have said, it is clear that we have an enemy who goes to great lengths to discourage us and to keep us quiet.

    I’m amazed that it is okay to write these things here, but it is so good to know that others struggle with the same things I do.  For the truth is, when you are used to being silent, you have not shared your heart so nobody can say, “Me, too!  Me, too!”  But  here we are, finding out that we are very much alike 🙂

  10. Colleen January 19, 2014

    I rumbled around with “voice” all week long and was set to post this weekend…and then life overseas happened…3 day internet outage, raging cold with fever, and a non-stop flow of people at the door needing anything from a cup of coffee, a poisonous tree thorn removed from his foot, or a three day stay with a sock child. When the little internet sign blinked back on tonight, I got excited that I could write. But, the truth is, I’m mush and my throat hurts and my nose won’t stop running. So I’ll just hang out and read a while and hope the week ahead allows me a time and space to use my voice.

    1. Danielle Wheeler January 20, 2014

      Oh, Colleen!  What a rough few days!  Yes, just rest and feel better.  I read this today by Glennon Melton: “You can’t miss your boat. It’s yours. It stays docked till you’re ready.”  

  11. Shelly Page January 21, 2014

    I subscribe to a digital calendar. Just have to share this one with all of you on this topic of Voice. (I have never been successful attaching an image…let’s see…)

    1. Shelly Page January 21, 2014

      YEAH!! I worked!

  12. Cecily January 21, 2014

    Amen, Shelly!  It’s no wonder the enemy works so hard to silence us.

  13. Colleen January 22, 2014

    Finally got my post written and linked up! Better late than never, right?

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