Hearing and using the inside voice

A girl peers through a curtain in her home in Uganda.

“Use your inside voice.” It’s a phrase you’ve probably said to your kids, just like I’ve said to mine. Many times. When the noise and bickering and crazy get to be just a tad too much and the volume seems better suited to a wide-open field than the cozy yet limited confines of our kitchen. And I’m not sure what it is about my kids, but they seem louder than average humans. Particularly the later in the evening it gets.

(I’m sure they don’t get it from my side … except I’m sure they do.) An inside voice calls for a better understanding of the setting into which you’re speaking. An inside voice means that you’re thinking about the eardrums of others. An inside voice means you know how to communicate and explain and inspire without hollering.

But in a noisy world, an inside voice can be judged as less effective, less attention-grabbing. In our loudly opinionated culture, it’s an outside voice that often fills your ears.

Too often in my life, I’ve listened to outside voices and allowed them to influence areas to which they had no right. I find that’s the case for so many women today, where an outside voice seems most strident in belittling our efforts as moms and wives and businesswomen.

It’s why I find a big chunk of joy as the host of the allmomdoes podcast. I get to use my inside voice to encourage and challenge and inspire women in all seasons of life, from that gal who is expecting her first baby to the seasoned veteran who is launching her last kid into college to the sage who is gathering up the grandkids.

Too often, outside voices try to tell us how we should be doing it. Outside voices can set expectations that we struggle to live up to. Outside voices don’t always understand the context of the room, the season we’re in as women, and that judgment and doubt can echo off the walls of our hearts. Inside voices, those who have been there and who understand and who know how to both encourage and challenge, those voices are the ones that can help create true community and understanding.

That’s the beauty of the allmomdoes community. On the topics of parenting and relationships and faith and career that often clang with the noise of outside voices, we bring guests to the podcast table who know how and when to use their inside voices. Inside the hearts of women. Inside the challenges we face. Inside the doubts we carry. Inside the hopes we nurture.

It’s part of what I value so much in the partnership between the allmomdoes podcast and World Vision. World Vision understands the importance of an inside voice in the communities in which it serves, empowering the individuals in that community through education, resources, and vision. Just like allmomdoes, World Vision pays attention to the inside voices of a community, those who can best explain the needs and dreams of its community members.

I’m learning more and more to value and seek inside voices. I’m finding more and more that those who know how to use their inside voices often resonate the deepest with wisdom and maturity. Just like my kids, I need that reminder to use my inside voice when it comes to all the debates and diatribes that swirl around us today. And I’m reminded afresh that truth and kindness transcend volume every time.

Julie Lyles Carr is the host of the allmomdoes podcast.
Photo courtesy of Julie Lyles Carr

Julie Lyles Carr is a bestselling author, national speaker, and business owner. As the host of the allmomdoes podcast, she’s welcomed such guests as Beth Moore, Bob Goff, Priscilla Shirer, Max Lucado, Kari Jobe, and Kathie Lee Gifford. Last fall, she signed up to be chosen as a child sponsor with World Vision. She lives with her husband, Mike, in Austin, Texas, where they have raised their eight children.

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