The Right Volume

Find your voice. Find your volume.

A Quick Note

Samantha Livingston of The Right Volume

I’m so glad you’ve come. Here I reflect on life and share from my own desire (struggle) to walk with Jesus through both the joy and pain—also the mundane. If I have any ‘goal’ it’s simply to move people toward him. And by “people” I mean me. I’d love to have you join me.

Short-cut grass

We arrive when the mist is still rising off the field. I unfold my chair, settle its legs into soft earth and sink back into my book. The players look a little foggy too having been scooped out of warm beds, coaxed into uniforms and shoved into cars for the hour drive with a granola bar and a water bottle bigger than their heads. One by one they drop gear and begin making zigzags with balls around cones in the short-cut grass.

The wide expanse is quiet except for what soon becomes a steady pitter-patter of cleats. We parents aren’t yet bright-eyed enough for pleasantries but manage a curt “Mornin’” as each one approaches and the unspoken question filling in the edges of Sunday morning is: “Why are we here again?” Read more →

Mayday! Mayday!

The call pops up on my phone when I’m in the laundry room trying to get just one.thing.done. I can tell, from the numbers on the screen, it’s the school and immediately know I’ve forgotten something else.

“Hey honey,” I answer. “Hi Mommy. Um, all my friends are talking about a pool party after school and, well…” she stammers, “I’m just really confused.”

“I’m sorry. I’ll drop your suit and towel off. No worries.” Meanwhile I think, Great.Just one more item on a long list of to-dos that are threatening to sink me.

I appreciated–officially–only the preschool teachers. Didn’t even do the other seven. SEVEN between the older kids. Read more →

rugged-cross

When I miscarried our third child one conversation with a friend sticks out in my mind. Funny thing is, I don’t remember a single word she said.

What I do remember was collapsing into the brown chair in the bedroom–phone still pressed to my ear, walking into the closet–where the full-length mirror hangs, describing how it sucked to look pregnant but to be digesting the fact that I wasn’t.

I’m sure she talked too; it wasn’t only silence on her end, but I did most of the talking and that’s precisely my point. She wasn’t uncomfortable in the quiet moments where only tears dripped between us.

We all have a friend who’s suffering–maybe several. What is the best thing to say to her? And when we’re in pain what do we want to hear? Read more →

Last night was not my finest parenting moment. By the time Jon returned from the store, I finally sat on the couch alone. (All is grace when you’re down to the last roll of toilet paper and your husband volunteers to make the trip).

The scene that greeted him as he walked through the front door was quiet and dimly lit but, moments before, it would’ve told a different tale: a loud, wet one showcasing me losing my cool, practically forcing a child into the shower.

Why won’t she do what I tell her, when I tell her? I had no idea the cracks on the ceiling were so engaging. When my clock strikes “done” and I’m burned like a steak, my flesh shouts loud, Must this parenting go on 24/7 ? CAN’T A GIRL GET A BREAK!? Read more →

Y’all. I’ve just finished a book that reads like late night TV, were it a book, except without the profanity and frequent jabs at people. So I guess it’s not like late-night TV at all but the point is: it’s hilarious and won’t make you feel guilty for laughing.

The Antelope in the Living Room, by Melanie Shankle, is a memoir on marriage: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life.

I started it one night when our eleven-year old was sleeping in Jon’s and my bedroom because her own bed had been commandeered by her sister to make room for a sleepover. We both crawled into bed with our respective books–her on a floor pallet and me in the “big bed”–and, after a few minutes, I was laughing and carrying on so much she had to relocate to find some peace and quiet. Read more →