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.

I come to sit in the creme-colored wingback chair–the one Jon doesn’t like. Coffee mug in hand, I prop my feet on the old oak chest which belonged to my great aunt, Lucille. It’s hard on my heels and I grab a pillow off the sofa to tuck under them.

I sit still and listen.

It’s still dark outside. I heard an alarm go off down the hallway when I first entered the kitchen, so I know someone’s stirring, but I’m not at great risk of being interrupted. Not yet anyway. The pipes begin to creak as the water heats up and, although she’s the first up, she’ll also be the last to surface.

I didn’t make it up as early as I sometimes do–having slept good and hard following several nights in a hotel bed with a girl who’s all knees and elbows–but early enough to snatch a few minutes alone I hope. Read more →

Last night I had an unexpected date. I think the pockets that open up at the last minute in an otherwise dry and dusty calendar may be the ones which bloom greenest.

Things have been a little strained lately.

And by strained I mean I’ve been even more impatient than usual with some forgetfulness belonging to one of the two of us and her tendency to get off-track. And since I’ve been on a sharply-focused route to production, the one couldn’t be me. No time for stops on this train, baby. Only full-steam ahead.

But, as it turns out, hunger is an even more powerful force than a steel locomotive so when we stopped after the game to grab some take-out, I said, “You wanna eat here instead?”

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I’m currently gearing up for tax season which basically means I’m sitting at the computer  for long stretches of time organizing numbers. And it will continue like this for the better part of four months. I have mixed feelings about it. A bit of panic over whether I’ll be able to keep all the balls in the air and a little excitement over being able to have a singular focus and a real excuse not to cook dinner every night–something I talk a bit more about in my bio.

As I started getting into it over winter break I noticed a little something else going on with me. (Ah, winter break. In all its pajamas-‘til-noon glory.)  While kids alternately played with Legos inside or rode Christmas gifts outside, I quietly plugged away at the keyboard, importing digits and sending them into neat boxes. (Ah, numbers. They don’t talk back or argue with their sister.) Read more →

Last Sunday we got home from church and I declared it a day of rest. As if I was the first person to do so. I stepped out of my “nice” jeans, slipped into the olive green pants with the drawstring waist and plopped myself on the couch with a new book. I even exchanged the sofa pillow with one from my bed so I could laze away the afternoon reading without the usual neck pain.

A little thrill rolled up from my stomach at the prospect–no, the justification–to rest. Nope. Not available. Resting! I’d say when kids rolled in with their requests. And that’s pretty much what I did. Unless you count listening to a young boy recite his Christmas wish list as work.

Whoever said girls are more verbal than boys hasn’t met this guy…

“So, I’m going to sit down and talk to you,” he said, flopping himself on the cream-colored pillow like a grown man on a psychiatrist’s couch. Read more →


“It’s foggy in here!” I shout into the dark. “It’s foggy!”

He sounds far away at first, but I begin to hear Jon laugh, as if from the end of a long tunnel. He gets closer and closer and then, “What? It’s foggy?” he says. I see his smirk even with my eyes still shut, feel him pretending to take me seriously. The lightness of his mood, having just slipped into bed, adds fresh fuel to my determination.

“Samantha, you’re dreaming!” he spits out after several failed attempts to stop my shouting.

I must have bolted straight out of covers when I launched into this tirade because when I come to my senses I’m upright and still clinging to my weather report. Jon quite enjoys his little opportunity to poke fun while I roll over to sulk, groggy under sleep’s spell but hell-bent on my conviction IT REALLY IS FOGGY! Read more →