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’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 →

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 →