The Right Volume

Find your voice. Find your volume.

The Whole Truth

And nothing but the truth, so help me God

Parisian cafe

What I’m about to share is something I really wasn’t planning on telling you just yet. I thought I’d first let you get to know me a bit more – without preconceived notions – before I dropped a bomb on you. I haven’t done a very good job of hiding it though – the TRUTH. It keeps seeping out through various places like water that refuses to stay in a cracked jug.

I’m kind of like that. Truth has a way of making its way out of my mouth whether I like it or not. On a good day I manage the flow; on a bad day….well, you just never know.

So rather than delay the process, I’m gonna face it head-on. Attack the elephant in the virtual room. Look at it squarely in the eyes and address it aggressively: head-to-head, baby, toe-to-toe. Mano a mano.

You see, up ‘til this point I was hoping you’d think of me just as a writer. Yes, a writer. Ahhh…it sounds sexy, doesn’t it? [Imagine a booming voice saying this: Samantha Livingston, writer....]. It has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking: I’ve said that this site is dedicated to us women finding our voice, finding our volume. And it would seem that this process would involve showing our true selves, the unabridged version, single-faced, yada-yada. But you must know something about me: I’m really not legalistic. A slight misrepresentation here and there is okay, if it’s for the better good, right?

You know, “the ends justifies the means”…

Actually, as it it turns out, that’s just not gonna work – the mis-representing I’ve been doing. Rats. If it were up to me I’d have you think I’m just  your average-Jane-writer type who hangs out at Starbucks all day long with my black coffee and cigarettes, my head topped off with a woolen, charcoal-gray beret which hides only some of my black tousled hair, wearing a short skirt, mismatched knee-high socks, may be argyle, tucked inside my well-worn, much-traveled, brownish-gray leather boots, and may be a wrist tattoo peeking out from my long-sleeve shirt. Alluring, but by chance. Not pre-meditated attractive. Just cool.

Writer cool.

Or better yet, I’m in a Parisian cafe (who needs Starbucks when there’s French local?) wearing a chic trench coat with nothing underneath and black-rimmed glasses resting slightly too far down my nose. My hair is imperfectly coiffed, in a style that strikes just the right balance: that oh-so-hard-to-mimic look that says BOTH “I did this by accident” and “I’ve just found the next red-carpet up-do.” Either way, you’d be left with one thought: I’d love to get to know her.

Here’s the truth: I’m a tax accountant. I know! It’s a HUGE let-down, right? If I’m honest, the reason I didn’t want to share it’s because I don’t want you to think I’m boring. I mean, let’s face it, tax accountants don’t exactly have a reputation for being funny, or charming, or sexy, do they now? Here at The Right Volume I’m inviting you to pull up a comfy chair, sit a while, reflect on your own story, find Him in it, and have some coffee-talk.

Who wants to do that with a complete and total nerd?

If I ever find myself involved in accounting groups and online boards (which I pretty much avoid unless it’s absolutely necessary for research purposes), I balk at the kind of humor they use. I mean, really. You should see the jokes they post. Think Dwight Schrute meets tax code. These people are clearly not the life of the party. If you were captain for the day, you’d pick them last as your teammates for dodgeball.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not ungrateful for the profession. It’s served me well as I’m able to work from home a few months of the year and play with my kids the rest of the time. Or boss them around, depending on which way you look at it.

But come tax-time, baby, it’s game on. I hole up in my office, throw the kids at the sitter, and put the petal to the medal, my mind to the grind, my fingertips to the 9-key, my brain to the drain.

Wait, rewind. Let’s go back to “pedal to the medal.” I like that one best. More biker chick.

But that’s not the point.

The point is this: it’s what I do; not who I am.

Just like the writing gig. It’s something I do. Not who I am.

God’s had me on a journey for a while now, which still continues, of unraveling some lies I’ve bitten into about my identity. Lies that have prevented me from stepping into the MORE that He has for me. (Can you see now why I have such a passion to help others find the MORE God has for them too?). My current passion was born out of my own personal struggles.

One lie, in particular, has been exposed and has risen to the surface like a dead roach in a pot of boiling water that you didn’t realize was in the bag of rice. This one’s a whopper. Not just a white lie: it’s a big, nasty, bald-face, black-with-dirt lie.

Have I piqued your interest? How did I expose it, you ask? I was writing – hmmmm, writing, and there it appeared on the page:

I am valued for what I do, and not who I am.

The implications of this lie are so big, so huge, so far-reaching, that I couldn’t begin to cover them in a single sitting. It’ll be a theme threaded throughout many posts, I’m sure. But for now, let’s just take it down to the bottom line. (After all, we accountants do love the bottom line, don’t we now?)

The most frequently used name for God in the Bible is the one that means I Am. Mere coincidence? I think not. Although many names are used for God in the Bible, Yaweh (or Jehovah), which translated, means I Am, is found over 6800 times. Now I gave up auditing years ago so I didn’t take the time to count them myself, but let’s roll with it anyway.

He is I Am.

We are made in the image of I Am. That makes us little I Ams.

Allow me to go back to the Parisian cafe for a moment. There I am, cool author me. I said that I hoped you’d have one thought: I’d love to get to know her. That’s because this lie still comes back to bite me in the butt sometimes. I think it’s all about what I do. It’s not. And I have a hunch I’m not alone in this. I bet a lot of us struggle with this lie.

I wanna refute the lie here; speak the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help me God. You see, I’m only able to do it because He has helped me to uncover the truth:

I am valued for who I am, not for what I do.

I derive my value from the first I Am, the Creator.

You are valued for who you are, not for what you do.

Rest in that truth today. Lie in it like a hammock. Sway in the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit as you allow him to speak more and more truth into your heart and mind today.

But that's enough about me…what about you?

Do you struggle with the lie, like me, that you are what you do and not just who you are? Do you believe the truth that you can just BE and not have to DO to earn favor?

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  • http://www.300poundsdown.com/ 300poundsdown

    Oh this is really good.  I have to constantly remind myself of this.  In fact there is a song out right now that I like called “Remind me who I am” by Jason Gray.  I listen to it a lot b/c sometimes I forget that it’s who I am and not what I do.  Especially when the “what I do” is not that great.  You can get caught up in the negative thinking cycle and Satan really will use that to seperate you from God.  You start thinking God can’t help you b/c of what you have done.  Satan loves that.  If he can get you running away from God then he has won.  But you are right.  It’s not about what we have done.  It is about what HE has done . And it’s about who we are in Him!!

    • http://therightvolume.com/ Samantha Livingston

       @300poundsdown And guess what song I was listening to this morning!!? “Remind Me Who I Am.” Love the consistency and unity the Lord brings his children. :) Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • BonnieSilerVerlander

    I read this post while I was eating lunch today and shortly after laid down for a nap…don’t judge me :). I literally woke up thinking about your blog post. The message for me was …”It’s not what’s been done to you or what you’ve experienced that defines you…it’s who you are in me (Christ).” 
     
    Thanks @Samantha Livingston for reminding me that our circumstances do not define us. I’m also reminded though of how those life circumstances, some good and some bad, can always be used for transformation if we just rest in that hammock and sink into the truth of who we are in Christ. 

  • BonnieSilerVerlander

    I read this post while I was eating lunch today and shortly after laid down for a nap…don’t judge me :). I literally woke up thinking about your blog post. The message for me was …”It’s not what’s been done to you or what you’ve experienced that defines you…it’s who you are in me (Christ).” 
     
    Thanks @Samantha Livingston for reminding me that our circumstances do not define us. I’m also reminded though of how those life circumstances, some good and some bad, can always be used for transformation if we just rest in that hammock and sink into the truth of who we are in Christ.