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 just back from James Madison University where I was invited to speak at a women’s conference. Here are seven reasons I’m feeling full and incredibly thankful for my time there:


1. This group

I love all worship bands. I do. But there was something inexplicable–a warmth rising within me–upon being led by an all-female worship band. Each played her instrument as if completely captivated by God’s presence, seemingly unworried about the end result, which was beautiful nevertheless.

p.s. It’s rumored that, before this weekend, various ones had led worship, but never all together which leaves me dropjawed. p.p.s. Mattie, I’m sorry your beautiful face is hidden behind that mic!

lead team

2. In good company

It was special to share the stage with other women who love the Lord–most of whom I’d never met before–and to hear the unique messages God wrote on each of our hearts. Distinctly different parts woven into a beautiful and unified whole = a mysterious wonder. I particularly loved these nuggets: Read more →

This past weekend was one of supreme laziness which means it was awesome. I took two baths in twenty-four hours and topped them off with a nap. Jon’s been traveling for work and, you know what they say: “While the cat’s away the mouse will play.”

Actually, I think it’s ‘mice’ but it’s nice to think of myself without children sometimes. Even if only for a few minutes while soaking. They managed to make themselves quite unforgettable, however, running around the house making all sorts of noise, even bringing other mice around to play.

Of course, bathing and napping could hardly be rebellious, but eating pre-made Costco dinners like we’ve been suffering a salt shortage for years on end, definitely is. (Jon’s against them.) Read more →

I shoot out of bed like a cannon. It’s way brighter than it’s supposed to be. I stumble down the hall to what is–thankfully–a lit-up room, and see our eldest sitting on her bed. Surprisingly, she’s already dressed.

One fire out, I continue toward the kitchen, my eye on the prize. Grabbing a mug from the dishwasher, I curse the phone banging my thigh from the inside of my robe pocket. How did you not go off? I would ask, could I form a coherent question. All I manage is a cynical, Technology.

So much for quiet sipping and couch-sitting, silent prayers offered up alongside the steam from between my palms. I’ll do good to get out a simple Help!

Reluctantly, I launch into the usual drill. Forget ham and cheese or anything more creative. It’s peanut butter across the board. Somehow, I manage to string together three meals and get everyone to school on time, before plunking myself into the chair where deadlines await. Read more →

For those of you who are sick and tired of hearing about this, I UNDERSTAND. And I’m pretty sure I’m breaking all sorts of rules by even telling you I’m fasting, but the only way I know how to deal with traumatic events is to process out loud.

If you’re just joining in: I’m a non-faster who enjoys wine, sugar and bacon (not typically in that order, but I’m open), who is currently fasting. We’re nearing the end so I’m more like on the pro-level now so I should be able to provide even more compelling observations.

Firstly, based on multiple conversations via text, phone call and over dinner with friends, I’ve decided it should be re-titled. Instead of The Daniel Fast, a more fitting name would be Daniel’s Gas: A 21-day Tour.

Land o’ mine. Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

true friends

Read more →

I’m currently doing the Daniel Fast and how I got to this point on my journey is still a little fuzzy. Something to do with a late-night church meeting and Jon mentioning afterward, in what I would call a very cavalier manner, that he would be starting a fast the next day.

Um, hello! Groceries?! Evidently spiritual undertakings don’t take practical details into consideration and never mind that he may as well have dropped a bomb on our pantry.

But back to me and my own fast.

To put this into context, I am not a faster. On any given day I am the person who eats a bacon cheeseburger across the table from someone who is fasting. I kind of exempt myself from this particular spiritual discipline because Number One: I am very grumpy when I’m not well fed. (Haven’t we covered that?) And Number Two: What else is there? We can’t have a mamma trolling around the house, yelling at her kids every time they spill milk or leave a wet towel on the floor, now can we?

Actually, I may do that even whilst well-fed. Read more →