Welcome friend! Grab a cup of coffee or sweet tea or even a green smoothie if that's your thing and let's get acquainted. I'm Teri Lynne — wife to Scott, mom to Casiday, and manager of Buddy the Basset. {Check out my Instagram feed to keep up with the crazy dog antics.}

Kick off your shoes and let's chat about faith, family, and figuring out how to live well in this chaotic 21st century. And if we can't solve any of the world's problems, at least we can listen and encourage one another. In the words of that old 80s song, "That's what friends are for ... "

xo, Teri Lynne

life to the full or a full life?

life to the full square

We get so busy trying to find the best way to manage our time and to accomplish our goals so we can have full lives. I know, I do it. I’ve chased it and I’ve got the Pinterest boards to show for my search. But what if, God’s desire for us isn’t full lives … what if we took seriously Jesus’ words in John 10:10, “I’ve come that they {YOU!!} may have life to the full.”

But what does that mean? What does life to the full look like?

we can strive for a full life but only God can give us life to the full.

Here’s what I’m thinking … what the Lord is speaking into me right now.

Life to the full isn’t the same as a full life. We can add tasks and obligations and activities to create a full life.  But only God can give us life to the full.

I’m still fleshing out what this looks like on our family calendar and how it plays out in my daily to do list. But I know this, life to the full doesn’t happen by accident. I have to be intentional, purposeful.

I’m slowly evaluating everything … everything! Because some of the stuff will have to go. I know that.  But can I say how much I hate this process? Because I do. I want to do it all. And I can’t. And it stinks.

Maybe you need to do some evaluation of your own. Perhaps it’s time for you to give up chasing a full live and step into the grace of life to the full. We can be brave and go for it together!

xo,
TL

How do you pursue life to the full?

Also, there’s this, my first newsletter is finally going out tomorrow!  It’s got a great FREE download just for subscribers — 19 Ways to Invigorate Your Quiet Time.  And a few other exciting bits of information I can’t wait to share with you.  SOOOO … subscribe now!

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What I Learned this Summer

a few fun lessons I learned this summer

There’s this blog I read every day because it’s awesome and inspires me and makes me feel like given enough white paint ANYTHING can be beautiful.  Well, the incredible Myquillyn Smith {whose book is amazing!} has a sister who is precious in every possible way.  So, anyway, in all the bizarreness that was my route to She Speaks this year, the coolest moment was getting this email.

Screenshot 2014-07-29 21.50.28

What??? Let’s just say I might have jumped up and down with excitement.

TL & EmilyThen reality sunk in and I realized I am way too much of a dork to trust myself not to succumb to utter humiliation in a room with someone as gifted with words as Emily.  So I prayed for the Lord to grant me coolness before I arrived in Charlotte. {Sadly, it appears the answer to that prayer was either “no” or “later.”}

At any rate, I roomed with Emily and found she is truly one of the most charming, hilarious, and genuine humans I know. I’m sure I talked her ears off but she was so patient and kind. And now I just pretend to myself she is one of my BFFs. {Please ignore the fact this is the grainiest photo ever … and we had to make it black and white because we looked like orange oompa loompas in the halls of the hotel.}

And all of that is the long way around to saying I’m joining Emily and a bunch of other people to share what I’ve learned this summer {and to make you all jealous that I had the most incredible roomie at She Speaks!!}. 

 

a few fun lessons I learned this summer

And here is some of what I learned this summer

  1. Being a cheer mom is a blast! And making all the gifts for camp was awesome.  I’m not a crafty, creative sort of girl … but playing with my friend’s Silhouette was a ton of fun!cheer gifts
  2. Spending 30+ hours in the car with my daughter traveling from camp to wedding to camp to vacation, etc., will lead to more “you can never tell anyone this” moments than I ever imagined possible.
  3. I’m now a fiction reader. It’s weird.  I never really read a lot of fiction.  Then I had a conversation with Tricia Goyer about 18 months ago and now I read more fiction than anything. {Which reminds me I need to update my reading list.}
  4. There is a thrill in growing your own vegetables no one can truly prepare you to feel. Even if said vegetables are very small tomatoes and very poorly shaped cucumbers.  Also, the veggies you grow yourself taste so much better.
  5. My husband is a saint. He has spent a great deal of time this summer redoing our daughter’s room.  Very ugly thrifted furniture and accessories are now redone and beautiful.the girl's furniture

Okay, I guess that sums up my summer … camps, cars, cucumbers, fiction, and furniture.

What about you? Any great lessons you have learned this summer?

xo,
TL

One other thing … my newsletter is coming out FRIDAY! The first one … finally.  It’s got a great FREE download just for subscribers — 19 Ways to Invigorate Your Quiet Time.  And a few other exciting bits of information I can’t wait to share with you.  SOOOO … subscribe now!

Subscribe to Teri Lynne’s newsletter

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Do You Love Your Life?

Do you love your life?

Well, y’all, I’m home from She Speaks. THANK YOU for your sweet prayers and words of encouragement. She Speaks was, as it always is, incredible.  I wish there was a way to share every single moment of it with you.  I’ll be sorting through my notes and photos and business cards over the next few weeks and you can expect to hear more about the incredible messages from Lysa TerKeurst and Christine Caine … and the incredible new friends I made and what they are up to … and the words God whispered into my heart during those days away.

there's no place like home

But today, I just want to say this — as much as I love opportunities to share with women, there really is no place I’d rather be than home. Right here in my very real life.

I’ve been thinking about this yearning we all seem to have at times for a life that looks different, better, more exciting, more glamorous. We look at Instagram images and Facebook updates and Pinterest wardrobes and our lives feel drab and boring. I know, y’all, I feel it too sometimes.

So how do we retrain our thoughts, redefine our desires, and reignite our joy for the normal, every day lives we have?

I would love to give you a great post {with a fabulous pinnable image} titled “10 Ways to Love Your Life NOW.” {I imagine some of you wish I could write that post also.} But what if it isn’t so much about loving your life as it is loving the Lord?

You see, I don’t love my life every day. I’ve experienced some hard times and at one point in my early twenties even attempted suicide. I’ve walked the road of infertility, watched my husband on life support, prayed as my parents struggled to save their own marriage, and seen up close the devastation adultery brings into the lives of people you love. There are days when my life has been most assuredly NOT awesome.

The Bible doesn’t say love your life. Scripture calls us to love people and love God.

This is what I think {and what I’m studying and pondering}, I think Paul was able to be content no matter what his circumstances not because he loved his life but because he loved Jesus more than his life.  That’s why he could say with all sincerity, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Do you love your life?

Maybe, just maybe, we’ve set our sights too low. The goal isn’t to love this life but rather to love the One who died to give us life.

Jesus said if we love our lives, we must lose them. I’m still sorting through what that means and how that looks for me in this season. But I know this, I don’t ever want to love my life more than I love the Lord. I don’t want pursuing a good life to be more important than serving a Faithful God.

xo,
Teri Lynne

What is the Lord showing you these days? What new lessons are you learning? {Or old lessons are you re-learning?}

Quiet Times, West Wing, and Being Invaded

What if we focused less on having a perfect quiet time and more on connecting with the Perfect One?

Wow! Yesterday’s post spoke to several of you. Thanks for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I loved the comments on Instagram too … gotta love getting a “Boom!” about a post! {Thanks, Stef! And I loved this post she wrote about moms needing their own Bible time.}

I’ve often wondered why my most popular posts are about quiet times and Bible studies. I think is has to do with this one thing:

We desperately want someone to tell us we’re doing it right!

I am amazed at how many competent, intelligent, thoughtful women become insecure and uncertain when it comes to the Bible and having a quiet time. Girls, it’s this: spending time with the Lord.

What if we focused less on having a perfect quiet time and more on connecting with the Perfect One?

Let me give you an example:

I love West Wing. It is the best television show of all time. {Don’t argue with me … remember, I went to college on a debate scholarship.} My favorite character on the show is Donna Moss. She’s beautiful, bright, capable, and a bit of a dork. When I watch the show, it is often through Donna’s eyes. I see the other characters in terms of their relationships with her. Every time I watch an episode, I gain a deeper appreciation for her character and find another reason to love her.

Now, I’m never going to get to hang out with Donna Moss and ask her why in the world she yelled at the chickens during season six.  Obviously, she isn’t real. But God is very real. And when we read the Bible we slowly begin to understand His character. We understand how simple and yet complex His love for us is. We begin to see the world through His eyes and view our relationships with others in light of our relationship with Him. The more we read, the more we grasp His nature and love … and the more we learn to love and live for Him.

You see, having a quiet time is less about what you do and more about Who you meet.

And, the more time you spend with God, the deeper your awareness is of Him in every aspect of your life and in the world around us. It’s not about what devotional you use or what time you read or if you journal or light a candle … it’s about slowing your mind and heart to give space for God’s Presence to invade your space. In fact, that’s essentially what a quiet time is: God’s invasion into your space. When you open yourself up for Him to challenge and encourage you, to convict and teach you, you’ve invited Him to invade you.

Right now my quiet time is around 8 am. I sit in a comfy chair in my dining room where I can look out the window. I grab my ESV Study Bible, a journal, and Whispers of Hope or Jesus Calling or Streams in the Desert … and I ask for the invasion. Because I’m a Type A, list-making sort of girl, I typically write out all my “to dos” and worries and concerns first thing. I offer them to the Lord. Then I read a passage of Scripture … sometimes I read the chapter from which my devotion comes, sometimes I read from whatever book I’m teaching in my Bible study class, and sometimes I read a chapter of Proverbs. I journal what I’ve read, what questions the passage raises, my responses to what God has shown me through the verses. Some days I stop there. But other days I go ahead and open one of my devotionals. I read the devotion and journal any quotes or thoughts I have in response.

There’s nothing inherently awesome about what I do … and truth be told, if you ask me in a few months I’ll probably be doing something different. I try to use what I’ve learned to encourage others so I typically share a verse or quote I read on Instagram and Facebook along with some of my thoughts.

sharing portions of my quiet time on Instagram

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: don’t spend so much time trying to find the perfect system that you miss out on encountering the Perfect One. Nothing else in our lives is perfect, so why on earth do we expect our quiet times will be??

What if we made this decision, to let go of the quest for a perfect quiet time and choose to be invaded by God’s Presence instead? What would that look like for you?

xo,
Teri Lynne

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