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

3 Ways to Cope during Busy Weeks

too blessed to be stressed? too busy to rest? 3 ways to cope during the busy weeks

Too blessed to be stressed and too busy to rest?

Welcome to the reality for most Christian women. Desperately trying to be on the go and in the Word — and exhausted. We don’t need one more plan for ordering our days or one more list for accomplishing more. We need someone to whisper, “It’s okay. You’re okay.” Can I tell you something important?

Busy isn’t necessarily bad.

Jesus was busy. He was on the go. And, much like the mom with little ones, someone was always wanting something from Him.

too blessed to be stressed? too busy to rest? 3 ways to cope during the busy weeks

Are you busy? I can relate. This week is cheer tryouts for my girl {prayers for calm hearts and healthy bodies appreciated!}. For those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the cheer life, that means all day at school followed by six or more hours of cheer clinic and practices today and tomorrow and then the stress of tryouts Wednesday morning and a long day waiting for results to be posted Wednesday evening. My husband is a worship leader and it’s less than two weeks until Easter {in other words, he’s really busy!} and we’re about to start a renovation of our sanctuary {which means he has to work with people to figure out lights and sound and all sorts of other things I will never understand}. I’m working on a book proposal, have a speaking engagement this weekend, and everyone still likes to eat and have clean clothes.

It’s busy right now at the Underwood abode. And, based on the calendar, it looks like it will be this way until sometime in July. {But I’m trying not to think about that right now.}

 I can be frustrated by all of this … or I can lean in the Lord. He knows what busy looks like. He knows how busy can open the doors to sin and temptation.  He knows busy can be my downfall.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had a week like this … and honestly, it won’t be the last. But I’ve learned there are things I can do to make it less stressful — for me and the rest of my family. Here are 3 ways to cope during busy weeks:

Prioritize time with the Lord.

Right now I’m using the She Reads Truth Lent study. It is so good. And one of the things I love the most about it, is I can access it wherever I am. My preference is to sit down in the morning with my Bible and journal and a cup of coffee. But some days, that just isn’t happening.  With the SRT app on my phone, I’m able to read the Scripture and the devotional as well as engage in the SRT community through the comments no matter where I am.

The thing is, and I’ve said it before, God isn’t interested in you checking off “quiet time” on your to do list … His interest is YOU!

Know when good enough is enough.

This week, I’m lowering the standards on just about everything. Casiday will be eating supper in the car on the way to the dance studio tonight and tomorrow night. James will probably eat TV dinners and Scott will likely be on his own. And who knows what I’ll eat. This isn’t best. In fact, it isn’t even good.  But it is good enough. For two days.

Some times it’s all we can do to keep enough laundry done for the next day. Sometimes our kids eat mac and cheese for three days straight. Some weeks, the sheets don’t get changed and the bathroom doesn’t get scrubbed. It’s okay. I promise. Especially during the busy seasons.  It won’t last forever … but while it does, good enough is really enough.

Give yourself grace.

This is the hardest one. But when life is busy and you can’t get it all done perfectly and you lose your temper and you forget the bread and a red sock finds its way into the white load of laundry and now your husband has pretty pink undershirts and socks, give yourself grace! It’s a safe bet this week I won’t manage to wash my hair every day {I’m just hoping for a shower every day!} … and there’s a pretty good chance I’ll forget at least one thing I need to do.

There’s room for error and room for exhaustion.We’re going to mess it up sometimes. Our instinct is to beat ourselves up and wonder why we can’t do more and be more. But here’s the thing: Grace! Just grace.

So, there’s your Monday encouragement from me {and a reminder FOR me!}.

xo,

Teri Lynne

How do you manage the busy seasons in your life?

3 ways to cope during the busy weeks || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

For Your Weekend

For Your Weekend {laughter and fun edition}

Happy Friday! We have survived midterms. Y’all, have I mentioned how much my girl does not enjoy Algebra and how that translates into a wee bit of stress around here? Yikes. Next week she has cheer tryouts.  Buddy is hoping for his third year of being a cheer dog.

Buddy the Cheer DogBless him, right?

Since we’re focused on all things encouraging and energetic here at the Underwood abode, I thought I’d share some of my favorite fun things lately.  For example, Jimmy Kimmel’s lip sync battles? Have you seen them?  Here’s my favorite:

Yes, it’s almost a year old.  Yes, I watch it about once a week. When Jimmy Fallon cracks up, it totally makes me laugh out loud. Jimmy Kimmel and “Fancy” … Emma Stone with “Hook” … Jimmy back with “Mr. Roboto” {modren??} …  And the best finale ever is “All I Do Is Win” by Emma. Her lip sync rapping = perfection. Trust me, the 7 minutes you spend watching this video will lead to exponential joy. And now, LL Cool J with Lip Sync Battle … a whole show of this genius? Yes, please.  Can. Not. Wait.

Also, I mentioned last week I was reading The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life … finished it. Hilarious and honest and such a beautiful work about marriage. Truly. And now I cannot wait to get my hands on Melanie‘s next book, Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship.

Last weekend I saw Cinderella. I loved it. And, yes, I read the crazy reviews from people who didn’t … but Lady Rose was captivating as Cinderella and what is not to love about a movie that ends with the maligned protaganist offering the the gift of forgiveness to the evil stepmother.  Also Daisy playing the wicked Drisella was such fun. {Yes, I know it wasn’t actually the Downton characters acting in the movie and that Lady Rose and Daisy are not these fine actresses real names but indulge me because I’m already having Downton withdrawals and Lady Rose and Daisy are two of my favorite characters on Downton.} {{Also, this has made me not so worried about the remake of the VERY BEST DISNEY MOVIE EVER — Beauty and the Beast— into a live action film.}} And so, all of that to say, if you decide to catch a movie this weekend, Cinderella is a great choice.  Yes, you will cry. But you will leave smiling.

For Your Weekend {laughter and fun edition}

And here’s a few blog posts I read this week you might find encouraging:

  • Creating Space on Deeper Waters — “We all need space holders in our lives that serve no purpose other than giving us freedom to just be. We need people and places where we feel safe and not judged — where we can just be ourselves. Our true selves.”
  • 13 Netflix Shows worth Binge-Watching from Relevant — I mentioned last week I was hoping for a “Blue Bloods” marathon {didn’t happen, by the way  … but I can’t remember what we did instead}. Anyway, this post offers several ideas for shows worth binging on. I’ve started “West Wing” again myself because I totally prefer President Bartlet’s White House to the real life news.
  • 7 Scientific Reasons Why We Should Laugh More from Lifehack.org — One of the chapters in the book I’d love to write someday is all about laughing more. Did I ever tell you my family says I don’t laugh enough? I sort of think they are crazy because it’s not that I don’t laugh, it’s that I don’t laugh at the same things they do … but anyway, I’m pretty sure if we’d all laugh more — and I mean real laughing like when you snort! — and hug more, life would be so much less stressful.  This post confirms my theory.

Oh and speaking of hilarity in marriage, apparently one night this week I was dreaming something incredibly funny and my laughter woke Scott up.  See — I laugh!!  I have no idea why Scott and Casiday would say I don’t. {For the curious among you, all I can remember about the dream is that it was snowing and there were brightly colored scarves.}

So, there you go … some fun stuff for the weekend. Because weekends should have some fun, right?

xo,

Teri Lynne

In case you missed it, this week I wrote about maximizing our time, how I’m not a perfect mom, and what I’m learning about continual praise.



If you are looking for a way to encourage someone else, Dayspring has a great deal … Boxed Cards- Buy 2 Get 1 Free! {Valid thru 4/5}

This post contains affiliate links …. if you purchase through them, I may receive a small commission.

Learning to Offer Continual Praise

Learning to offer continual praise ... even in the day-to-day minutia of life, especially! in the day-to-day minutia of life.

Learning to offer continual praise ... even in the day-to-day minutia of life, especially! in the day-to-day minutia of life.

 

This morning I was reading Psalm 61. Witten by David, this psalm is a plea to help him recall the faithfulness of God at all times. These familiar words are from this passage:

Lead to me to the rock that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

But David’s desire wasn’t just to know the presence of the Lord in times of trouble, he sought the comfort of God’s nearness at all times.

Let me dwell in Your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of Your wings.

He knew the assurance of abiding in the Lord, of seeking His face and guidance at all times.

I have to admit, lately, I’ve been worn down. In every possible way and aspect of my life. For the past few months, NOTHING has been easy. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. More than once, I’ve wanted to give up. {In fact, I may have announced to Scott in the middle of an extreme emotional hysteria, “I quit everything!”}

The hard parts of my life were {are!} real. But somehow in the midst of all the crying, worrying, and anxiety, I’d forgotten an important truth: Praise leads to peace. And the peace of God may not change my circumstances but it will always change my heart.

This morning, when I read Psalm 61, verse eight invited me to refocus my attention and remember to praise.  I wrote this in my journal:

I will ever sing praises to Your name … continual praise as I do the tasks of my every day, very ordinary life. The writing and studying, the coaching and learning, the cooking and cleaning, the driving and waiting, the helping with homework and relaxing with “Blue Bloods” .. all of this is my opportunity to praise Him. Don’t miss it!!

Maybe today you are feeling overwhelmed, I get it! Maybe you’re struggling with worry or anxiety, I’m there too. Maybe you’re hearing the word “failure” ringing through your head, I know what that is. But there is this truth we can cling to, the hope we have …

He is with us! Always. When we choose praise as our anthem, He offers peace. And more than anything else right now, I need that peace that passes all understanding.

Choosing praise,

Teri Lynne

What is one thing you can praise Him for today?

I Don’t Have to Be the Perfect Mom {and neither do you!}

I Don't Have to be a Perfect Mom ... and neither are you!

My friend Marguerite and I walk together several mornings a week. Recently {and what seems like always lately},  I was bemoaning my failures as a mom. Marguerite, who has three boys of her own, looked me in the eyes and said, “You would never let any of your friends talk about themselves like this. Treat yourself the way you treat us.”

She was right. I’d never let my friends believe they were failures because of frustration over snow days and a less than extravagant birthday celebration. I’d point them back to all the ways they love their kids and support them. I’d remind them of how much they do well. And I’d probably tell them that some days good enough is really enough.

I'm Not  a Perfect Mom ... and neither are you!

I would likely share with them one of my favorite passages of Scripture from 2 Corinthians 11:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my own weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul could have been describing what it is to parent a teenager: weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. Yes, all in one hour. But that list does not include the word I most often ascribe to myself as a mom: failure. Because in spite of all the difficult moments and exhausting days and tear-filled exchanges, God doesn’t see me as a failure. He just sees this child He loves. And you know what? He sees the same thing when He looks at you.

He offers us grace. He says our weaknesses are where His power is made perfect. Think about that for a minute. The God of all creation says, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” When I lean into those words I find freedom. I don’t have to be the perfect mom. He isn’t asking me to be the perfect mom. He, even better than me, knows I can’t possibly. Instead of demanding more from me, He offers me this incredible exchange: I give Him all my weaknesses and I receive His power.

I Give ... He GIves

“I Give Him … He Gives Me” printable download

Wherever you are, whatever challenges you’re facing {parenting or otherwise}, these are His gentle words over you. And they are good and kind and full of love.

“My grace is sufficient for you.”

Cling to that with me, will you?

xo,

Teri Lynne

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