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

2015 Reading List

2015 Reading List || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

Every year I share the books I’ve read along with the reviews I posted, if applicable. I hope you find some good reads in this list and I’d love for you to share what you’re reading in the comments. Also, be sure to check back because I do try to keep this list up-to-date. I’ll be reviewing many of these books throughout the year also.

Happy Reading!!
Teri Lynne

2015 Reading List || TeriLynneUnderwood.comPlease note, most of these are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you purchase through them which is applied to an Amazon gift card used to {you guessed it!} purchase more books!! Thanks for supporting my habit.

And so, here you have my 2015 Reading List! Enjoy!

  1. Love Walked among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus by Paul E. Miller
  2. Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All by Karen Ehman {review}
  3. Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears. by Margaret Feinberg {review}
  4. Writing in the Margins: Connecting with God on the Pages of Your Bible by Lisa Nichols Hickman {read more about how I use my Journaling Bible here}
  5. In This House, We Will Giggle: Making Virtues, Love, and Laughter a Daily Part of Your Family Life by Courtney DeFeo
  6. The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You by Mary DeMuth
  7. Then Again by Diane Keaton
  8. Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman
  9. Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup
  10. The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner
  11. God for Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter {Lenten devotional}
  12. Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in Your Mess by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin

 

Check out my previous years’ reading lists as well: 2013 {Best Books I Read in 2013}, 2014 {Best Books I Read in 2014}.

What I Learned in February

What I Learned in February 2015

Time to share what we learned in February and link up with the lovely Emily of Chatting at the Sky. I don’t always remember to keep track of the little things I’ve learned each month but I do always love reading everyone else’s tidbits. This month, however, I did remember! Yay me! :)

What I Learned in February 2015

Eventually, you can miss so much school for snow that never comes that your child will WANT to go back to class. Truth.  Related: when the snow finally comes to your little southern town, your Yankee friends will mock you for being so excited but end up a little impressed at the six inches that fell in four hours and admit it is a lot of snow. Also related: one reason I love living in the south is that when it snows one day, the next day it will be warm enough to melt the snow on the roads and we won’t have to deal with all the snow mess.

what I learned in February

Rinsing my hair with apple cider vinegar stinks … but it works! {Here is another DIY hair detox recipe. I haven’t tried this one but I’m pretty sure my daughter who thinks the apple cider thing is disgusting might be willing to do this one.}

When your daughter gets her braces off, you will cry because she looks so grown up and suddenly all you can see is her moving to college, getting married, and the days of her in your home will seem to be flying by. All the moms who told me this would happen were right.

What I Learned in February

 

You CAN hang sweaters and not get the shoulder boobs!! Seriously, this is life-changing information, y’all!!

Gallery walls are addictive. We started with one in my office area. I loved it. So after Christmas I added one above my piano. Now I want one in every room.

What I Learned in February

There’s a reason why I enjoy having hour-long shows playing in the background while I write … it’s the amount of time I can focus. I read this article in The Atlantic and was fascinated because I use Amazon Prime Video streaming as the “white noise” while I work. Music distracts me but apparently episodes of The Good Wife do not. Who knows how my brain works.  Anyway, with Prime streaming, I have to actually stop and hit play on the next episode which usually is my cue to get up and change the laundry or fix James’ lunch or whatever.

So, there you have it, a few things I learned this month. I also wanted to invite you to join me at the final Kitchen Table Talk with Brooke McGlothin and Stacey Thacker this Sunday night. We’ll be chatting about a chapter in their book, Hope for the Weary Mom, I have re-read a few times already—”When Gentle Words Won’t Come.” You can get all the information about how to dial in here.  Amber Lia is their other guest and I can’t wait to hear what these three incredible moms have to share!!

So, what did you learn this month?

xo,
Teri Lynne

3 Reasons I Love Using my Journaling Bible

3 Reasons I Love Using my Journaling Bible

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know I have a journaling Bible. My IG feed is full of images like this …

3 reasons I love my journaling BIble

I’ve always been a note-taker and margin-writer in my Bible. Last April, I spoke at Refine: the Retreat in Ohio. My friend, Kris, was the visionary and host of this wildly amazing event. It was there I was introduced to the idea of art journaling. My clumsy first attempts were no where near as gorgeous as the delightful Annie Barnett’s illustrations.  But Annie, Kris, and the other women at the retreat were incredibly kind and encouraging. I came home with a mostly empty journal but the seed of something more — an interest in the blending of words and fonts and squiggles and paint and color …

Enter the ESV Journaling Bible. In mid-September I realized I wanted one. I had no idea what I would do with it or if I would really love it but I couldn’t get the thought of it out of my mind. I mentioned it once or twice on social media and on September 23, 2014, a mysterious package arrived from Amazon — the ESV Journaling Bible, an early birthday gift from my Aunt Mollianne.

At first, I was a little intimidated. What if I messed it  up? What if I couldn’t “do” it? But, I finally talked myself into giving it a go. Here is where I started:

Journaling Bible: Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy. One of my favorite books. And as you can see … mostly I just added notes and squiggles.

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten braver and less concerned about my artistic abilities {or lack thereof}. And, for a recovering perfectionist, that is one of the coolest things I’ve gained from this process.

3 Reasons I Love Using my Journaling Bible

Lately, more and more people have asked me why I use a journaling Bible and what the purpose is. As I’ve thought about their questions and my answers, I realized there are 3 reasons I love using my journaling Bible.

Focus

Using my journaling Bible helps me focus.

I tend to think about 400 things at a time. My mind is always going and it’s very hard for me to give my full attention to only one task — even in my quiet time. Since I started using the journaling Bible I have found I don’t get distracted as easily.  I am totally engaged with what I’m doing and what God is speaking to me.

Intentionality

Using the journaling Bible has increased my intentionality during my quiet time.

Using the Journaling Bible has helped me be more intentional about what I’m reading. I’ve always used a journal during my quiet time, filling up one after the other for the past almost twenty years. But adding the Journaling Bible has caused me to see the layers of what God is teaching me, even after just a few  months. The notes on my pages reveal the different times I’ve read a particular passage and what I learned each time. It’s as if I’m working a puzzle and every time I study a passage, another piece comes into place and the picture slowly and methodically becomes more and more clear.

Clarity

Writing definitions helps me have clarity as I read the Bible.

Often I stop and look up words when I am reading Scripture. For example, in John 21 when Jesus is restoring Peter, He ends the conversation with these words, “Follow Me.”  Because this is something Jesus said repeatedly in all the Gospels, I looked up the word “follow” and note the definition in the margin. Knowing exactly what the word means provided clarity about what Jesus was saying. I love that one of the definitions is “to move behind in the same direction.” That’s the call we all have — to move behind Jesus and go in the same direction He goes.

So there you are, three reasons I love using the Journaling Bible.  I don’t think it’s something everyone has to do … or that everyone who uses this tool will do it the same way. But for this season in my life, I love it!

Have you ever used a journaling Bible? What do you think about it?

Here’s what I use {affiliate links}:

More posts about having a quiet time:

  1. Devotions, Quiet Time, Personal Bible Study. Is It Really Necessary?
  2. 10 Tips for a Great Quiet Time
  3. Quiet Times, West Wing, and Being Invaded
  4. What Is the Point of a Quiet Time?

Keep. It. Shut. {Asking God to Do the Hard Things in Us}

Do Hard Things ... lessons from Keep. It. Shut by Karen Ehman

First off, I need to admit something: I adore Karen Ehman. In fact, I might even be a little awestruck by her. She is energetic, entertaining, and everything she writes makes me feel like she’s been reading my prayer journal. Seriously, this woman seems to know me.

Last summer I got to meet her. {I failed to get my picture made with her because I am, as you all already know, a total dork.} Karen so graciously invited me to share with the advanced speakers at She Speaks. And, in a very Teri Lynne manner, I forgot that she had also instructed me to stop by their first session to introduce myself.  Which meant someone {I’m looking at you, Courtney!} had to come find me and remind me where I was supposed to be.  Clearly, there is a reason I did not get invited to speak again this year.

Keep. It. Shut by Karen Ehman

Anyway … after She Speaks, Karen sent me the sweetest email thanking me for being a part of the conference and asking me if I’d be interested in being an endorser for her next book. Heck yes!!! When the galley copy arrived I pored over the pages, soaking in Karen’s incredible blend of wisdom, humor, and practicality.  I gladly sent my endorsement:

Keep. It. Shut is a powerful challenge for those of us who tend to speak first, think later. Karen has invited us to join her on the quest to use our words wisely (even when that means not using words at all).

And then my “real” copy came. After I finished gawking over the fact I got to endorse the book written by someone I have admired for years, I started reading it again.

Y’all … this book is rocking my world. I’m having to read it slowly because, well, it’s no big secret I like all the words. Currently, I’m on page 158. I may be there for the next three-and-a-half years. Because Karen wrote this:

My daughter simply vocalized a truth she noticed in my life: I tend to lose my cool with my family, but somehow manage to keep calm when I interact with others.

Um, yeah. And also, ouch.

Remember last Tuesday? I wrote these words:

In one of the most glorious displays of grace-based parenting you can find, I said, “You win! I give up.” And then proceeded to explain to this child of mine how we had spent all morning doing nice things for her and giving her gifts and reminding her how precious she was to us … and what I was getting in return was attitude and meanness. And, because I’m never one to stop while I’m ahead, I kept this tirade going right up until the moment she got out of the car. I drove off fuming at how selfish this child of mine is and how much I don’t deserve to be treated this way.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need someone to get in my business. To speak hard truth into my life. But I prefer if that person is speaking from experience … because then it feels less like judgment and more like encouragement.  Karen gets in my business. I sent her a picture of that page in my copy of the book on January 22 with this note, “All over my toes this morning.” Her gracious reply, “I know. Ouch! Right?”

Do the hard things

It’s now February 24 and I’m still on page 158.  A month later. Because, y’all, I don’t want to be the kind of person who reads truth and even makes a note in the margin but keeps on going without being changed. And so I keep reading this chapter again and again. And I keep digging into the Word because that’s where Karen’s words always point. And I realize this may be one of those things I deal with for the rest of my life but I don’t want to stay where I am. I don’t want to write it off as, “It’s just the way I am.” Because I know God is at work in me and His Word can transform me and His power can change me.  I’m digging in and begging Him to do the hard things in me — because my family is worth it and I want these words to be true of me, in my home and out:

Proverbs 31:26

What hard lesson is God teaching you right now?

You can learn more about Karen’s incredible book Keep. It. Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All on her website. I received a copy of this book from Karen but the opinions about its value are all my own. And my opinion is — everyone needs this book!

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