I’m Headed Back to She Speaks!

she-speaks-logo

Four years ago I was in the throes of writing a book proposal. Lessons from the Hundred Acre Wood was to be my dazzling entrance into the world of traditional publication. I’d studied the best information available concerning form and content for nonfiction proposals. I’d spent hours writing and rewriting every sentence of my sample chapters to provide representatives from publishing houses a glimpse of my writing prowess.

Please enjoy the long, blondish-red hair. I do what I can to make your time here fun!! :)

Please enjoy the long, blondish-red hair. I do what I can to make your time here fun!! :)

And finally, early one July morning in 2010, I climbed into my car and headed to Concord, North Carolina, to attend She Speaks.

I was terrified! And excited!

She Speaks was a turning point for me. No, I didn’t get a publishing deal. Four years later, I still don’t have one. But it was during those three days the Lord opened my eyes to all the possibilities beyond a book contract. He reminded me I am more than the sum of my accomplishments. And, above all, He gently redirected me toward seeking His glory and not my own.

Since She Speaks 2010, I have attended over 15 other writing and blogging conferences. But every year, my one desire has been to return to She Speaks. And every year, there has been a reason I could not go back.

Until this year. About a month ago, my dear friend Lisa Boyd sent me an email saying she wanted to talk to me about She Speaks. The next day we chatted on the phone and she asked me if I’d be willing to lead two of the pre-conference sessions.

Um, yeah!! Was my less than articulate response.

She Speaks

And so, July 24th, I’ll be returning to She Speaks. My sessions at the pre-conference are “Blogging 101″ and “Blogging Beyond the Basics.” I’m literally giddy about the opportunity to share with other writers, speakers, and ministry leaders how to use a blog to share their message and build their platform. But more than that, my hope is to use this opportunity as a way to give Him glory.

You see, I’m not the biggest or best blogger on the block. {Well, maybe on my block since I’m pretty sure none of my neighbors even know what a blog is … but that’s not really the point.} But I am willing to be used and to share what I’ve learned and to help others.

And y’all, that’s really what we’re all called to do. If you have ever considered attending a writing or speaking conference, She Speaks is the best of the best. I can’t wait to sit in on sessions by incredible people like Lysa Ter Keurst, Jerry Jenkins, and Shaunti Feldhahn. The entire Proverbs 31 team is amazing. They do everything with excellence and humility. And I cannot wait to be there with them.

There are still spots available though the conference is filling up fast. I’d love to see you this year at She Speaks! For more information or to register, visit the She Speaks website.

She Speaks 2014 Promo Video from Proverbs 31 Ministries on Vimeo.

Cheering you on,
TL

How have you pursued your dreams?

We Rested

family We spent our spring break at my parents’ house in Missouri. There’s just nothing like going to your momma and daddy’s house, is there? My mom was sick most of March so I spent a couple of days getting her laundry caught up and helping her with whatever she needed.  My daddy took most of the week off while we were there. It was not one of those weeks packed with activity. We went shopping for a few hours one day and saw the new Muppets movie another. But mostly we just hung out.

The girl spent most of her free time watching a “Reba” marathon. After all the craziness of cheerleading tryouts the week before spring break, I think she just needed unstructured down time. We managed to play some UNO Attack {a family favorite} and, of course, we ate.

We rested. Which was exactly what we needed.

We’d had eight weeks of non-stop motion! I spoke at four events, we hosted a ladies conference at our church, we were part of a DNow weekend for our church’s youth group, and then there was cheerleading! :) And the nine weeks ahead of us  are full as well … Easter {which involves a great deal of extra time and preparation for my worship-leader husband}, spring musical for the girl, homework, cheerleading practices, and I’m trying to finish up a few big projects for this spring. We’re in that season of busy.

Every week brings its own challenges and beauty. I’m learning to embrace both.

Matthew 11:28

This week will be full and crazy between Scott leading worship at a revival that started last night and all my final preparations before leaving for Refine: the Retreat {early!} Thursday morning. Life is back to its normal pace of somewhere between “hurry up” and “we have to leave NOW.”

But last week, we rested. And, once again, I’m aware of the way God is always looking out for me, always offering me exactly what I need.

Cheering you on,
TL

How has God offered you exactly what you needed lately?

It’s Friday!! {Awesome Flash Sale from Dayspring!}

Y’all … it’s Friday.

The girl has cheer tryouts this morning. We’ve spent 20+ hours this week at clinics and extra practices {and by we I mean she was cheering, dancing, jumping, and tumbling and I was gabbing with the other moms and drinking Mountain Dew}. She’s ready! And we’ll know the results by 6 p.m. So, you know, if you’ve been following along with the cheer excitement and want to know the final result, be sure to follow me on Instagram because I’m working on a new Buddy the Cheer Dog photo for this year.

Now … how about something really fun. You know, like a great price on an adorable item from Dayspring. 

Dayspring God Is ... Chalkboard Cross

For real, y’all … is this adorable or what! And it’s normally $16.99 but today only it is {wait for it} …

$6.99

I’m thinking these would be a great gift for wedding showers this spring … and graduations … and baby showers … and birthdays  … and pretty much whatever, whenever.

Happy Friday!

TL

 

[The image below is an affiliate link. If you purchase through it, I will receive a commission ... which I will use to pay for cheerleading. :) ]

God Is... - Wooden Chalkboard Cross - Medium

 

 

What is God Daring You to Do?

Oh y’all … in case you missed it, my dear friend Kate Battistelli was here {like at my house!!} a week and a half ago. {And, this is shocking, but we did not take a single picture of the two of us. Too busy talking and basking in the joy of being together, I suppose.} She graciously agreed to speak at our church’s ladies conference and, oh. my. word. did she bring a powerful and encouraging message to us!

As most of you know, I was a part of Holley Gerth’s God-Sized Dream Team last year. That experience stretched me and forced me to examine what my dream really is. Then, Kate spoke to us … about {hold on!} the God Dare — that thing we know He is calling us to do and yet when we even begin to think about it, our throats constrict and everything in us feels anxious and even terrified.

What is God daring you to do?  || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

Kate shared her story of writing her first book, [affiliate link] Growing Great Kids: Partner With God to Cultivate His Purpose in Your Child’s Life, and how she was totally unqualified for the task. And I sat there, listening to this incredible woman who has poured into my life and my daughter’s life in countless ways, thinking how much her words in that book had shaped the way I parent and my own understanding of the Lord.

I wish I could have Skyped every one of you in for Kate’s talks. She challenged and encouraged us … and she shared her own heart, her own fears, and her own desperate need for God in everything she does. But, since I couldn’t, I took copious notes because I wanted you to “hear” even just a little bit of what she said. Y’all, He calls each of us to something incredible … and it is scary to take that first step of faith. Kate says it’s like bungie jumping — terrifying and thrilling at the same time.

Here are just a few of my favorite parts of Kate’s talk …

  • There is a God Dare for each one of us. We are never too old and never too young. {I LOVE THIS! And it resonated with the students who came to the conference and to the older women in our church as well. Never stop asking what God is calling us to do!}
  • Your past does not disqualify you. We are not disqualified by our sin, we are forgiven! {So thankful for this truth!! Aren’t you?}
  • The being proceeds the doing. {I loved this truth! So much of our lives we spend doing … but God is longing for us to BE in — abide in — Him so that we can DO in and through Him.}
  • God is more interested in giving us the highest good than He is in our happiness. {This one is tough. But I’m finding when I seek Him, pursue holiness through Him, long for His good for me, I gain something far greater than happiness — I gain true, deep peace.}
  • Accepting the God Dare will result in a battle with the enemy. {We need this reminder! When we choose to walk in faith and do the big things God places before us, the enemy WILL fight back.}

I am still re-reading my notes and looking up the Scriptures Kate shared … pondering what God wants me to do next and how He is equipping me to do those things He has planned for me.

Kate closed the first session with these words:

We can trust in God’s dare because He ALWAYS has our highest good in mind.

I am so thankful for that, aren’t you?

I should also mention Kate is finishing up her next book titled … The God Dare. Yep, all I shared today {all she shared at our conference} is just a portion of the goodness in her book. The God Dare will be available later this spring … I’ll make sure you know when you can get it. I promise you want to read it and soak in the wisdom and encouragement Kate always shares.

Cheering you on,
TL

What is God daring YOU to do?

Choose to Be Present

It’s cheerleader tryout week. Which, for most all of you, means absolutely nothing. But here at the Underwood Abode it means 6 or 7 hours of cheer clinics and practices after school every day until Friday. Which means all our relatively normal routines are tossed out the window! :)

Buddy the Cheer Dog ... joining the celebration after the girl made cheerleader last year

Buddy the Basset became Buddy the Cheer Dog last year when our girl made cheerleader! He looks super excited, huh?

It would be really easy for me to wish this week gone. To be annoyed with all the extra “stuff” on the schedule. But I’m choosing something different.

I choose to be present.

Remember a few months ago when I read Let Hope In {a fabulous book I truly believe everyone should read!}? One of the most challenging concepts Pete introduced in the book was the idea of being here. Choosing to be present in the moment we are in right now. Here’s what he wrote:

Our challenge is to be here now. Sometimes we are never where we are. We bypass the joy of today when we center all our focus on yesterday or tomorrow. {129, 130}

This — ”We bypass the joy of today when we center all our focus on yesterday or tomorrow.” I don’t want to live like that.

So, this week, with all the extra driving, eating on the go, and excitement/stress of tryout week, I’ve determined to be present … to embrace each moment and celebrate what each day brings.

I imagine it will be a challenge sometimes … but all the best things life offers bring a little challenge.

I’m sharing more about this choice to be present on Not Quite Amish. I’d love for you to pop over there and join me!

Cheering you on,
TL

Is it hard for you to be present? What have you missed because you were thinking about yesterday or tomorrow instead of embracing today?

When Life Gets Busy …

When Life Gets Busy || Teri Lynne Underwood

You know that saying, “No rest for the weary”?

Yeah, I sort of feel like that’s my life right now. It’s all kinds of crazy … but also all kinds of good. I’ve had so many opportunities to speak and encourage women to live well since the first of the year. I’ll be sharing this weekend on praying for your church. {You know that’s a topic I love so much I wrote a book about it!} Then next weekend I’ll sharing one of my favorite talks, “Sometimes Good Enough REALLY Is Enough.” {Can I get an amen??}

My girl has cheerleading tryouts next week too … so we’re in the midst of extra clinics and lots of practicing around.  Oh and earlier this week we filled out her four-year plan for high school. High. School. Y’all, I’m totally not ready for that.

And add in all the normal church and school stuff … let’s just say 2014 has been full steam ahead at the Underwood Abode.

It’s a busy season for us.

{And somehow I am not sure it’s going to slow down much for the next few years because HIGH. SCHOOL. What???} And since I talk {a lot} about embracing the season you’re in and have even mentioned embracing the chaos {because clearly I am slightly crazy} … I suppose it’s time for me to practice what I preach.

I’ve got several posts started on this topic. Something tells me it’s going to be a theme around here. :) I’m sharing some thoughts on keeping your family focused during the busy seasons of life over at Managing Your Blessings this month.  I should warn you, these aren’t all that profound and there’s no checklist involved … just four simple {and hopefully encouraging} ways to stay focused on the things that really matter when chaos rules the calendar.

Join me there? Thanks!!!

Oh and just because I’m extremely curious, what’s the first household task that falls behind when life gets busy? No big surprise here … laundry. Oh the laundry!!

Happy Friday!
TL

image source: canstockphoto.com

My Child Acts Like a Child …. Who Knew??

Sometimes the Lord has to smack me upside the head in order for me to understand. Anyone else?

This month on Mothers of Daughters, Stacey asked us to share from Proverbs. I was excited because Proverbs is one of my favorite books. As I began reading and praying about what to write, the Lord brought me to this verse:

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him {her}.

Proverbs 22:15 ESV

As I read it several times, I realized how often I forget a simple fact: my child acts like a child — because she is one! And my job is to guide her into adulthood … not be frustrated because she’s a child.

My child acts like a child || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

Join me at Mothers of Daughters as I share what God showed me.

14 Things I Want My 14-Year-Old Daughter to Know {Part 2}

I suppose I’ve been in a bit of a reflective mood lately. Something about having a child old enough to start high school in August has made me that way. :)

14 Things I want my daughter to know || Teri Lynne Underwood

As I’ve considered what kind of person I pray my girl will become, what kind of person she already is, I realized there are still lessons I want to teach her. I was reminded my work as a mom is no where near done! So I started making a list of what I wanted her to know.  I shared the first part of the list already {check it out if you missed it}.

Here are the final seven things I want my daughter to know — important truths I pray are embedded in her heart and become guideposts for how she lives her life.

You will never regret being kind.

You’ll do lots of things you regret … but being kind isn’t one of them. Take every opportunity you can to extend courtesy, to give grace, and to help others. {Micah 6:8}

You can’t have it all.

The world wants you to believe you can. But it’s a lie. You can’t have it all. And the truth is, you wouldn’t want it if you could. Live in the abundance God offers and be willing to choose best over good. {John 10:10}

Laugh every day.

I know, right now you can’t imagine not laughing every day. But there will come a point when you have to choose joy, choose to see the beauty around you. Life won’t always be fun and situations won’t always be funny. But if you can learn to see through the eyes of joy, you will be much more content. {Philippians 4:4}

Be a good listener.

This one goes back to the think before you speak thing. After all, if you’re always talking it’s really hard to listen. Listen long … listen close.  And learn to listen to what people don’t say … because sometimes that is the most important thing of all.

It’s okay to be alone sometimes.

It can be scary to be by yourself. I know you’re an only child and you probably feel like you’ve spent a lot of your life by yourself. But there will be times when you feel alone in the crowd.  Days when you are standing by yourself. Moments when you feel totally isolated. Don’t run from that! We need that solitude. And when those moments come, embrace them as times to draw close to God. {Psalm 46:10}

Take a nap when you need one.

You’re like me — high energy. You like to go and do. I’m proud of the way you already sense when you need to slow down. The way you curl up and watch a movie when you’ve had a busy week. Don’t let go of that. Make taking care of yourself physically a priority. {Exodus 20:8}

Love others well, even when it’s hard.

Oh girlfriend! Sometimes it will be hard. You’ve already learned that. In fact, just recently you’ve faced some tough situations where you’ve had to choose to love others when you didn’t really want to. I’m proud of you for that. Keep on loving others, even the unloveable ones. {Luke 10:27}

Since many of you have daughters {and granddaughters and nieces and cousins and sisters and girls you know and love}, I thought I’d share this list … and maybe you can invest in sharing these truths with those precious young ladies in your life also. Imagine a generation of women who believe these fourteen things are true and live their lives guided by them.  I also made a printable to give my girl and you are welcome to give it to a girl in your life as well.

14 Things I Want My 14 Year Old Daughter to Know || Teri Lynne Underwood

 14 Things I Want My 14-Year-Old Daughter to Know

 What is one of the best lessons your mom taught you?

Cheering you on,
TL

14 Things I Want My 14-Year-Old Daughter to Know {Part 1}

Just over two weeks ago my daughter turned fourteen. I just can’t believe it! I feel like the clock is ticking faster and faster.  This month she’ll be trying out for JV cheerleader.  Soon we’ll be planning her class schedule for high school … and I know once that first day of high school comes on August 7 I’ll barely blink and we’ll be looking at class rings and then prom dresses and planning for college.

Like many moms I spend a fair amount of time wondering how many ways I’ve failed and wishing I could do a few things differently.

But time doesn’t rewind and there are no do overs. She knows how to clean her room and do her laundry.  She can follow a recipe and run the vacuum. She’s a generous person and a loyal friend. I’m incredibly proud of the person she is. But it’s not enough for me to sit back and watch her continue to grow and mature.

My job isn’t done and I can’t let up now.

I’ve been thinking about all the things I want her to know.  In fact, because I’m the kind of person who likes a good list, I made a list. And, as fate would have it, there are fourteen items on that list.  Fourteen truths I hope are embedded on her heart before she leaves home. Fourteen phrases I want her to hear echoing through her head for the rest of her life. Fourteen sentences that describe and define how she views herself and the world around her.

14 Things I want my daughter to know || Teri Lynne Underwood

You are enough.

God created you. He made you. He calls you by name. You are His and you are enough. {Isaiah 43:1-4}

Pretty is as pretty does.

The world is going to tell you pretty is something you are … but the truth is, pretty is deeper than that. Pretty is how you treat others, how you mange your time, how you handle yourself. {Proverbs 31:30}

Hard days will come.

You are going to face difficult choices. There will be days you want to give up. Times you feel like quitting. Don’t! You are not alone and whatever you face, the Lord is there with you. {John 16:33}

Lean in to the Word of God.

The Bible is our sword, our wisdom, our defense, and our comfort. Turn to Scripture first … filter all your emotions through the truth of God’s Word. Spend time in it every. single. day. {Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 119:11, Psalm 1:1-3}

We will always love you.

Your daddy and I loved you before you were born. We’ve watched you succeed and fail. We’ve seen you grow and mature. We know you will make mistakes — and we know we will too. But we love you. No matter what. You can always depend on that.

Dream big.

I love your creative spirit and the way you commit yourself to whatever you are doing. Don’t settle for the easy stuff, though. Try new things and embrace some challenges.  You may not be successful at everything but don’t be afraid to try!

Think before you speak.

I know, this one isn’t going to be easy.  I’m sorry.  You got that quick tongue from me. But I’m learning to be quick to listen and slow to speak. I pray you will be also. {James 1:19}

Come back Friday for the second half of this list!

What is one thing you want your child to know?

Cheering you on,
TL

Here are a couple of great articles I read in the past few days relating to parenting.  You might want to check them out also.

10 Common Mistakes Parents Make Today (Including Me) from The Huffinton Post

Help! My Daughter is Thirteen by my dear and very wise friend Sarah Pinnix

What Should I Do First on Monday?

Hi all!

It’s a dreary Monday here in North Alabama. And that makes me want to curl up with a blanket, a novel, and a good cup of coffee. {I call this combination “prelude to a nap.”} But we’re on the final  countdown to our Love Loud conference this weekend at my church. My dear friends Kate and Kristi will be sharing words of encouragement and challenge to about 150 women. I am super excited about what God is going to do!!

But somehow all these last minute details have converged … and while I have an amazing team of women who are doing a ton to help make this event a success, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Those perfectionistic tendencies have been rearing their heads a lot. And their friend fear of failure has also dropped by.

I read this verse earlier,

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

Peace. That’s what I need. That unwavering assurance of God’s presence. It’s so easy for me to begin to think everything depends on me. {I know, that sounds totally crazy, doesn’t it?} My heart gets troubled with “all the stuff” … and fear of failure, of not doing everything perfectly, this is my lifelong nemesis. It gets me every time. I concentrate on what could go wrong, what I might forget, what may happen … and I end up missing out on what God is doing around me.

What should I do first on Monday? || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

But today I’ve determined the list isn’t going to own me, the event isn’t going to define me. The question before me is what should I do first on Monday? My answer is this — rest in His peace. When the troubled heart comes, the panic appears, and the fears start rolling through my head, I’m going back to this:

My peace I give to you.

What should I do first on Monday? Choose peace. May I suggest that same decision for you?

How do you deal with a troubled heart or the fears you face?

Cheering you on,
TL

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