Heart Sisters by Natalie Snapp {Book Review}

Heart Sisters Review

Looking for a book to encourage you as you build friendships with other women? Heart Sisters by Natalie Snapp is that book!Yesterday my friend Alycia and I talked for about an hour. She’s starting a new therapy practice and needed some counsel about her website. I gave her some information and ideas … but most of our conversation was about life. Alycia and I have been friends for over 30 years. We met in eighth grade when my dad joined the pastoral staff at First Baptist Church, Fairview, Oklahoma. Almost every memory I have of high school involves Alycia. We had our fair share of misunderstandings and  there were times we didn’t get along. {We were very normal teenage girls!} But we’ve stayed friends even though we have not lived in the same state as each other since we graduated from high school.  In fact, since we graduated from FHS in 1989, it is not unusual for five or six years to pass between times when we are physically together. And yet, our friendship remains.

Pattie was my RA {resident advisor} when I started college at Southwest Baptist University in the fall of 1989. The first person I met at SBU, Pattie was a friendly face and encouraging friend to a 17-year-0ld girl who was terrified!  Pattie and I lost touch after college but through the wonderful world wide web, we reconnected several years ago and have remained close since.

For the eleven years we lived in Georgia, I was surrounded by the most amazing women who loved the Lord and were passionate about growing in Him.  Donna, Valerie, Cyndie, and Karen were faithful friends who taught me what it means to “rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.” We did life together in every way and I am who I am today in large part because of their place in my life.

I could write a book about the ways Cyndie, Natalie, and Holly have encouraged and inspired me.  And I can’t begin to explain how the girls from our youth groups who are now wives and mommas and incredible women of God have impacted my life {and my daughter’s life!}. I’m so thankful for Ana and Ali, Judy and Caitlin and the way they are shining bright for Jesus as young married women.

Friendships matter. Digging in deep with others is important. Becoming a friend who sticks closer than a brother {or sister!} can be one of the most valuable lessons we learn.

If you long for a friend you can trust with your heart. ... If you wonder if investing in friendships is worth the effort ... If you desire to be a true friend ... this book is for you! So, so good. ‪#‎HeartSistersBook‬ by Natalie Snapp

That’s why I LOVE my friend Natalie Snapp‘s new book—Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to Have. With honesty and grace, Natalie invites us all to invest in the hearts and lives of the women around us.  Natalie doesn’t pretend this will be easy but she does promise God will honor our desire to love others. Digging into all those things that can keep us isolated, Natalie uses the truth of God’s Word to encourage us to let go of the pride and insecurity and unforgiveness that can build walls between us.

If I could give this book to every woman I know, I would. The world tells us women can’t be good friends, pushes us away from authenticity, and uses words like “mean girls” and “frenemies” to create a lack of trust.  But women can be true friends. We can love one other well and work through the conflicts and become examples of the ministry of reconciliation and of walking alongside each other.

So who should read this book?

  • the woman who longs for a friend she can trust with her heart
  • the woman who wonders if investing in friendships is worth the effort
  • the woman who desires to be a true friend to those in her life

Heart Sisters is answer you’ve been seeking! Rich in encouragement, steeped in the Word of God, and full of wisdom and grace, Heart Sisters will open your heart to the beauty of having true heart sisters.

Do you have any heart sisters? I’d love for you to leave a comment sharing about the way your friends have encouraged and strengthened you!

xo,

Teri Lynne

{This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you purchase through them.  I received a digital copy of this book for the purpose of promotion and review but all opinions are mine.}

Jesus Has Overcome!

whatever the circumstances of your life, we can trust in His words and promise: Jesus has overcome!

I’ve started and stopped this post several times. What words could I ever string together to explain what the last year has been like.

whatever the circumstances of your life, we can trust in His words and promise: Jesus has overcome!

One year ago today I got up like every other Sunday morning and headed to worship with my church family. But by the end of the day I was in the cardiac care unit at a local hospital with a 2-1/2 inch stent. Who could ever have guessed a 42-year-old healthy woman with no risk factors would have had a major heart attack … while singing with the choir at her church?

It still seems surreal to me.

But here’s the thing, as much as I’m working hard to take care of myself and stay heart healthy, I learned something far more valuable on April 27, 2014.

Life has no guarantees.

Four years ago today, tornadoes ripped through north Alabama. Across the state over 200 lives were lost. Every day people I know are still sorting through the sorrow and loss they experienced April 27, 2011.

Life has no guarantees.

Marriages end. Loved ones die. Children rebel. Churches split. Friendships break. We find ourselves overwhelmed by the weight of expectation and obligation. Not enough time. Not enough money.

And when it feels like we can’t go another step, when we begin to wonder if anything we do really matters, when we question if the hard times are ever going to end, we must remember these words of Christ:

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Life has no guarantees. We will face the trials and the tribulations.  We will experience the sorrow and the loss.  We will know doubt and fear and struggle.

But that isn’t the whole of our story. Because in the middle of the strife and heartache, we can know the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Because Jesus … the healer, the restorer, the Word, the way, the hope, the light … Jesus has overcome.

in the middle of life's heartaches,  we can feel  hopeless and alone. but we have this confidence: Jesus has overcome!

And in Him we are more than conquerors!

So today, whatever you are facing, my prayer is simply this: that you will know His presence and walk in His strength. 

xo,

Teri Lynne

P.S. Thank you to all of you who have prayed and loved me so well over the past year. I’m overwhelmed by how generously God has blessed me with friends both online and off.  And, so you know, I’m doing great!

How to Respond when “Love One Another” Isn’t Easy

10 Ways to Respond when "Love One Another" isn't easy!

{This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission should you purchase from them.}

Let’s face it: “Love One Another” isn’t always easy.

10 Ways to Respond when "Love One Another" isn't easy!

Relationships are hard and as much as technology has given us more ways to connect, it’s also given us more ways to miscommunicate or be misinterpreted.  Yesterday my Sunday School class studied several verses from Romans 12:

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one for evil, but give though to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12:9-18 ESV

In the course of our discussion, my friend Marguerite said this, “It seems to me that we want to go to ‘as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all’ and say we’ve done what we can in difficult situations. But I think we can only rest in that if we’ve done everything else it says before.”

Um, ouch.

Maybe you have a difficult relationship in your life right now. Maybe it’s one you’ve been struggling with for years. Maybe it’s a friend. Maybe it’s family.

I know is this: it’s hard to love some people. Especially when “some people” have hurt us or betrayed us.

But I also know this: Marguerite was right.  As much as we want to walk away from the hard relationships and leave it at, “I tried,” God is calling us to something far harder—but far more like Him.

Earlier this year I read A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships by Paul Miller. I think I underlined half the book. Seriously. In his exegesis on the book of Ruth and how we learn to love like Jesus from the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz, I was challenged and convicted about so many areas in my life.

In a chapter about “Committed Love,” Miller writes:

Hesed love loves in opposition to our feelings.  Love like this strips us of self-will and purifies our motivations. It is surprisingly liberating because we’re not trapped by either our feelings or the other person’s response. When neither preserving the relationship nor our feelings are central, we’re free to offer the other person a rich tapestry of love. (62)

Hesed is the steadfast love of God, rooted in His covenant relationship with us. And we are called to the same type of love for one another. Not just loving when it’s easy or convenient—but learning to love beyond ourselves and even the other person. Loving others because they too are created in the image of God and because He commands us to do so.

Hesed isn’t easy. In fact, it’s impossible on our own. Only the Spirit at work inside us can accomplish true hesed love. But this is exactly what we need in order to love the difficult people, to stay in a friendship when it would be easier to go, to push through the hard seasons of marriage.

So how do we do it? What does it look like when we choose to love one other, even when it isn’t easy?

Paul gives  us 10 specific actions for loving others, whether it’s easy or not.

  1. Love openly. Far too often, we love with closed hearts. We don’t reach out and let love guide our actions and our words. Loving openly is best described in 1 Corinthians 13.
  2. See good. Y’all, this one gets hard. But Paul tells us to “hold fast to what is good” (v. 9). Recently, I’ve been reminded how important it is to look for the good in others and choose to focus on those things rather than the negatives.
  3. Esteem others. Paul writes, “Outdo one another in showing honor” (v. 10). Several years ago a wise friend gave me good counsel in dealing with a very difficult relationships.  She urged me to look for ways to honor the person who had hurt me, to pray for that person’s success and growth, and to become an encourager for that person. While doing so did not “fix” the relationship, it did help me learn to love the person regardless.
  4. Serve gladly.  When we allow our joy to motivate the way we serve, our focus is rightly placed on God rather than ourselves.
  5. Pray constantly.  Paul reminds us to pray without ceasing in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 but in this passage, he prefaces his admonition for constant prayer by telling us to rejoice in hope and be patient in tribulation.  Our steady prayers must be rooted in the hope and joy we have in Christ regardless of the difficulties we face.
  6. Live generously. Learning to hold all we have loosely and to remember what we have is from God and given to use for others helps us live with generous hearts.
  7. Walk closely.  We are called to come alongside others.  If we are not walking closely with the people God has placed in our lives, how can we ever rejoice or mourn with them? I’ve often heard it said, “Hurt people hurt people.” Perhaps those who are difficult in your life need you to stay close more than you know. Far too often, we move away when others really need us to pull close.
  8. Choose humility. It’s hard to esteem others higher than ourselves. And it’s hard not to want people to notice when we are wronged. But Jesus is our best example of choosing humility.  When He was wrongly accused and no one stood beside Him, He said nothing. He didn’t act when He could have, didn’t force His way. It isn’t easy.  And it certainly isn’t fun. One of the passages I’ve really come to lean into is Philippians 2:1-11.
  9. Extend grace. Twice in the past week I’ve reminded people what a gift it is to give another person the benefit of the doubt.  Instead of assuming it’s all about us, what if we learned to step back and evaluate the words or actions of another in light of all we know about his or her character?  What if we made the choice NOT to take things personally and to give grace?
  10. Pursue peace. We are called to the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Sometimes we can’t be reconciled to another … but we must make every effort to do so. Our desire must be to live in peace with all people.

One of the most difficult parts of living in a broken world is dealing with broken relationships.

 

Last week in a conversation with someone precious to me who is facing a very hard situation, I encouraged her {and me!} to remember this: Our enemy isn’t the other people in our lives! Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy.”  Satan wants to destroy not just our relationship with God but also our relationships with others.  We must remember, even in the most difficult relationships, our enemy isn’t flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).

So friends, I want you to know, I’m there in the trenches with you! I have one or two hard relationships in my life right now and I am daily seeking wisdom and guidance from the Lord. It isn’t easy, but we are not alone!

xo,

Teri Lynne

How do you navigate the hard relationships in your life?

Download this free printable!

10 Ways to Respond When “Love One Another” Isn’t Easy

10 Ways to Respond when "Love One Another" Isn't Easy — free printable!

What Does Your Ideal Day Look Like?

what does your ideal day look like?

What does your ideal day look like?

what does your ideal day look like?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what my ideal day involves. I’m trying to train myself to look beyond the schedule and the to do list. Not because those things aren’t real and don’t matter — but because they need to be tools, not the focus.

Today I’m at Not Quite Amish sharing the five components of my ideal day.  And over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more here about what developing your ideal deal and the role each of the areas I identified plays. {Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a post! Fill out the form below!!}

So, head over to Not Quite Amish to learn more! See you there!

xo,
Teri Lynne

Want more encouragement about experiencing life to the full?  Every six weeks or so I send out a newsletter full of tips, resources, and inspiration for living well, as well as bonus content just for newsletter subscribers such as 7 Ways to Jump Start Your Quiet Time. The next issue will be sent very soon … sign up today {for blog posts, newsletter, or both!} and join over 600 people who are receiving “Permission to Live Well.”


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10 Verses to Guide Your Words

10 verses to memorize to help us learn to guard our speech and guide our words

10 Verses to Guide Your WordsTime and again I find myself reminding my daughter — and myself! — what we say matters. {And how we say it can sometimes matter even more.} Our words are powerful. Once spoken, they can never be erased. Scripture says our words carry the power of life and death. James tells us how we control our tongues is a measure of the depth of our religion, our intimacy with Christ.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. James 1:26

Submitting our words to the Word is one of the key indicators of a maturing faith in Christ. But it’s hard, y’all.  I know! One of the best ways I’ve found to guide my words is to memorize Scripture.

10 verses to memorize to help us learn to guard our speech and guide our words

{download your free printable of 10 Verses to Guide Your Words}

10 Verses to Guide Your Words

Psalm 19:14

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 141:3

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door to my lips!

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 16:24

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 21:23

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Matthew 15:18

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.

Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Colossians 4:6

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

As I pursue the abundant life God offers, I’m learning how powerful my words can be. Living well requires that we use our words to bring life, hope, and truth to ourselves and those around us.  We can only do this as we embed the Word of God in our hearts.

xo,

Teri Lynne

Don’t forget to download the free printable list of these verses to help you memorize them!

10 Verses to Guide Your Words

Want more encouragement about experiencing life to the full?  Every six weeks or so I send out a newsletter full of tips, resources, and inspiration for living well, as well as bonus content just for newsletter subscribers such as 7 Ways to Jump Start Your Quiet Time. The next issue will be sent very soon … sign up today {for blog posts, newsletter, or both!} and join over 600 people who are receiving “Permission to Live Well.”


SUBSCRIBERS

How Do We Experience Life to the Full?

Life to the full isn’t centered around a full schedule. Abundant life isn’t found by doing more.

 

Life to the full isn’t centered around a full schedule. Abundant life isn’t found by doing more.

So what is this abundant life—life to the full—Jesus promises?

The word used here for life is “zoe.” One of my lexical aids described this life as “the very life of God, of which believers are made partakers.” We are partakers of the very life of God! And not just life, but He offers us this life to the full. Abundantly. Over and above, more than enough. Jesus came so that we would be able to live the fullest, most abundant, crazy over and above, more than enough lives. What does this big life involve?

  • Relationship with Him. We are invited into the very life of God, intimacy with the Creator and Sustainer of everything.
  • Relationships with others. We are offered community, fellowship, and interaction with fellow believers in order to strengthen and support one another. We are given the opportunity to sow into the lives of unbelievers in order to point them to the Giver of all life.
  • Receiving blessing now. Isn’t God good? He gives us gifts innumerable and blessings unimaginable every. single. day. But the best part is …
  • Redemption for eternity. In all of life, there is no greater gift than THE Gift – the gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life.

Jesus came to give us abundant life – now and forever! Life to the full isn’t centered around a full schedule. Abundant life isn’t found by doing more. We can only experience this deep, meaningful life through Him.

I don’t know about you, but that is really good news to me. My life doesn’t always feel abundant. But when I stop and realize the truth—that life is made full through Him, not me and what I do—I am able to face the challenges and heartaches with confidence, knowing He is with me.

xo,

Teri Lynne

Want more encouragement about experiencing life to the full?  Every six weeks or so I send out a newsletter full of tips, resources, and inspiration for living well, as well as bonus content just for newsletter subscribers such as 7 Ways to Jump Start Your Quiet Time. The next issue will be sent very soon … sign up today {for blog posts, newsletter, or both!} and join over 600 people who are receiving “Permission to Live Well.”


SUBSCRIBERS

Need Great Gift Ideas? Check out Eleventh Avenue!

gift ideas from Eleventh Avenue for weddings, Mother's Day, and graduation

{This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.}

We’ve entered the season of gifts around here … bridal showers, weddings, graduation, and Mother’s Day are all in the next two months. And, if you’re like me, you want to find the right gift at the right price.

Enter Eleventh Avenue.

I love their boutique finds at incredible prices. {Remember the adorable plaid/polka dot scarf from this past fall?} Since the products are priced so low, there are limited quantities and each deal only is available for just a few days. It’s fun to peek in and look to see what’s available.

gift ideas from Eleventh Avenue for weddings, Mother's Day, and graduation

I gathered up a few items I thought would be perfect for the gift-giving occasions in the next few weeks. In fact, several of these ideas would work for any one of the occasions I mentioned. And so, here are some great gift ideas from Eleventh Avenue …

great gifts for bridal showers and weddingsSelf-Addressing Address Stamp – 2 Styles! – $35.00 || Black & White Love Pillow – $24.00 || Monogrammed Bath Towel Set – $29.99 || Let’s Go On Marvelous Adventures Together Print – $7.99

Mother's Day gift ideas
Mother’s Day Dainty Charm Bangle – 4 Styles! – $6.99 || Set of 3 Mothers Day Gift Prints! – $5.99 || Rustic Mason Jar Crate – $24.99

Graduation Gift Ideas for girls

Cinderella Inspired Necklace – $11.50 || Rhinestone Monogrammed Tumbler – $9.99 || I Woke Up Like This Mug – $12.99 || Fashion Notebooks – 4 Styles! – $5.99

Maybe you aren’t looking for gifts … but you do need a little update for your spring wardrobe … Well look no further than EleventhAvenue.com! They’ve got the best selection for fun footwear, cute clothing, and delightful decor – all at an unbeatable price!

And guess what?! Eleventh Avenue has a special treat for you! Starting today through 5/22/15, you can get 15% off Eleventh Avenue sitewide when you use code AVENUE15.

So, there you go … happy shopping!!

xo,

Teri Lynne

Do you have a “go to” gift for weddings, graduations, etc? If so, what is it?

10 Verses from the Psalms for the Dark Days

Facing a difficult situation? Here are 10 verses from the Psalms to encourage you.

It’s stormy here in North Alabama. Even the screen on my weather app is gray. I don’t know about you, but on days like this, I just want to curl up with a warm blanket and a good book. Sometimes, though, the dark days come even when the sun is shining bright.  Life brings storms that catch us off guard and we struggle to navigate through the unexpected and difficult.

I have several friends right now who are facing dark days. Over the past week I’ve had conversations with women who are dealing with storms and struggles they never imagined. One is battling depression. Another is facing a difficult health situation with her husband.  I know women who are navigating life after a divorce they never wanted. Some are facing financial crises and others are wondering how they will survive parenting during the hard phases.

Life doesn’t always turn out the way we expected. And it’s hard. And when the hard days come, we find ourselves looking anywhere for a bright spot in the middle of the darkness.  But I have found during the hardest days {and seasons!} of my life, the Word of God brings me great comfort.

when the dark days come and life is hard, here are 10 verses from the Psalms to encourage you

Below are 10 verses from the Psalms for the dark days, words to encourage you and remind you how precious you are the God of all creation:

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory; and the lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

He lifts our heads! When we cannot go another step or face another heartache, He is there to comfort and keep us.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4

God is WITH us and He is FOR us.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

He is aware of our times of difficulty.  He knows the struggles and He offers us refuge and strength.

You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in Your bottle.  Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8

Our tears are kept by the God of all creation. He knows when we are tossing and turning.  It matters to Him because we matter to Him.

Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; You have given the command to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.  Psalm 71:3

We can CONTINUALLY come … when the dark days seem unending, we will never wear out our welcome before the Lord.

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.  In the day of trouble I call upon You, for You answer me. Psalm 86:6-7

He listens to us, hears our pleas for grace.  And He will answer.

When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul. Psalm 94:19

Sometimes we feel as if the weight of the world is on our shoulders but even then we can find our hope and strength in Him.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy. Psalm 103:2-4

These are some of my favorites! I love the reminder of all the ways He has blessed me. We can trust in His faithfulness to provide for and protect us.

In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. Psalm 120:1

He will answer us! Even in the darkest days, He is there and He is listening to our cries.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope. Psalm 130:5

Sometimes we must wait for His answer, for His plan to be worked in and through us, for the dark days to pass … the waiting is hard.  But we can be sure of His Word and His character.  We can find our hope for ever day in Him!

I don’t know what situations you are facing right now … but I do know this: God is with you and He loves you.

If you would like me to pray for you or someone in your life, please leave a comment or email me {teri at terilynneunderwood dot com} and I would be honored to lift you up.

xo,

Teri Lynne

What verses do you cling to during the dark days?

Maybe you’d like to bring some light to someone who is facing some dark days

Today only {April 9}, Dayspring has the Little Dipper Necklace for only $10! Normally $40, this adorable necklace would be the perfect way to remind someone how precious they are to you.  Also, Dayspring has changed their FREE shipping threshold to $25 of non-clearance products. It’s not too early to think about Mother’s Day … remember how cute The Fringe Hours product line is?? Here is the adorable Little Dipper necklace …

Everlasting Light - Little Dipper Necklace

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

The Fringe Hours {book review}

The Fringe Hours {book review}

I mentioned a few weeks ago how much I love my journaling Bible. I really do. I’m not particularly artistic but I am enjoying learning to do hand lettering and to use Scripture to form my own brand of art. It’s becoming one of those releases for me … a time when I am both challenged and inspired. And I love doing it. {I actually have sold a few of my prints … who knew??}

There is something equally relaxing and stimulating about taking time to do something I love. Whether the something is playing with pens and paper, using the Silhouette to make something for the cheerleaders, or try a new recipe, making time to create is important for me. That’s why I knew I’d love Jessica Turner’s book, The Fringe Hours.

The Fringe Hours {book review}

Jessica writes The Mom Creative blog where she {mainly} shares about how she chronicles her family’s life through scrapbooking. Jessica also works a full-time job and has a husband and three young children. If anyone knows about fitting something creative into an already busy schedule, it’s her.

In The Fringe Hours, Jessica writes honestly about why it matters that we make time for ourselves and offers some very practical ideas for how to carve out that time in the fringe hours of our days. Early in the book she writes,

“When you make room in your schedule to breathe, you make room for you—and that is the key to discovering fringe hours.”

Making room in my schedule for time to breathe … I love that and I believe it is a truth more women need to embrace.

The Fringe Hours is like a conversation with a friend who knows you well, who doesn’t judge your failures {no matter how large}, and who cheers on your successes {no matter how small}. With thought-provoking questions and a masterful blend of encouragement and challenge, Jessica invites women in every state and season and situation in life to embrace those fringe hours and redeem them for something beautiful.

If you, like me, are longing to live well, to experience the abundance God offers, The Fringe Hours is a book you will love {and read more than once}. I wasn’t on Jessica’s launch team for this book and I’ve never even met her. I bought it with some of my Christmas money … and I’m so glad. I highly recommend The Fringe Hours.

xo,
Teri Lynne

How do you fit the things you love, the ways you are energized, into your busy schedule?

Also, Dayspring has the most adorable line of The Fringe Hours products.  {These are affiliate links … I will receive a small commission if you purchase through them.}

The Fringe Hours - Inspirational Journal

journal $10

The Fringe Hours - Postcards, Set of 6

The Fringe Hours - Pocket Notebooks, Set of 3

set of 3 pocket notebooks $6

The Fringe Hours - Blank Note Cards, Set of 50

blank note cards $16

The Fringe Hours - Postcards, Set of 6

set of 6 postcards $5 {you know I’m dying for these since my one word this year is JOY!}

Jessica N. Turner - The Fringe Hours

book $10.99

 And if you’re shopping on Amazon, you can purchase The Fringe Hours there also … in print or for your Kindle.

We Were Not Created for Enough

we were not created for enough

In the middle of car lines and Walmart trips, family obligations and the never ending laundry, it’s easy to lose sight of the life God has for us and get caught up in just trying to survive the day. When we slow down long enough to consider our desire to live well, our minds fill with images of well-ordered homes, well-mannered children, and well-planned calendars. Far too often our definition of living well is rooted in having enough resources to do the things we enjoy and to provide for the people we love.

we were not created for enough

Books and blogs about the quest for living well crowd our Google searches and book store shelves. We devour the latest list of tips for making time and pin countless methods for meal planning. We spend our time and energy on a relentless quest for achieving balance and fill our days chasing this elusive ideal of a well-ordered life.

For us, living well is about enough.

Enough time.

Enough money.

Enough friends.

Enough success.

We curate Pinterest boards and read books and attend conferences and read blog posts.  We implement ideas and we use the pretty planners and download the popular apps. We build our emergency fund. We fill our freezers with a month of meals. We have consistent quiet times with the Lord. We support fair trade. We invest in our communities. We have regular date nights. We know the love languages of our children.

And it isn’t enough. The ache inside us reveals an emptiness “enough” can never fill. Because we were not created for enough.

"enough" can never fill the emptiness inside us ... we were created for more.

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. Genesis 2:8-9

This wasn’t just a little patch of wildflowers, Eden was a magnificent space full of both beauty and function. From the beginning of creation, God’s plan for us has been more than enough. He created a paradise for Adam and Eve and filled it with every kind of fruit and food. God didn’t just give them a few options for sustenance as they cared for His creation. He offered them a vast array of tastes and smells and all things “pleasant to the sight.” His provision was, from the very start, abundant.

choosing life to the full over enough ...

Created in the image of God, we are made for more than just surviving the days of our lives. And yet that is exactly what we settle for.  Living well is more than a meal plan and a cleaning routine. Life to the full is more than than good finances and annual vacations. Abundant life is more than having enough.  As long as we define living well in the context of enough, we’ll never experience the fullness of life God intends for us.

As I sit here this Monday after Easter, with the long list of things needing to be done, I am longing to for something more. I don’t want to settle for enough … I want the abundance God has for me. Maybe you do too?

Join me this week, as we consider what it means to live well.

xo,

Teri Lynne

How have you settled for enough instead of God’s abundance?

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