{Dear Teri, Love Teri} You’re Not a Quitter

Dear Teri, Love Teri www.terilynneunderwood.com

Dear Teri,

Washing dishes, making beds, and cleaning house.  Tasks that you complete almost every day.  A never-ending cycle of picking up and laying down.   You come from a long like of picker-uppers and layer-downers.   From both sides of your family tree are the strong women who sacrificed self for child.   You’ve been welcomed into a great cloud of witnesses to the glory and the grit and the grace of motherhood.

From great-grandmothers who have whispered words of wisdom deep into your heart about loving God first.   Grandmothers who made tuna fish salad and sugar sandwiches and taught you about loving husbands well and the great gift that is to your children.  Aunts who spoke – and continue to speak – words of affirmation and encouragement into your writing, your parenting, your ministry, your life.

Then you wed Scott and the blessings of grandmothers and aunts were multiplied.   Lingering conversations over morning coffee about life and faith and staying focused in a world that lacks focus.    A mother-in-law who loves you totally as if you were her own flesh and blood, who not only encourages you but admires you and trusts you.

These are gifts, presents wrapped in beauty and faith and grace and love.  Count each one a precious treasure and give these women, these relationships, your attention, your time.  Give them you.

Grandmothers and aunts and mother-in-law are beautiful.  But there is one woman who loved you first.  A girl-become-woman at age 16.  A young mother and wife who knew only one thing for sure:  Her heart belonged to you.

Don't Give Up www.terilynneunderwood.com

my parents and me ~ october 1971

In many ways you and your mom grew up together, separated by less than two decades.  When she was your age, all her children were grown and your girl is not yet a teenager.   It was hard being the mom of a strong-willed, self-absorbed daughter.  It had to be.   She didn’t know all the answers or know the best solution.  She was, just as you are, doing the best she could.   She didn’t quit.  She didn’t give up.  Oh I am sure she wanted to … more than once, if she were honest.

But she fought for you and for those two boys and for her marriage.   And, yes, mistakes were made and feelings were hurt and the consequences were often excruciating.  But still, she never quit.   Not once.

Of all the lessons you’ve learned from all these women in your life, this one can make the difference:

You are not a quitter!

When it’s hard – and it will be – don’t quit!  Because you are not alone.

When you’re tired – and you often are – don’t quit!  Because it’s worth the effort.

When you feel helpless – because you will – don’t quit!  Because He is your Helper.

When you just can’t go another step, don’t quit … because you learned from her, that He is walking with you and there are times when He will simply carry you.

Love, Teri

{This is for my mom, who taught me by her life that I am not a quitter.   I’m not made to do this thing of mothering alone but I’m also not made to give up when it is hard.   Thank you, Mom, for never quitting.  I love you.}

Linking with Ann Voskamp and the 1000 Moms project.

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. {tears} What a lovely tribute to your Mother, Teri. I am loving this series. Will you write one titled, “Dear Mollianne, Love Teri”? 🙂

    • I should do that!! I have so enjoyed writing this. There is such grace is saying, “You did what you could. And that is enough.” I think we need to say that to ourselves a lot more about a lot more things.

  2. This was not only beautiful, but encouraging, too! Thank you so much for sharing your heart here! I lost my Mom when I was 8, and I often wonder what I would be now had she lived on and instilled in me all that she was. I’m so glad I stopped by today! I go away blessed!


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