Business Boutique + special podcast episode!

on May 19, 2016 in That Sounds Fun Podcast with no comments by

Business Boutique

Y’all. Last weekend was my first ever Business Boutique event and I’m not joking, I AM IN LOVE.

You see, I’ve been trying to run this business of mine, Downs Books Inc, for about five years and to be honest, I just don’t know what I’m doing some of the time. Well, I know more than I do four years ago, but I know significantly LESS than most people who run businesses because I have NONE OF THE TRAINING.

Just none of it.

And it makes me crazy. Like, sometimes I want to cry because I want SO BADLY to be really really great at this. But instead of crying, I read business books like a fiend and stalk business leaders I respect and ask too many questions to anyone who runs a company.

I’m like a lot of women I know- we didn’t set out to run a business, but the idea came and we went for it and now? We run a full time business or a part time business or a brand new wish-it-was-part-time business and we want to do it really well.

And for all those reasons, Business Boutique in Phoenix last weekend felt like I was desert thirsty and they were a firehose. My notebook from the event is scribbled with notes on every page and I’ve already made a few changes that I think will serve our company, and my employees really well.

And I am THRILLED that I head to Ft. Worth today to do it all again! (If you are close to Ft. Worth, there are TOTALLY still tickets. You should SO come.) I’ve got it all sorted out in my mind- I’m going to use the same notebook with a different color pen so that all the knowledge is still in one place.

Business Boutique was created by my friend Christy Wright. A couple of week ago, we sat down, across town from each other, and chatted about the event. My technology got wonky, so the interview is shorter than I had hoped, but luckily I got a great clip of Christy explaining all the things I wanted her to say to me. So huzzah for technology, after all.

(You can download the episode here, or if you subscribe to the That Sounds Fun podcast, every new episode will drop into your podcast app. Or you can listen below!)

Hope you enjoy the episode and I super duper hope you’ll join us this weekend if this interests you!

(Also. If you have any business books or podcasts to recommend, PLEASE leave a comment below so I can learn learn learn! I’d so appreciate it!)

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That Sounds Fun Podcast: Episode 11 with Angie Smith!

on May 5, 2016 in Looking For Lovely, That Sounds Fun Podcast with 2 comments by


Happy Looking For Lovely Bible Study Launch Week! (that’s a mouthful)

I’m so so happy with how the studies turned out AND how they connect beautifully with Looking For Lovely (the book). BUT. It was a surprisingly challenging experience, to be honest, writing a Bible study. I had no idea how different Bible study writing and book writing were! But BOY DID I LEARN.

So for this episode of the podcast, I sat down with one of my very favorite humans/Bible study writers, Angie Smith. Pretty much, it’s a free therapy session for me about the writing process…. and we invited y’all to join us.

What you are about to experience is pretty much exactly what every single conversation between us is like- ping-ponging from funny to serious to updating to heartbreaking to laughing. We are truly this insane. (But we may really be on to something with this twix bar idea.)

(You can download the episode here, or if you subscribe to the That Sounds Fun podcast, every new episode will drop into your podcast app. Or you can listen below!)

Here are the links to things we discuss on the podcast:

— Angie Smith

— Looking For Lovely

Looking For Lovely Bible Studies

(Here’s a great chart to help you decide between the blue cover and the yellow cover!)

— IF:Gathering

Jennie Allen

— Seamless Bible Studies

Beth Moore’s Bible Studies (Ang & I both LOVE The Patriarchs!)

— Lisa Harper’s Believing Jesus study

WELD (where we recorded)

My embarrassing Mumford day

— Review/rate this podcast!

— Subscribe to the podcast!

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As long as we’re talking about singleness…

on May 4, 2016 in Single Stuff with 5 comments by


I started the week talking a bit about life as a single woman, so I thought I’d continue the trend today and tell you about one of the most impactful experiences of my life.

Christmas 2014, some friends mentioned to me that they felt I should attend a conference on singleness. (And all the singles collectively rolled all the eyes. I know. Hang with me.) I can’t remember if I laughed or just threw hot coffee in their faces, but I was NOT INTERESTED. “Pray about it,” they said to me, “and just look at the website.

I didn’t want to go because:

  • I travel for my job and don’t often/ever travel to conferences just for funsies.
  • I didn’t want to go to a conference about being single forever. (Because. As you know. I don’t want to be single forever.)
  • I didn’t want to be vulnerable about this area of my life with anyone. Just to be honest.

I drove back to Nashville and that night, way later than I should have been making rational decisions, I found a Single Life Workshop event to attend that fit my schedule (miracle) and before I even knew what I was doing, I signed up (double miracle).

I can’t explain why I did it, but as I prayed, I knew deep in my guts that this was the right move for me.

And y’all. IT. WAS.

For starters, I didn’t spend 3.5 days talking about how to prepare for a life as a single person. Not at all.

We talked about freedom and relationships and healing old wounds and shame and love and sex and communication. It was insightful and beautiful and vulnerable and super hard and painful at times, if I’m just being honest. I circled up with the same eight people for the entire conference, so every time we prayed or had to spill our guts, it was to this same new family of friends who I grew to trust deeply. We dug in to the hard places and let God heal them. We prayed together and learned together and laughed a good bit, too.

When I left Virginia (where I attended the Single Life Workshop), I was a changed woman.

Truthfully, besides when I gave my life to Christ,

Single Life Workshop is probably the most influential experience of my spiritual life. 

I am freer because of it. I am more loving and kind and truthful because of it. The Holy Spirit did something in my life that week that cannot be undone, is who I was always meant to be, and has changed my future.

In fact, my Single Life Workshop booklet (seen above), travels with me EVERYWHERE (as you can probably tell) and is an anchor to the truths and healing and freedom that I received there over a year ago.

The reason I’m telling YOU about it is because a church I love and trust deeply, Riverstone Church in Kennesaw, GA, is hosting a Single Life Workshop in June and I think you should go. At the very least, I think you should pray about it. 🙂

Kennesaw SLW

(And if this particular date/location doesn’t work for you, there are others.)

I just know that with June, you can trust this church who is hosting. And you can trust the men and women who are leading the event, Jeremy and Justin specifically. (They led mine as well.) And you can trust the Holy Spirit to do for you exactly what you need in this season.

So if you’re single, check out Single Life Workshop. I promise the work and vulnerability is worth the massive blessings and freedom on the other side.

If you and I were getting coffee today, this post is what I would say to you. Go. Attend. BE BRAVE.

I’ll never be the same for what God did in me and for me those few days last March. And I’m so grateful to my friends who told me to go, and I want to be that friend to you.

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