Resources I Find Helpful.

on July 8, 2016 in Culture Matters with 9 comments by


I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this week has been disturbing and heartbreaking and sadly culturally shifting. Even now, as I type, the interstate in Atlanta is shut down with protestors.

And I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help. It feels so big and scary and out of control. I don’t know how to help heal a nation of centuries worth of racism and systemic preferences and to make our black friends feel heard and safe and loved AND make our police feel safe and respected and…. sigh. It’s all so hard, y’all.

Luckily, there are a lot of good people on the planet who are smarter and braver than me having conversations that I want to listen to and be a part of. And all I’ve known to do is read and learn and connect with people that are different than me.

So here’s what I wanted to do tonight and share with you, friends. I’ve tried to collect up the resources that I have found really helpful this week and that I know can be trusted. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with every single tweet or line of an article, but all are worth checking out if you, like me, are so deeply saddened and ready to be a part of the change.

. . . . .

Each of these people are helping lead the racial reconciliation conversation and have, in the last week, taken even more important steps to helping make things different. Black, white, police families. These are voices I trust and think you should be following:

Michael Wear

Adam A.T. Thomason

Michelle Higgins

Deidra Riggs

Ashley Noelle


Trip Lee

Latasha Morrison

Also, you can follow the #solidarityispower hashtag to be connected with the conversation about what we can do to move forward, with Christ, towards healing and helping.

. . . . .

Here are three recorded conversations that you should make time for as soon as possible:

Priscilla Shirer’s periscope

Adam and Michael’s recorded call

IF:Gathering conversation 

HopeMob panel discussion

Andy Stanley with Sam Collier & Joseph Sojourner

. . . . .

After listening to the call with Adam and Michael (and many other wise voices), I loved that they gave us actual action steps to be a part of the solution. Here they are.

  1. Find your state representatives at
  2. Call or email your state reps and tell them that it matters to you that they act on racism in law enforcement. Tell them it’s a voting matter to you. When I composed my emails, I asked my two reps if they had a suggestion on how I could be a part of the solution for my area.
  3. Then share on social media when you do so that your followers will know a legitimate action step. Use the hashtag #solidarityispower.

. . . . .

I like these organizations and what they are doing to continue this conversation:

Campaign Zero

Q Ideas

Be The Bridge

Police One



. . . . .

Just to be clear. I really want you to hear this. I called friends today that are connected to police departments for some resources and asked how we can partner with them as well. The answers were the same- because police aren’t really allowed to talk about any of the things that are going on, there aren’t many blogposts or websites or movements. The reason there aren’t more links to that is because they don’t exist (at least, not that I was told about by trusted friends).

But I want my Nashville police to feel like I love and support them as well. So at the suggestion of a policeman’s wife, next week I’m going to deliver a card and some treats to my local police department.

So maybe there is some way you and your kids and your friends could thank your local police?

. . . . .

I don’t know very much about how to help this situation, people. But I promise you I’m committed to this conversation in ways I haven’t been before. Forgive me for that. Forgive me for letting this issue swirl around me and staying quiet about it, but I can’t anymore. I’m not full of the answers, but I’m asking a lot of new questions, making new friends, and jumping into conversations I was afraid to engage with before.

I felt like this was hopeless and America is too big for me to make a difference. But then I heard Michael Wear say, “You are not powerless. You have an awesome God who is on the side of justice.” And then I thought, “I may not be able to change every city in the nation, but I bet I can get involved in some small way in my town of Nashville.” So I’ll take treats to police and pray for my black friends and our churches and keep reading and learning and talking to new people and seeing what it looks like for me to be a part of changing the trajectory of this story. We must, y’all. We must get involved.

Do y’all have resources that you have found helpful this week?

People to follow?

Articles to read?

Please leave the links below.

Guide us, O thou great Jehovah.

. . . . .

9 Comments and Responses

That Sounds Fun Episode #15: Tim Shaw

on June 23, 2016 in That Sounds Fun Podcast with 2 comments by


When I was writing Looking For Lovely, there was one story I knew I wanted to tell. Before most of the chapters were even outlined, I knew I wanted Tim Shaw in the book.

He’s so funny, y’all. I mean, you are going to laugh your guts out on this one. And he’s wise. And he doesn’t mind saying the hard thing to me which I love and hate all at the same time. He’s just great.

If you haven’t read Looking For Lovely yet, here’s a quick bio of Tim- former NFL player, now retired and battling ALS, Tim and I became friends a few years ago through church and he will hate me saying this, but it truly is an honor to share life with him and cheer for him as he fights hard against this disease.

He’s also a freestyle rapper and you’re gonna get two raps in this episode. So prepare your heart for THAT. 🙂

(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 things we discussed on the podcast:

— Tim Shaw

Cross Point Church

— Tim’s college roommate Tamba Hali


Atlanta Falcons

Tim Tebow

Keith Brooking

Patrick Kearney

Georgia Dome

Nashville Predators

Connor’s episode (forgive the TERRIBLE quality of the sound… it’s not Connor’s fault, it’s mine.)

Hard Knocks on HBO

Devonta Freeman


TShawStrong t-shirt

— Review/rate this podcast!

— Subscribe to the podcast!

Hope you enjoyed this episode!! 🙂 Make sure to send Tim a shout out today on social media. It’ll make his day.

. . . . .

2 Comments and Responses

Isn’t She Lovely Contest!

on June 20, 2016 in Looking For Lovely, Nash-livin' with 1 comment by


You guys. We are so so excited about the Looking For Lovely Weekend that is coming up SOON AND VERY SOON.

A lot of y’all are already planning to come, and many people are being and coming alone. WOOT. We support that and plan to give you friends friends friends while you are here.

But also, we know that there are some really amazing women who aren’t currently planning to come but would love to attend. Maybe a friend of yours? You have lovely friends and we want you guys to join us.

Every morning when I wake up, as I’m getting ready, I play “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder on my iPhone. I love him and I LOVE THAT SONG. So when we were thinking of how to give away some tickets, I thought, “ISN’T SHE LOVELY!” and hence the name of this contest.

We want YOU to nominate a friend who you think is LOVELY and deserves a free ticket to the Looking For Lovely Weekend!!!

Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Post a picture of her (or you and her!) on your instagram account.
  2. Tell us about your friend (WHY IS SHE SO LOVELY?!?)!!
  3. Tell us why she should get a free ticket!
  4. Tag me in the caption (@anniefdowns)
  5. Include the hashtag #lovelycontest

You have until midnight CT on Thursday, June 23rd to post and then Friday, we will be reading through all the stories and picking a few women to invite to the event! (We will cover the ticket cost, but not travel or hotel.)

There may even be a chance (a chance? 😉 ) that the person nominating COULD POSSIBLY get a free ticket as well. YOU NEVER KNOW WITH ME, PEOPLE.

So if you know a college girl who would love some time in Nashville…

or a mama who needs a break….

or a single woman who just needs a weekend of fun….


tell us about her!

We are looking for lovely, and we want to meet your friend!

(And. There are still a few tickets left to purchase if you want to come or know someone who wants to come. We will sell out soon, so don’t wait if you know you want to be here! AND YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO BE HERE.)

. . . . .

one response

Page 5 of 580« First...«34567»102030...Last »
Get a sneak peek of Annie’s latest book! Click the link to download two free chapters of Let’s All Be Brave.