31 Ways To Speak Love

Day 2 :: Besties

on October 2, 2013 in 31 Ways To Speak Love with 10 comments by

31 ways

I don’t have one best friend.

I have a few people to whom I give that label, whether they like it or not.

I won’t list them. That would be awkward.

But I am so grateful for my best friends. I’m sure you are too. Can you think of one, two, or five people in your life that are your closies? The ones you trust and depend on, the ones who laugh at your jokes, and the people you could call in the middle of the night?

Those are your besties. Your people. Yours.

I love my people. As my life changes and my city changes and my career changes, it’s these handful of friends who make sure I stay me and I stay normal and I call them when things are going for me and against me.

I love them.

But I don’t tell them that enough.

I thank them in the acknowledgments of my books, I tell other people that I am grateful for them, but how often do look in the eyes of my best friends and tell them so?

A few years ago, Mary Katherine and I had breakfast on January 2nd. She called me out. She said, “who are your best friends?” And I told her. She said, “but you don’t tell them that or treat them any different than any other friend. How would they ever know?”

It was so convicting.

So that day, I put them in my “favorites” category on my phone and when something big happens, I make sure they all know before the internet does. When someone breaks my heart, they know first.

And today? I’m going to call them. Each of them. And remind them what they mean to me and why. Not just a text, not just emojis, but a real life phone call or face to face moment. 

Want to Speak Love to your best friends today? Just call them. Or stand in front of them. Or sit with them at lunch or a coffee shop. Speak to them. Plain and simple. Tell them how much they mean to you and why. Don’t just say “I love you,” say “I love you because…” and then finish that sentence with your heart.

Don’t let the sun go down today without letting those closest to you know that they are. You may make their day in ways you will never know.

. . . . .

SPEAK LOVE NOW

I’ll be honest, y’all. I’m kinda nervous about making these calls today! It feels silly because I’m calling my favorite people on the planet. But for those not in Nashville, I’m gonna call. For those in this town, I’m gonna stop by their house or meet up with them somewhere and give them a big squeeze and a thanks and a “this is why I love you” moment.

Today’s challenge: do the same. Speak love to the people you call your best friend, whether that’s one or five. Let today be the day that they hear how much they mean to you.

In addition, feel free to send a free e-card to your closie or leave a comment below telling us all about your favorite people. I’d love to hear who you consider your best friend!

Day 1:: A Challenge for the Internet.

on October 1, 2013 in 31 Ways To Speak Love with 22 comments by

31 ways

I bet a lot of you are bloggers.

I bet more of you are on twitter and instagram.

I bet you are on the internet because hi, my name is Annie and you are reading my blog on the internet. 🙂

. . . . .

A lie that a lot of bloggers believe is, “I don’t have a lot of readers, I guess I’m not important and what I have to say isn’t important. I’m not a big deal blogger, so I guess what I have to say doesn’t matter.”

I want to challenge that lie if you hear it in your head.

You don’t have enough followers to count for anything? You don’t have enough readers to make what you say matter?

NOT TRUE.

I told them to the Influence gals this weekend and I’m telling you as well: add up all your followers on every social media site. Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Blog. And look at that number. Don’t compare it to someone else’s number, just look at it.

Do you realize that you are reaching FAR more people every day online than you could ever disciple or mentor on a daily basis?

A preacher may speak to 300 people on a Sunday morning, but YOU are speaking to your crowd every day, maybe multiple times a day, and you are leading them. Your words are leading other people.

So if you add up all your social media platform numbers and you are anything above twenty, you are doing more mentoring and leading than the average small group leader.

SERIOUSLY.

Your words matter. Your voice matters. 

So dear internet friends, never underestimate your voice! You are impacting more people than you probably realize!

Use your platforms, use your voice, use whatever influence God has given you online to speak love and hope into the dark places.

YOUR VOICE MATTERS.

. . . . .

FaithGateway-AnnieDowns_banner4

Here’s a super fun way to kick off our month – tonight at 7pm CST I am doing a live one-hour chat with FaithGateway where we’ll discuss all of this – the power of our words, the mean girl, and according to that banner, I’m going to REVEAL DEEP THOUGHT.

Prepare yourself. 🙂

Also, I’m gonna answer any questions you have! They will be pulling questions/comments from twitter, so tweet at us using the hashtag #SpeakLoveNow and tag @faithgateway.

It would be super fun if you grabbed a mug of chai and curled up on the porch swing with your laptop and log on with us.

. . . . .

SPEAK LOVE NOW.

Ok- so maybe I overuse those three words. 🙂 We have Speak Love Now e-cards and an instagram feed, but every day this month, I’m going to challenge you to do ONE THING to speak love now.

Today is easy. Just tweet something encouraging or blog a kind word, idea, or scripture.

Remember that you are leading and mentoring and discipling with your social media crowd everyday – what can you say to your audience today to encourage them?

Feel free to link in the comments to your post or tweet speaking love to your audience! I’d love to see it!

October is for speaking love.

on September 30, 2013 in 31 Ways To Speak Love with 7 comments by

31 ways

It’s that easy.

That’s what this month is about.

31 ways we can speak love to the ones we know and the ones we don’t.

31 ways we can be different than the generation before us and lead the one behind us.

31 ways we can impact and change our culture.

Each day will tell a different story, recommend a different resource, share a song, introduce you to some thoughts, or challenge you with a task.

The goal? 

To speak love. To speak life. To change those around us. And to kill the mean girl mentality in our generation. 

And you can play along.

Wanna? Let’s do it.

Oh y’all. I just can’t tell you how excited I am about this month, about all the ways that I imagine our little tribe changing the world with our words.

It’s gonna be really fun. I promise. Like whoa fun.

Starting tomorrow. WOOT.

. . . . .

A few things….

  • Remember we are starting the @speaklovenow instagram posts tomorrow with daily devotionals. This is geared for teen/college gals, but everyone is welcome. Just prepare yourself for an abundance of emojis, teen talk, and instagram names with lots of underscores, because that’s how teens roll these days. 🙂
  • We are doing a special sale at the AnnieBlogs store. Use the coupon code 31WAYS and get free shipping all month! [There will also be other deals during the month, so stick around for that!]
  • We’ll be giving away a lot of copies of Speak Love and the companion journal Speak Love Revolution throughout the month because I have lots of boxes of books at my house that I’m ready to get in your hands! 
  • Lots of friends will be doing 31 Days posts this month. So make sure you swing by some of the other folks. I’ll be sharing some of my favorites as we go too.

. . . . .

Any questions? 

31 Ways To Speak Love

on September 29, 2013 in 31 Ways To Speak Love with 5 comments by

31 ways

You guys? God is up to something.

And He’s inviting us to join in.

The Bible says our tongues (and typing fingers?) are always speaking life or death. So let’s spend this month focused on our words and watch as beautiful things grow when we choose words of life towards God, others, and ourselves.

This October, we are changing our culture. We are going to Speak Love.

. . . . .

Intro :: October is for speaking love.

Day 1 :: A Challenge for the Internet

Day 2 :: Besties

Day 3 :: Musicians

Day 4 :: Lyrics

Day 5 :: Teachers

Day 6 :: Proverbs 18:21

Day 7 :: Brave

Day 8 :: Parents

Day 9 :: The Ones Who Lead You

Day 10 :: Malala

Day 11 :: Your Words Matter

Day 12 :: Love Your Bloggers

Day 13 :: Proverbs 16:24

Day 14 :: Words by Hawk Nelson

Day 15 :: Single Ladies

Day 16 :: Siblings

Day 17 :: Random Words of Kindness

Day 18 :: Authors

Day 19 :: Girls of Grace

Day 20 :: Psalm 119:105

Day 21 :: Two Free Birds

Day 22 :: Spotify Jams

Day 23 :: Talk to God

Day 24 :: fashionABLE

Day 25 :: Your Labels

Day 26 :: Teen Girls

Day 27 :: Matthew 12:34

Day 28 :: Speak Life by Toby Mac

Day 29 :: Use Your E-Manners

Day 30 :: Goodbye, Mean Girl

Day 31 :: 5 Steps To No More Mean Girls

October is gonna get crazy.

on September 26, 2013 in 31 Ways To Speak Love with 1 comment by

It’s Thursday night.

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Indianapolis after the first night of Influence. My roomie and real life friend Amanda is over on her bed, I’m on mine, and I’m reflecting on the goodness that is retreats/conferences.

[I know. You’ve read posts upon posts this week about the dislike and distrust of conferences and I agree with a lot that my friends said in their writing, but since I’m a Pollyanna-esque extravert, I’m having a great time.]

I like being here. I like getting to teach on Saturday all about the mean girl we deal with as adults and how these bloggers can grab hold of the power they have in their words and change the world.

You know, cause I think they can. Really.

So I’m prepping for that, but mainly I’ve spent the last few days getting ready for October. Why? Well. Let’s list it.

. . . . .

One>>  October is Anti-Bullying Month

There is a lot going on in our country to “celebrate” [not the right word but you know what I mean] this month and raise awareness. So we’re trying to get the Speak Love message out there to as many teens as possible.

Would you be audacious and brave and ask for God’s favor on Speak Love [and me as the messenger] with some major news networks and morning shows? We are praying that God will spread this message far and wide. Will you join us?

. . . . .

Two>>  Speak Love Now Devos

A few weeks ago, I met with some youth leaders in Houston and one of the women said, “you know what my girls need? They need a quick daily teen devotional.” I said, “Okay, I can do that.” Because this is my job and when youth leaders say they need something I WANT TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

So my Intern Sarah and I got to work and have got a plan that will start in October. Using instragram [where all the teens are these days anyways], we’re going to start having quick simple devos every weekday morning. Follow along if you want and make sure all the teen gals you know/lead are following as well. The devos will be up by 7am CST each weekday morning, so hopefully we’ll all be able to see it and discuss first thing in the morning.

How cool will it be to know that a lot of gals are doing their quiet times together at the same time every morning? I know. I’m kinda stoked about it. [Except my Scotland gals will have to do them at night, but I think they’ll be fine with it.]

Here’s the link: http://instagram.com/speaklovenow

. . . . .

Three>>  31 Days!

For the last few years, I have LOVED participating in Nester’s 31 Days writing challenge.

2011: 31 Days of Courage

2012: 31 Days of Jokes

I’ve been thinking and praying about it a lot and talked to some wise women and they all agreed- if ever a month where all the stars aligned for us to really dig in and go after using our words well, it’s here.

2012 was fun, 2011 was storytelling, but this year is a challenge. I’m going to tell you all about it next week, but get ready people. No kidding, if you’ll grab on to what God is calling us to next month, your world will change. Money back guarantee.

31 ways

. . . . .

I’m gonna get real for a minute. October mildly terrifies me. Interviews. 31 blog posts. Managing a whole new instagram feed. Traveling for Girls of Grace. Speaking three times in Nashville. It’s a crazy month.

But I’m dropping my head down low and powering through this fear and exhaustion because I am sure LIKE SURE about what God has called me to – what He has called US to as His people – and the ways we could see our culture change if we will just believe Him and do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:24

The One who calls you is faithful,

and He will do it.

Right? RIGHT.

. . . . .

In all of this, God, be our vision.

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