(in)courage

New Year’s Experiments.

on January 6, 2016 in (in)courage, NYExperiment 2016, PCOS with 2 comments by

New Year's Experiment

. . . . .

New Year’s Resolutions. I suck at them.

I’m a failure at resolutions.

I’m a quitter. It’s just what I have done historically — when the going gets hard, I get going, to a new location where things aren’t so hard.

But I’m trying to change. I want to be different.

And here, in 2016, I’m choosing faith, not fear, and I’m going to tell you about how this year is going to be very very different for me.

It starts here. With the idea that this year isn’t about resolutions, but experiments.

Head over to (in)courage to read what I mean. And then come back tomorrow and let’s talk about what’s next. <3

. . . . .

Are you new around these parts? Well welcome!

Hi. I’m Annie.

I love my job and I think it’s awesome.

I get to write books and speak to groups around the country.

(In fact, you can download two free chapters of my most recently released book here!)

You can read more about me here.

. . . . .

I love connecting with new friends, so find me all over the internet:

https://twitter.com/anniefdowns

http://www.facebook.com/anniefdowns

http://www.instagram.com/anniefdowns

https://www.goodreads.com/anniefdowns

http://pinterest.com/anniefdowns

. . . . .

The Longing

on December 4, 2015 in (in)courage with 6 comments by

Subtitle: I HAD A VULNERABILITY HANGOVER LIKE WHOA YESTERDAY.

Let me explain what that means.

After I write a piece that makes me feel super vulnerable and exposed, the next day I feel like I have the flu. Call me crazy, or call me normal, but that’s what happens. I lay on the couch, I sleep late, I pretty much just want to watch Netflix and pretend I have NO FEELINGS WHATSOEVER.

So.

Vulnerability hangover. It owned me. But I hope it’s worth it.

The Longing

So here’s the thing I wrote for (in)courage.

THE LONGING.

I hope it matters to you, or I hope you share it with someone that you think will connect with it.

Happy Advent. Here’s to hoping we feel the longing all together.

. . . . .

Are you new around these parts? Well welcome!

Hi. I’m Annie.

I love my job and I think it’s awesome.

I get to write books and speak to groups around the country.

(In fact, you can download two free chapters of my most recently released book here!)

You can read more about me here.

. . . . .

I love connecting with new friends, so find me all over the internet:

https://twitter.com/anniefdowns

http://www.facebook.com/anniefdowns

http://www.instagram.com/anniefdowns

https://www.goodreads.com/anniefdowns

http://pinterest.com/anniefdowns

. . . . .

When What You Want Brings Joy and Sadness

on August 24, 2015 in (in)courage, Single Stuff with 6 comments by

Annie F Downs August (in)courage post

The older I get, the more I realize I can’t often just categorize experiences as GOOD or BAD, painful or happy. It seems that events and moments tend to mix together like a casserole.

I had an experience like this recently, and wrote about it over at (in)courage.

It’s important to me to be honest with you about what this single life feels like- the parts that are a joy and the parts that are hard and the time when it is both.

And so that’s what I tried to do here. Hope you like it. <3

. . . . .

Are you new around these parts? Well welcome!

Hi. I’m Annie.

I love my job and I think it’s awesome.

I get to write books and speak to groups around the country.

(In fact, you can download two free chapters of my most recently released book here!)

You can read more about me here.

. . . . .

I love connecting with new friends, so find me all over the internet:

https://twitter.com/anniefdowns

http://www.facebook.com/anniefdowns

http://www.instagram.com/anniefdowns

https://www.goodreads.com/anniefdowns

http://pinterest.com/anniefdowns

. . . . .

It’s Not Just My Story

on May 8, 2015 in (in)courage, Single Stuff with no comments by

It's Not Just My Story

I got a card in the mail last week from a favorite 12-year-old. She’s the daughter of a friend of mine and someone I spend a good amount of time with.

I love getting snail mail — handwritten, thought out, and no delete button or ability to edit. In fact, halfway through her card she stopped her content to apologize for having to switch pen ink color. (That’s adorable.) And then, as I kept reading, this one little sentence came into view…

“I KNOW Jesus is going to bring you the perfect husband one day.”

I wrote about that card – what it meant to me and what it reminded me- over at (in)courage today. I’d love for you to pop over there and consider for a few minutes what it would mean to the people in your life if they were allowed to walk through the unknown with you.

No, it isn’t always fun and it’s not easy, but I think the faith it builds in you and in your people makes the vulnerability SO worth it.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this.

(Also. Yes. That’s the Let’s All Be Brave mug on display in the picture. If you don’t have one yet, grab one today!)

. . . . .

Are you new around these parts? Well welcome!

Hi. I’m Annie.

I love my job and I think it’s awesome.

I get to write books and speak to groups around the country.

(In fact, you can download two free chapters of my most recently released book here!)

You can read more about me here.

. . . . .

I love connecting with new friends, so find me all over the internet:

https://twitter.com/anniefdowns

http://www.facebook.com/anniefdowns

http://www.instagram.com/anniefdowns

https://www.goodreads.com/anniefdowns

http://pinterest.com/anniefdowns

. . . . .

Here’s all I’ve been able to write about Ecuador so far…

on January 23, 2015 in (in)courage, Compassion with 3 comments by

I know.

I need to tell you about how I got trapped in a bathroom at a gas station on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere Ecuador.

I need to tell you about the Compassion guys I sponsored- I call them my Ecuadudes.

I need to tell you that I was the first and only team member to puke and how my mom told me she was proud because our family is always competitive and loves to win.

I want to write about Ecuador, but I’m still processing and thinking and figuring out how to tell you alllll the things I want to tell you without making you sit and listen to me talk for an hour or twelve.

But so far?

This is all I can write about. The two kids who sang. And the leaders who make them feel safe enough to be brave.

Compassion Ecuador - Jan. 2015-112

I’d love for you to pop over to (in)courage and read about it.

If you’d like to sponsor a Compassion kiddo from Ecuador, you can find one here!

. . . . .

Are you new around these parts? Well welcome!

Hi. I’m Annie. I write books for my job.

You can read more about me here.

You can follow me on twitter here.

You can like me on facebook here.

You can follow me on pinterest here.

. . . . .

Weekending

on December 13, 2014 in (in)courage with no comments by

Happy weekend, friends!

A few quick fun things to share, in case you missed ’em this week!

pete

–> Monday’s post about singleness has made it over to (in)courage and now includes a prayer I wrote that they turned into a beautiful free printable. Feel free to grab it and it would be rad if you would share the post with your people. My hope is that it will continue to encourage men and women, married or single, who agree that waiting sometimes feels like a mess.

 

 

podcast–> Episode 2 of my That Sounds Fun podcast is up. Have you listened yet? Here’s episode 1 if you want to start from the top.

 

 

 

 

crackoff–> If you are looking for a great holiday treat to take to a party, Christmas Crack. For sure.

 

 

 

 

LABBmug

–> It’s not too late to buy a Let’s All Be Brave ornament or mug to give as a Christmas gift!

 

 

 

 

2014bookplates

–> If you are gifting one of my books this year and would like me to autograph it, we can make that happen!

 

 

 

 

Hope y’all have a super fun and Christmas-y weekend!

. . . . .

Dear Bloom Book Club (and every other reader of Let’s All Be Brave)

on November 13, 2014 in (in)courage, Let's All Be Brave with 8 comments by

bloomthanks

The Bloom Book Club officially ends today.

Over the last month and a half or so, hundreds of women across the internet have been reading Let’s All Be Brave together, discussing it on Facebook and on the Bloom Book Club page, and watching videos where I sat on my red couch and talked about my book with two friends.

Today, many of those women are going to write about their experience with Bloom and Let’s All Be Brave, so I thought I’d throw a post in the link-up as well. And if I can do this without crying, it shall be my greatest victory this week.

(And while I am directing this at the Bloom Book Club members, it’s honestly how I feel about every one of you who has taken time to read Let’s All Be Brave. So, it’s for you, too.)


 

Dear Bloom Book Club friends,

The day I turned in Let’s All Be Brave to my editor was one of the most depressing days of my life. I had read the manuscript over and over again, I knew I had worked very very hard on it, but it wasn’t great. Seriously. It wasn’t. And it broke my heart. I knew what God has placed in me to share, I knew what I dreamed that He could do with it, but I had just emailed off a 200+ page document that was mediocre writing AND emotionally expensive.

(This is why we have editors, y’all. Because my editor and I worked and worked and worked until this book was better than mediocre.)

I just prayed that God would use it, somehow, this book I had long dreamed of.

Even once the book was finished and ready to be printed, I wasn’t sure what you would think. Memoir writing from a 34 year old single gal can be a bit of an eye-roll and can flop and I was scared. So scared. Especially the day before it released.

And then it released, and most of you liked it. And you emailed me. And you told me what God had done in your heart when reading the book and every email is salve on my heart. For real.

And then Bloom Book Club.

And then I get to meet with hundreds of women online for the last few months and hear as they discuss the things they are wrestling with and feeling challenged by and I just put my hand over my heart and I tell God that I can’t believe He lets me be a part of your story and I thank Him that He took my mediocre writing and spun it around into a special thing that matters to some people on this planet.

Friend, thank you for being a part of the Bloom Book Club. Thank you for being excited when they picked Let’s All Be Brave and thank you for reading along. Thank you for your comments and your emails, for the things you like about the book AND the things that rubbed you the wrong way, and for turning the next page until we said goodbye at the end.

I guess I just want you to know that on the other side of this screen, on the other side of the book club, on the other side of the words on a page, sits an author who is so deeply grateful for this opportunity, for the friendships forged in this season, and for every.single.email, every.single.kind.word, every.single.page.read.

Thank you so much, sweet reader friends. You have healed me.

I am braver because of you.

. . . . .

(And to the Bloom Book Club staff- Jess and Ang, Robin, Saul, Crystal, Sally, and any others that had a hand in this- THANK YOU for trusting me with your people and believing in the words I write. The time and effort and moola you put in to see this book club through to the end is such a gift to me and I love you each to pieces.)


 

To keep you updated: minimal tears, just misty, really. So today’s blog post wasn’t near as weepy as I expected.

Huzzah! 🙂


 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

on November 10, 2014 in (in)courage, Let's All Be Brave with 3 comments by

I wish I really was at a ranch. Particularly Ree’s ranch. Her show on Food Network makes me want to hang out on her ranch and eat her snacks and ride a horse and brand a cattle.

Okay, but really. Here on the ranch known as Annie’s life…

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 1.50.47 PM

Well. This was a major thing. Marie Claire Magazine listed Let’s All Be Brave as a life-changing read. It was one of those crazy moments where you realize that sometimes people hold your book and you couldn’t imagine what they will say about it. It’s pretty fun to be on this list- I’m really grateful.


 

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Tonight I’m teaching an online class about hospitality and I would love for you to join us. It’ll just be an hour or so, and it’s only $10. I think it will be a pretty fun time- join us if you can! We sold out the original “seating,” but the sweet girls at Influence Network opened up a few more seats in case anyone wanted to sign up today. So sign up and get in your cozies with your hot tea/coffee/whatever, and let’s hang out tonight!


 

myKLOVE_Challenges

This week I got to issue a challenge to everyone using the MyKLove app. I’ve recorded a couple of different videos that they will share randomly over the next few weeks, so go ahead and download the app. Not only will you see my crazy face on the “challenges” page, but there’s tons more great content in the app. AND it is free. Duh. AND I actually really love it. So download it today!


 

20141027-Bloom-incourage-AnnieDowns4

We are on the last week of the (in)courage Bloom Book Club. It has been so awesome to read the comments as hundreds of women have read Let’s All Be Brave together and I’m super sad it is over. Even if you haven’t participated so far, you can watch all the videos here!


 

20141101_AnnieFDowns_November1

Speaking of (in)courage, I think I may have forgotten to tell you about this- but I wrote a little piece over there about how we all act on Facebook in November… and I made an Ann Voskamp joke, which I just don’t feel like I get to do enough. 🙂


 

A LITTLE MORE-4

 

I’m getting ready to send out my November newsletter- if you don’t already get my monthly newsletters with some thoughts and favorites and things I love to share with you guys first, sign up here!


 

And finally, Saturday November 8th was my blog’s 8th birthday….HAPPY GOLDEN BIRTHDAY, ANNIEBLOGS! It’s so bizarro to think that we’ve been hanging out here for eight.whole.years. I cannot thank you enough for your friendship and for showing up here through the thick and thin and some definite highs and definite lows. I am deeply deeply grateful for how you each have played a part in the fact I have my dream job.

So thanks x a million. <3

Tomorrow, I’m going to blog alllll about the CMA Awards that I attended last Wednesday night– do y’all have any particular questions you want me to answer?

Week 2 of the Bloom Book Club!

on October 20, 2014 in (in)courage, Let's All Be Brave with no comments by

20141020-Bloom-incourage-AnnieDowns2

Oh friends.

So we are on week two of the (in)courage Bloom Book Club. It has already been such a fun experience, connecting with HUNDREDS of readers around the world as they discuss chapters from Let’s All Be Brave.

It feels weird, honestly. But a good weird- a “how in the world did God pick this life for me” weird. It’s weird when you write about personal things like hearing God and moving to new cities and boys and such. It’s a double level of weird when you see a whole slew of people talking about said personal things.

So. Those are my current emotions about the Bloom Book Club. You’re welcome.

Some items I want to make sure you know:

Even if you’ve already read the book, you can totally jump in and watch the videos and join the discussion with us!

If you haven’t read the book, you can totally jump in and watch the videos and join the discussion with us! (And the e-book is only $4 if you wanna grab it and catch up with us!)

If you are reading the book, you can totally jump in and watch the videos and join the discussion with us!

(See what I did there? ALL OF YOU CAN PLAY ALONG NO MATTER WHAT!)

Today’s focus and video are on the two chapters that really hold my heart- Nashville and Edinburgh. You can read the comments in the comment section below the post and maybe, just maybe, you will get teary like I did hearing women discuss the voice of God and brave steps they want to take in their life.

Here are all the details and the schedule of reading so you can keep up with us.

Hope you’ll join us. The videos and conversation just keep getting better and better!!


 

Bloom Book Club. {squeeeaalllllll!}

on September 29, 2014 in (in)courage, Let's All Be Brave with 5 comments by

Yes. I know. I died of happy, too.

Let’s read the book together, y’all!

You can get all the details you need from the Bloom Book Club page over at (in)courage!

I mean. EEK and ACK and WOW and WHOA and NICE MOVE, MONDAY!

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Get a sneak peek of Annie’s latest book! Click the link to download two free chapters of Let’s All Be Brave.