Single Stuff

Mother’s Day For All The Women In Your Village.

on May 9, 2017 in Single Stuff with 4 comments by

Celebrate All The Women In Your Village
It’s the week of Mother’s Day, which is a surprisingly complicated holiday for it’s simple title.

You can correct me, but I honestly don’t know another day that can elicit such a variety of emotions in women- ecstatic joy for some, deep heartbreak for others, disappointment, happiness, a literal cornucopia of feelings. And I get it.

Usually Mother’s Day is specifically meant to celebrate biological/adoptive moms and grandmothers. And they deserve it! But aren’t there more “mothers” than that?

Who is a mother? Who mothers?

I watch my friend Katy be an amazing aunt to her brother’s kids. Katy mothers their little lives, alongside their amazing mom.

I watch as my friend Logan and her family invite single women in to live with them for seasons of time. Logan mothers those young women and those young women mother Logan’s kids.

One of my best friend’s daughter said to me, “you’re the best friend a five year old girl could ask for.” I’m not her mama, but I’m a mothering voice… and, apparently, the best friend a five year old girl could ask for. 🙂

. . . . .

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mother’s Day and my single friends, and myself, who do not get to celebrate it. Here’s what I know from my own life and the life of my friends, both married and singles- so many families DEEPLY love and appreciate the single women who invest in the lives of their children, and SO many singles get joy and life from spending time with families.

. . . . .

It takes a village, right?

I know that was true back in the days when we were all actually living in villages, but I think it’s still true today. I see it in my own story, the way I can pop over to Luke and Heather’s house and play with the girls while Heather finishes up dinner, or how God uses Annie’s kids to remind me of how good my life is. About once a week I FaceTime with my friends in Texas and the little girls and I chat and play games while the parents get some minutes to talk like adults.

Life in a village isn’t just about helping the families.

Villages are built to help those with family 

AND be family for those without.

I just wonder if this year, if Mother’s Day 2017, could be the year that you celebrate ALL the mothering voices in your village?… including the single women who aren’t mamas but have a mother’s heart, that haven’t birthed a kid, but birth joy and fun and rest in your home and in the lives of your children.

Who is she?

  • Your babysitter?
  • Your best friend?
  • Your sister?
  • Your next door neighbor?
  • Your kid’s swim coach?
  • Your kid’s teacher?
  • The volunteer at church?

And what does it look like to celebrate her?

For my birthday last year, my favorite four year old dude drew me a picture. It’s me and a huge soccer ball (he knows me well), and my mama friend asked her son to answer a handful of questions about me. You know, one of those cute fill-in-the-blank things that every pre-school class does.

It’s super common, probably every mom has one, but I didn’t.

And it hangs in my office, proudly displayed. I love it so so much.

. . . . .

It doesn’t take much to put hope in the heart of a woman who wants to be a mom someday.

I don’t speak for every single woman and I am not the spokesperson for singleness. But please trust me when I say that for a family to notice you, love you, celebrate you as a vital part of their village? It matters far deeper than you can even know. My village does this really well for me- it has been insanely life-giving to be called “family” by kids AND parents that aren’t my biological family and to be included and celebrated in that way. I’m so so thankful.

Families have an amazing opportunity this week to offer HOPE and LOVE to single women who may feel a lack or heartache around this holiday.

So on Mother’s Day, will you please look around your village? Don’t just look up and down your family line (but definitely celebrate your mama too!). Look to the left, to the right, look all around your village for single women who are partnering with you and mothering your children alongside you.

Thank God for her, the one who stands by you and loves your littles and has the heart of a mama.

And in some small but special way, celebrate her.

. . . . .

[reposting this from last year because it still feels very very true to me. amen. happy mother’s day week, friends.]

As long as we’re talking about singleness…

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

AnnieSLW

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.

. . . . .

Celebrate All The Women In Your Village.

on May 2, 2016 in Single Stuff with 5 comments by

Celebrate All The Women In Your Village
It’s the week of Mother’s Day, which is a surprisingly complicated holiday for it’s simple title.

You can correct me, but I honestly don’t know another day that can elicit such a variety of emotions in women- ecstatic joy for some, deep heartbreak for others, disappointment, happiness, a literal cornucopia of feelings. And I get it.

Usually Mother’s Day is specifically meant to celebrate biological/adoptive moms and grandmothers. And they deserve it! But aren’t there more “mothers” than that?

Who is a mother? Who mothers?

I watch my friend Katy be an amazing aunt to her brother’s kids. Katy mothers their little lives, alongside their amazing mom.

I watch as my friend Logan and her family invite single women in to live with them for seasons of time. Logan mothers those young women and those young women mother Logan’s kids.

One of my best friend’s daughter said to me, “you’re the best friend a five year old girl could ask for.” I’m not her mama, but I’m a mothering voice… and, apparently, the best friend a five year old girl could ask for. 🙂

. . . . .

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mother’s Day and my single friends, and myself, who do not get to celebrate it. I popped on Facebook last week and asked what other people thought about the concept that it’s not just mothers who mother.

If you have time, click on those two links and read the over 70 comments. They are interesting and sweet and very telling- so many families DEEPLY love and appreciate the single women who invest in the lives of their children, and SO many singles get joy and life from spending time with families.

. . . . .

It takes a village, right?

I know that was true back in the days when we were all actually living in villages, but I think it’s still true today. I see it in my own life, the way I can pop over to Luke and Heather’s house and play with the girls while Heather finishes up dinner, or how God uses Annie’s kids to remind me of how good my life is. About once a week I FaceTime with my friends in Texas and the little girls and I chat and play games while the parents get some minutes to talk like adults.

Life in a village isn’t just about helping the families.

Villages are built to help those with family 

AND be family for those without.

I just wonder if this year, if Mother’s Day 2016, could be the year that you celebrate ALL the mothering voices in your village?… including the single women who aren’t mamas but have a mother’s heart, that haven’t birthed a kid, but birth joy and fun and rest in your home and in the lives of your children.

Who is she?

  • Your babysitter?
  • Your best friend?
  • Your sister?
  • Your next door neighbor?
  • Your kid’s swim coach?
  • Your kid’s teacher?
  • The volunteer at church?

And what does it look like to celebrate her?

For my birthday this year, my favorite four year old dude drew me a picture. It’s me and a huge soccer ball (he knows me well), and my mama friend asked her son to answer a handful of questions about me. You know, one of those cute fill-in-the-blank things that every pre-school class does.

It’s super common, probably every mom has one, but I didn’t.

And it hangs in my office, proudly displayed. I love it so so much.

. . . . .

In those two Facebook posts above, so many people listed ways they have celebrated or plan to celebrate the single women in their village- from sweet handwritten notes to flowers to maybe a little gift (we’ve pulled one together for you at Dayspring if that interests you). It doesn’t take much to put hope in the heart of a woman who wants to be a mom someday.

I don’t speak for every single woman and I am not the spokesperson for singleness. But please trust me when I say that for a family to notice you, love you, celebrate you as a vital part of their village? It matters far deeper than you can even know. My village does this really well for me- it has been insanely life-giving to be called “family” by kids AND parents that aren’t my biological family and to be included and celebrated in that way. I’m so so thankful.

Families have an amazing opportunity this week to offer HOPE and LOVE to single women who may feel a lack or heartache around this holiday.

So on Mother’s Day, will you please look around your village? Don’t just look up and down your family line (but definitely celebrate your mama too!). Look to the left, to the right, look all around your village for single women who are partnering with you and mothering your children alongside you.

Thank God for her, the one who stands by you and loves your littles and has the heart of a mama.

And in some small but special way, celebrate her.

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

Valentine’s Gifts.

on February 13, 2015 in Single Stuff with 12 comments by

It’s Valentine’s weekend. I don’t currently have a gentleman to celebrate the day with (I’ll let you know if that changes between today and tomorrow), but I am a little giddy about Saturday. I love seeing other people in love and I feel like it’ll be in my sights all day. And I also have a gift card to Nordstrom’s…. so…. clearly, I’ll have a great day.

For starters, I have a gift for you. Really. That’s how I feel. Especially if you are single, I think this message that God laid on my heart, that I lived first, can make a huge difference in your life if you will believe it. Please. PLEASE. Would you take 30 minutes and watch this today? And believe it? Believe that no matter what your circumstances, God has given you a good life.

(We can’t embed the video yet, so here is the link to go watch it on Buckhead Church’s website, or click the screen shot below.)

thisisthegoodlife

 

Also. My friend Laura, when she was single last year for Valentine’s Day, she bought herself a waffle maker. She said it helped her have a really fun day, and I’m all about that. So I thought of a couple of things you should buy yourself.


barnesalbum

Hymns for Her by Dave Barnes

This sweet little EP is under $10 and such a great addition to your music collection. The songs are so so good and the album feels super mature, like you should be making homemade pasta.

I don’t know. I’m just telling you my feelings.

This is also a good gift to give a person you love. Just saying.

 

 


bracelet

 

Clutch Beaded Bracelet

I love 107 Market Street and I could NOT resist this bracelet when my friend Amy showed it to me. I wore it when I spoke at Buckhead Church and I kind of can’t quit wearing it. And for only $12 (which is a STEAL I tell you), this would be a fun Valentine gift to yourself.

 

 


 

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 11.21.15 PMPride & Prejudice

Please just do it. You know you want to. Watch it. Love it. Tear up a few times. Enjoy it to the very center of your heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 Happy Valentine’s Day, friends.

Love you so.

xoxo


 

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