Girls of Grace… my thoughts for 2012.

on November 12, 2012 in Girls of Grace with 10 comments by

Well, I’m in love.

[I know. You’re hoping it’s a boy. And at some point, I’m hoping that too. Patience, grasshopper. ๐Ÿ™‚]

Today I’m talking about Girls of Grace.

I’ve done a poor job of recapping the last few events well- Eden Prairie, Grand Rapids, and Spartanburg, but let me assure you, it was not for a lack of enjoyment. Here are some posts I’ve written about GOG… I mean, I haven’t totally blog-ignored the experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

But today, as I think back over the first six events of this Girls of Grace season [our season is just like a school year, July – May], there are just some things I want to share. Being that Saturday in Spartanburg was our last event of 2012 and we don’t convene again until February in Nashville, I’m feeling all sentimental. Classic Annie.

And since I’ve sat here for forty minutes typing and retyping the same post, not sure how to tell you everything I’m feeling without taking up 2,000 words of your life, I’m going for a list.

[No, it’s not an impressive literary feat with well placed transitions. Sorry. A list is low on the totem pole of good literature. I’m aware.]

What I’ve loved about Girls of Grace. Ready? Let’s go.

1. I love how we feel like a family. I mean, I am for sure the new kid on the GOG block, but it amazes me how the speakers, bands, crew, and staff all feel like my people. I’ve been a Point of Grace fan since I was old enough to make my own mix tapes, and now those three women are really dear to me. And when we all sit around in the green room before, during, and after the event, we talk about real life and connect and it means a lot to this girl who loves her some friends. For a group of folks who only see each other twice a month, about four days a month total, we have got a good thing going on.

2. The bands and speakers. I am so impressed each weekend with the bands that join our little family. Group 1 Crew won me over for realz in July, but since then, I’ve also come to LOVE For King and Country, Britt Nicole, Sidewalk Prophets, Rush of Fools– not to mention Point of Grace and our worship leader Meredith Andrews.

[And I am ALL giggly that my gal Jamie Grace will be with us in Dallas! EEP!]

And the other speakers? Man, they are good. Amber Lehman, Constance Rhodes, and Chris Wheeler are some of the finest co-workers I have ever had. I’m grateful for them.

3. The staff and crew. I’m not gonna get sappy here, but I could. I love the people that are behind the scenes every weekend, and working tirelessly all during the week, to see that many young women get the best experience possible. It is inspiring to watch them work, knowing that I get to be a part of what God is doing through them. And? I like being friends with them. So that’s an added perk.

4. I love riding the bus and sleeping in a middle bunk and having all my friends trapped together for a lot of hours … and I am not afraid to say it.

5. Zondervan. My publisher is a Girls of Grace sponsor and it is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen God do- how He put together me and GOG, then me and Zondervan,ย then Zondervan and GOG, and then all three of us. It’s happy.

6. The girls and moms we meet in every city. It is such an honor to get to meet and speak in front of all of these women- young and old. During Meredith’s first worship set each Saturday, I stand in the back and watch as lots and lots of girls pursue Christ. And I say things like, “Uh, God? Why do I get to be here?” Because I feel unworthy and blessed and grateful.

7. God always shows up. He just does. Every Saturday. No matter the city. In some way, I leave each event different than when I got there. He shows up for the girls, and He shows up for us too.

I could keep going. I seriously could. Girls of Grace is just such a sweet spot right now for me personally and for my career and my passions. I am just beyond grateful to be a part. It is perfect? No. Does everything go exactly right every time? Nope. But I am always glad to be there.


I put up an album of some of my favorite Girls of Grace pictures from 2012 on my facebook page if you wanna check them out. And the spring gets super fun when we head to Nashville, Atlanta, Dallas, and other cities that are still secret. ๐Ÿ™‚ And if you’re like, “Man, this event would be AWESOME in our town!” just pop on the GOG website and tell them!

So that’s how I spent my weekend- in Spartanburg, SC with over 1000 teen girls and their moms, working with some of the best people I know.

Also? I slept until 1pm on Sunday and when I woke up, I said, “Well played, Downs. Well played.”

How was your weekend?ย 



  1. posted on Nov 12, 2012 at 7:59 AM  |  reply

    It’s so wonderful to see you living out God’s plans for you! It’s such an encouragement, and it’s good to see that it obviously makes you so happy, too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Tay
    posted on Nov 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM  |  reply

    Man, I wish Girls of Grace had come near me! It sounds like an all-star lineup!

  3. posted on Nov 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM  |  reply

    Tis awesome being there with you Annie, except that we never get to hang… ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Tonyna Hudgens
    posted on Nov 12, 2012 at 11:10 AM  |  reply

    My 12 year old daughter and I were in Spartanburg on Saturday! it was a great event! On the way home we talked alot about what you said and it’s amazing to hear my 12 year old say “I need to work on what I say cause Words matter!” Thanks to everyone who made it a great day! Keep doing what you are doing! It matters!

  5. posted on Nov 12, 2012 at 11:13 AM  |  reply

    I’m so proud of you and all that you are doing! {And I like lists, so whatevs. ;)}

  6. posted on Nov 12, 2012 at 1:03 PM  |  reply

    Proud of you and grateful for all you do!

  7. posted on Nov 12, 2012 at 3:36 PM  |  reply

    That sounds like a really great weekend and a really great tour! I wish I were still a teenager and not an almost 30 year-old so I could come! Ok, well maybe I don’t. But it still sounds like an awesome thing you get to be apart of:)

  8. posted on Nov 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM  |  reply

    This post made me wish I had a graceful girl to take to this event – how wonderful! (Someday, maybe ๐Ÿ™‚ ) They are blessed to have you, Annie. (Oh, and I featured your Nutella post on my blog’s Friday Favorites..cuz it was!) Blessings to you!

  9. Christy Flores
    posted on Nov 13, 2012 at 4:41 PM  |  reply

    My daughter and I attended the event in Spartanburg and were blessed beyond measure. The messages were fantastic and touched my daughter and I more than you all realize! The topics intended for the girls are very much applicable in the lives of the moms. The things girls struggle with are some of the things we all struggle with throughout our lives, I loved every minute of the day and was brought to tears a few times!! Thanks so much for all that you do to bring God’s love to a girls heart!!

  10. posted on Nov 14, 2012 at 5:33 PM  |  reply


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