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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs

I was riding in the back seat on an eleven hour drive home from Gulf Shores Alabama. I had finished the book I was reading. I was sitting there trying to think of a book I might like to download to read on the way home. Otherwise, who knows what kind of tomfoolery I might get in on the inter webs. Right then, I received a text from a dear friend who is having me speak at their September meeting. The MOPS theme this year is "Be You Bravely." That made me think of Annie Downs new book which I had seen popping up all over social media. 

We pulled into a Starbucks for a pit stop and I was going to download the book on my iPad. Right when we pulled in, a transformer blew. I couldn't download my book, but they gave me a free cup of coffee (because they couldn't ring us up without power). I realized that it would be several hours before I was able to have wifi again so I took the plunge and download the book on my phone. Yes, I read this entire book crammed in the backseat on my tiny phone. It's really quite fulfilling to finish something in useless car time.

I enjoyed Annie. Her writing is easy to sink into like old jeans and a favorite chair. I felt much like I was reading intimate posts on her blog. Like listening to a friend over coffee, I found it easy to read Annie's words. She spoke of all of the things God had nudged her toward in her adult life as well as the things she faced with pain and fear. It was sweetly encouraging to read her words.

She spoke about moving across the world requiring the same trust as moving a state away. We walk through transitions, dinner groups, ending relationships, and dealing with singleness at 30. Her words were real and truthful. It was not a collection of how we should feel, but rather walking through what we actually feel as human beings. I was encouraged to follow the Lord wherever He might lead. 

I had just finished a book on sex trafficking of little girls that told about what people are doing for orphan and widow care in the slums of Brazil. Understandably, this book felt light and whimsical in my hands because of the weight of what I had come off of. I do not think the decisions are any less brave because they seem safe. Often, we discount seemingly simple decisions because they are not these great weighty gospel attempts. What I love about Annie's words is that she is encouraging bravery in every situation that brings fear. It's always the little things that trip us up. Let's all be brave.


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