Annie F. Downs
"100 Days To Brave"
I've been reading through "100 Days to Brave," by
Annie F. Downs. A few days ago I finished my first journey
through the book. Honestly, I don't know how much braver I feel,
but I did learn a few things...
is currently #7 on the
ECPA Bestsellers Top 25 list)
that bravery comes in unexpected moments. A smile. A sentence. A
friendship. Small things that will make all the difference. It
starts with saying yes, and then it grows through saying no
sometimes. It doesn't always feel like it's brave. But after the
fact you can sense it. You've been brave.
Bravery is a practice. I know, weird. You can actually
train yourself to be brave. However, if I am going into
something with a mindset determined to be brave, my odds were
much better. And as I saw one experience go well, it became
easier to do it again and again. Even the times that it didn't
go well, I was less discouraged because I was allowing myself to
train and stretch myself. Being brave won't always go perfectly.
It's okay to fail!
Bravery does not always look the same at all times and for every
person. Sometimes my bravery was simply saying hello to someone.
Other days it was inviting someone to a bible study. Even other
times it was saying my opinion in a room where I knew my opinion
wasn't welcome. Bravery fluctuates in form, but no matter what
it seems like it's still brave.
You may already be a little bit braver than you know.
When you look for brave, you see it. So, while you may not feel
particularly brave, I'm sure you can think of at least one
moment in which you did something brave. Or someone else can
point to something you do and label it brave.
Annie F. Downs is a best-selling
nationally known speaker, and podcast host based in Nashville,
Tennessee. Flawed but funny, she uses her writing to highlight the
everyday goodness of a real and present God.
Annie is the author of multiple best-selling books, including
Remember God and
100 Days To Brave.
By weaving together personal stories, humor, and Scripture, she
invites those reading to experience fulfilled lives with a God who
made them on purpose and loves them deeply.
While she loves writing- books, blogs, articles,
thank-you notes- Annie also enjoys traveling around the world
speaking at events, conferences, and churches.
Annie's podcast- That Sounds Fun Podcast- releases new
episodes every Monday and Thursday. Authors, pastors, musicians,
comedians, chefs, athletes- Annie has them all and calls them all
friend. You'll love the conversation in every episode.
Annie is a huge fan of bands with banjos,
confetti poppers, her community of friends,
boiled peanuts, and soccer.
"I'm a huge fan of the Internet,
singer/songwriters, waffles with peanut butter, and sports of all
kinds, especially four square.
I also love watching professional soccer, all things Scotland, and
than I was yesterday."
You've already started. Now you can improve.
Being brave is much easier when you have support. This
book started as a bible study, but as school and work started, we
somewhat distanced ourselves from checking in regularly. That being
said, I realized it's harder when you begin to go at being brave by
yourself. You can't always rely on other people, but I saw that when
I told people my goals or plans, there was an outflow of
encouragement and it helps!
So, maybe I am not the bravest person. Maybe I don't
always speak up when I should. Maybe I fail sometimes. But I am
learning. I am learning it is okay to say yes and it is okay to say
no, honesty is brave. I am learning to be friendlier than necessary
because I know I like it when people are friendly to me. But the
biggest thing I have learned is that trying is completely necessary.
So, I will begin speaking up. Even when it's hard. Even
when I don't have all the words. Even when my voice shakes.
And that is the beginning of brave for me.