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Let's All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have Paperback – July 15, 2014
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About the Author
Annie F. Downs is a bestselling author and nationally known speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Flawed but funny, she uses her writing to highlight the everyday goodness of a real and present God. Her most recent books include Looking for Lovely and Let’s All Be Brave. Annie also loves traveling around the country speaking at events, conferences, and churches. Read more at anniefdowns.com and follow her at @anniefdowns.
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Annie writes about the stuff of life in an easy, natural conversational voice. Transitions, relocations, disappointments, relationships, quandaries about what now, what's next--Annie reveals her experience, her responses in the Spirit of grace, her theological and other takes on the same type of life stuff each of us has been through and know we'll deal with again. "Grace" is my word for this year 2015; in this book about bravery, Annie reminds us grace has rhythms of start, stop, race, slow down, hesitate. In Spanish "hope" and "expect" are one and the same word: espero. In essence that means hope already is almost realized whenever you claim "¡espero!" Annie tells us it's about radical hope [page 163] that I'd further describe as deeply planted, solidly-rooted, almost impossible to uproot, throw away, destroy. I'll take a bow to Annie's Wesleyan heritage and say that's prevenient grace. That's God's ongoing presence and action each of us bravely can dare to trust.
I hope to be brave enough to run with the idea of someone untying my ship from the dock [page 201] and pushing it out to sea just far enough I can't quite reach back far enough to take the person's hand. Most of us bravely need to trust the breeze of the Holy Spirit to guide our little ships through the waters on to the next port of call. Annie didn't talk about it, but I know it's just fine and also brave to moor my boat at the next dock, so nothing will tempt any of us too seriously to leave new city too soon! Let's All Be Brave is one more in the short series of books I'm keeping forever and expect (hope) to pick up, pick a chapter, and again get motivated and inspired to be brave, to live in grace.
When God tells you to be brave, he will make it work. It won’t be perfect.
It won’t be easy but it will be your story and your best story. Annie Downs
I thought I know what bravery looked like which is why I’ve never described myself as brave, not once. I’ve always tried to be brave, wished I was brave but never felt particularly brave. Hence when Annie Downs announced her book, Let’s All be Brave. I knew I wanted to read it just to see what bravery looked like in someone else’s life.
I found pieces of my story in Annie’s stories of bravery. There was a particular chapter that I felt was written almost verbatim from my own life. It brought me to tears. I took my time reading and stopped often to reflect on Annie’s transparent words. It made me realize that bravery isn’t series of things that you do or even a huge or dangerous act. We can all be brave even as we make simple everyday decisions. Bravery can look like simply making a concerted effort to do the hard things even when it doesn’t seem to make sense to do so.
My takeaway from Annie’s book is… we all have our moments of insecurities and seemingly insurmountable mountains to overcome but if we just take it one moment at a time, one act at a time, one day at a time… we can all be brave.
I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret. This book is one of those books that you just want to swallow and keep it in your heart for like - ever. It is so encouraging, so honest, and so brave (terrible pun INTENDED).
Anyways, get this book, read this book, then proceed to tell your friends, acquaintances, grocery store check out ladies, enemies, and people that you meet because of Uber about this book (I'm not limiting it to these options I was just giving some examples)
Annie beautifully weaves together a collection of little stories from her life and the lives of others along with stories from the Bible in Let’s All Be Brave to encourage and embolden us readers to do the same: be brave. This book felt like a big warm hug — some books with a call to action can leave you feeling sweaty and nervous — but for me, it felt like Annie was reaching out of the pages, putting her arm around me, and saying “just be brave” in what I imagine is a sweet southern accent along with a comforting smile and slightly mischievous eyes.
You’ll feel like you’re catching up with a lifelong friend as you make your way through the pages of her book. Everything comes back to the main concept: be brave. I love this thought she shares — it is a great call to action, source of comfort, and pseudo-life mission: “You are one of a kind, made on purpose, deeply loved, and called to be courageous.” Young or old, I think all women will love this book!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”