No, I'm not going to get all weird and write a letter to Annie Downs, but I will say this...
Annie, I don't know you, but I do know you, and I thank you for being brave. Girl, we have got be long lost sisters.
I mean really.
Moments, yes, just moments ago, I finished the last words in Annie's book Let's All Be Brave. And just so you know, I am adding it to my list of 52 Book in 52 Weeks under the category a book that scares me.
Because you know what.....being brave scares me.
I am the least brave person I know. Well, until I read Annie's book.
In so many ways, she touched my heart. I laughed. I cried. I had to explain to my five year old why Mama was writing in her book when his school librarian has just taught him not to.
And I did. I underlined and circled and put brackets and cute clouds around Annie's words.
And as I read Annie's words, I felt braver.
I felt God tugging at my heart.
And I was reminded that I am brave.
I married my high school (ahem middle school) sweet heart and have supported his desire to serve God and country. We've been married for 16 years, together for 26.
I am the mama of 3 boys. 'Nuf said.
I am a teacher to these elementary school kids who look to me for hope and direction.
I connect with these women each week in a choir room at church (no, I don't sing) and we laugh and cry together about being moms and wives and women of God.
I went to a retreat where I knew NOT one person there, yet we all knew each other's hearts and wishes and dreams. I found my people.
I come here in this space in hopes of sharing words of experience and encouragement to hopefully add something to your life.
And in me, deep inside me, I have this desire to do something more with these words. That's led me to begin my first book. Whether or not it actually publishes or sells is out of my control, but taking that step in actually following my dream...
Well, all of that is brave.
And in all of this reading and laughing and crying....
I was slapped in the face with this.....
I struggle people. I like to eat. I like to drink. I like food and beverages. I know my habits aren't healthy. No one needs to tell me that. But Annie reminded me that it takes courage to stop thinking and start doing. So I will embark on a new journey. A journey to get a healthier, braver me. Something I've always known I've needed to do, but never said yes to doing.
God works like that. He uses these complete strangers and their words to get our attention. It's found in their books, on their blogs, in their songs.
God speaks. We just have to listen.
Annie, thank you for listening. Thank you for being a tool to reach people like me. Women (or fellas) that feel like they are the least brave people in the world. Thank you for reminding me that it takes courage to be me, the me that God created. And to be me.....that's brave.
I have to also say thank you to Zondervan for giving me Annie's book as part of the Five Minute Friday Retreat. What a wonderful gift!