Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have by Annie F. Downs

“The road to courage is lit by God’s wisdom…His word is a lamp for your feet (Psalm 119:105). Your feet. Right under you. Look down. Take that step. It’s right in front of you. And when it comes to holding on or letting go, I think you look down and see where the light leads you.”

let's be brave

Synopsis from Goodreads: As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and blogger, Annie Downs shares her journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire. The call to be brave isn’t just for one person—it’s for everyone. Let’s All Be Brave is more than a book, it’s a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward—even when it’s scary.

Feelings: This is the second of Annie’s books that I’ve read and just like Looking for Lovely, I really enjoyed it. I find myself working backwards in her books, starting with her most recently release and moving towards her first. Like Lovely, this book was full of Annie’s hilarious life commentary and stories, her wit and wisdom filling every page, and her comforting tone that made me smile. Once again, I felt like I was having a long conversation with a dear friend and that’s what I need to keep with a non-fiction book!

One thing I particularly enjoyed in this book was the use of scripture and storytelling. Sometimes in Christian non-fiction, I feel like it’s just a list of scriptures that should guide me through every hardship and season of life, but the commentary is what is missing. I need commentary to make connections and to understand the context, both of which Annie does really well. She pulls in passages and stories that I’ve heard my whole life and somehow manages to teach them to me in a different way, under a different light.

This book, even more than Looking for Lovely, made me laugh out loud. Y’all, when she started talking about “running” a 5K, I couldn’t stop giggling. Also, I think I need to move to Scotland. That’s an expensive takeaway from a book…

Issues: This book is written like a series of essays, but sometimes the way the short passages flowed together felt disjointed and it took me a minute to adjust. That’s a small-ish issue I had.

Also, I was the tiniest bit disappointed with her chapter on singleness. She spent the bulk of that chapter building up to some insightful moment that fell flat. I’m not saying that a discussion on God’s love being enough is falling flat…I just expected a longer and more punchy call to find the enjoyment in that stage of life and how to use it for His glory. She had just started really speaking to me on the subject when suddenly the chapter was over. I wanted more!

Final thoughts: This is the kind of wisdom that we can all benefit from. You don’t have to be like me or Annie to find something to cling to in these pages. I have so many things in common with Annie that make her words more powerful and meaningful to me, particularly, but I really believe anyone could enjoy and learn from this book.

Pick this up if you liked:

Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter by Annie F. Downs

Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me by Alexandra Kuykendall

Heart Made Whole: Turning Your Unhealed Pain into Your Greatest Strength by Christa Black Gifford

Goodreads rating: 4.08/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4.5/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

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