A good friend of mine is about to have a baby. Well, I say “about” when describing her pregnancy. She, on the other hand, does not.
In my mind, she’s been pregnant for almost eight months and has just a little less than two months to go. But yesterday, when we were discussing it, she said, “It’s like TWO ENTIRE WHOLE 30s, ANNIE. Think about that. That is a really long time!”
She wins. (Also duh she wins because she is growing a human and I am absolutely not arguing with her about that.)
Just now on Facebook, a friend says, “Counting down to my wedding in 109 days!”
As children, when we would be on long car rides, when we would ask “how much further?” her answer always came in “one Mr. Rogers” (30 minutes) or “one Sesame Street” (an hour). It made my brain comprehend distance and time.
Much like my pregnant friend’s painful comparison to two full whole 30s. Wow and no thanks.
. . . . .
I’m thinking a lot about chunks of time lately, how we chop up time for our own understanding and sanity. We have to, I think. Humans need things to start and they need things to end. We need markers along our journey that show us how far we have gone or how long we have done the thing. Beginnings matter, but so does the finish line.
Ever since I wrote 100 Days To Brave, I’ve wondered what can really happen in 100 days. If that is the chunk of time you set apart to truly focus on something, what can happen? How different could things be?
I worked through Mark Batterson’s 40 day prayer journey this summer. The first ten days were fun, the middle twenty were hard, the last ten were fascinating, thinking back over my prayers, looking back through my journals, and seeing how the situations had changed, but mostly I was in awe of how I had changed. It was insane to think that in just forty days, my heart and mind had shifted significantly- even more than my circumstances.
I was more peaceful. I was more sure of God’s move in my life and in my story. My prayers shifted from what I was sure I wanted to what I hoped He wanted to whatever it was He wanted, I was in.
How different could things be in 100 days?
Honestly, I don’t think I have the answer. I know, that’s not how this is supposed to go- I’m supposed to tell you all the ways I am sure life can be different in 100 days of focused care and attention towards living the bravest life God has for you. I am sure of it, I’m just not sure how it will look for you.
That’s the way of courage, really. It’s so different for you than it is for me I wouldn’t dare try to make a list or boss you around. But there is braver for you in the life you already have. God’s not asking you to start a brand new life- to leave everything and everyone you know in order to be brave. He’s just asking you to take a good 100 day look at the life you already have and figure out where courage is just waiting for you.
You being brave in the life you already have will absolutely change the circumstances around you- at work, at home, in your church and in your city. But it will also change you. As the days tick by, you will slowly watch yourself shift, change, and grow. You will feel braver, because you are. You will see Jesus more clearly, because you are looking. And your story will change and the road may turn and you will be ready, because you are brave.
Annie’s book, 100 Days to Brave releases on October 24th. You can order it HERE.
Download the October conversation cards.
Check out this month’s recipe.
Annie F. Downs is a best-selling 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.
Annie is the author of Looking for Lovely, a book about the power of perseverance, Let’s All Be Brave, a book for men and women about the power we each have to make a difference on this planet. She also has two books for teens: Perfectly Unique, a spiritual growth book for high school and college girls, and Speak Love, a challenge to women on how to use their words to make a difference in the world.
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. You can learn more about her books here.
While she loves writing- books, blogs, articles, thank-you notes- Annie also enjoys traveling around the world speaking at events, conferences, and churches. You can learn more about her speaking events here.
Annie is a huge fan of bands with banjos, glitter, her community of friends, boiled peanuts, and football games.