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annie f. downs

A Moment to Breathe - Book Review |
Book Reviews

A Moment to Breathe – Book Review

Book Description:

When the rush of regular life leaves you breathless by day’s end, this collection of everyday stories becomes the place where you can come as you are, and find yourself among friends. Friends who have been there. Friends who’ll lean in close and say, “Me too!” Through our stories the bonds of friendship deepen as we listen to each other, laugh with each other, and learn from each other. Because we’re better when we’re living this one beautiful life together.

With stories from 80 writers, these pages become the very place your soul can exhale, where you can: 

· Connect with the hearts of women through stories that echo your own.

· Find beauty in the ordinary and sometimes messy moments of your everyday life.

· See your own stories as an offering of hope to those around you.

· Treasure the unseen ways God moves through even your most regular days. 

With 365 readings, each day begins with a passage of Scripture, tells a story of everyday faith, and encourages you to take a moment to breathe with a simple but fun way to complete your day. So kick off your shoes and join us for a relaxing but special time, where friends come together and share the real stuff of everyday faith.


This book was a treasure trove for me. While I fangirled over many of the contributors like my friend, Robin Dance, Suzanne Eller, Lisa-Jo Baker, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Renee Swope, Holley Gerth, Annie F. Downs, and Emily P. Freeman just to name a few, I also found a bunch of the other contributors to be just as swoon worthy. They speak my language! They take everyday life and speak (or write) Jesus into those spaces that many of us seem to overlook.

One of the coolest things in this book is “A Moment to Breathe” at the bottom of each day’s devotional.  There are many days that I don’t know what to do, or I just need a little spiritual shove.  These are perfect for those days when I am at a standstill.  There are little ideas for you to either act on (pray for someone that seems to have it all, or just be present with someone).  The actions and ideas are simple, don’t take much time, and will surely bless you and someone else, too.

Fair warning:

This is a 365-day devotional, but it you are anything like me, you will catch yourself reading more than one day’s devo at a time. It’s a nice feeling that someone out there has the same situation or feelings that you do. It is nice to know that we are not the only ones that need A Moment to Breathe.

Thank you to B&H Publishing for providing me a copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

A Moment to Breathe - 365 Devotions That Meet You in Your Everyday Mess Book Cover A Moment to Breathe - 365 Devotions That Meet You in Your Everyday Mess
from the (in)courage community
B&H Publishing
October 3, 2017
B&H Publishing

Book Reviews

Let’s All Be Brave. by Annie Downs – Review

Brave.coverBook Description:

Annie Downs admits she's not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents' home in Georgia, she's never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she's on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging readers to do the same.

As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and popular blogger, Annie shares this 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.

Let's All Be Brave is more than just a book, it's a battle cry. In it, Annie challenges us to live boldly, calls us to step into those places that require courage, and gives us the help to take the next step forward-even when it's scary. This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage-nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance.


I really like for people to think I am brave.  Don't you?  A lady told me how courageous I was to go to Honduras for a mission trip, but I didn't feel courageous.  I didn't feel brave either, but I did talk to God about it a lot. I mean A. Lot.  Another lady told me that I was courageous for dealing with breast cancer, and I totally disagreed but I wasn't going to tell her that. I felt like you just have to deal with it, there's really no choice there. But I talked to God then a lot too. 

FYI: I don't just run around asking people if I am courageous. I teach a ladies Bible class at our church, and it just so happened to be a lesson on Mary, the mother of Jesus. Now she is the picture of courage! Agreed?

I said all of that to say this.  I loved this book! In fact, I had been struggling with a few things that I was approached about (helping in a classroom full of children- so not my thing), and after reading this book I just knew I could do it. They are just kids, right? But then I found my life getting busier and busier, and I couldn't make it to the classroom. (I've still never gone.) Later, after reading more of this book, I realized that I was making myself busy so I wouldn't have time to go do what I feared.

I love the way Annie writes. She seems so down-to-earth, and almost like a friend. I just know that we could sit down over tea (or coffee, if that is what she likes) and talk like old friends. The whole book I felt like she was just talking to me. That is the kind of writing this book needed!

I could tell you that this book is full of real-life examples, biblical references, and stories from her own life, but you can read that in the book description.

Here is my take on it:

This is a very helpful book, and has really opened my eyes. I am courageous! I will be even more courageous! I will be bold! I will be brave! And I will read this book over and over!