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When You Forget What Having Fun Looks Like: Annie F. Downs

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2023 5:15 am

When You Forget What Having Fun Looks Like: Annie F. Downs

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 1, 2023 5:15 am

Have you given up on having fun? Did you know Jesus modeled fun as a bridge to God? Annie F. Downs, bestselling author of Chase the Fun: 100 Days to Discover Fun Right Where You Are, has big ideas on why and how to have fun again.

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Annie's website can be found at

Read Annie's testimony from WSJ

Purchase Annie's new book here: Chase the Fun: 100 Days to Discover Fun Right Where You Are

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Hey friends, David Robbins, President of Family Life here. And before David and Anne get started with this episode, I wanted to thank you for helping us work toward our vision that every home would be a godly home. We are here every day coming alongside you, equipping you with biblical truth in your marriage and with your kids and neighbors. We're about helping you make wise decisions about life and relationships.

Or as we like to say at Family Life, helping you pursue the relationships that matter most. If you agree with this mission, have thought about partnering with us financially to impact more homes, there is no better time than the month of May to partner with us. As a donor-supported ministry, here's the goal that we've set this month. We are hoping that 350 new Family Life partners will join us in giving monthly to Family Life today. Some generous people have come alongside this vision and set up an incredible matching gift to double your commitment, your monthly giving for 12 months. So now is truly the best time to join as a Family Life partner. Our partners help provide all the resources we share here every day. And this is a vital part of our mission.

Thank you for listening to Family Life today and participating with us. All right, now on to today's show. Fun between believers and non-believers is very natural. It should be. I mean, my gracious. Please have fun with everyone you know.

But also it's a real deposit into a bank account that the Lord can pull from later with people who don't believe everything you believe. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson.

You can find us at or on the Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. The thing I love about you the most. Okay.

Seriously, after 42 years of marriage. I'm intrigued. I have no idea what you're going to say. What is it? It's right now what you're doing. Your joy, your smile, your positivity.

I know it's one of your top strength finders. Lights up my life. You're so nice. I am married to the queen of fun.

You're so nice. I mean, you're an Enneagram seven. So am I. So am I.

Which is funny. We are all sevens. We have three sevens in the room. But we really have the queen of fun with us. No, it sounds like it's you. I'll take princess all day long.

I'll take princess. There are people listening right now going, I know that voice. I know that voice.

Yes, it is Annie F. Downs. I didn't know what F stands for, but I think it's fun. It's fun. That's it. Fun or fancy.

Either one. And it's your first time on Family Life Today, so welcome. Thanks for having me. I'm so, so glad to be.

I mean, sitting down with two other sevens. Dear everybody, buckle up. I know, Annie, that was the first time I heard you. My friends sent me like, you need to listen to Annie F. Downs, this podcast on the Enneagram. And she said, this is you and Dave. And so that's when I first started listening and you're amazing.

Oh, you're kind. Yeah, those Enneas summers have been so fun. It's so good to, I mean, you were talking about strength finders. Like, it's so good that there are all these tools that come alongside our humanity.

The tools are not the gospel, but the tools are tools. And they're fun. And they get to help us go like, man, now I understand why I do the things I do and I can correct my behavior.

So I've found the Enneagram to be really helpful for that. And it helps me with my friends, my kids, my husband. But strength finders, I feel the same way about like, no one who has high woo. I'm like, oh, that's why I like you so much. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I mean, I feel like you do, too. Do you not have woo at the top?

I don't think we have it as high as you do. Oh, thank you. What a compliment.

She came in and like, wowed this room. I know. And everybody that listens to you and wants to be your best friend. And that's so kind. You're a podcaster, you're a speaker, you're an author. How many books? Eleven.

Eleven and you're not even like, barely forty. Yeah, yeah. And that's wild. It doesn't mean they're good. It just means I have a lot of words.

That's the difference, Dave. I got a lot to say. They are really good. And you really are known for joy and fun. We're going to talk a little bit today about Chase the Fun. A hundred days to discover fun right where you are. So it's like a hundred day devotional. So if you're really an ornery, angry, grumpy person, can you be fun in a hundred days?

I think so. I think if you put your mind to anything for a hundred days, you're going to change. That's kind of the science of it, right?

That's three plus months of thinking about one thing. But my real goal, and this is hanging up in my office, I wish we were in Nashville so y'all could see it, but this is hanging up in my office is we have a very clear mission statement and I'm a bridge. I don't ever want to be the end point. And so my hope with things like Chase the Fun, it's at Target, it's at Walmart, it's at all these places that our friends who don't believe everything we believe shop.

And if they pick it up thinking, you know what, my life has been really hard the last couple of years because everybody's has. Or if you're trying to find a gift for somebody and you go, I need something light that will also tell them that Jesus is who he says he is. That's the stuff I try to write. I'm not trying to be the end point. I want Jesus and my friends who write about Jesus to be the end point. I want to be the bridge. You're John the Baptist.

You're preparing the way for Jesus to come in a sense. That's good. I like that. Yeah, I dress better. I hope you eat better.

Yeah, I eat better. Locusts are not my dream. But yeah, that is my hope. There's a quote that I love and I'm sorry, I can't remember who said it, but somebody long gone that said, preach the gospel, die and be forgotten. And so when people say like, what do you want to be remembered for? And I'm like, well, I'll tell you my first goal. Let's preach the gospel and die and be forgotten because I want people to remember Jesus. But then secondly, I want people to remember that I loved him and that I bridged them to someone else or to something else that they would really love. I love when my friends become friends with my friends.

That's what we did for 10 minutes before we started. We talk about all the real life friends we share because mutual friends are the best. And so anyway, I can introduce my friends on the listening side or the reading side or the audience side of what I do to the people that I think are doing really fine work that lead them to Jesus. That's I want to be the bridge.

I don't want them to stop with me. That's good. And joy and fun is a bridge because everyone's attracted to it. Yes. It's like a magnet.

It is. And people, adults more so, kind of have given up on fun in a lot of ways. Like when we were eight, you like rushed home from school and ate your snack and finished your homework because you wanted to play.

Yeah. And now because of spouses and kids and mortgages and yards to mow and stress, we just don't prioritize it anymore. And what we've actually lost is a lot of connection and a lot of vulnerability when we've lost fun as a part of our daily lives. I get to talk about fun a lot.

They ask me about it a lot. And one of the things I say a lot is that I genuinely think we all make time in our calendars for the thing that makes us the healthiest and the happiest, though I don't think pursuing happiness is a real long-term goal. But we make time for that stuff on our calendar. And so we need to move fun from our to-do list to our actual calendar because it actually makes us healthier people. Put it in there.

Oh, yeah. Schedule it. What does that look like? What's that look like on your calendar?

It's a starter for new fun people. I mean, I'm a big believer in Sabbath. I think it's part of how God made us. I think how God made the world, right?

He modeled it. We need a day away from our phones and away from the internet and off of social media and not purchasing things. We don't need to be part of the world having to run 24-7. And so I say to friends a lot, like, just put a 30-minute block on your Saturday or Sunday on your calendar and call it fun. And then what happens is everybody panics because what are we going to do? What are we going to do? That calendar just says fun. So then you're sitting around the table like this or you're eating lunch or dinner with your family or your roommates or your friends and your spouse or your partner and you're going, so what sounds fun to you? And I'm going to let you all in on our secret.

If you ask people what sounds fun to you and then you ask them why three times, you are going to get to the heart of what really matters. Okay. Ask Dave. Okay, Dave.

You ready? What? Here we go. I should have just done it, Anne. I'm sorry. I should have just done it instead of playing it. So Dave, tell me what sounds fun to you.

I might not have to do three because he may be too honest. What sounds fun right now? Yeah. Anything. Pickleball.

Okay. Golf. Why is it sports things? It's energetic. It's moving my body. It's with people. It's laughter. And you know what my number one strength finders? Competition.

Ah, interesting. And people hear that and are like, all you want to do is win. And the guy who taught me that said, no, it isn't you just want to win.

You always want to do better than yesterday. Yeah, you're your own biggest competitor. So I think all those things are like, where did I learn it? Yeah. Playing sports growing up, I guess. Oh, go deeper.

That's good. Being in rock bands, you know, it was just like, what do you mean go deeper? You can't get any deeper. No, my deeper was, what are you trying to escape from? No, my truer direction. Okay. Though we are seven, so our escape hatch is literally at our fingertips at all times. Yep.

The deeper thing is that almost always, and you'll find this true when you ask this to your friends and family, is it comes down to childhood or your grandparents. Ooh. Wow.

And it is because what we actually are always looking for is to reconnect with the version of ourselves that didn't know that the world was this hard. Whoa. Okay.

And there's mine because I ran away from the home to play sports and play music because of two alcoholic parents and abuse and divorce. Yeah. And I was good at it, so I'm like, hey, see you later.

That was your plan. Yeah, so it's still fun for you because your inner Dave, your Dave that you've always been, has this connection that says, when I am playing sports, I'm safe. When I'm playing sports, I'm good and I'm good enough.

And when I'm playing sports, my physiological self knows that I'm getting things out that make me feel stressed. Welcome to Dave Wilson's life. That is exactly what I dream. I didn't want to be psychoanalyzed here. Let's move on to one of you guys. What about you, Annie? What sounds fun to me? What does sound fun to me? Hey, you're the girl. You wrote this.

I know. I just have so many options. I think I am tired. And so what sounds fun to me is a vacation at the beach. So what I'm actually hearing myself say, if I do the process on myself about what sounds fun to me and what it looks like for me to chase fun, is I need to say to myself, why does getting away from everything feel good?

That's escape hatchy. And what would feel good about that? Well, the things I'd get to leave behind that feel scary right now or stressful right now or not safe right now are things I'm digging into with my therapist that I can't get away from because they're in my mind. Do you know what I mean?

We're opening some new doors and getting some new healing, but revealing comes before healing. And I'm sitting there. And so I'm going like, I wish I was at the beach. I wish I was sitting at the beach.

And this weekend when I was at that wedding in California, I went by myself to the beach for like an hour and I was walking and I sat down and the waves are crashing and it's beautiful. And I'm listening to John Eldredge's podcast and suddenly two dolphins crash. And I don't care about animals.

Don't quote me on that. I mean, I think they're fine, but I'm not like animals. And I start sobbing. And I'm like, looking at the dolphins?

Yes. And I said to the Lord, OK, what's this about? And I thought, they look so free.

And then I was like, oh, we've really got something going on here. So what sounds fun to me is sitting at the beach watching dolphins swim. But what I actually need is to be reminded that Jesus has already set us free. I am free. I don't need more freedom.

I'm free. So it's that. And no one thinks when you what sounds funny watching dolphins.

No one's going to go, I bet it's because you feel trapped. See, that's what I love. It's way deeper. It's so much deeper.

Hey, there's one more person who can analyze you. OK, so it sounds fun to you. Walking with a friend, a long walk, talking about deep things.

Relator is one of my top five and my strength finders too. But then playing, like playing pickleball with friends, laughing. All your fun things are connected with other people.

Hmm. I need time alone, but I guess, yeah, because I'm an extrovert, I'm energized by people. Was your house full when you were little? Were there a lot of people? Yes.

Was it? She's like a co, like she's actually a therapist. Well, we call it fun coaching.

We call it fun coaching. We get to kind of talk through someone. And so people say that to me.

They say what you said. What sounds fun to me is going on long walks with my friends, but I have three little kids and my husband travels and the laundry always piles up. And I haven't seen a friend in six weeks. And so then what we get to do is go, OK, so we see the big dream, my big dream of watching dolphins in the ocean. Well, I live in Tennessee, so we're landlocked. It's not even great to eat sushi in Tennessee, right?

So much less am I going to see dolphins swimming around. So then you go, OK, so how can God meet you in a way of that fun in the life you already have? So I don't need to get on a plane and go to the beach again. I was at for a wedding. I wasn't escaping, but I did one time get on a plane and run away from my life for a weekend. And it's what put me in therapy is my friends are like, where are you?

What are you doing? And I was like, that was a move. Did you go by yourself?

Yeah, in 2013. You just felt like you had to. I couldn't do it anymore. You were just crashing.

Yeah. And I just thought, I just have to go to Florida. And I went down to 38. And it's a longer story than you want, but I got on the Southwest plane by myself and sat in the back corner. And two of my friends got on and I thought, oh, no, I can't. You know that scripture where David says, if I go up to the heavens, you're there. You know, the Lord was like, you think you can run from me and my plan?

You think you can escape? I'm putting your friends on the plane. So they sat down with me and said, what are you doing? And I faked it. Oh, I'm just going to the beach.

It's going to be so fun. I had nowhere to stay. I had no plan. And as we get in the air, the husband's sitting in the middle and he turns to me and says, so tell me what's really going on. And so I did.

I said, this, this, this, all this isn't working. And I just couldn't, I don't want to end my life. I just don't want to do my life. And he said, OK, well, you can stay with us. You don't have to stay in the relationship you're in. That was part of it is I felt really stressed about this dating relationship. And he said, you don't have to stay in that.

You don't have to go back to Nashville. And he said, but you have to fix you because something's really wrong. How sweet of God to put these friends with you.

As soon as I saw him on the plane, I was like, well, there goes my escapism. But all that to say, someone's saying to us, I wish I could go on a long walk with a friend, but our kids and the time and dah, dah, dah. And I go, OK, so the solution today is can you text someone and y'all get on a 20-minute phone call once the kids are down? Can we find a small solution for your big dream until there's time for that bigger thing? Yeah, so can a husband and wife chase the fun together?

Yeah, I think so. I think that's one of the servant ways of doing it is listening to each other and saying like, well, tomorrow. So, you know, every Saturday you put 30 minutes on your calendar, then you get good at it, you put an hour on your calendar.

This is huge because couples do not do this. I put three hours on the calendar. It's called watching college football. I know that. You only watch three hours? No. No, I can't imagine. It's kind of like the whole day. No, I know. I know. Sometimes.

The TV can be on the whole day. But it's so funny because he's like, Anne, come in and watch with me. And as women, what we say is, oh, are we going to talk?

Because we think that will draw us closer. I can't get her to sit down. She's just doing stuff.

She's got stuff to do, right? But I think it's good for us as women to know, like, what would be fun for my spouse? Give us your theology of fun. Because I remember years ago I designed a series for our weekends called Four Things God Loves. Four surprising things. And the first one was laughter. And our teaching team's like, we're going to do a weekend of laughter? That's not a thing God loves.

Dude, it is. So you get this. You wrote the book on it. What's the theology of fun? Well, part of it, and sometimes I get a little chirp about this, people chirping back at me.

So I apologize if you get emails about this. But I actually think Jesus was incredibly fun. I think it's modeled for us in Scripture. And Enneagram 7 didn't write any of the Gospels. But I love the Gospels. And I have been in a pattern for a couple of years of reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John every month for the whole year. So I read it 12 times a year in different versions or whatever.

It has absolutely changed my life. I mean, I believe in the rest of the canon. I love the Bible. I love the Bible. I love the Bible.

But I love the Gospels. And what we see about Jesus is kids loved him. And kids do not love people who are not fun.

Kids do not love people who are grumpy. That's right. And so you go, like, there's something about his personality that so many kids wanted to be near him that the disciples were pushing him off. That doesn't mean there were two.

It means there were 17. So every kid in town knew that Jesus was someone they wanted to be close to. And it wasn't because, like, he prays so good.

That's not what a five-year-old's here for. Also, his first miracle being at a wedding, the story's amazing, but the very beginning of that chapter says, Mary was invited to a wedding and so were Jesus and his friends. And nobody's inviting a bunch of 20-year-old guys to a wedding that are not fun guys. So you're going, oh, man, people wanted Jesus at parties. All the non-believers invited him to parties. People wanted him around. That's why he had to say, like, hey, I'm not here for the well.

I'm here for the sick. And even the broken, the lost, the sad. Like, they were so drawn to him. He was winsome.

Yeah, he is winsome. Hey, you know what I just thought? I just thought, how many Christians are invited to parties? Right. It's a sad thing.

Yeah. If you're not getting invited to parties, you're not a joy-bringer. People don't want you there because you're going to judge and say, hey, you shouldn't... And I get it.

I understand. There's things at parties that we don't agree with. Now people are like, have we been invited to any parties?

No, I know. If you haven't, start throwing them. That's true. If you haven't gotten invited to a party for a while, start throwing them. If you don't invite your friends, invite your neighbors.

Yeah, exactly. Because your friends, most of them think similar to you. Your neighbors, you have no idea. The only thing you know is their bracket of income because you live in the same neighborhood and that's about it. And so invite your neighbors.

I've been really impressed watching one of my couple friends really invest in their neighborhood and go on trips with their neighbors. And they come back and they'll say to me, well, we didn't have the deepest thoughts because they don't believe everything we believe, but we had a great time. And I go, yeah, that's not their only friend group, but that's a friend group that they are on mission with and having fun with so that when something goes sideways, those friends go, well, I mean, we had the best time in Cabo and we love watching Georgia, Tennessee at their house.

But now that we've had a miscarriage or now that we have had a money problem come up or now that I lost my parents, that's who I'm going to call. It's almost like fun between believers and non-believers is very natural. It should be. I mean, my gracious.

Please have fun with everyone you know. But also it's a real deposit into a bank account that the Lord can pull from later with people who don't believe everything you believe. So I think Jesus did that all the time, right? I mean, Zacchaeus climbed a tree to see him and nobody liked Zacchaeus. And then Jesus said, I want to come eat dinner at your house.

And probably everybody went, why? If Jesus is going to be at Zacchaeus's, I want to be there. And then all of a sudden Jesus not only was at Zacchaeus's house, but I wonder, we can't go, but I wonder if Jesus made new friends for Zacchaeus in that. So I think he's really fun. So my theology of fun is Jesus modeled it.

I think there are more times where God is humorous in scripture than we realize and that we pay attention to as you have taught. And I think fun really requires vulnerability. I mean, you aren't going on first dates to rollercoaster rides, right? Like to amusement parks, because you say crazy stuff when your hands are in the air. It just makes you feel weird the whole time, so you're like, I don't want him to see me like that.

I need him to see my hair looking right, you know, not like that. And so there's just a level of vulnerability between people when they're, even if they're fishing together or watching sports together. The vulnerability of explaining who you are to the people around you happens in fun and connection. And I just think it's beautiful. Eternity is set in our hearts. And so I also think those moments like when you're playing sports or when you're walking with friends, I think those moments might be God going like, do you want to know what the whole thing's going to feel like?

It's going to feel like this. So, you know, you're the girl of fun. And the princess at this table. Princess of fun. You're the princess. Like an hour before this interview, I had this thought that just came to me. I thought, talk about fun.

What have you got? Oh, you're going to play us a song? Now he wrote you a song. I can't believe this. I was sitting at home and I'm like, you know, we got Annie coming in.

What could I do? And this sort of hit me and it's not rehearsed or anything. So happy. But, you know, I grew up in the sixties, so the Beatles were my band and it's like, Annie is a girl from Nashville, Tennessee. She makes us all chase the fun. Annie's laugh and joy is simply contagious and God wants to give a song. Chase the fun, chase the fun, follow Annie right to the sun.

S-O-N. Chase the fun, chase the fun, take that family right to the sun. Anyway, something like that. That is awesome. Now, if I had gotten here, if I had gotten here and you didn't like me, were you not going to sing the song? Were you? Oh, I feel such an honor then. We knew you would love you. I feel like I earned it. I knew we were going to like you.

I mean, we listened to you. That is so sweet. It's terrible.

It was a five minute little thing. Oh, it's fantastic. Annie's looking at me. What are you doing over there?

I'm like, you know. It's been a long time since I wrote me a song, so I'll take it. That's so sweet. Thank you. I loved it.

Follow her to the sun. No, I mean, what you just explained though about the theology of fun, I think the church is missed. Yeah. We've missed. I mean, we are known to be joy-bringing people.

We're known for hypocrisy and judgment. I mean, what if our neighborhood, anybody, it was just like, I want her at my party. I want him at my party because they wanted Jesus there. You are that though, too. When our kids were little, Dave is, I mean, no parent is out in the yard, and so Dave, and now I'm realizing, oh, this is because of part of who we are and how God made us, but we are outside playing games. All the neighborhoods are knocking on the door asking, can Mr. Wilson come out and play? And it was amazing because they all congregated in our yard because you are so fun. You're laughing, you're messing around.

I mean, honestly, we at Enneagram settlements, we didn't know what we were then, but I mean, you're playing capture the flag and getting a thorn in her eye and going to the hospital and the boys are like, you're so cool. She can't see for a month, but she's cool because it's like fun is an overflow. And I think I've said this, is it a choice? Joy's a choice. Yeah, I think it might. I think it is.

Like you said, put it on your calendar. I think suffering's not a choice. Yeah. Suffering's not a choice. Pain is not a choice. Those are going to be gifted to us. And we all walk in that.

That's right. You know, laughter isn't always a choice. It catches you off guard, right? It's some of the beauty of it is how it catches you off guard.

But I do think fun can be a choice, but you can also be surprised by it. Like that was so much more fun than I ever predicted. Or man, that was so fun. I did not know. Or I needed that. How many times have you gone, man, I needed to laugh. I got so tickled. I was in Israel a couple of weeks ago. We were doing a tour and they have these things that the tours use called whispers.

Have you used them before? Yeah. Where the guy is in your ear. So one of our pastors at the church, you know, the guy's doing the normal tour. His name's Avi.

He's wonderful. Doing the normal tour on channel 45 of the whispers. Well, one of our pastors says, hey, I'm going to do the channel 35 tour.

And then he just starts saying to me. So there's this big container that they found and they're like, they stored food in here for three years. And pastor Chris says, it was all soft cheeses. I am tears I'm laughing so hard at the idea of like a whole container full of soft cheeses for three years and 200 AD. And I thought I had no idea how much I needed just to do. Because then the tour guides watching us and he's like, I don't.

And he's Israeli. He's like, I don't quite get the joke. And I'm like, well, now we're the church kids who are laughing in the front row. And that makes me double down even harder. And I was like, this feels so good.

I didn't even know I need it. And we, you know, we explained it to Avi later, but that kind of stuff. It's like, what a gift when fun surprises you often. I think if we will pursue it, if we will chase it three out of four times, you're going after it.

And one of those three, the fourth time it comes after you. I think what is true, you've made yourself available to it. And so I love it. You know this, it's amazing what happens to our soul when there's laughter and joy in our life.

When we started our church 30 years ago, you know, you set your core values, DNA. One of the things we put in every weekend, there's got to be joy and laughter in the service. And you know why? You know why?

Because it breaks down defenses. People walk in, don't want to be there. Their arms go from cross and they're laughing at something. They are unexpectedly laughing in church and they're like, that was well done. It was really funny. Now they're ready to listen to the message.

You want to hear something crazy? We did. This is when we were still in the high school before we built, we built four buildings, but we are in this high school.

It's the first year. And our arts guy said, hey, so today's about joy and laughter. So one of the things that I've read that really works is when somebody laughs hilariously, it's contagious.

It just goes through the room. They're like, what are you talking about? And I'll never forget.

He's like, no, really. I was at this thing, this leadership motivational thing. This guy got up and he just started, and next thing you know, the homeroom's laughing. So let's do that in the service. And then you can preach about it. I go, okay, we can try it.

Give it a go. Who's going to do it? He goes, you do it. Oh no.

I go, I'm not doing it. Yeah. So I had to do it.

Did it work though? So I get up. I mean, I walk on stage or whatever. How many services are y'all doing this time? Three that day.

So you're down to do all three. This is number one. I literally get up there and I'm like, been coached, just laugh. Don't say anything. Don't tell a joke. It's like, whoa.

Nobody moves. Oh no. So I do it again. And he told me, if they don't go, just keep going. They will eventually do it.

Annie, I did it for like five minutes and they're all sitting there like, this is the dumbest thing ever. So we get done. I preach. We get done.

We get the, you know, the debrief in the green room. I'm like, dude, we're done. We're not doing that again. Oh no.

You got to do it better next time. I'm like, no. No.

But isn't that crazy? I mean, we were so committed to joy and laughter that we went there. Went a little wrong that time. It was wrong. Hey, I got to ask one last question though.

Okay. What if a listener right now is like really hurting? Yeah. They've really gone through something tragic. They could be in a divorce right now, lost a child, whatever. And they're listening and just going, this is so frivolous. You don't get it. I can't choose fun right now. Yeah.

And you can't. Yeah. In some ways. I had a very personal experience with this because this summer I decided to do the best summer ever. And I made a list of everything I wanted to try that I'd never tried of every wedding I was going to, of every concert I had tickets to. And the reason I made that list is because we knew my sister was going to have a baby that wouldn't live. And so we knew grief was coming. So I thought one of the ways I can partner with the grief, not combat it.

We don't try to beat grief. We hold hands with it. But I thought at the same time that our family is going to grieve deeper than we ever have so far, is if I also have my eyes on what brings me joy and laughter. And so I would say to any of our friends suffering, make a list, just make a list.

If there's two things on it, if you love a milkshake from McDonald's, if you like going to the park, if Garth Brooks has come into town, if there's a wedding coming up that you're going to. A friend of mine gave me an inflatable kayak over the summer and I put it on my list. I just want to blow the kayak up. Now the dumb thing I did is I blew it up and put it in the water and then I got in it without testing anything.

And so you need to blow it up on land one time so you know where to sit and you know where things go. But I really believe that fun and joy, laughter, even happiness, those are not meant to be at war with grief or sadness. They are meant to be partners. It's what we learned from Inside Out, right, that movie, is that joy and sadness actually coexist better together than if you're trying to lean on one and not the other. So if you are really suffering right now, make one step toward fun, joy, laughter, put it on your calendar. It can be as simple as a milkshake. It can be as simple as a walk. It can be as simple as waking up early. My soccer team that I cheer for in the UK is Arsenal and they played at 5am on Sunday. And sometimes fun looks like I just want to get up early and watch my team and eat an apple fritter.

I got an apple fritter the day before so that I could have an apple fritter while I was watching Arsenal play on Sunday morning. Good for you. It can be little things.

It doesn't have to be big. You don't have to buy a ticket to an amusement park or go on vacation while you're suffering. You can just find something today that will bring you a little bit of joy to remind you that God is with you.

Hi I'm Shelby Abbott and you've been listening to David Ann Wilson with Annie F. Downs on Family Life Today. I love that she's been talking about the practicalities of chasing fun. The other day I was, you know, a little bit down and I decided to just grab a handful of chocolate chips from our baking container and that was fun. It made me happy when I did that.

I stopped with one handful but it was great. So I love the way that Annie talks about chasing fun and she's written a book called Chase the Fun. 100 days to discover fun right where you are. Doesn't have to be extravagant. It doesn't have to be crazy. You can have fun right where God has placed you. You can chase that joy and fun as a bridge to understanding and connecting with Jesus even more.

You can pick up a copy of her book at Now this month is a very unique month, isn't that right, David Ann? It's the first day of our May Match campaign for Family Life.

Which is pretty great. Yeah, I mean it means that if you give a gift, a financial gift to Family Life, it'll be doubled and we're really looking for Family Life partners which means they're monthly givers. And we're really longing for you to partner with us in this ministry. Yeah, and so when you jump in and say, you know what, I believe in Family Life. It's changed my life. I want to help it change other people's lives and you jump in and jump in and become a partner which is, again, monthly.

You become a part of our family and I don't know if you understand, we live, we thrive because of partnerships. And it's amazing that we have a $200,000 matching donor gift so anything you give will be doubled. For the rest of the year. Yeah, so jump in right now. Help us out.

And by the way, you also get a Weekend to Remember gift card which is amazing because you get to go to the Weekend to Remember free or give it away to somebody else. We just want to say thank you for jumping in with us. We need partners. Partners make this ministry go and we're asking you to jump in. Now's the best time, May 1st. Do it today. Yeah, you can go online to or you could give us a call with your donation to become a partner at 800-358-6329.

Now that could be a one-time gift to become a partner or a recurring monthly gift as well. Again, the number is 800, F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word Today. Now tomorrow, what do we need to do to stop allowing fear to hold us back? What does it mean to be brave?

What does it mean to build your faith by trusting and taking steps of faith, listening to God's whispers and following His voice? Well, Annie F. Downs is going to be back again tomorrow with Dave and Anne Wilson to talk about stepping out in faith and allowing God to usher us into more. That's tomorrow. On behalf of Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry, helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-02 03:12:45 / 2023-05-02 03:29:27 / 17

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