Annie F. Downs
About the Author

Annie F. Downs is a bestselling author and nationally known speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her most recent books include 100 Days to Brave, Looking for Lovely and Let’s All Be Brave. Read more at and follow her at @anniefdowns.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. Oh Annie, I love this post!
    My daughter has been in the color guard of her high school and (currently) college marching bands. She gets annoyed when people say “twirling” instead of “spinning” when she’s on the field with her flag(s).
    I have been thinking of myself as “spinning” toward my 50th birthday next year. And now, thanks to you…I will imagine myself “twirling” toward it. Lovely!

  2. Annie, you so twirl through life–giving us all more joy, laughter, and love along the way. Life and her years look lovely on you, girl. So glad we get to celebrate YOU and share the journey together. Can’t wait to see you again so I can hug you properly!

  3. I love, love, love this. As I approach a larger number, I will remember this. FYI – 30’s are FABULOUS. You will love them. WELCOME.

  4. I absolutely LOVED this post and TOTALLY needed it. I turn 30 in two days…eek! And I too was not handling it as gracefully as possible. Your post this morning was a TOTAL God-wink to me. Thank you, Annie! As I TWIRL 30 on Thursday, I will be thinking of you! :0)

  5. I twirled 30 three days ago…..thank you for this. I love it 🙂 –and don’t you know 30 is the new 20? 😉 Enjoy it!!

  6. Twirl on girl! Thirty was hard for me. I had a little breakdown and went and got my belly-button pierced to help me think I was still young. This year I turn 40… wonder what will happen then 🙂

  7. I love your idea of twirling! I felt much the same way when I approached and celebrated my 30th birthday but oh my, the 30’s were wonder*filled!! I’m older and retired now but if I had a do-over, I’d never choose to go back earlier than my 30’s. I hope you find this to be true also.
    Have the happiest birthday ever and celebrate BIG!

  8. Just so you know when I first read the word ‘twirling’ I IMMEDIATELY thought of You’ve Got Mail! Kathleen Kelly is probably the fictional character that I most want to be like. I just did my head like she does at the book-party where she gets her drink and Joe has just walked away, when I said her name. That sentence doesn’t make sense, but you know what I’m talking about? Favorite movie.
    And if it makes you feel any better judging from the video you posted from your birthday – your twirling into your 30’s was absolutely beautiful. As I’m sure the rest of these years will be 🙂
    Kathleen would be proud.

  9. Oh my how good that twirl looks on you! It brings out the sparkle in your eyes, the chuckle in your cheek, the joy in your step. Seeing you twirl today has left us all a little happier I think. All a little more inspired to twirl more, no matter what the ocassion!

  10. Such a fun way to look at making the change to a thing we’re dreading. Personally, the thirties have been my favorite era yet in life. Now that most of my friends and I are mid thirties and beyond, we all agree we’d NEVER go back to the 20s. I love the courage, honesty, and strength that God’s built in my life in this decade. So as you twirl in to a new era, may He fill you with birthday gifts of the incomparably blessed and wonderful kind! Thanks for your fun post!
    Resourcing Courageous Moms

  11. I love it. Words are so powerful with the imagery they lend. I’ll try to remember this next summer when I turn – I mean TWIRL 40. 🙂

  12. Excellent! May you twirl into each new decade, exactly as Kathleen Kelly would, I am sure! (That’s a great visual, BTW, that scene from the movie.)

  13. Happy 30th as you twirl into more of the beauty this decade holds for you. May God amaze you in awe inspiring ways. Blessings as you choose to twirl and live this season with beauty and grace. Your eyes sparkle and shine. Blessings! Wish we could sit and chat.

  14. LOVE IT!!! Especially as I’m in the middle of my own break-neck turn right now… I think I’ll try to think of it as a twirl instead. : ) When I turned 37 last year I wasn’t happy about it. 36 was such a pretty, even, round number. 37 is so… not. But then after asking God to help me not be so unhappy about it, He reminded me I had just studied Psalm 37 and all of a sudden I was very happy to be turning 37. : ) And now that I think of it again, the turn/twirl I’m in the middle of is exactly giving me the desires of my heart (even if the spin is dizzying!) Thanks for the reminder! Twirl on, girlfriend!!! I’ll be dancing with you…

  15. Yes, I agree, turning is often hard while twirling does sound lovely and fun. (And I would love to meet Kathleen Kelly in real life, too!)
    But here’s my question… What if the turning is turning to God? Can we twirl to Him? Or is the sacrifice of flesh sometimes going to be hard and slow and painful? Is it possible to turn that hard road into twirling? How do I do that?

  16. Annie this was so well written and from the heart! I am turning 30 on August 4th. I know it’s a number…but there is so much more to it, so much more that I’m feeling.
    I love how you looked at it in a different way. It would be so neat to hear more of your perspective. To change my heart about “turning” 30.
    Twirling to God at 30…I like that! 🙂

  17. As I was reading this, before I got to the ‘twirling’ paragraph, I thought the ‘turning’ was going to be about turning away from sin. In other words, repentance. That’s been in the forefront of my mind as I face the harsh realities/consequences of my sin. I long to obey God, to glorify Him with my thoughts/words/actions. But the turning. The turning away. I struggle so…
    Perhaps if I tried twirling away from sin and temptation. Twirling into the arms of my gracious, merciful God.

  18. This is absolutely beautiful. So are you, and that dress. And I really wish Kathleen Kelly was a real person – I’m sure you and I would be great friends with her 🙂 Love ya girl! Welcome to the wonderful 30s!

  19. how beautiful annie! this post makes my heart so happy…such an inspiring way to illustrate how important it is to have the right attitude about life. i will be *twirling* 30 next year and will, no doubt, be reading this post again to remind myself to twirl and not turn 🙂 happy belated birthday!

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