Spill the Beans LIVE with Karen Kingsbury and Annie F. Downs at Fresh Grounded Faith Springfield, MO [Episode 306]

Spill the Beans LIVE Karen Kingsbury Annie F. Downs Fresh Grounded Faith Springfield, Missouri

Have you ever been with friends who make you laugh, make you grateful, and just plain make you a better person? Well, I was in Springfield, Missouri at a Fresh Grounded Faith event with two friends who do that for me: best-selling author Karen Kingsbury and podcaster extraordinaire, Annie F. Downs.

We spilled the beans about dating apps, how to help someone who is struggling with a loss, and how to love the season you’re in. Plus, we shared how to help someone when they’re having a panic attack and how to hold fast to God in your darkest hour.

Karen gave us a good laugh when she explained how emotionally attached she gets to her characters, and Annie helped us understand what it means to have fun in this world with good boundaries. Then, we all shared how to cope with a sudden serious illness while still trying to meet the needs of your family.

Oh, and one more thing…

We all shared the funniest thing that has happened to us on the road, and it was absolutely hilarious! You just have to hear it.

This is one conversation you don’t want to miss, so pull up your chair to the bistro, and let’s spill some beans!

Meet My Friends

Annie F. Downs is a best-selling author, nationally known speaker, and host of the That Sounds Fun podcast. Karen Kingsbury is a #1 New York Times best-selling novelist with more than 25 million copies of her books in print, and as of this year, Karen has taken one of her books to the big screen and is now a film producer!

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Spill the Beans LIVE with Karen Kingsbury and Annie F. Downs at Fresh Grounded Faith Springfield, MO [Episode 306]

Jennifer Rothschild: Hey, this is Jennifer Rothschild. You know I love my audiobooks from Audible. That's how I'm able to read so many books in a year. If you've never tried it, you can get a 30-day free trial with no obligation. Plus, you'll get a free audiobook of your choice that you can keep. So go to 413podcast.com/Audible to get started. And now, the podcast.

Have you ever been with friends who just make you smile, make you laugh, make you grateful, and just plain make you a better person? Well, I was in Springfield, Missouri, at a Fresh Grounded Faith with two friends of mine that do all that for me. I got to Spill the Beans with best-selling author Karen Kingsbury and podcaster extraordinaire Annie F Downs. We talked about dating apps, we talked about how to help someone who is struggling. We also talked about how to love the season you're in.

Karen Kingsbury explained -- and this was really fun, you guys -- how attached and emotional she gets with her characters, especially when one of them dies. And by the way, she writes that scene and, you know, makes them die. Anyway, she also talked about who her favorite authors are. You're going to love her answers.

Annie was her brilliant, delightful self, and she helped us dig into James Chapter 4 to understand what it means to have fun in this world with good boundaries. And then we ended with the funniest thing that has ever happened to us on the road. And it was absolutely hilarious, it was authentic. You're going to love it.

So K.C., let's get it going.

K.C. Wright: Welcome, welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you and I up to live this "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Now, welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Hey, friends. Glad you're back. Happy summer. Hope things are going well and you're staying cool. We're cool here in the podcast closet. It's two friends, one topic, and zero stress. And there's a lot less stress this morning because my friend K.C. brought me something.

K.C. Wright: (Laughing.)

Jennifer Rothschild: He brought me chocolate-covered coffee beans.

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: And where'd you say they were from?

K.C. Wright: Okay. So right next to my house now, they placed a little coffee truck called Sip & Savor. Sip & Savor.

Jennifer Rothschild: Which when he told me that, I said, "What'd you say? Sin and Savor?" Sin and Savor? No, people. Wrong podcast. Anyway, Sip & Savor.

But I've already had two of these coffee beans. And I made myself stop because I thought I would drive you guys crazy if I had more, because I would have too much of a buzz.

K.C. Wright: Well, when they hand you the coffee cup out the window, they place the little coffee bean on top -- it looks like a little bird's egg -- and that's how they present it to you.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.

K.C. Wright: And so you pop a little chocolate coffee bean and then you sip and you savor. Now, I wanted to bring you a coffee, but you are a coffee diva, somewhat like me.

Jennifer Rothschild: I am. Sorry. I am, yes.

K.C. Wright: But I did want to bring you one. I didn't want you making your own this morning. But I can never remember what your favorite coffee is.

Jennifer Rothschild: I understand that. Well, and it changes. It changes as often as I change my earrings and my purse. But listen, these coffee beans -- if you had brought me coffee also, like, people would think, What happened? Did I change my app? She's talking at 1.5 speed.

All right, my people. This is going to be such a good conversation because -- K.C., you were there at this Fresh Grounded Faith with Karen and Annie.

K.C. Wright: I was. So good.

Jennifer Rothschild: So we need to get this conversation going.

K.C. Wright: Yes. Well, you know these brilliant women, so really there's no need for me to introduce them officially. We will have links to their socials and, of course, their books on the Show Notes at 413podcast.com/306.

All right. Are you ready for this? I had a front row seat --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, you did.

K.C. Wright: -- to this one. Oh, man, it's so good, I'm telling you. Here's Karen Kingsbury, Annie F. Downs, and, of course, our Jennifer. Pull up a chair, listen in.

Jennifer Rothschild: So I get to travel around the country and speak and present, and I am often ministered to. But I don't know if I have been more ministered to than I was right now through Annie and Karen and what y'all have shared. I marvel at the gift of God in both of you, and I thank you. And what is a deep ministry to me also is I don't just get to marvel at the gift of God in them and their skill, but I get to see them backstage and see that they genuinely love the Lord, the Word, and people. No divas. It's just such a gift.

So I am honored to be with you, dear people. And these dear people have asked us so many good questions, so I handed them over to Annie, because I think she has a little experience in podcasting, to kind of facilitate this. We're going to Spill the Beans. So what you got, girl?

Annie F. Downs: Okay, so the first question is for you, Jennifer. I think this is really important. What practical piece of advice or encouragement would you give a family walking through the journey of vision loss with their child or their children?

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I think it applies to really any family member who we love who's struggling with a loss, you know, I think it can apply. I think what I observed in my parents as I look back, they handled it through God's grace just so beautifully. They gave me a chance to fail and succeed on my own. I was not overprotected so that I could not fail. I was not hovered over so that I could not feel. And I think it's super important to know that you have a shelter and a safe place to fall, but to give that person who may be struggling a chance to succeed on their own. Don't succeed for them. Give them a chance to succeed on their own, which means you have to risk the heartache of knowing they might fail on their own. But it's such a good thing.

The other thing I would say to help someone you love who might be struggling with some kind of loss is trust God's grace for that person. So, like, I'm a mom, and I know when I've watched my kids struggle, like, Oh, I feel this weight of -- Oh, how are they going to make it? And I can feel despair for them that they don't feel for themselves. And so I would comfort you and challenge you to trust God's grace is sufficient for that person you love. So don't assign all your feelings of fear or uncertainty, because God's grace is sufficient and they may not be feeling those things. So just trust that God's going to take care of them and give them a chance to fully flourish within whatever God has allowed.

Karen Kingsbury: Yeah. That's beautiful.

Annie F. Downs: Okay, Karen. One of our friends wants to know, was it emotionally exhausting to write "Divine," one of your novels, and how did you cope -- I mean, I would imagine so many of your characters go through so many things that you'd have to walk away and be like, That was awful.

Karen Kingsbury: You know, "Divine" was such an interesting, unique story. It's about trafficking and abuse. And it's actually an allegory for Mary Magdalene and the things that Mary Magdalene had gone through.

At that very time, there were a lot of blasphemist stories being written that were kind of presuming Jesus in a relationship with Mary Magdalene or just different things. And they were "Da Vinci Code," things like that. And so the publisher had actually said, "Would you please write a book that will counter that?" And I said, "Like my regular books, right?" And they're like, "No, no. We want it to be more mystery, more intrigue." So I followed what they said, and then they read it and they're like, "No, we didn't mean that. We actually wanted you to write" --

Annie F. Downs: (Gasps.)

Karen Kingsbury: I know, right?

Annie F. Downs: Karen, after you'd finished the book?

Karen Kingsbury: Right. Yes. And that's the thing.

Annie F. Downs: It's like, sorry, I did it.

Karen Kingsbury: And guess what? That was -- okay. So I'm like, you know what? --

Annie F. Downs: Oh, my gosh.

Karen Kingsbury: -- I'm not going to do it.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Karen Kingsbury: I'm done. I wrote --

Jennifer Rothschild: Because I did it.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah, I did it.

Karen Kingsbury: Yeah. And I wrote an outline, and they approved the outline too. So I was like, "I can't do it."

And my brother, my 39-year-old brother, that's when he passed, right that week. And I was like, "It's just too much, I can't do it." And I really could hear the Lord going, "You have to do it. If not -- you just have to do it."

Annie F. Downs: Wow.

Karen Kingsbury: And now I get to hear from people who say their situation of spousal abuse or trafficking, or whatever the case may be, is really -- because this woman had -- you know, she's now recovered from -- she's on the other side, as a Mary Magdalene would be with Jesus, and she helps other people in the book.

So anyway, it was emotionally exhaustive in a lot of ways, I think there's a lot of battle going on, but I hear from people and I always get to smile and go, "That was the Lord."

Jennifer Rothschild: It was.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Karen Kingsbury: That's perseverance.

Annie F. Downs: Do you ever do anything -- like, you know, you finish writing at 4:00 in the afternoon or something. Do you, like, "We got to go outside, we got to go" -- like, what's your thing at the end of the day to get out of the scene you just wrote? Or do you not?

Karen Kingsbury: Well, I mean, I do -- I write really fast. Do you write really fast?

Annie F. Downs: Mm-hmm.

Karen Kingsbury: I write really fast, and so I can -- it might be, like, you know, two weeks of eight-hour days or six-hour days and I can get a novel done. But sometimes it just takes on a thing and then I just can't stop writing and it could be four days or something, five days. So it's more like a crawl out of the cave. I'm like, I probably need a shower.

Annie F. Downs: That's good. You're like, I recover by cleaning myself.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. You're actually eating and bathing.

Annie F. Downs: Right, by eating and bathing, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's awesome.

Annie F. Downs: Okay. This friend has a great question asking about James 4:4. Just as a reminder, "Don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? And anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." And so they're saying, you know, how do you have fun and balance that Scripture? What are the boundaries of having fun and not becoming of the world?

And so for me personally -- I mean, I would love to hear y'all's thoughts on this, too. But for me, I think there is a lot of redemption that comes when faith people step into the world and find fun and choose to have fun and have a good time and -- like going to Broadway shows. I go to Broadway shows and not agree with everything that's going on there. But I can have a conversation with my friends I go with later and go, Hey, there's this part that stood out to me that I don't think that honors God. And so bringing your full self to the fun that you're having. And also having really high boundaries. There's a lot of things I don't watch or read or listen to because I don't want to look at a menu I'm not going to order from. Right? And so I'm careful about that too.

How do y'all handle that?

Jennifer Rothschild: That's good, Annie. Well, I happen to believe that God is the author of beauty and truth. And so even in things that we would call quote/unquote secular, there are going to be glimmers of beauty and truth because God is the author of all beauty and truth. Okay? But like you said, those boundaries need to be there.

But there are some things that I do intentionally. Like, I love -- testosterone fiction I call it, Karen. And it's these mystery thrillers, you know. And, like, I get my guns and spies and I'm, like, conquering the world like -- I love it. I love it. There's not one thing overtly Christian about it. But I do use boundaries. If there's certain scenes in it, I won't listen to it.

But I do think there's a virtue in everything if we look for it. Now, if you have to look too hard, there ain't much virtue, you need to just move on. Right?

Annie F. Downs: Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: But I also feel that way about -- like, some of those silly songs I sang last night from the '70s, secular music. There's beauty and joy in those. And so I think it's all about when your heart goes ding, ding and you realize, hmm, that might -- then don't try to convince your heart you need to keep doing something you shouldn't be doing. When your heart gives you the ding, ding, you just move to something else. That's kind of how I feel about it.

Annie F. Downs: That's good.

Karen Kingsbury: Yeah. I think -- I mean, Broadway shows are a great example. What's going on behind the curtain, I don't want to have anything to do with, you know, that. I don't even want to think about it. But I do know that I'll go to shows that don't cross the line. You know, we know the shows that would --

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Karen Kingsbury: -- and we wouldn't go to those.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Karen Kingsbury: I think -- you know, one of the reasons that there's beauty in things that can appear to be secular, a secular painting, you know, a secular song, whatever, is because the Creator created that person, and the creativity they've been given is a gift from him, whether they acknowledge it or not.

Jennifer Rothschild: Exactly.

Annie F. Downs: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Karen Kingsbury: But you do have to draw that line. And we talk about this with our kids, and it's a verse that we use a lot. I try not to use it as a weapon. An example for us -- this is just us. This is not an indictment on anybody. But for us, because my husband's a teacher and a coach, and because I have this public life, and I think -- you know, early on I went on a cruise and you had to sign something that you wouldn't drink and you wouldn't gamble. And I thought -- I was like, okay, well, why would I ever drink or gamble then anyway? If that's how -- you know, if you go to Proverbs 31, first nine verses are talking about if you want to live a life that's like a king or queen or prince, then you don't do these certain things, and one of them is alcohol.

So on our honeymoon we just said, you know, this is one area we can have an incredible life and be very happy and have a good time without it. We just don't need it. What's the good that comes of it? And, you know, there's other -- another person might say, well, Jesus had wine at the wedding, and so that's fine for them. But for us, because we were going to have a lot of kids in our home and we wanted to model to teenagers, we don't drink. And that's going to be the same for my movies. That's super fun that I get to be in control of that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.

Annie F. Downs: That is.

Karen Kingsbury: You'll not find ever alcohol, God's name in vain, cussing.

Jennifer Rothschild: Good.

Karen Kingsbury: I mean, there's just going to be no sexual jokes or -- just none of it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Good.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: We don't need that stuff. We don't need it.

Annie F. Downs: That's beautiful.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's really good. I think what I'm hearing is the Holy Spirit guides us, and we need to follow his guide. We don't need to talk him in or out of anything, we just need to follow his counsel.

Annie F. Downs: Yes.

Karen Kingsbury: Good word.

Annie F. Downs: That's good.

Okay. When you find yourself -- this is for any of us. When you find yourself in your darkest hours, do you ever feel like you've been abandoned? And if so, how do you hold fast to God?

Jennifer Rothschild: Have you ever felt abandoned by God?

Karen Kingsbury: You know, I mean, I think in my darkest hour -- okay, a recent one -- and this is going to seem small to all of you. Maybe it won't. But we had this beautiful Lab -- you know, a Lab that we love so much, Toby. Toby's in the movie. Toby's actually in the movie. A few weeks after his performance -- nothing to do with this performance, obviously, he was just a dog in the movie -- he had been growing this massive tumor that we didn't know about. And on Thanksgiving night last Thanksgiving, it burst and we only had a couple hours left with him. And I was so upset. I was so sad; it was so sudden.

Jennifer Rothschild: Of course.

Karen Kingsbury: He was very healthy. It didn't seem like anything was going to be wrong with him for years. You know, dogs don't live long, but...

And here's what I did. I literally forced myself to be thankful, thankful, thankful. Thank you, Lord, for Toby. Thank you that we ever had him. Thank you that he got to be a part of a movie. Thank you that he was so close to my husband. Just thank -- and the thankfulness replaced the darkness.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Karen Kingsbury: I mean, there's been a study recently where the brain -- it's impossible to be both fearful and thankful at the same time. Or devastated and thankful. So I just think gratitude is my answer for that.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's good. What about you, Annie?

Annie F. Downs: I think sometimes because of my personality, I have to identify when I'm actually there, versus, like, just keep going. You know, like, go fast, go fast. And suddenly I'm like, man, I haven't enjoyed time with God in two weeks. What's going on? So sometimes I have to call it what it is in order to let God heal it and step into it with me, because otherwise I'll just blaze on through because I don't want to feel sad. And I don't want to feel like, well, God's not answering prayers. Who cares, I'm just going to keep going. And sometimes -- I mean, your first prayer that you taught us today, a prayer of, like, "God, I feel," I was like, oh, I'm going to cry. I'm going to cry. Because that's not my nature, is to stop and say, "God, I feel." My nature is to say, "God, let's go."

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Annie F. Downs: And so that's for me. What about you?

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I think one of the things that helps me is -- sometimes we are so aware of -- of course, we are emotionally aware of the thing that's happening, the loss.

Annie F. Downs: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: And so I think for me, what God is training me to do is to pay attention to what I don't recognize. Like, what is he sparing me from? Or maybe I see what he's not doing right now, but what is he doing? Kind of like what you're saying about thankfulness. And it does help me to kind of shift that paradigm -- or create a larger paradigm, I should say, and shift my perspective. So I think it's interesting what we've all shared. It's less about the circumstance. It really is more about our perspective that we choose to take within it.

Annie F. Downs: I mean, that makes me switch to a different question, because this other question for you, Jennifer, is in a moment of panic or anxiety, what are some of the first or the easier steps you take to renew your mind? Like, when you're in the moment, what do you do to start helping your mind regulate?

Jennifer Rothschild: Let me address this in two ways. Because last night I mentioned having a panic attack, which is very different than feeling anxious. And it had never happened to me before. So when I told you last night that when Phil saw it happening, he intuitively just grabbed me and held me tight. Well, that is one of the things that is helpful. And I would share this to anyone, because sometimes it can happen around us and we don't know what to do. And sometimes we want to just pat people and say, "You're okay, you're okay." Well, no, we're not okay.

So this summer I got to go to Italy -- I haven't shared this publicly. And if you've ever been to Italy -- we went to the Vatican. There were 700,000 people inside the Vatican --

Annie F. Downs: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- there's 800,000 stairs -- I'm exaggerating obviously -- and It was 120 degrees. Okay.

Annie F. Downs: Sounds great.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Annie F. Downs: Can't wait.

Karen Kingsbury: Sign me up.

Jennifer Rothschild: It was very difficult. So I'm walking with one of my friends, and she -- of course, her brain is exhausted because she's like, "There's so many staircases," and she's, like, telling me when to step, step down. And so at one point she said, "Step," and she didn't say up or down. And I went to step up, and it was down, and I thought I was falling. Well, panic attack happened just out of the blue. They didn't know how to help me. So I'm going to tell you how to help someone, and if you ever have a panic attack, how you can help people help you.

If there is an ability to hold someone tightly, if they'll allow that, that was very helpful. I had to tell my sweaty friends, "Y'all," finally, "I just need you to hug me." We smelled so bad. The other thing, Angela was trying to be very sweet. She goes, "Okay" -- she's trying to distract me. She goes, "Okay, let me tell you, there's this priest, he's standing right next to us, and he is praying for you," and I started weeping even more. It was very sweet. But what I really needed to do was distract myself. And so I said, "Tell me -- are there paintings around?" Now, if you can see what you need to help somebody, say, "What do you see right now?" "What do you smell right now?" "What do you hear right now?" Okay? Because it will help a person's brain immediately gravitate away from. And then, of course, you need to breathe more slowly in your nose, out your mouth. But there are little things like that that will help arrest the urgency.

Now, in a general sense, though, now I am learning -- when I do feel like I'm starting to get more anxious, I will literally shift my perspective and I will shift my eyes. Like, I will look up as if I am looking to the heavens from whence cometh my help. And when I'm looking up, I literally am making my eyes look up and I am reminding myself of the perspective that there's something more than my panic.

I literally -- when I told you all last night about that, "Father, glorify your name," I do, I go through my prayers. "Father, glorify your name. Lord, save me. Have mercy. Amen." Just shifting my mind immediately and rebranding the moment from panic to peace through God's Word has truly helped me. So I hope that helps somebody if it's a thing.

Annie F. Downs: And I live alone and I have a weighted blanket.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Annie F. Downs: Where there isn't someone to hold you, I have a weighted blanket. And my counselor taught me what are five things you see, what are four things you smell, what are three things you can touch, what are two things you can hear, and what is one thing you could taste? I'm always like, "Oreos." But if you don't have someone that can hug you right away in your home, having a weighted blanket for those moments meets a bit of those needs.

Jennifer Rothschild: Even sitting on the ground or leaning up against the wall, something that grounds your body.

Annie F. Downs: Yes. Yes, that's right.

Karen Kingsbury: That's great.

Annie F. Downs: Thank you for sharing all that, Jennifer. I think sometimes people think that anxiety doesn't happen to people who have it all together like you, so...

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. That's what I thought.

Annie F. Downs: That's what you thought too.

Jennifer Rothschild: What in the world?

Annie F. Downs: That is the best answer. You're like, yeah, Annie, I thought so too. I also thought I had it all together.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, no, I don't.

Annie F. Downs: Okay, Karen, who are some of your favorite authors? Who are you reading?

Jennifer Rothschild: Ooh, that's a fun question.

Annie F. Downs: Present table excluded.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right, besides Jennifer and Annie.

Annie F. Downs: Besides Jennifer and Annie.

Karen Kingsbury: I'm going to hit up both of your tables because -- y'all, you have to get their books. Seriously amazing. I can't -- there were at least two you mentioned that I know I don't have, and I want to get the brave one. So anyway, that's great.

And beyond that, then I would say my favorite author beyond that is C. S. Lewis.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Karen Kingsbury: I really love C. S. Lewis. I just --

Jennifer Rothschild: Me too, sister girl.

Karen Kingsbury: I mean, my favorite is "Mere Christianity" where you just -- you know, you can read just a couple paragraphs and you're like, okay, I need about a day to think that over, you know.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right?

Annie F. Downs: Yes.

Karen Kingsbury: And so that's amazing. I mean, books, I would say -- I love Randy Alcorn.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yes.

Karen Kingsbury: He has some novels way back in the day, and they're really, really good.

Annie F. Downs: Does he?

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, they are so --

Annie F. Downs: Before "Heaven" and before "Money" and all that?

Karen Kingsbury: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: What's the one --

Karen Kingsbury: "Deadline" and "Dominion" are two that I --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Annie F. Downs: Wait. That's Randy Alcorn?

Karen Kingsbury: Yes, that's Randy.

Annie F. Downs: I read those in college and I loved them.

Karen Kingsbury: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: He's so good.

Karen Kingsbury: They were probably why I became an author, to be able to -- I wasn't -- I didn't become a Christian until I was in my mid-20s. And so I read those --

Annie F. Downs: I did not realize that.

Karen Kingsbury: -- books, I'm like, okay, maybe I could write like that, you know. So, yeah, he's really good.

And then, I mean, I love John Grisham. Like, I just love a fast book.

Jennifer Rothschild: Have you read his latest, "The Exchange"?

Karen Kingsbury: I haven't read that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I'm curious to hear your opinion about how it ends. I was surprised.

Karen Kingsbury: Okay. Well, I really -- my favorite --

Annie F. Downs: Don't tell us, Jennifer.

Jennifer Rothschild: I'm not.

Karen Kingsbury: Yeah, don't tell me.

Jennifer Rothschild: I'm not.

Karen Kingsbury: My favorite John Grisham one is "The Testament."

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Annie F. Downs: Oh, yeah.

Karen Kingsbury: Have you read it? And so "The Testament," if you've read it, is very much a Christian book. I mean, it'll --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Karen Kingsbury: No one will call it a Christian novel, but it's so good, where -- the premise, you know, that a billionaire changes his Will at the last minute and leaves everything to his daughter he doesn't know who's a missionary out in the jungles. It's so --

Annie F. Downs: Wow.

Karen Kingsbury: It's really, really good.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Karen Kingsbury: So, yeah, I mean, reading is so much a part -- people will say, "How do I become an author?" It's like, "Read."

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. You don't write unless you read. That's true.

Annie F. Downs: Okay, so my next question, that no one wrote down -- I'm just here and she's stuck -- paper book or Kindle or audiobook?

Jennifer Rothschild: Ooh.

Karen Kingsbury: Paper book.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: You like to hold it in your hand?

Karen Kingsbury: I do. I do. I love to hold it.

Jennifer Rothschild: There's something about it, isn't there?

Annie F. Downs: Wow.

Karen Kingsbury: They like it.

Annie F. Downs: Round of applause for paper. Yeah.

Jennifer, one of the things -- so all your books that you listen to, does that mean Dr. Phil hears every novel that you listen to?

Jennifer Rothschild: No, because I use ear buds. So I'm always reading a dead author, and I'm reading something for my spiritual growth, and I'm reading a testosterone fiction.

Annie F. Downs: Okay.

Jennifer Rothschild: So yesterday I'm sitting at lunch and I was listening to Virginia Wolf, Mrs. -- oh, what's her name? Dalloway?

Annie F. Downs: Mm-hmm.

Jennifer Rothschild: You know, written in the '20s. And I'm listening -- and I say, "Hey, you want to hear what I'd be doing if you weren't here?" and I'd press play and he listened. And he goes, "I could not handle that." And I said, "I know," put my earbud back in. No, he doesn't have to listen.

Karen Kingsbury: All right, I'm sending you "Just Once." Because she's a World War II spy. Lots of shoot-em-up stuff -- okay? -- we're going to end with love story.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, that's what I need. All right.

Annie F. Downs: Okay, Jennifer, the next question. Are you working on a new study right now?

Jennifer Rothschild: I am, actually. I am working on a study on Heaven. So my next Bible study will be on Heaven.

Karen Kingsbury: Amen.

Jennifer Rothschild: A tiny little subject.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: The subtitle is "When Faith Becomes Sight." You know what's interesting? I didn't plan this, but my very first Bible study I ever wrote was called "Walking by Faith: Steps to Walking by Faith, Not by Sight." And now I'm writing on Heaven, "When Faith Becomes Sight." So maybe I'm done after this one, I don't know.

Annie F. Downs: Please no, don't be done.

Jennifer Rothschild: But I'm telling you, I am learning so much. But here's what the really fascinating thing is for me, is I am unlearning so much about Heaven.

Karen Kingsbury: That's going to be great.

Annie F. Downs: Interested.

Okay, Karen. One of our friends has a one-year-old. What is the best mom advice for someone with a one-year-old?

Karen Kingsbury: I mean, right off the top of my head, it's just soak in every minute, you know? We have a one-year-old grandson right now, Braden, and he -- you know, one is like -- it's such a fun age because, like, they make eye -- like, he'll go, "Grandma." They're so in the moment. They're, like, here. They really are part of the conversation. And I think that would be part of the advice, is certainly realize that they are part of the conversation. So address them, include them, pray over them.

I mean, Kelsey and Kyle are teaching him prayers already that he knows how to say Amen, and it's, "mm-mm." You know, he can say it. And knows how to praise Jesus. That's just one of his first things he learned. You know, we have to have conversations with our kids. You build bridges that you'll cross later.

How about you?

Jennifer Rothschild: Ooh, that's good. Okay. I think when looking back, I think my advice would be it's serious stuff, but don't take it too seriously. Everything you do is not going to either make that child succeed or fail. But what will be the best for that child is authentic, peaceful living in front of them. Because they're fully present. Soak it in and you just live 100% with it. The dishes are far less important than sitting on the floor and playing.

Karen Kingsbury: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: I wish I could go back sometimes and -- I love a clean house, but I think sometimes we feel so much pressure that we focus on the wrong things. So ask God to show you what the right things to focus are on.

Karen Kingsbury: Yeah. And you can sleep later.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, you sure can.

Annie F. Downs: That's a great -- one of the questions for me, that it really is the same answer, is what's the biggest thing God's shown you through not being married yet, and it is love the season you're in.

Karen Kingsbury: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Ooh.

Annie F. Downs: Like, love the season you're in. If you have a one-year-old, or if you're not married yet, or if you're a grandparent, love the season that you're in, because it's not promised to last forever.

Karen Kingsbury: Okay, I have a question for you --

Annie F. Downs: Sure.

Karen Kingsbury: -- then, on that note, since -- this is just off the cuff. You're here and you can't get away.

Annie F. Downs: That's right.

Karen Kingsbury: So I have some kids who are -- you know, they're maybe a tad younger than you, just a tad, but they're not married. And I pray for them all the time, you know, that -- Lord, bring the right -- bring the right girl, you know, for the ones that -- and I don't want to embarrass -- because Austin's here, so I don't want to say -- he's 26, so he's young. But I have a 31-year-old son as well. Anyway, and he's learned this, being content, and I'm like, "But not that content, please."

Annie F. Downs: Right, right. Yeah, have a little piece of the pie left that you're not okay. Yeah, for sure.

Karen Kingsbury: So my question is dating apps. That's my question.

Jennifer Rothschild: Ooh.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah, I think -- yes, I think that's really important, because contentment -- I don't totally think contentment is possible. Because if that was true, after we ate lunch, we would never want dinner.

Karen Kingsbury: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's a good word. And that's the ache we're supposed to have.

Annie F. Downs: Yes, yes. So it is okay to want while you love the life that you have.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Annie F. Downs: So with dating apps, they are a part-time job if you're going to do them. I mean, you have to, like --

Karen Kingsbury: Yeah, I'm off the market.

Annie F. Downs: Right, right, right, this is not your problem directly.

Karen Kingsbury: This will be what I'll pass on to my son.

Annie F. Downs: Yes. I think it is a great reminder -- apps are a great reminder that you don't know everyone in town.

Karen Kingsbury: That's great. Oh, I love that.

Annie F. Downs: And sometimes it can feel like I know everyone and, therefore, there is no one.

Karen Kingsbury: That's right.

Annie F. Downs: And then the downside of apps, if you aren't on them, is you literally see the guy and then you go, no, yes, no, yes. It's kind of like you're shopping. And so using the apps as a way to meet new people is -- do you see someone that you might have something in common with? Get off the app as quick as possible and go on a date. And don't keep staying on there forever.

But I think God -- it's the number one way. I just read a book this week that it's like -- 53% of couples that are meeting right now are meeting online. And that's not just apps, that's Instagram, that's all these places. But get offline as quick as you can to see if it's someone that you want to keep pursuing a relationship with.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's a good word, Annie.

Karen Kingsbury: I love that. That's really good.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's such a good word.

Annie F. Downs: I like them fine.

Karen Kingsbury: And I was taking notes. I'm going to share that. Yeah, I'll tell Austin.

Annie F. Downs: Also, I know some great young girls in Nashville. So now I'm playing a whole different game in my head.

Karen Kingsbury: What church are you at?

Annie F. Downs: Cross Point.

Karen Kingsbury: Okay. So good, yeah.

Annie F. Downs: I'm on it, Austin. I got you.

Okay. So how do you gracefully cope with a sudden serious illness and health of your family at the same time?

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, as if the mom or the woman or wife is sick?

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. I've never had that experience, but I would apply this principle to it. I know with blindness, one of the things that I strongly dislike is that I have to fight feeling like a burden. My husband has to always help me more than I can help him. My kids, even growing up, they had to compensate for things because I couldn't do them. And that's very difficult. And so if you have a sudden illness and something has happened, you might feel like, oh, great, I need help and I can't help. And we think that's a negative.

I'll never forget Joni Eareckson Tada -- we were talking about this once and she said, "You know, when I get to a door and I'm in my wheelchair and I need someone to open the door for me, I ask them, 'Could you open the door?'" And she says, "I know it's going to bring them a sense of esteem, so I'm helping them by them helping me."

So that's, I guess, what I would say to whoever wrote this question, take the pressure off yourself. If you got needs, let your people meet those needs. You don't have to meet their needs. In their meeting your needs, it will esteem them and help them grow, and you're helping them in many ways beyond what you realize.

Karen Kingsbury: Yes. Oh, I haven't been through that, but I had a character that went through that, of course.

Annie F. Downs: Amazing.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love you.

Annie F. Downs: Your husband leaves immediately.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.

Annie F. Downs: So good.

Jennifer Rothschild: So what did your character do?

Karen Kingsbury: I was going to say, "Well, when Elizabeth was sick," and then I thought, well, she's not real, so I should be careful to make sure. But -- okay.

Annie F. Downs: So good.

Karen Kingsbury: So she got cancer, and it was her second time, and so she was really, really, really sick. But what she did, because she couldn't do a lot, and she wasn't able to do some of the physical the things she would like to do for her family, but she wrote letters to them. So maybe you need to sleep a lot. Maybe you're bedridden. But then find ways to communicate. Because at the end of the day, they're not going to remember the lunches and the cleaning that you did. They're not going to remember that as much as they will remember your words.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's so true.

Karen Kingsbury: If you can capture words.

And, you know, I had a friend who got really sick, and she ended up passing and going to heaven. But she was surrounded by people who I thought were praying a little interesting -- it wasn't quite this way. And they said, "Don't write letters, because that's like saying we don't believe you're going to be healed." So they wouldn't let her. They came in and wouldn't let her. It was so hard for a couple of us who were like, yeah, but what if she --and her daughter is getting married next weekend, and there's no letters or anything. And so I would encourage people who are sick, or not sick, write letters to your family. Get a Bible -- here's a good thing. Your Bible with the journal, with the edges where you can write and read through the New Testament, writing letters to a child or grandchild.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.

Karen Kingsbury: That will be the gift they will treasure their whole life.

Annie F. Downs: Oh, 100%.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.

Annie F. Downs: Okay, we'll finish here. What is the funniest thing that's happened to you on the road while you're traveling?

Jennifer Rothschild: I think Annie should go first, don't you?

Karen Kingsbury: I do.

Annie F. Downs: Oh, I can tell y'all, this is also my most embarrassing moment, happened with our dear Ms. Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, no.

Annie F. Downs: About three weeks ago Dr. Phil said, "Annie, will you walk Jennifer over there?" and I walked her into a chair. And I was mortified and I think about it every night when I try to go to sleep.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh.

Annie F. Downs: Dr. Phil asked me to do one thing in an empty room and I ran her straight into a chair.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, here's the thing. You may not be a competent guide dog, but you're a very cute one.

Annie F. Downs: Thank you. It was -- I've thought about it practically daily.

Jennifer Rothschild: I am so sorry, because I haven't even remembered it.

Annie F. Downs: Now it's out in the open, now you will recall.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, we'll have to do a redo in a room with no chairs.

Annie F. Downs: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Anyway... All right, Karen, what about you?

Karen Kingsbury: Well, I have so many. But I think the one that stands out as being the most embarrassing funny moment, I was doing an event with Mandisa. And she had her band and whatnot, and I had asked her backup singer, Ronald, Ronnie, and I had asked him if he would come and play the keys under me reading "Let Me Hold You Longer." And so I did a couple wrong things. First of all, he started coming out -- he started coming out a little bit too early. And why do you think you can whisper into a mic? You can't.

Annie F. Downs: Oh, good.

Jennifer Rothschild: I've done that.

Annie F. Downs: Great. I love this story.

Karen Kingsbury: Then I called him Andrew, first of all. I said, "Andrew, Andrew, not yet, not yet, not yet." Everybody could hear the whole thing.

Annie F. Downs: And people probably think you're acting out a scene.

Karen Kingsbury: Right.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah, like one of her characters.

Karen Kingsbury: And he's not responding because he's not named Andrew.

Annie F. Downs: Right, right. He's just right on it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, Karen, that's so good. That's so good.

Annie F. Downs: Okay, your turn.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, this is hard for me because -- so this happened many years ago. I guess it's funny. I was really actually mortified, but I guess it's kind of funny.

Karen Kingsbury: You should go ahead anyway.

Jennifer Rothschild: Do you remember back in the day the Crystal Cathedral?

Karen Kingsbury: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: And Robert Schuller, when he was alive, was a very dear man, and he had invited me many times to participate in events at his church. And this particular time was a women's conference. And I had shared, then the next Sunday I had shared, and we were all having lunch after the Sunday morning service. And we're up in the top of the tower, and it's just so posh and fancy. It's all his people, you know, and they're wearing their robes. I'm like, fancy. I'm feeling so out of my element.

And I -- it was his wife who's asking me some questions, and then she says something like, "You know, I was just fascinated how you memorized your whole message. And what did you do to memorize all of your message?" And everybody had been talking amongst themselves. And you know how you listen to other people while you're talking to other people?

Annie F. Downs: Oh, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: So it's like as soon as that question was asked, everybody stopped, and they're listening. And I was very intimidated, I was very nervous, I was not being very clear. And I had spoken about, like, faith and fortitude -- I don't remember what they were. But all my points started with F, and so I just said, "Well, I just used the F word three times."

Annie F. Downs: Oh, yes. Fantastic.

Jennifer Rothschild: I meant words that started with F. And I was so intimidated, I said -- I used the F word three times in front of Dr. Schuller.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah, for sure. For sure you did.

Jennifer Rothschild: And I didn't do that, obviously. I didn't. It's funny now, but it was so mortifying then. And then trying to scramble. There's just some things you just need to move on and say, "How about that chicken?"

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Anyway...

So now the beans are officially spilled. Would you thank these ladies. Y'all rock. I love you. Thank you.

Karen Kingsbury: Love you too.

K.C. Wright: All right. You need to go straight to the Show Notes right now at 413podcast.com/306. Or go to freshgroundedfaith.com, because you need to plan on attending a Fresh Grounded Faith this coming fall because they're all so good. What you just heard, that caffeine for your ears, that coffee bean for your ears, the Spill the Beans, I'm telling you, that happens every time at a Fresh Grounded Faith. They are so good.

You can also go to the Show Notes to read the transcript and see all the links to Annie and Karen's books. And we don't say it a lot, but Jennifer has some amazing books too, and we will link you to her books also on the Show Notes at 413podcast.com/306.

All right. You know what's coming next. Until next week, remember, whatever you face, however you feel, you can do all things through Christ who supernaturally strengthens you. I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. He does supernaturally strengthen us.

K.C. Wright: How many coffee beans do you think you can consume --

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, gosh.

K.C. Wright: -- to do about 20 laps around your house right now?

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, gosh. The way I'm feeling now, I can only eat about two more. I'm glad you handled that outro, because I would have been buzzing.


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