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


  1. I love this thought. I was just reading in Paul Tripp’s ‘Broken Down House’ how we always externalize our problems. But, that the true problem is our own sin. I want to meditate on this truth this week.

  2. Funny! I was just singing this song in my head the other day, and wondering if anyone else remembered it because it’s from way back. I’ve always wondered the same thing – how DOES straw fix a hole? Seriously, I’ve actually spent many minutes of my life pondering this. Silly, I know.

  3. I was taught ‘stick’ not straw…not that that makes anymore sense…lol Loved this today! Thank you!

  4. Perhaps, Annie, we were supposed to learn how ridiculous his man was. How he wasn’t thinking straight himself. Sometimes we get on a cow path that says straw will fill our hole, or the perfect cup of tea during our perfectly worded prayer in our quiet time, but like Henry, we will forever fall short. Straw wasn’t meant to fix a hole, in a bucket or in our soul. Glad we have a Savior who is the perfect patch!

  5. Learned that song in the 2nd grade but evidently our teacher changed it because I’m pretty sure Henry and Liza ended up with a fixed bucket. Interesting.
    Anyway, you’re exactly right. I focus on that ONE thing that seems to make my life ‘incomplete’. In the past it’s been by state of being single and 26. And just when I think I’ve beat it, that I’ve got my bucket fixed and realized that I’m only complete in Christ, someone gets engaged or announces they’re pregnant and the hole in the bucket is bigger than it was to begin with.
    To end this monstrosity of a comment on a happy note, God HAS used that ‘hole’ in my bucket for His glory and I’m so glad He chooses to.
    Thanks for this Annie!! Just what I needed on a Monday morning! 🙂

  6. Wow, this answers a prayer I offered up last night! Thank you Annie. I needed to read this today. I truly hear God’s voice speaking through your words. God Bless~

  7. Thank you so much Dear Annie, Dear Annie, Dear Annie.
    Thank you so much Dear Annie, Dear Annie, Thank you! 😀
    (Hope you can hear that put to music and that it actually puts a smile on your face.)
    I’ve been quite fixated on a hole for months now. Every time it looks like a straw is available to plug it, I find out the straw’s too long, ax is too dull, or the bucket springs and additional leak! My whole world is revolving around the patching of this hole and it keeps me up at night, makes it hard to breath, makes me grumpy toward my loved ones.
    I’ve always been drawn to the “One Thing” passages of Scripture. I’ve even jotted notes towards writing a book on the subject. But until reading your post, I somehow managed to avoid realizing that I was replacing the One Thing most important in life with the one thing I’m so fixated upon.
    I know myself well enough to know God’s going to have to do a lot to help me pry my reluctant fingers loose of my bucket and let Him have full control over the leak. But at least now that I see it with fresh eyes, we can work together toward the goal of putting my priorities back in order. It is going to be a painful process, but in the end it will be much more peaceful than trying to patch this up myself.
    “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4
    “…but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
    “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
    Philippians 3:12-14

  8. VERY nice!!! So well written! I love the way ALL of the contributors put our daily thoughts into words of inspiration and (in)couragement!! Thank you..thank you…thank you…

  9. The Israelites used straw to make brick. Perhaps it was a brick or pottery bucket…
    Thanks for this post. Very well written!

  10. I needed this reminder that focusing on God is far better than the “hole in my bucket”, and when I do focus on Him, things seem to gain the right perspective. I am convinced that our “holes” can indeed be used to give Him glory, for they help us rely on Him and grow in our faith.
    I just might have to think of this song at times when I start whining instead of keeping my focus on God!

  11. Annie,
    Thanks for the reminder of not to focus on that “one thing”.
    ps I now have that song stuck in my head, which is a little sad.

  12. we are after all–earthen vessels. I think I probably have some drastic holes, a couple of cracks, and most likely misshapen.
    I spend to much time being worried about my misshapen self and my cracks and holes, with out even realizing that that was what I was created to be!
    And sometimes the holes are really really hard. And hard to get through. But I’m learning that when we let Him do what He needs to in us, those holes add a whole new beautiful element to ourselves.–albeit they are still painful holes

  13. Love the analogy. Although I had never, ever heard of that song before! And I’m much older than you…I had to youtube it. 🙂 Thanks for the lesson today…I needed it.

  14. “Let’s take our focus of the holes in our buckets. And instead, ask God how to use the bucket for His glory. Maybe the hole is the best thing that has happened to you.” Well, Annie, that’s just some really good stuff right there! Thank you.
    p.s. That song always seemed so hopeless to me too… but I think it was because it was so hopelessly l-o-n-g. 😉