Do find it hard to see the beauty in the world around you, yourself, or your circumstances? Do you find it hard to see God at work in your everyday life? If so, know that there’s help for finding the lovely that’s right in front of you.
(I received a complimentary copy of this title for review purposes.
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In Looking for Lovely, author Annie F. Downs shares her journey of finding lovely in herself and her everyday life through biblical truth, her personal experiences, and stories from others who know how to find beauty in the life God has given them.
By exploring the perceived absence of lovely and the search to reclaim it, this book allows readers to walk alongside the author — who feels like a little sister at times — as she journeys to find the lovely in her life.
I point out that I felt like I was having coffee with a little sister because, dare I say it?, I’m older than the target audience and I couldn’t always relate to her experiences and examples. I’m older, fourteen years into marriage, and ten years into motherhood. In all fairness, I suspect I wouldn’t have had that disconnect in a prior season of my life.
Despite the fact that I didn’t always love the delivery, I love everything about the premise of Looking for Lovely and the message behind it. The reminder to be looking for lovely is one I can’t hear enough and am happy to have on the forefront of my mind. Here are 3 reasons you need to be looking for lovely also.
3 Reasons to be Looking for Lovely
1. Because we all need to be reminded that
God is present in the dark and difficult
This life we get to live is full of incredible moments and unthinkable blessing, but it doesn’t take long to come up with a long list of hard things swirling around each of us. Some of those things are seemingly small, but some are huge and incredibly painful. But where is God in all of that? How can we be looking for what’s lovely through the tears?
I’m not sure I’ll find beauty in this. But the only way to truly see beauty, for my heart to grow in capacity and in ability to love and cherish, is through pain and heartache.”
You’ve seen the headlines; you know what’s happening outside of your own hurt. It seems this world has been eclipsed in darkness. In these times, we must fervently look for what’s lovely to see beyond the hurt and hardship. We look for God in the lovely, because we know he’s here and He works through the hard and the holy.
2. Because we all need to be reminded to ask God for God-sized things
This reminder comes fairly early in the book, but I’m still struck by it.
I’m watching for a miracle. Because I’m believing it is coming. I’m not looking for a miracle like you look for a rainbow, fingers crossed, just hoping maybe you’ll see one. I’m watching for a miracle like I watch a movie because I’m expecting one.”
The reminder to get audacious and ask God for the impossible is one I needed desperately. Maybe you’re in that boat too. I know that God can do miraculous thing, but I rarely live like I’m expecting it. Looking for Lovely has lit a fire in my bones to get bold, ask for God-sized miracles, and watch expectantly for Him to move.
3. Because we all need help slowing down and looking for God
You don’t have to spend too much time at the table with me to know that I’m an advocate of slowing down and watching for God. In fact, some of my favorite books — One Thousand Gifts, Wonderstruck, and Simply Tuesday have all imprinted that message on my heart and changed my way of living. So, while it’s a message I believe in wholeheartedly, it’s still one I need to be reminded of frequently. Can you relate?
I can’t assume that you’ve heard the call to slow down and look for God recently or even at all. It’s very possible that all of this is new to you or that you need to hear it all again. It’s very possible that Looking for Lovely and the messages within will help sooth your soul and bring you back to a place where you can focus on the beauty that God places before us every day.
Don’t miss the chance to be encouraged to slow down and look up through Annie Downs’ unique voice. It’s a voice unlike the rest of that group and it’s possible that her voice is the one that will help it click for you.
Bottom Line: Looking for Lovely is a wonderful book for young women who need some encouragement finding beauty in the everyday and themselves. Its short chapters make it digestible and easy to read, while still challenging and encouraging for readers.
More Looking for Lovely
You can purchase Looking for Lovely by visiting Amazon through the image below or at your favorite Christian bookseller.
You can learn more by visiting AnnieFDowns.com and following #lookingforlovely on social media. You can also learn more by connecting with Annie on social media: