April 5, 2016

how i find lovely

Recently, I was chosen to help launch Annie F. Downs' new book, Looking for Lovely. This book is beautiful and challenging and feels like it was written just for me. (You can see a full review on my book review blog.)

Annie shares about some struggles she's gone through and how she came to look for lovely--and honestly, though we are obviously very different people, much of her journey mirrors my own ("ugly" high school years, a love for Les Miserables, being single into the mid-30's, a PCOS diagnosis), helping me to even more fully relate to her writing.

The idea that impacted me the most was the concept of looking for lovely in our everyday lives. It's no secret that the last few years have been rough, thanks to health struggles. While I'm feeling much better now, I still have rough days. And on those days, it's pretty easy to focus on the pain and not on the good. But I think it's even more important to look for lovely on those rough days! Since I began reading this book, I've been consciously looking for lovely ... and I've been taking pictures of what I find so I can remember.

One of the biggest things I've done is make an event out of a meal. Most of the time, I eat supper on the couch while watching TV. There's nothing wrong with that, but I feel so much happier and more fulfilled when I use pretty dishes and actually sit at my (now cleaned off) table. I have so many fun dishes, so why not use them?

Obviously, I'm a big fan of roasted green beans. You would be too if you tried them. And yes, sometimes I watch Friends as I eat. (Bonus points if you can identify the episode!)

Sunday was one of my rougher days recently. I just physically didn't feel well. But because I was consciously looking for lovely, I found several bright spots.
The coolest "lovely" moment on Sunday couldn't be captured by a camera, though. At the end of one of the chapters, Annie recommends downloading a new-to-you worship album. Because I've heard so much about Bethel Music lately, I went to Amazon Prime music and randomly picked one of their albums: You Make Me Brave (Live). I was almost finished with the book, and Annie was talking about the song "We Dance": how the Holy Spirit laid it on her heart one morning, and it was another reminder of God's love. She quoted some of the lyrics, and as I read the words, I realized I was hearing them, too. "We Dance" was playing on my tablet. It was such a lovely coincidence-but-not-really moment!

I'm going to continue to look for lovely, and I encourage you to look, as well! And because I loved this book so much, I'm giving one away! Enter through the easy Rafflecopter form below. (Rules: Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. Contest is open in the US only. Winner will be selected at random using Rafflecopter.com and will have 48 hours to respond to email notification, or another winner will be chosen.)a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of material connection: As a member of Annie F. Downs' launch team, I received a free advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Replies
    1. I thought you might recognize it :-)

  2. I have recently come to realize how lovely it is to share a meal. I'm glad you are finding lovely.

    1. That's a great one! I very much enjoyed sharing meals with your family last week!

  3. Oh how I love this - and loved this book, too! I am stopping by from the launch team and finding all kinds of lovely! And this: "Since I began reading this book, I've been consciously looking for lovely ... and I've been taking pictures of what I find so I can remember." I think that is just the BEST possible review, right there!!!

  4. Yes! I have become convinced that finding beauty/loveliness is a matter of attitude far more than of place or circumstance. I think a corollary to "seek and you will find" is "look and you will see." I too use focusing on the beautiful to help me on my hardest days.

  5. Hello, fellow launch team sister! Your post had me at these words: "...a love for Les Miserables..." ME TOO, ME TOO! ;)
    (And I said "Me too!" a lot when reading Annie's book!)


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