Some of my best friends are books and they live on a wall of bookshelves my husband built for me. There is one section on those shelves where my very best friends live, the ones with the dog-eared pages and every-other-word underlined – the books that I pull down off the shelf weekly or daily to be reminded of what I truly believe about life. A new friend has made her home there this month – a new friend reminding me of truths I had forgotten and calling my eyes to open to God’s beauty, goodness and love in a whole new way – Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs.
I have gone through several pregnancy losses, one was during birth on my son’s due date and I found that searching for beauty in my everyday was what kept me going, let me know God was real in the midst, and brought healing. I have lived through hard seasons when in order to just get through the day I desperately searched for one good, beautiful thing to hold onto, reminding me that God was still present and at work.
But as life normalizes and days are full of the usual disappointments and difficulties, it’s easy to lose sight of the beauty God gives – to think that clinging onto a whisp of wind or a flower petal is something only crazy, grief-stricken people do. And so I got busy, and so I got dry.
Until I was honored to receive an advance copy of Annie Down’s newest book Looking for Lovely. I had no idea what a powerful gift it would be, bringing me back to gratitude and hope in a whole new way.
In her book, Annie tells us of her experience with “broken crazy” and how God guided her into “looking for lovely.” Each chapter is a heartfelt story that leads you into seeking out and celebrating the simple, miraculous loveliness that God infuses our days with.
So I’m looking again now. The treasure hunt has begun, and I’m searching along with friends – with this book in hand, with Annie and with all the women who I know are seeking along with me. Knocking so He will answer. Seeking to find. We are looking for lovely, and once our eyes are opened the hunt is easy because loveliness is one wave after wave cascading over us. Sunrises and sunsets, spring flowers and dew on the grass, painted nails, pancake breakfasts, dinner with friends, a long walk, the comfort of a good book… endless blessings. His loveliness surrounds us, surrounds me, and I am so thankful for this kind friend’s call to seek it out, to open my eyes and my heart to beauty again and trust that in doing so my heart will be healed and awakened.
So wherever you’re at today… If you’re reeling in the wake of loss or you’re numbed by endless laundry and diaper duty… This book is your call to find the spectacular in your everyday, seek out stunning beauty and revel in the simple loveliness that God gives us with every breath. You can find it at your local bookstore, on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles.