What I’m Reading: Looking For Lovely, by Annie F. Downs 

Looking For Lovely: Collecting The Moments That Matter by Annie F. Downs

Looking For Lovely

Truth is, I’ve been ‘looking for lovely’ for a lot of years now. Every so often I get a glimpse of it. But it never stays. It’s fleeting. Lovely is one of those things, even in my youth, I’ve never really felt fully. There has always been someone prettier, smarter, bolder, more confident in themselves. Lovely has always been just out of reach.

That hasn’t changed much as I’ve aged. I had hoped I would have had ‘it’ all together and be ten kinds of cool by now. I would be that confident woman who wasn’t bothered by the thoughts of others … Or even more so, the thoughts of my own mind. Maybe it was those few years of being told over and over by someone I wasn’t good enough? Maybe it was knowing that because of my poor choices in the past I wasn’t reaching the hopes of people I held in high regard? Whatever the reason, to this day, I struggle with the number on a scale, the face in a mirror, and the words running through my mind. I am still ‘looking for lovely.’

When I started seeing Annie Downs mention on social media she was writing a book I was excited. She writes in such a personal way you feel you are close friends. I have always enjoyed her writing for young women. She is a voice I could have used back in the day. Let’s All Be Brave is a favorite of mine to give to young women because these are words I could have used. But Looking For Lovely, these were words that I needed to read here and now.

Annie speaks of her own “broken crazy.” Some of the things that keep holding her back in life hit a little too close to home at times. She writes of a cycle of struggles and hurts that come crashing down until she has no other choice but to face that “broken crazy.” I think a lot of us (me) can relate to those crazy moments.

But what I love and related to most in the book was her way of pointing to the beauty outside of herself. When we are constantly looking inward we (I) tend to find the crazy. When I look outward to things God has made I will find more of his beauty; in music, nature, even a physically freeing activity. When I am full of his beauty I am more likely to feel the beauty in me.

I am now watching for the lovely, as Annie has shown me. It’s there. It’s all around me. God has it for me. I just need to be ready for it.

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