From the publisher:
Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter by Annie Downs (B&H Publishing, 2016)
“‘I want you to take every step of your life with excitement for where you are headed. And I want you to feel beautiful and confident as you do.’
But how? When the enemy whispers lies that you are not smart enough, pretty enough, or rich enough? Or you are too dumb, too loud, too quiet, too thin, too fat, too much or not enough? What if you don’t have what it takes to be who you really want to be?
In Looking for Lovely, Annie F. Downs shares personal stories, biblical truth, and examples of how others have courageously walked the path God paved for their lives by remembering all God had done, loving what was right in front of them, and seeing God in the everyday—whether that be nature, friends, or the face they see in the mirror. Intensely personal, yet incredibly powerful, Looking for Lovely will spark transformative conversations and life changing patterns. No matter who we are and what path God has us on, we all need to look for lovely, fight to finish, and find beautiful in our every day!”
This book is, well, lovely. (I know I’m totally not the first to say that.)
Annie’s voice is easy to relate to and therefore read. This isn’t a teaching book, but rather a conversation, which works very well for the subject matter. It’s a book about perspective, about growing, and about loving.
Some nonfiction writers try to write without sounding like they know it all or are experts (with highest intentions), but some don’t succeed. Annie does. At no point does the reader think Annie is perfect, but instead, Annie reaches through this book to offer you to walk along with her. She’s a storyteller, for sure, which makes each chapter interesting and thoughtful. She’s entertaining, but she’s also genuine and reflective, and readers will pick up on that quickly (if they haven’t already read Annie’s friendly voice before).
This book is set up with three main sections: In the Absence of Lovely, In Search of Lovely, and When I Found Lovely. In the first section, she brings the reader back through anecdotes of her childhood, teen years, and up to the past five years as went through what she calls “the broken crazy” and shows how her eyes finally opened to need to see the lovely through whatever the circumstance — happiness, sadness, chaos, tragedy, joy. In the second section, she offers short storied accounts of moments where she began to see the lovely – and the lovely being moments where she saw God’s hands at work in her life and in others’ lives. Section three talks about that perspective shift I mentioned earlier and that growth that needs to remain constant.
Readers might not necessarily read any brand new information here, but they will read Annie’s stories that only she can tell, and readers will come away from the book with joy and eyes opened a little bit wider to what lovely might look like right in front of them. And isn’t that a main point of sharing stories?
There’s also a new Bible study book to accompany this book for individual study and small groups. And I feel pretty confident that Annie would love for readers to go through this book in a small group together.
What books have you read lately that open your eyes to new moments of lovely and new perspective changes?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Icon Media Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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