My Looking For Lovely Challenge

If you've been reading here in the last few weeks, I've been blogging a bit about contentment.  And fulfillment.  And basically just resting in Jesus.  All because I was preaching this past Sunday on contentment.  (To catch up, read The One Key To Contentment We Never Talk About  and  The Secret to Contentment here). 

During my sermon prep, I picked up my new fave book by Annie F. Downs called Looking For Lovely.  In the book, Annie shares her life.  Her real life.  Not the life where she writes books.  Not the life where she travels and speaks from stage.  Her real life about nervous breakdowns, unmet expectations, and the need to press pause to work on her heart. 

Initially, I picked up the book for two reasons.  One, I just like her.  I think we could be friends and drink coffee or chai together.  And talk for hours. 

Reason two: because I read the synopsis on Amazon and it looked like a great resource to teach others about contentment and fulfillment and resting. 

If I'm honest, I wasn't drawn to the book when I first heard about it.  Looking for lovely is the opposite of Danielle Allen.  Instead of looking for lovely, I like to look for a well-timed sarcastic comments.  It's just not the same thing, you see.

But I needed some good quotes to back up what I was saying.  I needed some more info.  I promptly marched to the bookstore and purchased Looking For Lovely. 

To be honest, I found it to be more than lovely.  

In the book, Annie shares about what she calls the "broken crazy" of her life.  She unfolds this emotional time in her life when she realizes that things are not as she wanted them to be, she couldn't explain the why of what she's doing, and pressed pause to not only get right on the outside, but to become whole and healthy on the inside. 

Looking for Lovely starts with Annie looking for lovely in herself. 

I don't know about you, but that hits me right between the eyes.  I, too, have been struggling with my insides matching my outsides.  I've been struggling because as the apostle Paul said, "the good I want to do, I just don't seem to do it."  I have a huge need to press pause because I'd rather be emotionally healthy on the inside than right on the outside.

Most of all, I knew that I just wanted to have a life marked with contentment.  A life marked with the idea of looking for lovely.  

So in the midst of reading her story, I found my own.  I found that I'm not alone.  I found that other people struggle to find the lovely in their lives.  I found that sometimes things for you and for me are just not lovely because we are having trouble loving who God made us to be. 

What if you and I found ourselves to be lovely just as we are?  What if you and I rested in who God made you to be instead of striving for something or some one else?  What if we chose to see what's already lovely about our lives? 

Enter challenge stage left.  

As I closed my sermon yesterday, I issued a challenge to myself and the peeps at my church.  For the next seven days, what would change in our lives if we chose to look for one lovely thing in our lives?  What would happen to your heart if you closed each day with writing down one thing you found to be lovely about you? About your day?  About your life? 

I'm laying down this challenge for the One Foot community.  What would would it look like for all of us to choose to see what's lovely in our lives?  What if, for the next 7 days, we drastically changed our perspective and focused on what was lovely?

Are you up for the challenge?  Let me know in the comments here or on the One Foot Facebook page and be sure to check back here every day for the next week for blog posts about finding lovely in every day life.