Continuing the Lovely

I came across a Facebook post today.  Make today beautiful!  And it reminded me of you and looking for lovely and how our lives can be changed when we choose to see the lovely. 

I don't know about you but my last seven days have been full.  There were days when my lovely thing was easy to spot.  A treat I hadn't had in a long time.  Friends who are encouraging and loving.  Clients who remind me of why I do what I do. 

And then, there were those days.  You know what I'm talking about.  Hours in traffic.  Correcting mistakes at work.  A misplaced word that you can't stop thinking about.  A fight with a loved one.  A virus that won't let go. 

Those are the placed where lovely may be harder to find and harder to maintain. 

Can I ask you a coaching question as your virtual coach today? 

It's my favorite coaching question really.  It's important to press pause.  It's important for us to think about what we're learning every once in a while.  It's important to choose what we want to keep walking with in our lives. 

For me, I've loved that so many of you are choosing to see what you already have in your lives.  I love that so many of us are choosing to see the lovely even when life is hard.  I love that together we can step into a life we love even when we are on an unexpected journey. 

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
— Philippians 4:8 (MSG)

I love that.  Fill your minds with what is lovely and beautiful.  Things to praise.  

The problem is that's it quite easy to do just the opposite.  To focus on the negative.  To dwell on what's going wrong.  To forget to thank and praise God for the good things.  

How do we keep this going?  How do we embark on living a life marked with contentment?

Gratitude Journal

Last week, I finished up my commitment to Quest (our children's program).  For more on that, you can read my blog post here.  Our last night was filled with fun, singing, crafting, and games.  

To wrap up the year, the kids made contentment journals.  Well, actually, the journals were already made, the kids got to decorate them.  On the inside, each journal was filled with blank paper.  Paper to record what they are thankful for over the summer. 

You and I can do the same.  It doesn't have to be fancy.  It just has to be something you can write in and record your lovely things.  Leave it on your nightstand and reflect on your day before turning in.  It's a habit you won't regret. 

Scripture

Grab the Bible verse listed above or another that talks about praise or thanksgiving.  Memorize it.  Write it on a index card and tape it to your mirror or in your car.  Remind yourself daily that life is just better when we are thankful and see the beauty around us. 

Grab Your Peeps

The best way to instill a habit is with people you like.  Supposedly, it works for going to the health club.  The verdict is still out for me in this area.  But for keeping up the looking for lovely, grabbing others and keeping each other accountable will go miles in helping you and I look for the lovely in the everyday. 

Consider picking up several copies of Looking For Lovely and do a book club (no special endorsement, I just loved the book).  Or better yet, so excited to see that Annie F. Downs is coming out with a Bible study to help each of us keep looking for lovely.  Why not plan a study with your friends this summer?  Just saying. 

Over the last seven days, I've learned a thing a two.  One, I really am capable of blogging more often.  It surprised me too!  But mostly, I am reminded that contentment and seeing the lovely that God gives us is a choice for you and I.  We can choose to see what's hard and exhausting and not so good.  Or we can choose to see what's beautiful and lovely in our lives. 

After studying for my talk and blogging for a week, I am convinced that choosing to look for lovely is a battle worth fighting for.  When we choose to look for lovely, we choose to step into contentment with all God is giving us.  We can choose to find fulfillment in the life we are already living. 

Hey!  I'd love to hear the one thing you are taking away from our week of looking for lovely.  Comment here or on the One Foot Coaching Facebook page!