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In Looking for Lovely, author Annie Downs uses her humor and love for God to encourage women to see the goodness of God in the everyday beauty that surrounds them. Learn to remember God's faithfulness and see him reflected in all creation - including your own face in the mirror!
Noteworthy: This author is one of a special group of women who writes for (in)courage, the popular online friendship community. Every day they take turns pulling up a chair to share their stories of what Jesus looks like in their every day, gloriously ordinary, and often messy lives.
If you read the (in)courage blog online, then you'll be sure to enjoy this title.
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: B&H Books
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 X .55 (inches)|
Let's All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You HaveAnnie F. DownsZondervan / 2014 / Trade Paperback$11.99 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 5 Reviews
$16.99Save 29% ($5.00)
prpb3 Stars Out Of 5Not My Favorite Writing StlyeNovember 11, 2016prpbQuality: 5Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3A very good friend recommended this book because it personally ministered to her, and she would easily give it a 5 star rating. However, I did not like the author's writing style so I haven't been able to complete the book. Maybe this isn't the right time for me to read this book, so I am planning to set it aside for now and will try it again later.
Fitzysmom4 Stars Out Of 5Review from Rambles of a SAHMJuly 13, 2016FitzysmomQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Looking For Lovely arrived on my doorstep at a time when all around me looked anything but lovely. Some things in and out of my control had taken place and left me off-center. When I picked up the book I have to admit I was skeptical about finding anything that would apply to me.
What I had overlooked about the book was the fact that it is written by Annie Downs. If you've ever read anything by her you already know that she writes with such a naked honesty that you can't help but be drawn in. This may seem trite but she had me at Chapter 1.
Annie herself had been falling apart for quite some time. Then a moment came when she had to face up to the ridiculousness of carrying on in the same manner when an answer to the problem was within her grasp. The Bible tells us: "Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7) So Annie began to ask God for a miracle.
And a miracle she got.
The miracle came in the form of small ordinary things. Things that were all around, but you had to watch for them. Here's my favorite quote of the book that sums up the entire experience:
"When I am watching, like a sunset or a movie, I know it is going to happen. Things we watch for are bound to happen. We aren't hoping; we're expecting. When you show up at a theater to watch a movie, you aren't there with your fingers crossed, hoping the screen starts showing a film. You expect it. You may have to wait a few minutes for it to start, but it is coming. So you get your popcorn, your SnoCaps, your Coke ICEE, and you take your seat, facing the screen, and you wait, without worry or concern, without question, because you are here to watch a movie." (pg. 41)
So after taking this journey with Annie, I too am waiting for a miracle and spending time noticing and reveling in all the beautiful, lovely, ordinary, amazing things that God Himself has put in front of me. If you've got a mountain that seems insurmountable in front of you I invite you to come along on this adventure with us. This book and the corresponding Bible study will surely change your perspective.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Stacey5 Stars Out Of 5An Eye-Opening and Life-Changing ReadJune 29, 2016StaceyQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5First, I would like to extend a heartfelt Thank you to AUTHOR and his/her publisher for sending me a copy of "NOVEL" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs is a beautiful book! As I neared the end of the first section of the book, I felt myself getting discouraged at all the not so lovely the author was bringing to light. Much of the not so lovely was (or still is) part of my life. Part I ended right on time because my heart was hungry for some lovely. Annie Downs exposed me to some things I never knew, made me look at my own world for the lovely around me and helped me to destroy some long-standing uglies.
Ive read several other reviews stating Looking for Lovely might not be for everyone. However, if you approach this book in such a way that you can replace the ugly the author has lived (that you cant relate to) with the ugly youve experienced, this can be a life-changing read. It has personally helped me to identify my own ugly and lovely and I am looking deeply into Gods Word for healing. I am so glad I went Looking for Lovely and recommend it highly.
Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Persevering - in GraceJune 7, 2016Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Even though the class was a disaster, I still regret quitting high school physics. I wish that I had hung in there with my little TI-30 calculator and all the boys who wore theirs in denim-look vinyl cases hanging off their belts or bulging from their shirt pockets not because I suddenly care about the trajectory of a cannon ball fired at a forty-five degree angle. Its because I believe that I would be a different person today if I had persevered in the hard discipline and allowed the dreaded B (or less!) to sully my G.P.A.
Annie Downs knows what its like to look in the mirror and see a quitter. By grace, she is also learning that to hang-in-there-in-hope is the path to joy. Looking for Lovely is the record of her journey in joys direction, in which she explores the connection between suffering and transformation and the truth that beauty lives in the spaces that may look like rain, confusion, hurt, and ugly.
Looking for lifes loveliness may involve suffering. Annies search felt, at times, like a training regimen in which she built strength and endurance, only to realize in the end that the muscle most in need of conditioning was the one between her ears.
Part of our search for hope is the process of learning to ask, and Annie reminds believers that the life of faith involves an awareness that God made us on purpose, and He has called us to a life of courage. Whatever rope He calls us to climb, beauty will be the knots in the rope that keep us holding on.
Its clear that Annie has spent some time pondering the past and all the changes she intends for the future resulting in a Spirit-fed resolve to mine her pain for every nugget of Romans 8:28 beauty:
My capacity to see beauty has increased in a much bigger measure than the pain I felt. My ability to feel the depths of something good was strengthened by my choice to feel the depths of pain.
The Romans 5:5 hope that does not disappoint comes through embracing (glorying in!) the tribulations that produce perseverance. Annie also reminds her readers that a pause is not the same as quitting. In fact, the pause can actually be part of the victory. She shares serial metaphors of her own paused-ponderings in which sushi rolls, nail polish, and Zumba classes all point believers toward healthy habits and grace-oriented priorities. When we pause to look for the lovely that lives all around us, there is strength to be found in the reality that it is God who is at work behind the scenes, orchestrating the search and strengthening our hearts and minds for the journey.
This book was provided by B&H Publishing Group in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
stgibson19Age: 35-44Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5You need this book in your life, I promise!April 13, 2016stgibson19Age: 35-44Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I cant properly explain how much I loved this book. Annie has a unique gift, in that her writing style is like sitting with a dear friend as they tell you all about their day. Or maybe its just me, but I have to tell you that by the time I got to the end, I was sad we would not be continuing our time together.
God gives us permission to feel. Theres no demand on your life to bite the bullet and be stronger than the hurt and pain. Yet the directive is the same: rejoice in sufferings, persevere in them, let your character grow, and watch as hope blooms. P 72
Looking for Lovely is a book about life. Its about the hard things that we all go through, and find so overwhelming. Looking for Lovely is about finding the good things in the midst of all the bad. Downs shares her heart on so many issues. She gives us permission to feel, and discover that we are not alone in the darkness. Her honesty was very refreshing, and timely. I found myself texting a ton of quotes from the book to my best friend. I was like, listen to this one heres another good one this sounds just like us.
I 100% recommend this book to you. Looking for Lovely would be a great gift to give your best girlfriends, and one you will find yourself going back to read over and over again. Bravo Annie F Downs! Bravo!
I need people who are committed to staying. It helps me commit too to being honest, to being present, to allowing people into the corners that tend to stay dark and hidden. Im willing to show people the corners if they plan to stay. 136
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