Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter

Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter

by Annie F. Downs


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Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter by Annie F. Downs

“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!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433689253
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 78,921
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Annie F. Downs is an author, speaker, and blogger based in Nashville, Tennessee. Flawed but funny, she uses her writing to highlight the everyday goodness of a real and present God. While she loves writing—books, blogs, articles, thank you notes—Annie also enjoys traveling around the world speaking to young women, college students, and adults. Annie is a huge fan of bands with banjos, glitter, her community of friends, boiled peanuts, and football games. Read more at anniefdowns.com and follow her on Twitter @anniefdowns.

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Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is FIRE! Annie is so real and so vulnerable about her journey through some really tough things. Finding the beauty in everything even when life is crazy broken. It is funny, interesting, and thought provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't looking for a book , but I literally swept it up off the shelf as I walked by to the checkout counter and I'll admit I totally judged this book by its cover. I picked it because I LOVED the cover. I read the first chapter in line at Sams and finished Looking for Lovely the next day. I knew nothing about Annie, but Nashville was one of my favorite cities and while I've never been a history buff the Ryman Auditorium was my favorite place in the universe. I cried when I came across the chapter she dedicated to it. Whew. God gave me Looking For Lovely exactly the time I needed it.
Sheryl-Baker More than 1 year ago
I was given this book at a writing conference. I must admit, I set it aside until asked by another conferee if I had read it. So almost a year later, I opened its pages and began to read. Within a few words, I was drawn into author Annie F. Downs' journey to finding the lovely in her life. Tagging along from chapter to chapter, I began to see how every day occurrences can spark God ordained lessons just for me. My lessons may be found in different places than Annie's, but found all the same as I began to look for lovely myself. Ms. Downs writes with heartfelt words. Her wit and humor sprinkled along the way add to the enjoyment of reading about her journey. If you are looking for the lovely in your life, read this book. Ms. Downs will teach you, through her own life circumstances, how to find the lovely in your life. It all boils down to God and recognizing how important you are to Him. And then believing it. Thanks Annie for sharing your journey.
Sarah Connatser More than 1 year ago
Annie writes in a conversational way I find very engaging and easy to read. Looking for Lovely isn't meant to be a deep exegetical study on hope or suffering or perseverance, so if you're looking for that you will be disappointed. But, if you're looking for something more casual and approachable with a bit of whimsy in a story sharing format, this will offer you real encouragement founded on Biblical truths. Looking for Lovely reveals Annie's personal journey towards healing and hope. It will leave you inspired and ready to search for the good, the beautiful, the lovely in the times of suffering and struggle and sorrow. It will help you fix your eyes on Jesus as you walk through hardships and trust His goodness and faithfulness and perfect love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annie's personal stories were very relatable and this book is an excellent read if you feel you're looking for love in the wrong places.
elms More than 1 year ago
Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter came to me on recommendation from a friend. “Beautiful’s your word,” she said, “so you’ve got to read this book.” She was right. I did need to read it. Annie F. Downs writes from the place that’s real and is real life. The mountain top moments, where you know beyond a doubt that Jesus spoke to you. And those other moments, where ugly seems to win and quitting is real and vulnerable hurts. She doesn’t shy away from the reality that life is comprised of all of those moments. But in all of it, there is something to be gleaned. A moment, no matter how brief that is meant to be captured because Jesus showed up right there, in exactly that moment. It’s in a song, a hike, a flower, a note, a lamp post, friends, food and so much more. Jesus shows up in all of these places and we see it if our eyes are open and we choose to be looking. And the moment is lovely, the moment is holy because Jesus is the giver of all that is lovely. Annie’s book added another layer onto beautiful for me. Join the journey, look for lovely with us. You might be surprised where it shows up!
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
Looking 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.
LivingaFitandFulllife More than 1 year ago
Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs is an amazing book! Life isn't easy but learning to spot the lovely in times of hardship helps us to remember all that God has promised. Spotting the lovely helps us to stay positive when the world is negative and wants to steal our joy. I love that there's 7 sessions in this Bible study that teaches us to look for lovely in our day to day lives. Through Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs you will learn that He makes everything beautiful in His time. I truly love reading this in the morning when all is quiet in the house to let it soak in. Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs has truly changed my whole outlook on life and is helping me to be a more positive person. Looking for Lovely is a wonderful Bible study and I highly recommend it! Disclosure: I received product(s) for free, in exchange for my honest review. I only recommend products I've used personally, and believe will be good fit for consumers.
michelemorin More than 1 year ago
Even 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. It’s 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 it’s 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 joy’s 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 life’s loveliness may involve suffering. Annie’s 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. It’s 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
JennGrand More than 1 year ago
Ok, I was attracted to this book not just because I love Annie F. Downs, but also because the book itself is actually lovely!! The cover, and of course the inside is so beautiful. Annie is so real, so honest, so vulnerable in her own walk towards realizing the amazing life God wants for her, it's hard to not desire the same thing. And as she writes in her book, it's attainable for ever single one of us!! Annie uses Biblical truth, her own life experiences, and stories of how others have walked the path God set them on. This book is about finding that path for yourself, focusing on what truly matters in life, and following God to whatever He has in store for you! It really is a lovely read, and definitely worthwhile!!
Teadrinker More than 1 year ago
I loved Annie Downs first book, Let's all be Brave, so I couldn't wait to read Looking For Lovely. This book was another fast read for me, just like her first book. I enjoyed reading her personal stories as well as the Biblical truths she shared along with them. . .and at the end of most chapters, Downs encourages her readers to think about the lovely in their own lives and to take some sort of action to collect moments that matter of their own. Looking for Lovely is divided into three sections. In the first section, In the Absence of Lovely, Downs shares some of the difficulties and challenges she faced in her life. In the second section, In Search of Lovely, Downs shares how God met her as she worked to heal from her hurts and looked for God in every area of her life. The Third section, When I Found Lovely, Downs shares how she changed her perspective on life. . .How she doesn't feel like she has to be perfect just because the book is ending here. I enjoyed the whole book, but for me, I especially liked this third section as Downs reminds us that God works in our lives when we let Him in on the process. He will take the broken pieces of us and make them into something beautiful for us and for those to see that we do life with. Downs shares that no matter who we are, God will help us to see the lovely on whatever path we are on when we look to Him and look for it. Since reading this book, I continue to look for the lovely in my own life. I would encourage any woman to get a copy and do the same. There is also a Bible study that accompanies this book so it would be great to do in a group of women. I received this book from Broadman and Holman Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.
Sarah Damaska More than 1 year ago
This book feels like a friend. It feels like a really honest conversation when life is hard. It feels like an unfinished product… which may be my most favorite thing about it. Because Annie’s point of writing the book is not to let us know how she succeeded in life, and therefore, here are the three easy steps to also succeed… no, it’s about the journey she’s been on and is still walking. She made me laugh and nod my head in agreement and take a good long look at what God is doing in me. But she was honest in her struggles and weaknesses. And that’s why I’m recommending this book, because we all need permission to not be perfect. When we see ourselves as God created us to be, suddenly our eyes are opened to the beauty of what He has done, what He has placed right in front of us. Those are the moments that matter. This is a book about the transformation that God is doing in Annie’s life and the transformation that can happen in your life also. We may be tempted to think of it as ugly and confused, but really it’s a journey of lovely, grace-filled moments.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annie F. Downs is a funny and captivating story-teller, and her writing will draw you in and make you feel like you’re sitting with a friend. Looking for Lovely is both deeply thoughtful and refreshingly practical. It is a guide through the tough seasons where “lovely" is often hard to find, but in fact is hiding right in plain sight. Annie gives us the gift of baring her soul, bravely sharing her own experience with pain, self-doubt, and shame, and holds out a hand to all those of us wrestling with the same demons. It’s an invitation to persevere and overcome some of life’s obstacles, but also to discover the beauty that’s waiting right in the midst of the battle. It’s an enjoyable read, and one that will comfort, entertain, and challenge you.
JesG More than 1 year ago
Annie F. Downs' writing in Looking For Lovely is honest and vulnerable, relatable and at times hilarious; this book is overall refreshing. Annie's personal stories will take you from laughs to tears in minutes, all the while thinking "me too." Annie does not write from a place of "expertise." and is not afraid to admit that she doesn't have this life figured out, but she is able to share her story of finding beautiful in the ordinary, and how collecting those lovely moments helps us to press on in perseverance. Looking For Lovely reads more like a conversation over coffee with a friend, a conversation that you need to have. If you have ever been through hard things, are going through hard things, or will go through hard things - this book is for you.
jessicanmathisen More than 1 year ago
This book will grab ahold of you and not let go. You will want to keep reading, and it will be hard to put it down, as Annie allows you to enter into her story with her and find that you, too, are in need of more lovely in your own life. Her vulnerability and honesty is so refreshing, and for me it was most comforting to read along and find that there are so many parallels within the human struggle, especially as women. You will be changed as you find the need to look for the lovely in your life and in the lives of those around you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annie Downs writes to those who have ever wondered lost looking for more than what this critical world of comparing has to offer. Annie’s shares her stories of struggle in an authentic and transparent way teaching her reader how to view the beauty that’s within them.
booksandbeverages More than 1 year ago
4.5 You know those books that hit you right when and where you need it? I can definitely say that about Annie’s newest release Looking for Lovely. Refreshing and inspiring, I was so encouraged by this book! “I saw God in those sushi rolls. I saw how He is a God who puts everything in its right place.” I really loved the reminder that we can see God in the little things. Through Annie’s sometimes funny, sometimes serious, all the time interesting stories, this truth came alive with Annie’s words. I really loved the chapter My People. I was able to pause and be thankful for my crew of family and friends the I love TO DEATH and who hold me up. I stopped reading and sent all the text messages because now is always a good time to remind people you love them! Here’s a couple quotes: “Your people remind you of the goodness of God and remind you of what it means to finish.” “Maybe when we make our hearts available to the hard moments and allow ourselves to experience God’s love in new ways, we are also increasing our capacity to love others.” I loved the encouragement, the honesty, the vulnerability and knowing Annie wrote this with the readers in mind. It’s not about Annie, but about allowing God to share her story to encourage others. I love her voice and humor – it’s like we were chatting in person talking about all the Lord is doing in our lives. I most definitely recommend to everyone! I will say just this one teeny tiny thing I have to disagree with Annie on. It’s her unfortunate choice in football teams ;). But that, my friends, is a chat to have come August (#WhoDat!) Have you read any of Annie’s books? What little things have you seen God work in recently? (Thank you to B&H Publishers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review) Originally posted at: http://booksandbeverages.org/2016/04/06/looking-lovely-annie-f-downs-book-review/
pattierwr More than 1 year ago
Annie F. Downs is probably one of the most conversational writers I've ever read. Internal monologue? Check. Questions? Check. Answers? Sometimes in the form of more questions. Check. "Looking for Lovely: Collecting Moments that Matter" sounded like a great book for me. Collecting moments? Yes. Loveliness everywhere? Yes, please. And then I started reading. And it was hard. I'm not sure why this book was such a difficult read for me. Is it because so much of it touched the tender parts of my heart? Because I completely related to the self-loathing and pain and "broken crazy" Annie Downs describes? Yes. Yes, I think, to all of the above and more. Downs's lovely teal and confetti-sprinkled book begins with pain and talking about quitting and beauty and something she calls "broken crazy" - a phrase that is just general enough of a descriptor to be completely identifiable. It caused me to struggle a bit with my own personal wrestlings with finding lovely in the difficulties of life, which for me is the hallmark of a great book. It has made me think and consider my life, and I believe it has helped me grow. I recommend this book to women, mostly, but to anyone looking for lovely in the pain and brokenness of life. For it is in the brokenness that light shines through - and stained glass can be formed from pieces - and mosaics can be designed from shards - and our perfectly imperfect selves can allow the light of Jesus to shine through and be glorified. This book is a lovely follow-up to Emily P. Freeman's Simply Tuesday from last year. Where Emily's book is about finding beauty in the ordinary, Annie's book is more about finding beauty in our painful situations. To learn more about the book visit the website: www.lookingforlovelybook.com
caroline More than 1 year ago
An extremely personal story of grace and perseverance encouraging the reader to look for the lovely in every moment. Paying attention to those moments, big or small, extremely painful or full or joy, can make a huge difference in recognizing the beauty of your life. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of book that gives you space to pause even though its a quick read. It's deep. It's hilarious and raw and vulnerable and less a packaged list of ways to move forward than it is an organic conversation about beauty, suffering, grace, perseverance, and healing. Annie Downs has such a gift for making people feel like they have a space, for welcoming and inviting and helping them feel seen with her words. It's like she's speaking to you across the table at coffee, instead of to the however many hundreds of thousands other humans actually reading and listening. Her conversational writing style put me at ease and gave me a space to look at my own stuff as she shared her story. I highly recommend for everyone, and especially for those wanting to develop a practice of gratitude.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Add Looking for Lovely to your TO READ list right now! I LOVED Let's All Be Brave, and this new book is just as beautiful. Annie Downs writes in a way that makes it seem as if she really is your old gal pal! Her story telling is impeccable and many times I found myself saying, "Me too, Annie!" Women find comfort in knowing they are not alone. Looking for Lovely is the message of freedom and hope we are needing to hear. It is a reminder that the lovely is out there and we can find it. I especially enjoyed the challenges Downs places at the end of chapters encouraging us to find and create the moments that matter. I am determined to be a part of the Looking for Lovely movement. I hope you will be too.
SMcKeeman More than 1 year ago
I have gone through several pregnancy losses - one was during birth on my son's due date and I found that searching for beauty in my everyday is what kept me going, let me know God was real in the midst, and brought healing. As life normalized and my days are now full of the usual disappointments and difficulties, I lost sight of the beauty God gives. Reading Annie's book was a true gift, it brought me back to gratitude and hope in a whole new way - Looking for Lovely. I'm now finding myself energized to look for the loveliness that is present in every day that God gives me as His child. Annie's writing is inviting and conversational, but also so full of power. I felt like I had coffee with a friend and they reminded me to look at my life with newly opened eyes. The chapters are short stories that are easy to read when kids are occupied, in between work sessions or when winding down for the night, and they give fun challenges for finding lovely. Thanks to this book, instead of feeling silly about the simple pleasures of planting flowers or sitting in the sunshine, I'm now soaking up these gifts God gives.
Jennifer Bell More than 1 year ago
Do you ever feel not good enough? We live in a society where something always seems to be missing. You should be prettier, smarter, thinner. We have all felt that way. Annie Downs captures some of those moments in her own life, and shares them with raw, open clarity. Then she shares how she learned to find lovely in little every day things and how you can, too. Looking for Lovely is filled with emotion, biblical truths, and ah-ha moments. Highly recommended. Find your own lovely!
AshleyWelling More than 1 year ago
Annie F. Downs is an amazing storyteller! Through her honest and fun words, I was drawn into each and every event, experience, and emotion. That gift makes this book so relatable and enjoyable! The challenge to watch for miracles and look for lovely is one that every woman, regardless of life stage, can grab a hold of. Thank you Annie for pouring out your heart and for challenging all of us who are tempted to quit so easily!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the start, this was a book I could not (and did not want to) put down. With every page, I found myself nodding in agreement and being thankful that I'm not the only one dealing with her own "broken crazy." I found peace, encouragement, and hope in her words. Thank you, Annie, for being so open and vulnerable for your readers. God is going to do big things through this book.