This past fall I held a bible study with a small group called “Looking for Lovely.” In the study, Annie F. Downs uses biblical passages and personal stories to empower you to find beauty in all aspects of life whether you’re in a dark struggle or a bright victory.
While I recommend actually doing the study, I think the message of Looking for Lovely is something that everyone (religious or not) can appreciate.
What does it mean to Look for Lovely? It means finding beauty in your surroundings and every day life. It’s easy to find joy in things like the sunrise or waves crashing at the beach, but a bit more difficult to find it in the typical day — and especially more difficult to find it when you are going through tough times. Being able to see the positive in the worst times is a skill that can drastically improve your entire outlook on life.
Do you know anyone who instantly lights up a room when they speak? Do you know a person that everyone wants to be around because they are always smiling and happy? Many times, that someone that we all gravitate towards is someone who sees lovely everywhere. That someone holds their head high with confidence because they don’t waste time making comparisons or judgements — they focus on the beautiful life they have been given. They focus on serving others.
Here are some lovely moments that I cherish:
My dog (Oz)
Delicious, pretty food. (@ Crave St. Augustine)
Nature (this is from a hike in Highlands, North Carolina aka my happy place)
A great way to remember to look for beauty in life is to keep a gratitude journal. Take time each day to write down things that you are thankful for, and then whenever you need a pick-me-up, open your journal and take some time to reflect. According to the Huffington Post, there are numerous benefits to keeping a gratitude journal.
“Benefits of a Gratitude Journal – taken from the Huffington Post
1. Lower stress levels.
2. Feel calm at night.
3. Gain a new perspective of what is important to you and what you truly appreciate in your life.
4. By noting what you are grateful for, you will gain clarity on what you want to have more of in your life, and what you can cut from you life.
5. Helps you focus on what really matters.
6. Keeping a gratitude journal helps you learn more about yourself and become more self-aware.
7. Your gratitude journal is a safe zone for your eyes only, so you can write anything you feel without judgment.
8. On days when you feel blue, read back through your gratitude journal to readjust your attitude and remember that you have great people and things in your life.”
Where do you see lovely in your life? Do you keep a gratitude journal?