Week Five Reading Assignments– Pages 144-170 | A Picture in Tel Aviv • Gardens • When You Find Lovely
Have you ever had an experience so profound that even while you were going through it, you knew it was going to change your life forever?
Just like Annie did on her trip to Israel, I recently had a similarly life altering experience during a mission trip to Haiti.
Maybe you’ve never traveled halfway around the world; maybe you’ve never even been out of the country; but I bet when you read that first sentence something came to your mind – something that changed you, something that defines you even to this day. Dwell on that for a minute. Really let those memories soak in.
If you’re like Annie and I, those memories might be tainted by the sadness of that experience being over. You could be on the opposite end of the spectrum; you might be glad you’re past that stage in your life because it was a hard one.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important that we remember to appreciate the good and the bad, the joy and the pain because that is what finding lovely is all about. It’s finding the beauty in life during the times of pain that makes the suffering a little easier to endure.
It’s so important for us to remember that God has a plan for our lives – even in the seasons of troubles and trials – and that He will give us gifts of loveliness that make the journey a little better. We just need to remember to look for them.
“TRUST THE PATH, I heard God say…He meant the questions in my heart, the things I wonder about, the worries that I’m going to miss Him. I don’t have to know where things are going; I don’t have to know the destination; I just have to trust the path.”
—Annie F. Downs, Looking for Lovely (pg.164-165)
Just like Annie learned to trust God and trust His path for her, the people I encountered in Haiti taught me to do the same. These people quite literally have nothing but the shirts on their backs and a very flimsy roof over their heads. Yet they can find joy and beauty in God and worship Him with more passion than I’ve ever witnessed before. What could possibly stop me from finding the lovely in my life and doing the same?
Is there something that God is calling you to do, or something you’re going through that you don’t understand? As you yearn to see what’s at the end of the path, be careful not to miss the lovely He desires to show you along the way.
Share with us in the comments, won’t you? Or on your own blog if you have one, on social media—and be sure to include #intentionalfilling and #livingoutlovely so we can be a part of your own journey into looking for lovely.
To help keep you on track, we’ve developed a suggested schedule.
Of course, this is your study, so please feel free to approach it at a pace that works with your schedule.
Download the Weekly in the Know PDF below…
Let’s chat! We’d love to hear from you once you’ve had some time to read through this week’s reading assignments. Come back to this space & share your thoughts in the comments below about:
Identify – In this week’s reading, Annie shares about moments that have shaped her life. What experiences have you struggled to let go of, not because they were bad, but because they were so good?
In the Word – This week’s Scripture focus comes from Ecclesiastes 3:11. Take a few minutes to read through these verses in your favorite translation. How does this verse speak to you in the present moment?
• Download our weekly Scripture card. Print it and hang it in a place where you’ll come across it often this week, to aid in memorization and the reminder of the lovely God brings to our lives.
Application – This week’s theme is Finding Lovely. Take time this week to actively search out the lovely in the hard, challenging things this week or in the overlooked paths of your day. What lovely have you stumbled upon that your eyes once before missed? In the pursuit of collecting moments that matter, we’d like to invite you to join us on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) to share how you’re living out the moments and “finding lovely” this week. In the caption of your post, include the hashtag, #livingoutlovely and #findinglovely.
She’d love to connect with you on Facebook.