I recently completed Annie F. Downs’ sensational little book, Looking for Lovely: Collecting The Moments That Matter.
And it has completely changed my outlook on everyday living.
Her gut-wrenchingly, honest portrayal of everyday life- life that is hard and messy and sin-filled and selfish and anything but beautiful- but there is also those moments that we collect, that we all should collect & savor, of when He makes himself so evident in the everyday. And suddenly the mundane becomes ordained.
Annie shares moments of meeting the Lord over a platter of sushi, so perfectly organized, colorful, bright and delicious, to walking with him through trails in her favorite park in Nashville, TN. Her heart and her story was so captivating to me that I started writing down little moments I wanted to collect and savor and share so that I remember He is in everything. And so, every once in a while, here on my living and breathing online journal, I will share with you some of my Lovely Moments when I feel His tug on my heart and feel His presence just a little more keenly.
There truly is lovely in the every day.
Like, for instance, one day last week, one of my precious coworkers forgot her shoes.
Now, now, I know what you are thinking- how do you leave the house without your shoes? Well, it’s for one very specific (and good) reason.
She is an extremely motivated person and was showing all of the rest of us up on a Tuesday morning and came in early dressed in her workout clothes to workout in the gym before work. The only issue was, she only had her tennis shoes. Which didn’t exactly complete the outfit she had in mind for the day- a very nice black and white tweed dress with a magenta button-down cardigan. And so she left on her socks and shoes, fixed her hair, touched up her make up, and came upstairs. Her tennis shoes squeak as she exits the elevator and we can all hear her approach to which is further confirmed when she says rounds the corner and greets us, “Good morning! I forgot my shoes.” with a wistful smile.
She is one to never take things too seriously and is always lighthearted and cheerful; one of the many qualities I admire in her.
My neighboring cubicle partner replies with, “what size do you wear?” and they quickly determine that the 2 of them are within a 1/2 size of one another and agree to “share” the shoes for the day when the other needs the shoes for various meetings or hosting guests from outside our offices.
I sat back and just marveled at the ease in which this conversation took place and the hilarity of it all throughout the day as they came back to our corner of cubicles and swapped out those little nude ballet flats. Because, you see, the Lord had ordained this day, and these people to work together in the closeness and proximity in which we function. These people to my left and right are like family- in fact, I see them more than I do my own family! We conquer challenges together, we plan, set goals, we fail together and we rise together, celebrate each other’s life accomplishments, and when life gets difficult and there are bumps and losses along the way, we are there for each other. In an absolute heartbeat. We are a family, in our own way.
And the shoe swapping was His way of reminding me of just that.
That when I feel overwhelmed and less Jamie-like, that I have a group that girds me up, that encourages me, that are my consummate cheerleaders, and that wants me to succeed. And they will help, if I will only open up and let them.
So, celebrate and be grateful for the people around you today that are your unconventional family members and treasure those moments that make you remember their unique contribution to making you a more full You.
And don’t forget to pack your shoes when working out before work. Life lessons.