Hues of Fun


I just got my nails painted a sage green color. I’ve never done this shade before, which is a bit surprising because I change the color of my nails pretty frequently.

(It’s one of my favorite hobbies.)

I don’t know why it jumped out at me at the nail salon; it’s not in season, but as much as I tried to pick out something darker and more winter-like, my eyes kept glancing back towards the green bottle on the third shelf. This green is new, and it’s soft, and it’s like spring moss on my fingers.

Last night as I was straightening up before I went to bed, I noticed that this nail polish almost exactly matched an elephant statue that sits on the mantel in my living room.

“No way,” I thought as I walked closer. “No way does it match perfectly!”

But it did.

So I stood there, staring at my hand and at the elephant, laughing a little to myself. Just two days before, when my nails were a gray shade, they had perfectly matched the buttons on the gas station key pad and I had a similar reaction — total shock and also laughter and a bit of “how has this never happened before?”

And I realized something. I’ve been missing a chance, every time I paint my nails, to find that same color in the real world and photograph them together . . . and rename the shade to match the moment.

Elephant Sage Green.
Gas Station Gray.

I know, I know. This may sound silly and like I have too much time on my hands (literally), but it’s a fun little something in the middle of my day, or my week, that makes me smile.

I need that. I need little uplifting moments that have no eternal consequence and no real impact on the planet or my life. I need little blinks in my day that are just for kicks.

Life is full of hard situations and important decisions and weighty moments. We can’t get away from them, oftentimes we don’t need to or want to, but we have to find joy tucked in there between them.

Maybe it’s the design in the foam on your latte, or the shapes of the clouds. Maybe you finally got a buggy at Target that didn’t have squeaky wheels. Maybe you purposefully wear mismatching socks tomorrow because it’s nobody’s business and you do what you want to entertain yourself.

(Don’t let the sock police boss you.)

For me, I feel a bit addicted to the idea of matching my nails to objects in my life. It sounds like a game, a challenge, a little way to have fun with the hues on my fingernails (and toe nails in the summer!) and add some levity to life.

I think today is a day you should look for joy, look for fun, look for a moment of laughter and levity. I’m giving you permission to be silly and remember the easy minutes (maybe seconds?) among the challenges, to feel Jesus pulling you towards joy.

Now… let’s brainstorm together… where have you found joy or laughter in your every day life?

by Annie F. Downs

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    I needed this reminder (permission slip) and I’m sure others do too – to take life, and ourselves a little less seriously at times. I tend to live life passionately, but perhaps a little too intensely. One need only to look at a giraffe, or hippo to see that God has a sense of whimsy and humor. If I’m made in His image…and I am…I, too could use a good dose of looking for the joy and levity He’s so graciously placed and staged all around me. Great post to start my week!

    • Penny

      Hippos and giraffes, what good examples Bev. they both have a way of making you smile.
      Have a good day.


  • Amy M

    Love this! I don’t paint my nails nearly as often as I used to, but when I was in college and law school, I’d pick out my lucky color and wear it all through exams. I tend to be both introverted and shy, so picking something vibrant, like sparkly emerald green, is one of my little “live out loud” moments.

    You’re so right. Life needs to be seasoned with laughter and levity. Not everything has to be serious.

  • Anna Finley

    Strike a wonderful chord with me……:). Thanks……….

  • Sarah

    As soon as I saw the title “Hues of Fun” I knew you had to be the one who wrote this! ;)

  • Penny

    This post had me smiling. Thank-you so much for posting it. I am so keen on things being matched that when my older children purposely wear mismatched socks I cringe (almost). So when my son recently had a baby boy I gave him and his fiance a pair of blues socks, one for each of them. As silly as it seems it was my way of saying, “I support you.”

    It’s time again for me to be more lighthearted and enjoy the Lord’s finer moments.


  • Sue Donaldson

    I loved it when I got my toenails painted blue. Shocked my younger friends. Shock and awe can be a good thing. We take ourselves way too seriously. An epidemic. Thanks for this. Now to prep my kale. I may need to repaint the toes. 82 here today – I may even get to show my toes.

    • Penny


      Blue has a way of making things better.

      Have a good day….


  • Beth Williams

    I needed this hugely today! Life has been way to serious since the beginning of the year! My aging dad is going through tough medical issues. I’m dealing with these and the other personal issues for him! Yes I do need to laugh and have fun in there sometimes! Life can be very very hard!
    Blessings :)

  • Glenna

    I like your style! I don’t paint my nails but I have two secret giggles. When I drive over one of those cords fixed to the street that counts the traffic, I do an arm pump and yell, YES. Being a homemaker and mother doesn’t get me any accolades but at least someone knows I was here. The second secret giggle is when I take my daily Tums for the calcium. I dump two into my hand and when I get two of the same color, I say bingo. Silly things but they make me smile.

  • Kate @ A Ringing Bell

    Shaking my head and amen-ing THIS: “I need that. I need little uplifting moments that have no eternal consequence and no real impact on the planet or my life. I need little blinks in my day that are just for kicks.”

    Why in the world am I so serious ALL the time? There are moments that call for it – but one doesn’t need to be all clammed up 24 hours a day.

    I needed this sweet reminder. Many thanks, Kate :)

  • Frances

    There is a street named after me in my town (ok, maybe it wasn’t named after me. I like to think so anyway) and whenever I drive by it, I do a silly wave or serious salute to the street sign. It makes me feel awesome!

  • Susan

    I have ballerina toe shoe pink on my fingertips today. Yesterday, I had NCPANTHERSBLUE.