This spring felt normal. And normal is welcomed after the grief I walked through in 2019 and the social distancing we experienced in 2020. But normal also means house projects, plans, relationships, and responsibilities are in progress.
I have to remind myself progress is valuable and is where we spend the bulk of our life. Yes, of course, I’d rather the house be cleaned, all the outside property projects be completed, every conversation in my head to become reality, friendships to be secure, and my to-do list be wiped clean. I had a hint of being caught up in 2020, but only because plans and commitments were canceled, people were distanced, and normal pace was slowed. But 2020 also offered some internal healing for me — and I want to hold on.
I was to keep growing slow in my everyday life, regardless of the external circumstances.
“We need a way to recover from hurray sickness. Healing will come from the inside out, in our hearts, where Jesus dwells and where wild things grow. This Jesus actually sees us as we grow good things in our families, friendships, and faith journeys.” — Jennifer Dukes Lee in her new book “Growing Slow”
“Growing Slow: Lessons on Unhurrying Your Heart from an Accidental Farm Girl” is one of the few non-fiction books I’ve read this year and one I can’t get enough of. I got to read an early copy of the first six chapters as part of the launch team, but I’ve been eager for the actual book to show up in my mailbox (which it did yesterday!) so I could read more. I’ve got quotes and notes in my journal and I have no doubt I will have plenty more to add to them.
Jennifer Dukes Lee writes as if she gets me, because she does. She gets the pressures and expectations that I put on myself and understands there are seasons to grow and change and adapt throughout life. She tells stories and encourages readers as she shares about an entire year on her family’s Iowa farm.
Here in my life in Kentucky, I’m tempted to miss those days from last year, even though in the midst of them I longed for normal. The grass is always the greener, but all grass has to be mowed eventually. I’m just thankful we have grass that grows right where I am. And I’m trying to remember this season of normal is the rhythm of life right now and is bound to change again, so I might as well enjoy it and grow with it.
About the book
Jennifer Dukes Lee offers a path to unhurried living by returning to the rhythm of the land and learning the ancient art of Growing Slow. You can live the great life you want, but it’s not the way you think. It isn’t about chasing that life down, it’s about slowing that life down. Hurry says everything is a task to be attacked. Slow says that you get to decide what’s important, and you get to reprioritize life in a way that lines up with what matters most. Start by building the habit of slow into your life, one act at a time.
This book presents a message of encouragement with practical application and journaling prompts.
“Growing Slow” is a 272-page hardcover book published by Zondervan (May 11, 2021). It’s available most anywhere you buy books, including Amazon.
About the author
Jennifer Dukes Lee lives on the fifth-generation Lee family farm in Iowa, where she and her husband are raising crops, pigs, and two beautiful humans. She writes books, loves queso, and enjoys singing too loudly to songs with great harmony. Once upon a time, she didn’t believe in Jesus; now he’s her CEO. Find Jennifer at and on Instagram at @JenniferDukesLee.
I did receive an advanced PDF copy of the first six chapters, but I paid for my copy of this book and will buy others as gifts. I truly am thankful for this message from one of my favorite authors.