About the Author

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of several books, including Growing Slow. She and her husband live on the family farm, raising crops, pigs, and two humans. She’s a fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. She wants to live life in such a way...

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  1. Thank you soo much for writing this Ms. Jennifer. It really spoke to my heart and encouraged me. I have been feeling like I’ve been “falling behind” because I’m the youngest of five kids and all of my brothers are financially successful, etc. I work two jobs and moved back in with my parents…been debating about giving up one of my jobs simply because I’ve felt like my life has been going going going to a breakneck speed and I miss the slowness. Been trying to prove to everyone that I can “work myself to the bone” and “find a way to move out” and though I’ve done the former, the latter still eludes me…please pray for me. I compare myself to family and friends and complete strangers on the internet and it’s just causing me to feel unhappy. It’s funny how society sets up all of these “milestones” that you need to accomplish in x amount of time, and yet, yes, we’re allowed to grow slow. 🙂 Thank you for voicing what I’ve been wanting to but didn’t have words for. YOU are making a difference. 🙂

    • Jessica, I hear you. I see you. I care for you. It sounds like you have a really clear sense of direction for what the right next steps are for you, and maybe this article here on incourage gave you a little nudge in that direction. Know that I care, even if from afar.

  2. Sounds perfect, what is it with in us to compare, judge, wallow or get frustrated each day on our journey.. I’ve always wished at a glimpse of a ” birds eye, Gods eye view at the big picture. I will keep trying to live knowing I’m enough. Thanku

  3. This spoke to me today as I have really been struggling with this probably my whole life and just recently said “enough”! I am now trying to go and grow slow. I can feel how that changes me mentally and physically already. And it feels good. Just have to keep remembering this when I want to hurry up and have God hurry up! He is at work during this time. Thank you for this today! God bless you.

  4. Jennifer, thank you so much for this timely reminder. As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that many of the things we think have to be done immediately can wait a little while, but it is still hard to wait on God instead of pushing our own timetable. Growing up as a farm girl I understand the seasons of life and know that it takes time for the crop to mature, but it’s good to be reminded that our time is not His time.

  5. I am not sure I would call it “beauty”, as I still struggle, but I am coming up on the one year mark of having quit my job (sadly due to my and my husbands fear of the pandemic, rather than trusting in God that we will be ok). While I feel guilty about it, I have also come to enjoy time at home, cooking meals, scrapbooking, and reading the Bible/various meditations (which actually began in the summer of 2019 when I was bed-bound due to a back injury). Every night I write down at least 5 blessings from God I experienced that day. So my blessing from slowing down is slowly, slowly learning to accept and trust that God is in control and everything is going to be ok.

    • I love and admire your practice of writing down at least 5 blessings every day from God. I know that this can be a truly life-changing practice for people. Thanks for sharing this! You’ve been through a lot, and I’ve said a prayer for you today.

  6. Jennifer – the little engine that could…I have been reading your words since you were a “small-platform-author.” You inspired me then and you inspire me now. The only One we need to keep pace with is God and as we study Him, we learn He moves slowly with much patience. He is a long-suffering Father. Cheering you on as you keep sharing, beautifully, the words God is handing you. May your message (His message) resonate with all who read your writing.
    Blessings friend,
    Bev xx

  7. This spoke to my heart in a big way. Thank you. I have sometimes felt the push in my life from external sources and my own internal thoughts and expectations as I adapt and learn where God will direct my life as I adapt to being a widow. “What are you going to do? How do you fill your time?” and many other questions and comments. Most of the time I have been intentional about giving God and myself time but there are definitely days where I think I should, could etc. But God is cultivating and guiding, helping me sift and glean in this season. It’s been beautiful and difficult, amazing and insightful and filled with love and peace over and over. Your words encouraged me and focused me back to the heart of the process with God. I am thankful for your words and for where I am in my life growing slowly and immensely loved and blessed!

  8. I love this… I too felt my life always in a hurry. Pushing the process of grief, relationships, situation etc.. to hurry up. But have come to realize God’s timing is perfect. We learn and are pruned more and gain more wisdom and retain it in the slow. Trusting in God, in His timing and ways. Embracing the slow and the blessings in all circumstances along the way.

    • The best things in life … take the longest to grow. And if we try to rush through the hard things, like grief, we never truly heal. It sounds like you are well aware of this, Tamara. So thank you for sharing your thoughts here in the comments.

  9. Reading this beautiful post gave rest & refreshment to my soul! I still have a deadline to meet for my earthly boss but my heavenly boss is the enabler to accomplish the task! Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Jennifer this has resonated so well with me, as I need to be reminded daily God’s timing is not my timing. I love this time of year when the strawberries are plentiful and how disappointed I am when on the outside they are bright red, but biting into the berry reveals a pale white flesh which is lacking taste due to the absence of proper ripening. A picture of just how we need to remember being fruitful can be a slow growth, but the results are worth the process! How am I taking time to be slow, is spending time in nature on my back patio with no time constraints and reveling in God’s beauty!

  11. I needed this message at this exact moment. Today is the start of my break from Instagram so I can seek God and get instructions. My business has been growing so slowly and I have been so stressed out about it. I realized I needed to take a break from the noise and hear from God. This is the 2nd devotional I have read today about growing slow and both were a message I didn’t even realize I needed. I am so encouraged and know God has not forgotten me!

  12. Some of us aren’t able to hurry, to “go big” for various reasons…for me, it’s a lazy thyroid that has meant a lower energy level. I’m finally getting some help with that, but I have no desire to work three jobs, spend all my hours at work, etc. This message is still timely, because along with that slower pace, there’s the fear that I’m not accomplishing much, that my contribution isn’t “enough!” So Thank You, for reminding us that God designed us and He knows the pace that’s best for us!

  13. The faster my life has become, the slower I want to move. This past year has been a bit of a blessing in disguise. The forced slow-down was what my body and soul needed and I am now seeking out ways to make that slower pace of life more permanent in my every day.

  14. Honestly, I struggle every day with this but I will say that when I got completely overwhelmed and felt my work was not being seen and slowed down at work I was rewarded with praise and money. When I have gotten off the hamster wheel and felt I let people down because I couldn’t keep up the pace – others stepped in or things were canceled at the last minute or I felt happier by doing or having less. I always felt multi-tasking wasn’t always the best thing for Mom’s. Young Mom’s don’t brush your teeth while changing a diaper and waiting on hold for a phone call. Slow down!

    • I literally LOL’d at this image: “Young Mom’s don’t brush your teeth while changing a diaper and waiting on hold for a phone call.” I think I tried something like that once. It wasn’t pretty!

  15. As a currently unpublished children’s writer, this was exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. Thank you. 🙂

  16. Jennifer, I don’t like to wait. I don’t like empty fields. But when I remember seeds do their best work in the soil, out of sight, I breathe. Trust. Keep going. Thanks for reminding me there’s hope in the process.

  17. My dream is to be a writer. I have always felt like I was born in the wrong time because I like slow, I don’t like to be rushed (even though I am!) I want to take it all in. I don’t want to stress or teach my children that they have to go 100 miles per hour to succeed! Sometimes your soul needs to slow down and just appreciate God’s beautiful work here. Please pray that I get the courage to take those first few steps towards writing a book. Good luck all and have a blessed week!

    • One word at a time. One sentence at a time. One paragraph at a time. One page at a time. One chapter at a time. It’s the growing slow way. That’s how books are born. God bless you, Kayla.

  18. Struggling with feelings of not measuring up enough, imposter syndrome, and deep sadness when I compare myself to others is a systemic problem for me. Sadly, I am a 65 year old woman with large accomplishments under my belt. However, I turn to Him every day and am reminded that He loves me deeply and that my strength and courage come from Him. I am not a writer, but probably could be with some help. My point is that I believe there are many women in my age groupwho are really struggling with this and it might be interesting to develop a ministry on this to this age group. Retirement is a heavy trip for some. I am so grateful that I know where to turn! I plan on reading your book. I am trying to say that I thought that someday I would not feel this way anymore, but, somehow I continue to default to this described despair, until I turn my eyes upon Jesus. Amen

  19. I have always embraced viewing God’s artistry by looking up. I slow down to simply look at the clouds. I imagine them being rolled back as a scroll, just like the words in the hymn, & seeing Jesus.

  20. I’m realizing, and continuing to learn, that its ok if not everything gets done at the moment I want it or even in one day. There are things that have to be done and then there are things that should be done but the world won’t end if they have to be pushed off another day or too. Its kind of helpful to remember that when life gets busy.

  21. This. All this. I have a home-based business (along with a full-time job), and the emphasis is always on growing BIG. Making MONEY. Moving UP. I haven’t been able to do that, and it’s ok. God says so, you say so, and I need to believe so! This resonates with me just like your previous post on letting go does. Thank you!

  22. Slowing down has been a HUGE blessing for me — one I wasn’t expecting either. I’ve always struggled with being able to “go with the flow” but I’ve been put in a new place where that is all I have to do now. I have been “forced” (in the best way possible) to find that in those moments of uncertainty, it’s where I see my strength, understanding and compassion really shine and take over. Something I never thought I would be able to experience before.

  23. I would love a copy of this book! Often, I feel like “I’m not doing enough” but I know I am right where God wants me to be. I loved this excerpt from the book and would love to read more ❤️

  24. I was forced to slow down by a total burnout. Now I find I can stop struggling to do more for my salvation and peace. Your devotional today has relieved me of a further struggle. Thank you! M

  25. Oh these words….as things begin to bustle again, I doubt myself. Am I good enough? Why do I still, three years in, not have the promotion for the job I’ve been performing all along? THIS! Rest. Grow at MY pace. I need to remember, God has a plan. And his plan is likely not monetary recognition. Or “success” in the world’s eye. I am where He wants me to be, not by chance, but by His grand design. I need to be still and listen.

  26. This book looks amazing!! A perfect sequel to the one I just finished, John Mark Comer’s Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. Recently a severe, mystery pain has forced me to slow down and I’ve been so blessed by the people who have reached out and stepped in to help. I wasn’t listening to God’s whispers so he had to yell!

  27. For most, the pandemic has been terrible in many ways. But for this introvert it has come with many blessings. I’ve gotten to work from home so no commute, more time for supper prep, relaxed lunches on the couch. And I’ve given myself permission to still walk away at 5, still take my lunch, give myself a break if I need to grocery shop – supper will be drive through or heat up. It’s still hard to not feel the pressure to not take lunch, not take off at 5 but it’s a work in progress for sure.

  28. Hi, I have a best friend who would so benefit from this book. She was recently baptized, and I think the devil is really after her.
    I’m submitting my name in her honor, God bless you!

  29. I can’t write about the beauty of slowing down. But this post really struck home for me because I have wanted to do so many things and I haven’t accomplished any of them. I started writing a child’s book years ago and it’s still not finished. I have trouble focusing on what to do next. I don’t have any mental problems. This post really spoke to me and I thank you for it. I hope God can help me get motivated, like it’s time to finish this. I love God and I trust Him without hesitation but I have never asked for help to do this. When does He want me to finish? Does He even want me to? Please help me.

  30. We are all beautiful flowers in God garden. But we all have to be very careful and not let Satan be like a weed and try and kill us of. By making us not grow. By try to stop us drinking enough water from the sorse which is Jesus his word the Bible and Prayer. That what it means for us to grow keep being beautiful flowers in God garden. That he can use is us. So as others can see the beautiful colours and the beauty of God love and glory in us. Especially the unsaved. Want what we have that is Jesus for themselves. So we have to keep going every day to the water sorse and keep watering the beautiful flowers in our lives and not let them drop. Satan will try all he can to stop you reading your Bible and saying your prayers. By making you so busy you don’t have time. You have to make time. As we his people want to be shinning brightly for Jesus in every thing we do and say and be that the flower and colours show in our lives ForJesus. We do that by keeping close to Jesus by reading his word and saying our prayers everyday. Plus letting Jesus talk to us through his Holy Spirit each day. Especially we that are saved. Love today’s reading. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx

  31. Wow. This hit home. The pandemic has been a lesson in growing slowly. Sometimes it even feels like moving backwards. Right now it is nearly impossible to see the beauty in it. Intellectually I KNOW all these scriptures and promises but the deep heart assurance is hard to grasp onto. Thank you for the reminder. I need them all day long!

  32. I would love to have this book. I think it would help me understand the timing of things and learning patience. I seem to have trouble making priorities. I love the messages from incourage.me. Sometimes they are just what I need to hear that day.

  33. I recently left my busy job to slow down and be with my family more. It took a huge leep of faith to overcome the fear of not working.

  34. Thank you so much for this timely message . I needed it today . I had felt that I had not accomplished anything and a few of my classmates decided to retire early already . I going have to save this message so it will remind me that everyone is on their journey of life . It has been hard for me past few years and hope for a better things yet to come .

  35. After a very hard season of unexpected changes, God is helping me see that I am exactly where I need to be. This slow season is important too. I cannot wait to read this book!

  36. My son is 14 years old, but I see the pace of God slowing down when he still hugs me and tells me he Loves me 🙂

  37. I’m excited to read this book, and get into all of it’s accompanying resources! God has been teaching me to “grow slow’ in this time with 2 littles under 3yo. He’s been teaching me how to take teensy baby steps in everything. He’s been showing me that this slow life with these 2 babies is where He has me, intentionally; and I need to be intentional with “my” time with them. Each teensy baby step of intentional time is important for building up Christ-following leaders, and for building Kingdom. When I keep my focus on Him, these teensy baby steps (aka, growing slowly) are full of success! It’s hard work. And it’s (it’ll be) worth it.

  38. I actually learned this during COVID. I had lost my job and got a new job with a new company where I could work completely from home. This new company was of the philosophy…” we don’t care what hours or when you work as long as the job gets done”. This was a total breath of fresh air for me who was used to having to be at my computer from 8:30-4:30 daily no matter what. Now, I can ease into my day, take breaks as needed, and, if my kids need me, I can tend to them (with no guilt) and simply catch up on work later. It’s been such an amazing life change for me.

  39. Last year when the pandemic started my siblings and I made the decision that I would stay with our 91 yo mother instead of a nightly rotation between 8 of us that we had been doing for seven years. I stayed from the end of March until the middle of June when we felt it was safe and we could comfortably go back to rotation. But in those three months with just Mom and I, I learned to slow down. I learned to just be in the moment whatever that moment was. My husband and children were absolutely amazing throughout it all and I think we grew stronger in the absence. My daughter and I (15yo) would FaceTime after my mom went to bed at 1am; until 430 in the morning some nights. My husband sent me cards of love, encouragement and missing you humor(we were only two blocks away). From that time I have learned it’s the small moments as well as the big ones and every moment in between. The good, the bad, the ugly- God is with us through them all. I have continued to live life in the moment, for today. I cannot make tomorrow or next week get here any sooner no matter how much I want it too. I love and appreciate those around me and and cherish my time with them. Slowing down and being with my mother for those months was a blessing and a gift I will cherish the rest of my life.

  40. This past year has really taught me to slow down and remember what is important. Faith and family. At the end of the day those are things that will be there for you.

  41. I’m often blessed with the daily (in)courage email devotionals, but when I see one from Jennifer Dukes Lee, I’m especially blessed. I was on her email list before I was aware of the (in)courage site. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ve experienced the “beauty of slowing down” yet. I’ve been dragging my feet about needing to stay put (first with the pandemic restrictions last year, then with a broken ankle & slow recovery). I’m just beginning to realize the value of this opportunity to slow down.

  42. Stress was making me crazy. I started learning how to watercolor paint. I put on some lovely praise & worship music – look at pictures of beautiful flowers and birds God has created. I paint and let God’s peace and calm slow my roll. It works every time – praise God!

  43. When I watercolor paint I put on lovely praise & worship music. I paint while looking at pictures of the beautiful flowers God has created. It take time to breathe, pray. I let God’s peace and calm slow my crazy butterfly brain.

  44. WOW this left me speechless, then brought me to both tears and prayer. Thank you for this word, apparently I truly needed it. So much so that I shared this with several people in my life, including my Pastors wife. I’d be honored to win a copy and pray that it continues to slow me down and speak truth to my heart. Thank you for your obedience in writing something so powerful.

  45. I’ve learned the beauty of growing slow by seeing my
    Worth in who I
    Am
    Not what I do
    As a mom and wife, by surrendering to the Lord. I don’t have to
    Achieve my worth… a move in a pandemic showed me growth in my family that was so hard fought for in freedoms when it felt dead to growth but but God was growing us. He was taking out the dead vines and by abiding in His timing and ways., in an apartment w 3 kids and no grass, no
    Playground. He had green pastures for us- a river. A small public patio to pack lunches and be outside. It was the most painful growth but slow beautiful growth

  46. To slow down and have the ability to see the world around me. To not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all.

  47. What a needed message! I feel like when God allows a still season, I find it so easy to fill up my time, regardless if they are physical, in-person activities. I fill my time with podcasts, books, etc. No silence. No stillness. And the beauty of that stillness with just the Lord is so special. It’s needed & so important. It’s in those still moments that growth happens. Such a powerful word, thank you for sharing!

  48. In living with an 8 year old and a 3 year old during the pandemic, I have found slowing down to enjoy the small moments of joy as a way to get through the days that seem forever. I think that this book is so needed in our culture of constantly feeling the need to hurry.

  49. This last year Covid has really made me stop and slow down (it made everyone stop and slow down). But for me it made me spend time with my family, enjoy the time I have with everyone, and really stop and think how great God is.

  50. Jen,

    Coming from another Jen, I can tell you how much I appreciate your post. I’m a writer of romantic suspense, and sometimes when I tell people I chose to go into indie publishing, they look at me like I have two heads. I made the choice not to keep pursuing traditional publishing, first because I had a really bad experience with a publisher (try never got paid). Said publisher is now out of business. Indie publishing also offered me freedoms I wouldn’t get in trad publishing (e.g., setting my own deadlines, choosing what to write on). Years ago, in 2014, I felt that was the direction God was calling me to, and I would follow that.

    Fast forward seven years. I’ve found indie publishing as a way to grow slow. I try something new with each book. I’m trusting God that He will continue to allow me to indie publish. And I’m growing–gradually. Sales? Agents and publishers might cringe right now, but last month was my best sales month. I’m growing in terms of taking risks with adding something to my toolbox related to writing and publishing. And in the meantime, I’m honoring the King with my work.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Jen Haynie

  51. God is currently teaching me this lesson-Growing Slow! I recently lost my job very unexpectedly and much to my surprise (Long story for another time perhaps.). I have been a Dental Hygienist for 40 years. Worked for the same DDS 30 of those 40 years. Suddenly, I found myself jobless and a bit shaken off my core. However, God ALWAYS has a better plan. He knew I would need time to heal from a horrible case of Covid-19. He knew I needed to slow down and rest in Him. I spent 2 weeks in sunny Arizona (I Live in not so sunny Pennsylvania;-) with a friend. It was a glorious time of R &R-just what God ordered!! He is showing me that Slow and steady is my season right now! As a wife, Mom, grandma to 4 with another on the way, Pastor’s wife, writer, teacher, that perhaps “Dental Hygienist” me needs to retire or at least take a Time-out to slow down and regroup. I can’t wait to read this book!

  52. I’m growing slow by enjoying the season I’m in with having young children and waiting for full time teaching work. Trying to believe that I don’t need to be further ahead than I am and remembering growing slow equals deep roots!

  53. Oh my goodness, how much my daughters need to read this post and this book. I told myself no more books until I read what I’ve ordered during this past year, but…oh well. Of course I need it too. You are never too old to learn or relearn, to change your thinking, your habits, to become a better version.

    Blessings…jody

  54. I have experienced the beauty of slowing down in this time of COVID. It has allowed me to slow down, and enjoy things more throughly. And it has allowed me to slow down and spend much needed time with my family. So thankful for the beauty of slowing down,which is not something I do well because I like to go go go…..

  55. I realized I am Growing Slow when I was at the dollar store and stopped to see everyone walking to and fro at max speed. They were all in such hurry and I wondered “why?”. And then, when I noticed stares coming my way and I turned around to find Them looking at me moving at a Slow pace and just enjoying my time in the store. They seemed to ask “why?”.

    I realized our attention was used differently. They had theirs on time, I had mine on God.

  56. So many of my children’s activities have been cancelled during covid. On the one hand, we miss those activities, but on the other hand, our family life is so much more simple. We have more time for each other. To grow slow together in relationship and faith. To make more memories together. It has been such a blessing.

  57. Wow! I wish that I had this information 35 years ago. I would have stressed less and enjoyed life more.

  58. I like to slow down on Sundays after church and read or take a nap to try to recharge for the week. I have also been slowing down by not overcommitting in my schedule to be available to spend more time with my grandchild. I also try to keep a devotional book (usually from incourage!:) going or a Bible study (I am doing the Courageous Joy study now). This was a great devotion today that I needed to hear and would love to read the whole book!

  59. Oh, Jennifer. What a beautiful writing. It is exactly what I need today as the devil has me feeling behind and like a failure. I, too, am a farm wife and writer and can certainly resonate with your examples. My personality leads me to feel like I am always BEHIND. I can’t get enough done fast enough. I argue with myself time and again as I know this is not God’s best for me. I know how I am supposed to slow down and how I am suppose to rest. The devil has a hold on me in that area, and I believe this devotion came at the right time on the right day. Thank you for following God’s leading in your life. I’m going to purchase the book right now. 🙂

  60. this. is. PERFECT! thank you for posting and more importantly, for sharing that you are every bit as human as the rest of us.

  61. I just started this slowing down journey April 1. I felt like I was drowning so I deliberately slowed down and am still struggling to slow down in my heart and soul. It’s hard and I feel lonely.

  62. Thank you for your encouraging words. Their is a wonderful peace that comes in being content in our path and timing.

  63. Jennifer- Thank you so much for this blog post. It really “hit home” with me as a 50-year-old single woman. I have watched my friends and family members get married, have children, obtain advanced degrees, buying large homes, etc. from the sidelines cheering them on. I am happy for them and the ways God has blessed them, but sometimes I feel like I somehow messed things up along the way since I haven’t met any of those “targets” myself. Thank you for the reminder that it’s okay to be where I am today-even if I never reach those targets.
    In 2019 my life was extremely hectic-overloaded at work, and over committed outside of work with events for family and friends. By the end of the year I was so exhausted, both physically and emotionally, that I knew things needed to change or I would have a breakdown of some kind. Enter the COVID-19 pandemic shut-down. As life came to a forced stop, I finally had time to breathe and slowly re-engage with my family and with the Lord. It took a pandemic for that to happen-but it shouldn’t have. Now that things are beginning to reopen, I am praying for wisdom because I don’t want to go back to that frantic, stressed person I was in the “before times.” I want to stay close to the Lord and not squeeze him out of my life as things get busier. I want to keep growing. Thank you for reminding us that it is okay to Grow Slow.

  64. Jennifer,

    I am what you would call a late bloomer. Nothing about my life happened “according to world’s timeline”. There were times I felt left behind. Like I was missing out on life because I wasn’t “up to par with others. Felt the urge to rush & hurry up life. Now that I’m older & a bit wiser I realize I’m right where God wants me. Finding that a slower pace of life suits me to a tee. Taking life one day at a time & letting things happen as He sees fit. Knowing I’m not anyone else. I am the person God created me to be.

    Blessings 🙂

  65. Being diagnosed with terminal cancer has forced me to slow down. What I didn’t expect was the amount of joy I feel now that I am taking the time to appreciate the wonder of God’s creation.

  66. I love this post — we do need to give ourselves permission to grow at our own pace. I am struggling lately after being assaulted, with the way grief inhibits my ability to be the productive, inspiring person I know that I am. I have to push through many negative thoughts to “produce,” content and I forget to simply abide in God’s presence. Thank you for encouraging me not to give up in my process.

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