Jennifer Dukes Lee titles her latest book Growing Slow: Lessons on Unhurrying Your Heart from an Accidental Farm Girl. Jennifer lives on the fifth-generation Lee family farm in Iowa with her husband Scott and two daughters. First, the author notes that we’re all in the chase because we want love, connection, fruitful lives, and meaningful growth. Yet growing slow, not running hard, secures the good life. Furthermore, you must realize that you’re already standing inside the life God gave you. Above all, the land teaches us how to un-hurry our hurry-sick hearts. In addition, you need permission to grow slow, for when you grow slow, you grow deep. Also, Jennifer urges you to focus on the depths of your roots, not the pace of your growth. And your unique pace gets you to the place God’s prepared for you.
Next, Jennifer reveals one secret to growing slow. That’s when the air is so quiet you hear the faint ringing of nothingness and all you’ve got is a prayer. Because God meets us in the in-between, un-spectacular places in our Growing Slow journey. The Farmer who planted the seeds within us enjoys the emerging beauty of our slow growth. God planted us with a purpose and never gives us on us. Most significantly, it’s okay to slow it down, dial back expectations, and open yourself up to God’s perfect timing and unrelenting patience. Choosing to grow slow serves as a calling to sit down and stay with the ‘bad thing that happened.’ Therefore, the author exhorts, don’t rush through seasons of pain. Instead, stay in the rearranged places where God chooses to come close. Learn to set aside expectations, but hold on to hope.
Hence, live at peace with God’s timing. While you’re planting seeds, He’s growing you. And that’s the kind of growth that stands the test of time. It simply cannot be rushed. Rather than focus on making something marvelous, notice how God’s making something marvelous in you. Therefore, we must intentionally build time into our lives so we can discern that God loves us right here, right now. However, it’s important to realize that when the harvest looks different than your dreams, God still sees you. In fact, staying in unyielding fields a bit longer makes the fruit that eventually grows much sweeter. Such change enables us to grow and become the people God truly meant us to be.
Finally, Jennifer reminds us, planting seeds produces inner growth that we carry with us the rest of our lives. Trust that it all make sense to God, even if it doesn’t make sense to you. Embrace every season, including winter. For winter’s a holy sacred time, Jennifer encourages, gilded with the grace of God. It’s a time to replenish your inner resources. Jennifer concludes with these warm words:
“It’s your turn. Kneel down now. Carve a line in the dirt with your finger. Pluck a seed from your fist, and lay it down gently in the soil. This is where it all begins. Grow slow, my friend, grow slow.”