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. Trusting Jesus for the undone projects and the un-checked-off do list starts to look like grace (instead of license or laziness) when I see it from this perspective. And when I’m not already feeling like a failure, it’s so much easier to tackle the summer projects with joy!
    Blessings, Jennifer! Enjoy these summer days!

  2. Thank you, Jennifer. Your words are a balm to my soul today. This week, I have been battling that frantic feeling that causes me to strain and strive to accomplish something, anything, so I will feel that this summer has been a “success”. Your words are a reminder that this is not how God has called me to live, these are not the unforced rhythms of grace that Jesus teaches us. God bless you and your family this summer!

    • I’m so glad these words found their way to you, Jenny. Last week, my pastor taught on those same verses you’re referencing here. And she reminded me that the burden feels lighter for us, because Jesus does the heavy-lifting. I need to let him help me carry this load, rather than doing it all on my own. Trying to figure out how to make that happen, in a practical way.

  3. It’s so awesome how God comes through!!! This is a confirmation and reminder to me today! A confirmation that I need to keep leaving it to God and I’m not the only one who feels the summer getting away from me, to keep enjoying my children and don’t stress out. A reminder that this one day that I did make a list and a schedule to stay calm and have an enjoyable day teaching my children to work and be responsible, to stay sweet and patient and leave it with Jesus. I struggle with a chronic illness and believe me I struggle with fighting feeling like a failure!!! But I know that I’m doing the best I can for Jesus and I leave the rest to Him. And as I write this my patience is already sorely tested as my 5 year old brought his milk out of the kitchen (a no no at our house) and spilled it in my room. So starts my day. …. Jesus let me keep placing it in your hands and let it there. 🙂 Thanks again for this timely writing!

  4. Blessed by this. I have been having the same feelings about my lists and projects that have not been completed. Needed this to encourage my soul to stay in God’s will and not mine. Thank you.

  5. I believe in strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow

    Thank you for this today!

    Started a new job this week which is overwhelming.

  6. Thank you, Jennifer! You read my mind! In constant tension because I have my two older school-age kids home from school for summer (and in constant need of me) and a 1-year-old who just started walking. I have small slivers of time to get work done and constantly feel like I should be doing more, though there is no time for “more”! I needed this reminder to just let some of my control freak go!

  7. Those of us with to do lists everywhere, lists on the refrigerator that need checkmarks showing completion, lists on the table of what needs to be done every hour of the day, we all appreciate your words to remind us that we are not in control of the universe. There’s an Almighty God that has a plan for this day and all our days and if we slow down and listen and pray, we may actually enjoy his plan and be able to forget about our lists.
    Thank you for your thoughts and words. For encouraging us to remember who holds the world in His hands.
    And for reminding us of the cuteness of kittens

  8. Well this is a huge helping of God given confirmation!! As a homeschooling mother of five, resting in the Lord and surrendering my overstuffed agenda (as I too have an epic inner control freak…that gets more pushy and loud as I “fail” at my to-do list…ahem…) to Him is something that is a necessity for me. And something that I am striving to learn now….at almost 40 years of age…. Well, maybe not so much learn, but implement. Like actually live it out, rather than trying to schedule it in… haha There is nothing more terrifying for the epic inner control freak than to let it all go and allow God’s best to lead (cue sweating, begging, pleading, weeping and eye twitches…). I have begun reading Teaching from Rest: A Homeschoolers Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie and it is a balm for my soul…there is so much more that goes with this, but I have children begging for pancakes (because they are STARVING…dying of starvation….drooling, ect…) and I don’t want to leave a novel, just a note of thanks for this message… 🙂

  9. Trying to set aside the ever-looming agenda for His rest this summer, too. He’ll make space for the things He wants us to do. There’s a certain comfort in knowing He’s in control and not me. 🙂

  10. Haha! Love this! Yesterday, I was just a little edgy when my desk work was interrupted by kids and grandies at lunch. Then hubby called and said his work day was short and he was going to come home for lunch too! I KNOW I shouldn’t have been…all of them are my delights in this world, but at the moment I sure didn’t act like they were. Ugh!
    So this morning I was reminded (several times!) of Proverbs 3:5-8…Trust in the Lord..lean not on your own understanding…He will direct your path..be not wise in your own eyes;
    trust and reverence the Lord.
    It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
    Boom! Busted…asking for forgiveness for my less-than-grateful attitude yesterday and thanksgiving for a new chance today!!

  11. Preach it susta! Yes, a symphony of interruptions, a deluge of digressions – Yes! My prayer has been similar but different – “God I gave you my life, make this day what you want it to be, and if it needs to be done, then I will need you to make it happen. I’m on your six, Lord, I’m following you!

  12. What a blessing this and you are to me today. Jesus sweet Jesus and his love far exceed anything I can imagine and yet it and he are,all there. Thank you sister for this reminder of his work. Glory to GOD and his work in me and his desire for me. And all

  13. Wow, did I need to read this today. I am really struggling with the fact that two friends want to meet today at two different times, one to pour out her heart, and one who is just starting down a path I’ve walked for a long time and wants advice. And I’m weighing this against my to-do list that just keeps stretching out longer and longer, because my summer is not going as I planned. I know the right thing is to be present in the relationships, but it’s so hard sometimes. So today I’m seizing hold of this prayer: “God, help me to make choices today that honor Your plans for my life.”

  14. Dearest Jennifer, I can get really distracted from God’s purposes by reading blogs! But I’ve met such beautiful friends like you by doing so, and so often you lovely women provide the beauty, hope, and encouragement I need just when I need it. And I needed to read your wisdom today. I woke up with the mid-summer blues, thinking of what I actually believe the Lord wants me to accomplish, and how I’ve only made stabs at it. I do know that some of the diversions (and excursions) have been His for me to pursue (like a lengthy memorial service for a beloved interim pastor last night whom God unexpectedly took home), and visits with friends (and new friends) in our home. We’ve held a number of unexpected dinners here and that entails lots of preparation. The last dinner was on July 4th and included five of my daughter’s Chinese tutors for an intensive she is taking this summer. This was their first dinner in the home of an American family. Later in the week we took them to an outdoor orchestral concert. These are just some things that were not on my agenda, but were on the Lord’s. But these are good things, not-to-be-missed things, God-ordained things. Where I can go awry is consuming on trivial things, wasted moments of Internet searches and TV news (things like that, things that do not fall into kitten-cuteness categories). So I’m trying to find a balance. But your wonderful post and manifesto remind me that my times are in His hands, and that He makes all things beautiful in His time. My “assignment” is to discover what God is leading me to do, moment by moment, and not to assume that what looks off-purpose to me just might be the most important thing He has for me to do today . . . and to ask for His Spirit’s control to say no to those things which are obviously not on His “agenda.”
    Thank you so much for sharing, and for the reminder of kitten cuteness, Jennifer. I’ve not had kittens in ages, but you brought back a lovely memories.
    Love
    Lynn

  15. Jennifer – Your message today is THE best I’ve read in such a long time. Not that the daily messages are not wonderful each day, but what you shared today is just what I needed. And, as God always provides His help, it was so timely. Thank you so much! I have copied your daily prayer and plan on saying that myself! You have blessed my day!

  16. Yes! God offers a breath of fresh air when I would stubbornly huddle in the cave of expectations and plans.
    Thank you for this reminder to look to Jesus, even in the Summertime!

  17. Sharing this! Many of my fellow writers are busy preparing for next week’s SheSpeaks Conference — on top of being busy moms, wives, and jacks-of-just-about-every-trade (longing to master them all). It’s a great reminder to put ALL of it where it belongs — in the ever-loving and ever-capable hands of God. Summer is a season — and “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)” Amen!

  18. I love this!!! It describes my summer so far to a tee!! We’ve been trying to work on a project in our yard since the end of May and it’s still not done. But I know there’s a reason for it and I’m resting in that and the knowledge that God just may be shielding us from something not so good. Whatever it is I’m going to keep on trusting in Him and His timing!

  19. Jennifer, really needed this today. My little brother would have turned 34 today… The guilt over thinking about him — holding the wound of grief to honor his memory, the time and energy it saps from caring for my littles — really needed to be reminded God’s never rushed to finish His plans. His timing. Maybe what feels like a detour is actually the main path but His pace is so much gentler than mine would be… Thank you, Jennifer. Bless you.

  20. Your message is necessary and your words sublime! When we are doing kingdom work, it is so easy to let the day’s work be for our own kingdom–the one that was never meant to stand. We must trust that sometimes God lays bricks that look like funhouse mirrors and doubling back for forgotten things. We will never fully understand His ways, but that’s faith: to fully rest in our lack of understanding, and walk forward anyways.

  21. This is pure gold!! I love this. I have been struggling with this too, and I so needed to hear this!! Trusting God and His plans and timing!!

  22. You are speaking my language. I sure appreciate your words of encouragement. In His strength, in His time. I know He will give us the strength which was costly for Him, but free for us. What a gift! Now, I will echo your prayer in the morning . . . God give me the ability to make the choices that honor your plans for my life. Thank you so much!

  23. Man plans his way, God guides his steps. I spy God everywhere His influence is seen in this messy world and hold fast to His Biblically based views. Keep the line open for His loving and directive nudges. He is the One we look to, and count on in His timing, to make the crooked paths straight. He impressed goals on us and asks us listen and observe His ways of accomplishing things He has laid before us. Such as a melt down for a bit with my grandson that can take on a life of it’s own, when playing a game over his head with his sister. “Lord what to do?” Here is a few you can match up, was the solution. “Thank you! Lord!

  24. Jennifer, as I read this I kept thinking, “we’ve got to be related.” And then I realized, that going, way, way, way, way, way back, we actually are! 🙂 This prayer and manifesto are just such a perfect fit for me that I’m borrowing both (and looking for ways to share them). Thank you so much, and have a wonderful God-blessed (and God-led 🙂 ) rest of your summer!
    Love and prayers,
    Beth

  25. My summer has been filled with prayer requests, family in and out, writing my blogs. I feel like a need a brakthrough otr that I’m not measuring up. Of course, God doesn’t look at it that way. I can be tired and sit on the couch and get a baby hug and a wet Yorrkie kiss. That is cuteness, and then there are the times I look up and see her kneeling in prayer, that too, is balm to the soul.

  26. Yes and Amen

    I would add to mine: I will linger at His feet and lay aside my to-do list and laundry for at least one hour a day.

    xo

  27. Thank you for sharing…I hold on to this prayer “God, help me to make choices today that honor Your plans for my life.” Amen…xxx

  28. This is exactly what I needed to hear. I start panicking that summer is getting away from me/us and we haven’t done the things I want to do….So appreciate the encouragement and your wonderful writing.

  29. We can bow down before our task list or God. God does a better job doesn’t he (although, I sometimes need to be reminded). Kittens are precious balls of fluffiness!

  30. Jennifer,

    I need your manifesto not just for summer-but for life. My life is not going the way I thought it would. I must remember that God’s plans are better than mine. He sees the big picture. Sometimes He provides diversions in our lives to help us rest & bring us back to Him. This world is fast paced, accomplishment oriented. The belief is that the more you do, accomplish, or get the better you are. God’s economy is based on calm, quiet times with Him enjoying the beauty around us.

    Blessings 🙂

  31. Jennifer-

    Thanks for this! It truly comes at the best time. Today has been so stressful with applying to grad school and trusting in Him that I’m doing the right thing. My nerves have been shot all morning. But these words lifted my spirits and I’m borrowing your daily prayer for my life as well.

    Thanks so much for the kind words!