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. I challenged myself at the beginning of 2019 to try to do something each month that I’ve never done before.
    So far:
    January–Marathon road trip north to Canada and back in one day
    February–Submitting guest posts for new-to-me blog hosts
    In this month of March, I am going to get on an airplane (for the first time since 1989) and fly to a women’s conference where I will be the speaker.
    Stepping outside my comfort zone, even in small ways, reminds me that I can choose courage (loved the geek moment!!), but even more than that, it reminds me that God will not abandon me in the choice.

    • Wow! These are fantastic, Michele! First time on a plane since 1989? I hope you’re able to work that into your talk. What a great example of stepping out of your comfort zone.

  2. Jennifer,
    I have loving people come alongside me as well to remind me just what, in God’s strength, I’ve been able to do. Oh how crafty the enemy is in trying to take us down notches so that we will be too timid to try the next step. Here are just a few highlights:
    1. Graduated 6th in a class of 800
    2. Gave birth and raised 2 children
    3. Survived a messy divorce
    4. Was the only female division head among 18 males in a male dominated field
    5. Started a successful blog
    6. Began a Christian school for orphans and destitute children smack dab in the enemy’s back yard
    7. Survived 6 major surgeries in 6 years with 13 scars to show for it
    8. Live each and every day with chronic illness and still see God’s joy before me

    ** Going to submit two book proposals (need prayer on this one) to agents and publishers

    I have not always been brave. Many times, like Jonah, I’ve run in the opposite direction, but God in His goodness, turns me around and reminds me of His faithfulness to walk with me through whatever it takes. What a great challenge to put on paper, Jennifer….thanks! I needed this.
    Blessings dear friend,
    Bev xo

    • Bev- you are so brave, I see your vulnerability shining for others to find and walk in the path you have already forged. Praying you find your brave as you write and submit your book proposals. I’m cheering you on.

    • Whoa, Bev. God has equipped you with great courage and strength. I’m so inspired by this … by one-of-a-kind, beautiful YOU! Carry on, sister. Your life makes such a difference.

    • Bev,

      Praying for the book proposals to go well! May God guide your writing. I know it will bless many women!!

      Blessings 🙂

    • Bev, you are inspiring! I have many similarities to your story, and applaud you for surviving and thriving! May God continue to guide and bless you and your writing!

      • Thanks Ingrid,
        But my greatest prayer, in all of this, is that my “life arrow” would always point to God. None of this have I managed to get through in my own power and strength, but God’s awesome grace, mercy, and faithfulness has led me through lots of valleys to the other side. May HE be glorified! Lifting you in prayer today, Ingrid!! No matter what it is…God’s got it and He has YOU!
        Blessings and ((Hugs)),
        Bev

  3. Wow! Jennifer! This was perfect timing! So perfect it has to be God! Thanks so much for this.. one day I’ll tell you the details.. but for now just know how much He is using you, to bless me AND I’m sure, so many others..Blessings!! x Ros

  4. Good morning Jennifer! I smiled and nodded as I read your words “crappy self talk”. Yep that’s me! But I. The same breath I realize how God has walked me to where I am and through every good and bad, I am brave. In the moment, fear wants to win but God is stronger and I am blessed.

    • Mary,
      We’ve walked some similar roads and I am always inspired by your willingness to ask God, “What can I learn or take from this season?” Even if it’s hard…you embrace it rather than stick your head in the sand. I’m calling the enemy’s bluff and telling him to hit the road. You are where you are due to you allowing God’s strength to move through you. YOU have a story to tell as well??!!
      Love and blessings,
      Bev xo

  5. Wow, Jennifer! I’m sipping my first cup of coffee of the day and this post is a double dose of caffeine! Unexpected but much needed. I think we all need to make that list and keep it close to our hearts to remind ourselves how brave we can really be. I’m sending this post to my new Airman daughter who has done brave things these last 8 1/2 weeks and will continue to do more overseas. Letting her go will be on my list❤️. Thank you!

  6. After being out of college for over 30 years,I’ve gone back and am working on my nursing degree. For many years,I’ve told myself I’m too old (over 50), too busy, too “anything” just to justify not going. But the bottom line was, I was afraid I’d fail. I’ve quit many big things in my life because I was afraid I’d not measure up and I’ve lived ashamed of that part of me since I was a teen. It’s paralyzing, and it doesn’t place any trust in what God can do…..it’s all about me.
    My precious grandmother passed away in January and her last words to me were directly from the Lord encouraging me to go back to school for nursing. Other specific things had also happened those last weeks with GG that I knew undoubtedly God was whispering to my soul to go back. I tried but I couldn’t argue with Him anymore and had to trust Him to carry me regardless of my fears.
    Well, I started school 6 weeks ago and am still plugging along with a smile!! I praying everyday “Lord, this is all you….give me the strength to do this and to honor GG well.” He has given me more peace than I’ve ever had and I KNOW I’m where I need to be. Yes the enemy still try’s whispering lies into my ear, but God has my heart. I am His girl and He has me.
    Thank you for the opportunity to write about this and see the words for myself. It’s been therapeutic in a way because it’s another brave thing I would never have done before! Lol
    Many blessings to you!!

    • Chrissi, Many years ago, a school teacher I loved dearly gave up her home & moved into a retirement home at age 90. She then had time to do many things she never had before & she told me, “Don’t ever think an old dog cannot learn new tricks”. I have a beautiful ceramic vase she made before passing at age 97. GOOD LUCK!

  7. Yes! I loved this! I’m writing and putting it into my will long story short I did survive!! All because of JESUS:). Will be sharing this idea in all my many groups.. my sweet husband just opened up about his fears when I started reading this during breakfast.. he’s writing a list later today too! ( he just doesn’t know it yet) love to y’all and happy Thursday in OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST \0/

  8. You are singing my song, Jennifer! I am right now on a cross country trip out west that I canceled twice after Dan died becaue I wimped out. There are plenty of everyday brave things I’ve faced but I needed to do this! I just tagged you in a picture that probably says “lovely vacation” to most people but screams “brave!” to me. It’s so worth digging down deep and doing it brave.

  9. Mary,
    We’ve walked some similar roads and I am always inspired by your willingness to ask God, “What can I learn or take from this season?” Even if it’s hard…you embrace it rather than stick your head in the sand. I’m calling the enemy’s bluff and telling him to hit the road. You are where you are due to you allowing God’s strength to move through you. YOU have a story to tell as well??!!
    Love and blessings,
    Bev xo

  10. I LOVE THIS POST! thank you for sharing it! lately i have been thinking about how scared i am of this and that (read: EVERYTHING), but one thing that makes me proud is that i don’t let it stop me. i may be scared of failing, making the wrong big decision, what people will say/think, being stupid, wanting too much, being alone, but i remind myself that time doesn’t stop for me or my fears. it keeps moving and so must i. and typically, the thing i’m scared of is bigger in my head than it is in reality. fear is paralyzing, but it is usually a lie. a lie that i am not enough or a lie that people will look at me funny if you do x. the reality is that most people don’t care or people support you when you thought they would judge you. when i am in a great spiritual and fear-fighting place, i read and receive john 8:44 that reminds me that the devil is a liar and is the father of lies.

    i will have time next week to create my list. thank you for reminding me that i am stronger and more courageous than i give myself credit for! thank you for reminding me that i am a human whose minds goes all over the place and freaks out about literally EVERYTHING, but in the end, i will always be a fighter! thank you for also reminding me that while the enemy’s lie sound like truth, they are lies trying to prevent me from accessing what God has for me. i needed this so much!

  11. thank you for sharing this post! it was exactly what i needed! it was the perfect reminder that when i don’t give up or quit even if i’m scared (usually mentally freaking out), i am a fighter. it reminded me that i am courageous and stronger than i give myself credit for. it reminded me that while i am scared of making the wrong decision, scared of what people will think/say, scared of being stupid, and a myriad of fears, i need to remember that the fear will not stop me from living, functioning, hoping, dreaming, or pressing on. time does not stop and neither will i.

    thank you for being fear-LESS enough to share your thoughts! what an unexpected blessing it has been!

  12. We all are braver than we think. We have Jesus with us all times. Look at what he done for us he went to Calvary for us. He must have been so AFRAID. But he did it anyway because he Loved us all. Just the way we are. He is with all us women. He is saying pray about it. You can do it. I will give you the strength to do it and not be afraid. You are braver than you THINK. I was picked on at School I went too. Years and years ago and God has healed me of thoes bad memories. Thought me how not to be afraid of thoes days plus helped me to forgive the people who picked on me. Plus his word say I am so our you women a Daughter of the King. I say Amen to that. We don’t need to be afraid. I had an operation. Over an year and half ago. The Dr doing it said I never seen someone as cam as you going for this. I said I have so many people praying for me. I have no need to be afraid. Plus I thought God is with me. If I was not saved. I know I would be very afraid. Your message has really really spoke to me. Thank you so much for it. God never leaves us. He is with us at all times. So we have nothing to be afraid of. We just have to have the courage to take everything master in prayer and not be afraid. Know he is with us at all times Love Dawn xxx

  13. Thank you. I so needed this. I’ve been stuck in fear since my Mom passed. I’ve closed myself off from most everything and everyone. Writing this is a huge step.
    With God all things are possible.

  14. Thank you for sharing your courage story. I’ve always been brave. Sometimes I’ve made foolish decisions straight from bravery. I left a marriage of 23 years willingly surrendering everything I had and everything I am to be with my current husband. What I didn’t know is I would continue to surrender everything I have and everything I am to remain in relationship with him. Now I am braving the world alone–sober, without friends, without a church (I was excommunicated after the divorce and remarriage)–yet I remain in Him and He remains in me, my God and my Father, the only One who can help me get home. After 4 years of wandering, I want to go HOME.

  15. Oh I needed to read this today! Thank you! I am fully guilty of crappy self talk. I will be writing my courage list today as a reminder that I do live brave!

  16. As I read your story and the stories of others, which are all the same with different names, I am drawn to tears as I said, “that’s me”. We as women have been put down all our lives. We’ve taken the back seat to the many men in our lives – fathers, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, bosses, husbands, sons etc. I think that is because it’s what we learned from our own mothers and grandmothers. My mother and grand-mothers were all very spiritual woman and for that I am very grateful. I have learned to be an example to my daughters, daughter-in-law and grand-daughters. They have all shown that my example is working – thank you Jesus.
    Jesus is in my life 24-7. Now it’s time for my list and open up to my Lord. Thank you for this much needed inspiration. Diane

    • I loved this devotional. It is so sad, but true, that much of our crappy self-talk is learned behavior. I think we find it’s just so much easier to believe the bad stuff. I am raising two daughters of the King myself, and they are constantly reminding me that they are watching! Being an example is a struggle, but a struggle I wouldn’t change for anything! Thank you for sharing your heart! YOU ARE BRAVE!!

  17. I am always amazed by God’s timing. Though I receive these daily devotions from (in)courage, I don’t necessarily read them everyday. But when I do, every time, it is exactly what I need to hear. Courage is a word God gave me a year ago. And despite my assumption that since 2018 is over and so I’m done with the word, God continues to bring it back. He has repeatedly asked me to step out of my comfort zone. A nurse by training and experience, I have stepped out of the hospital and into part-time ministry doing fundraising and bookkeeping. I’ve avoided fundraising all of my life! I even recently had an opportunity to step into a leadership nursing role where I work, but God, in His divine providence has closed that door. His plan is perfect. His path is sure. I just need to continually take one step after the other, to put one foot in front of the other, in faith and trust and courage. Even if they are baby steps! Even if they are slow steps. So now I wait for His next open door to walk through in courage. For His next opportunity to bravely share the story He’s written on my life. While I wait, I bravely serve. And I believe and soak up the reminders of my own bravery. Although I didn’t get the job I thought He had opened up for me, He showered me with reminders of who He made me to be through those doing the hiring (and my current co-workers). Maybe all I needed were the reminders, not the job! Thank you, Jennifer for this beautiful devotional! I have my journal all set to write down my yearly moments of brave!

  18. I am wrestling with taking a new job that will make me have a regular 8-5 schedule instead of the flexible schedule I have now at my job. However the new job is by far a place to learn and grow and has WAY better benefits compared to the none I have now. I partially feel guilty for wanting to accept the new job because it means I’ll have less time to spend with my child. However, it will provide more stability for my family as a whole. Change is scary. And I am just not sure it’s right to jump into something new. This blog hit me right where I am today because I am all up in my feelings.

  19. Jennifer, thank you for sharing this. I have some tough decisions coming up that affect my whole life. Thank you for this reminder that not only am I brave, But I have been brave and can do it again.

  20. Thank you, Jennifer, for writing this post! What a timely message. My word for the year is fearless. I’ve often struggled with fear but you challenged me to remember the times that I’ve actually called on courage, deep within myself, to do scary things. Here’s to living a fearless life!

  21. Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing this post. What a timely message! My word of the year is fearless. I’ve always struggled with a sense of fear and foreboding. However, you have challenged me to recall the times when I’ve actually called on courage, deep within myself, to do scary things. There are more than I thought! Here’s to living a fearless life 🙂

  22. Jennifer,

    Oh the crappy self-talk we give ourselves. So many times I haven’t felt brave or courageous. Even believed some of the lies I told myself. Now that I’m older & wiser I can see how I’ve grown, matured & gotten a little brave. For my list:
    1) shy me got up i front of my little church & did sign language
    2) graduated college (2 times) both A.S. degrees
    3) found my sweet hubby on line & married him after 10 weeks dating
    4) dealt with aging parents & their dementia/psych issues
    5) got myself a clerical job at local hospital – ICU Step down
    6) spent much of Thanksgiving week in hospital with both in-laws
    7) tried a new recipe last Saturday
    8) held two iguanas in my hands & loved them

    God give us the courage & strength to do His will. If God leads us to it He will help us through it. I’ve seen it many times in my life & am living proof of that.

    Blessings 🙂

  23. Hello Jennifer,

    Your writing has encouraged me — thank you for sharing your testimony!

    I thought of myself as being a courageous kid growing up. Rarely I would have thoughts of fear, and if I did feel afraid, I would have the confidence not to give it a second thought. Now that I’ve gotten older, and ventured into “adulting”, I feel that I have to continuously challenge myself regarding my negative self-talk. Oddly, I am not sure how it started. I didn’t think to wake up this way, but perhaps it can be derived from bad experiences or shared news that at times made me question why things happen. From there, I know that having even one unchecked thought can build the foundation for fearful thinking patterns that can lead to the heaviness of anxiety and depression.

    I echo the sentiments of all those who posted their comments before mine. I felt this message was specific to the myriad of issues that I encounter in my life. My husband would say that I am stronger than what I believe and braver than what I think. I thought he was saying this because that’s what loving husbands say. However, he is right, and I have to accept those truths. I have to start believing that God is always for and with us, along with examining every thought that does not reflect the love of Christ and what he’s done for us so that we can be brave and live victorious in him.

    Thank you for writing this! I feel the courage to press my way through!! 🙂

  24. Thanks for your post, Jennifer. It’s good to look back and remember our courageous acts. Mine usually have to be pointed out by
    someone else, too. My WWII characters often have to be reminded how incredibly brave they are!

  25. Hi Jennifer,

    Thank you so much or your article. Ive lived the same way as well, or at least in the way you describe at the beginning of your article. Im even afraid to open my email everyday in case something is there that I cannot deal with or feel insecure about or timid towards. A few friends have told me Ive been courageous and brave, such as with leaving my misisonary family in India and coming back to the States for college. I wouldnt believe them because I feel so much fear and anxiety everyday, struggling to do classes on my own, finding places to stay over breaks, not knowing the next step and feeling terribly alone in this huge world, as I know many others feel of course. I love your expounding on the root of the word, and if I may be so bold as to suggest, that having Jesus on the throne, casts out all fear as well :). Thank you for being honest and open in sharing with us! Also, you have wonderful handwriting! I havent gotten a chance to read any of yours books simply because I havent had access to them and came to know about them recently, but I hope I can very soon and share the truth you bring to my family and friends as well.

    Blessings, Mercy

  26. It can be scary to do new things. To do things we haven’t done by ourself. Here I was a grown woman and had never been to a movie theater by myself. I wanted to go. To just do it. So I told my husband. Don’t you want to invite a friend, he asked. Nope. I wanted to do this one. So I did. And it was fun. I am also trying to relabel fear as excitement. Sure, I was a little afraid of going to the theater by myself. But when I relabeked it as excitement of the unknown, it was more of an adventure now. Not fear.