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...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Jennifer,
    I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear friend, Shelly. I’m praying for God’s comfort to surround you and her family as you move through the grief. I love this line: “As her cancer grew, her faith grew bigger.” What a testimony to God’s unfathomable grace in the crucible of suffering. No matter what the world hands us, God still goes bigger. Also, this message encourages me to send down, deep, the roots of my faith which means spending lots of precious Sabbath time with my Lord. Only in this way, can we triumph over our circumstances. Beautiful post, my friend.
    Blessings and gentle hugs,
    Bev xx

  2. I’m sorry about the loss of your friend. May her memories give you comfort and rest. Hugs…

  3. Jennifer,
    I love the quote from your friend “Uncertainty comes with a choice: Let circumstances control you or give control to the One who knows every detail of your circumstance.” My husband and I are currently waiting on some test results and we are living in the land of uncertainty. As we “take captive every thought”- and it IS a choice – and there are many (thoughts), we are more and more grateful to serve a God who wants us to hand it all to Him, the One who knows every detail even when we don’t. I’m so thankful for this faith offered to me some 35 years ago. And I’m so thankful your friend could hang on to hers as she approached her eternal home.

    • I love that quote too, Kellie. The entire book, Searching for Certainty, is a worthwhile read.

      Also, I want you to know that I have said a prayer for you this morning, that the test results come soon, and reveal the news you’re most hoping to hear.

  4. Jennifer,

    Losing someone close is never easy. Asking God to sustain you & the family during this time. May you feel His peace & comfort over you. Paul says it best in Romans 5:3-4 we[b] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. I have found that same truth in my life. After dealing with dad’s dementia/geriatric psych issues my faith & trust muscles had grown immensely. I firmly believe God is asking each of us to take long sabbaths this year & sit with Him. Grow & deeply root our faith. We need to do that now more than ever. This advent let’s show the world how to slow down & deeply root our faith in the one true God. Let’s not rush around doing many things as the world would have us.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, I love what you say about long Sabbaths. I know it wasn’t the case for everybody (I’m thinking of nurses, doctors, nursing home workers, online teachers, young parents at home, etc) but COVID did bring long periods of quiet and slowness for many people. God showed us the value of spending deep, rich time with him. These are the moments that will sustain us later.

  5. So many touching and comforting thoughts in all the comments today. I too, am so very sorry for the loss of your precious friend, but through your sharing of this friendship, Shelly is remembered and continues to be a great influence for so many! What a blessing she still is!

  6. Thank you Jennifer for sharing about your friend, Shelly. I didn’t know her in real life but I knew her through her words and they will make a lasting impression on me. Everything about her exuded calm and the invitation to restoration. This is a beautiful legacy to leave behind. Blessings!

  7. To Dayspring and Incourage managers:

    As a friend of Shelly, and an author of this article, I want to personally thank the team of incourage and Dayspring for linking to Shelly’s new book, Searching for Certainty, at the end of this article. Purchasing that book is a great way to support Shelly’s family and honor her memory. Plus, it’s just a REALLY fantastic book. She is a gifted writer.

    Much love from your friend in ministry, Jennifer Dukes Lee

  8. Jennifer, such poignant words this morning. A faith that endures to the end and not just for her only, but infusing faith in those around her. She showed us how to finish this side of the veil well.

  9. Let circumstances control you or give control to the ONE who knows every detail of your circumstances. amen and Amen!

  10. Jennifer,
    Praying for the “God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) to comfort you during the Homegoing of your dear friend.
    Thanks for sharing from your heart.

  11. Beautiful tribute to a beautifully lived life… i love the connection and community the blog world gave us back years ago… i only got to meet Shelly in person once …but it was such a gift! And i love love this quote… “Resourced faith — built quietly over time — can sustain us in seasons of great trials, in the same way that a strong and deeply rooted system can keep a plant blooming strong.”

  12. My best friend passed away a month ago this Tuesday, ending her long battle with breast cancer at 56. Her faith and our friendship “went out with its boots on,” stronger than ever. The end was quicker than expected. The grief and sadness seem overwhelming at times, but buried deep underneath is a peace in a life well lived.

  13. I too have a friend named Shelley that is no longer with us and her cancer was in her lungs. My Shelley sounds a lot like your Shelly. She has been gone from this life for 5 almost 6 years now and I miss her as much today as I did then. I still hear her laugh, see her face with the joy that always shined when she talked about Jesus. I look forward to the day that I will hear that laugh again and see that joy for eternity.

  14. Jennifer, this is all so true, so poignant and timely and beautiful. Thank you for capturing and sharing the beautiful life lessons our Shelly lived so well.

  15. Indeed, Jennifer: “Losing Shelly seemed unimaginable even after she’d been given a terminal diagnosis of cancer.” I kept praying for a miracle. With you I want to “make each day count by putting down roots that go deep — roots that will help me to not only stand strong during the storms of this life but to also flourish with beauty and grace”–as Shelly did. Thank you for culling the words to pay fitting tribute to an exemplary woman, Shelly Miller. She will be greatly missed.

  16. Such a beautiful tribute to Shelly, Jennifer. I was just getting to know her. Her deep, quiet faith encouraged me so much. While her death is such a loss she leaves a lovely legacy for those who knew and loved her.

  17. What a beautiful tribute to your friend! Thank you for sharing about her with us.
    I live in Iowa too, specifically in eastern Iowa.

  18. Dear Jennifer,

    My sincere condolences on the loss of your friend. She seems to have been a person whose faith never waivered, in any circumstance. Isn’t that what Jesus calls us to do? To trust Him with every minute detail of our lives, and bring our burdens to Him so that he can walk with us through them.
    May your memories bring many happy thoughts as Jesus comforts you in your grief. Thank you for sharing.

  19. It has taken me three tries to finish reading your beautiful post about Shelly. With each section, a pause was needed to reflect on her life, love, and light.

    ”We could not see the roots of the flowers but we could see Shelly was deeply rooted” Yes. Yes.

    I too want to be rooted in her way, in the way Christ taught her to dig in and hold on in faith.

    She set the standard high. May we all do the same with the life we have been given.

    Thank you Jennifer for sharing. This is a beautiful tribute to Shelley.

  20. In a related idea, I once heard this saying that seems a tab bit applicable here. Scott Walker an Author at GUIDEPOSTS shared the words that he read on a sign that hung at the back of a Bait Shop at the Coast near his home:

    You will never know the strength of your ANCHOR until you feel the fury of the Storm.

  21. Thank you so much for writing about Shelly. I’m not sure if I “found” you through her or vice versa but I’m grateful for being able to follow you both! She did live and lead a beautiful and inspiring life and touched so many of us.

    I’m sorry for your loss of such a loving friend. I only knew her as a gifted writer and inspirer!

    Glad you and your family are feeling better and recovered. I was tested three times in November, all negative. You have me thinking seriously about the antibody test.

    Blessings always,