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 too lost my best friend to breast cancer a few months back. Although I miss her everyday, slowing down and doing life intentionally with her that last year was a blessing and a privilege. Her unique way of choosing joy and living her best life brought out the very best in me. My heart now contains both the joy of knowing her and the suffering of losing her. Something I never thought it could do, but God carries me each day with grace.

    • Your best friend sounds so much like our Trish, especially this … “her unique way of choosing joy and living her best life brought out the very best in me.” In 2019, not long after she was diagnosed, Trish gave the message at our little country church. Here’s a little bit of what she said:

      “Isn’t it my privilege, my responsibility and my honor to show others that joy comes with praising the Lord? Could it be that praising the Lord in all circumstances might lead someone to come to find what that praising is all about? That might be the key! … So whether I have been blessed mightily by the Lord, or if a wrench has been tossed into what I thought was my perfect little plan, I AM going to praise the Lord — from now until I meet Him in person.”

  2. Thank you so much for these words, Jennifer. You have no inkling of how very much your writing spoke to me this morning!

  3. You are so right! God in the details of ordinary things turns up the volume of His loving kindness toward us. What a wonderful encouragement to your readers & a bonus tribute to your friend Trish! Thank you for sharing!

  4. So timely. I am part of a hiking group of older folks in Colorado. Once a week we take to the trails. At present the wildflowers are blooming like crazy due to the recent rains we have had this summer. And rather than taking the more challenging hikes at a quicker pace, the majority of the group, including me, have opted to take a slower pace through areas where the flowers are bursting with color. This past hike spoke to me about the majestic power of God’s creation. As I hiked, I prayed to myself, thanking God for the amazing beauty even as the bigger world around us is in such a sorry state. The flowers, mountains, lakes are such incredible gifts to us and is helpful reminder that I am not alone and have so much to be grateful for.

    • Oh Madeline. My “Growing Slow” heart absolutely loves this. Taking the longer way is often rich with unexpected blessing and reward. Thanks for sharing about your hikes!

  5. This was amazing and watered my thirsty soul!!!! God has been reminding me to slow down lately and this is just another way I can do that….looking for ditch flowers!

    • What kind of flowers are blooming in your corner of the world these days? The Queen Anne’s Lace has always been my favorite, and it’s just now starting to fade, but it’s still there.

  6. I can’t believe it. I had just written down in my devotional journal how I was thankful for the color of the sky right before dawn… the ombré blues. Then I read your piece and you even mention the shades of sky. I always am pulling my phone out to take pictures of the beauty I discover in ordinary spaces… the flower growing through a fence, peeking its bloom out at the world, refusing to be boxed in… the hummingbird protecting her territory, fierce with her boundaries… the moon suddenly framed by the palm trees for just a moment before the it’s hidden again by clouds.
    Thank you for this. Life has been so very hard this past year and so it is these small gifts of beauty that have truly sustained me when my faith is at it’s lowest ebb.

    • Oh Melissa. This is exquisite. You’re a beautiful writer, and thinker. Like you, I love pulling out my phone and taking random shots of God’s beauty in creation.

  7. Almost a year ago my dad passed after a long illness. The day after he passed in AZ there was the most glorious sunrise where we lived in MN with the sun’s rays forming a heart in the sky. There was no doubt in my mind it was God and my dad telling us he was ok and wit Jesus. A true blessing of nature in a difficult time.

    • Oh Beth. That’s really beautiful. Thank you for sharing about that beautiful sunset. Where in Minnesota are you? We just returned from one of our favorite places on earth — a little cabin near Longville.

  8. Heading to my best friends brothers funeral today, and I am going to be sure to take the time to look for God’s beauty & kindness in the midst of grief. Thank you for sharing your heart. If you could, please keep me and the Thompson family in prayer – we would be thankful.

  9. We have a spot in the woods by a lake we stay at during the summer, so every day I’m thankful for all the beauty God gives my soul. My favorite is the hummingbirds. Each morning as I drink my coffee and watch them, they remind that if God cares for the tiniest creature, he cares for me.

  10. It’s so funny that I am reading this devotional the morning after my family and I rewatched Disney Pixar’s “Soul”. If you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t spoil it, but there’s a part in the movie where a certain character appreciates the ordinary things in life. It is a moving moment.

    I experience every day beauty differently from the other members of my family, and I am so thankful that God shows me his kindness in things like the orchid in my office that has just started blooming. Believe me, I do not have a green thumb, but I have taken care of this orchid like a mother takes care of a child. I was so happy to see new blooms beginning to appear, and announced their appearance to everyone in my home.

    God’s extraordinary kindness in my ordinary days is amazing!

  11. Thank you Jennifer. I love your words today. Thank you for sharing all the beautiful memories of a beautiful friend.
    I love that God “whispers” all things nature to me every single day. It fills me with gratitude.
    “God uses ordinary things to show us His extraordinary kindness”…. SO TRUE!
    My daughter and her family live in Iowa and every time you write a post and share the flowers, snow, chickens and weeds…lol…
    I think warmly of them. Have a blessed day

  12. Oh friend. God’s kindness is so creative, so relentless. What a gift that we not only get to receive His kindness but also partner with Him, like Reagan did when she followed that nudge!

  13. Thanks for writing this! Really true and a beautiful story. I love reading stories like this.

  14. Jennifer,

    God shows His kindness in so many ways. We just need to slow down long enough to recognize them. I believe God is trying His best to get our society to notice the beauty surrounding them. While you have pretty ditch flowers I have the great Smokey Mountains to enjoy. Mountains speak of God’s strong, steadfast protection from enemies. Everything in nature speaks of His loving kindness. Let’s commit to slowing down long enough to see the beauty before us!

    Blessings 🙂

  15. Jennifer
    How sweetly your words brought a smile to my heart today! God’s most thrilling greeting of my day are the breathtaking colors scattered across the country meadows. They seem to pop out of nowhere (but I know from whence they come)! Wildflowers- colors as varied as the many spools of thread in a fabric store! They bloom along our Texas roadsides and in the meadows and prairie fields. their stems and petals waving in the breeze — calling to be gathered into a bouquet to carry HIs love to the center of our table where all the family can pause a few minutes to thank Him for his enduring love. There are ‘no weeds’ in God’s garden, only unidentified stems and blooms waiting to spread a blanket of color across our day!

    Maryetta