Saturday, July 10, 2021

Growing Slow

 Title: Growing Slow: Lessons on Un-hurrying Your Heart From an Accidental Farm Girl

Author: Jennifer Dukes Lee

Publisher: Zondervan

Genre: Christian Nonfiction, Christian Living

My Review:

I am not a huge fan of jumping on a bandwagon. But, I kept seeing this book, Growing Slow, floating around Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I found myself drawn to it, so I bought it. I am so thankful that I did. I have been reading it for the last few weeks as part of my devotional time and it has valuable and timely messages.

I have never read anything else by Jennifer, but I enjoyed her engaging, conversational writing style and know that I will be reading more from her in the future. 

"This isn't a book that will move you upward, but one that will move you inward, to the heart of things."

This book grabbed me from the introduction and held my attention to the end. I wanted to inhale it immediately, but I forced myself to read slowly to soak it all in. I can tell you know that this review is not going to give the book justice because I am still struggling to assimilate and form all my thoughts. I already want to read the book again.

"Jennifer," the doctor said, "this is a severe case of stress. All the signs are there: low energy, insomnia, anxiety, overwhelm, an overloaded mind."

Several of Jennifer's stories resonated with me. The quote above this paragraph is one of them. The quote below is as well. I probably highlighted half of the book. Jennifer divides the book into four seasons (appropriate, don't you think?), and then has 4-6 chapters that correlate with that season. She shares personal stories, personal triumphs, as well as failures.  You can feel the heart behind the words and I so appreciate that with a writer. She is not just telling you what she feels, you can feel what she feels.

"I needed to let go of the belief that I was behind or that I should have been further along by then. 

I had a hurried heart. And I had to do something to un-hurry it.

I needed to learn how to grow slow."

I pulled a few quotes from the book that were timely or memorable to me. They may not be relevant to you, but then again, maybe they will resonate with you as well. I have been on this journey to be present rather than distracted, purposely choosing to slow down and take things off my plate, so this book touched some deep parts of my heart.

"Maybe we all need permission to dial it back, instead of instruction on how to rev it all up."

The quote below is from the chapter "When a dream dies." It was especially timely as I had literally just had a dream die. I do not know if it is for now, or for good, but it is still raw and tender and not something I want to talk about. BUT, God is good and this quote was an excellent reminder, right when I needed it.

"God doesn't always give us what we want in our personal seasons of harvest, but he's distinguished himself as sovereign, giving us what we actually need."

I enjoyed Growing Slow and highly recommend it to anyone with the desire to do less to be more. If you are looking for a book that gives you permission to slow down, this is it. Growing Slow is not written in a preachy way, it's more like sitting across from your friend, drinking coffee, and having a good conversation. I don't know what else to say, except I highly recommend getting your own physical copy, grab your favorite highlighter, settle in a comfy chair and enjoy the book.


Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Enter a simpler way of living by unhurrying your heart, embracing the relaxed rhythms of nature, and discovering the meaningful gift of growing slow. 

We long to make a break from the fast pace of life, but if we're honest, we're afraid of what we'll miss if we do. Yet when going big and hustling hard leaves us stressed, empty, and out of sorts, perhaps this can be our cue to step into a far more satisfying, sustainable pace. In this crafted, inspiring read, beloved author Jennifer Dukes Lee offers a path to unhurried living by returning to the rhythm of the land and learning the ancient art of Growing Slow. 

Jennifer was once at breaking point herself, and tells her story of rude awakening to the ways her chosen lifestyle of running hard, scaling fast, and the never ending chase for results was taking a toll on her body, heart, and soul. But when she finally gave herself permission to believe it takes time to grow good things, she found a new kind of freedom. With eloquent truths and vivid storytelling, Jennifer reflects on the lessons she learned from living on her fifth-generation family farm and the insights she gathered from the purposeful yet never rushed life of Christ. Growing Slow charts a path out of the pressures of bigger, harder, faster, and into a more rooted way of living where the growth of good things is deep and lasting. 

Following the rhythms of the natural growing season, Growing Slow will help you:

Find the true relief that comes when you stop running and start resting in Jesus
Learn practices for unhurrying your heart and mind every day
Let go of the pressure and embrace the small, good things already bearing fruit in your life
And engage slow growth through reflection prompts and simple application steps

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