In a world of instant gratification, what would happen if you learned about growing slow instead of growing fast? This book and companion Bible study will help you find the growth pace you need for an unhurried life.
I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
Why the Rush?
Name your goals, avoid drift, find success, climb the ladder, hustle, and strive as if your life depends on it. But does it? Does your life really depend on all of those things? Making plans, having schedules, crossing things off your list, and accomplishing goals can all help you with productivity. But sometimes in the overwhelming hustle of life, we lose sight of ancient rhythms. Rhythms which remind us God has a plan for us and our growth.
By Jennifer Dukes Lee, Zondervan, May 2021, 272 pages.
While everyone extols the virtues of working hard, hustling often, and achieving goals, Jennifer Dukes Lee takes a look at what happens when we take such advice to heart. Instead of the success we’ve always dreamed of, we end up-soul-weary and self-condemning. She knows because she’s tried the recipes for success, too.
But one morning the author realized maybe God had a different plan in mind. A plan involving slow and natural growth—the kind of growth she witnessed season after season on her family’s farm. Growing Slow: Lessons on Un-hurrying Your Heart From an Accidental Farm Girl is a deep dive into the kind of growth God wants for his children—slow, steady, meaningful, and lasting. This kind of growth produces the right fruit in season. The kind of growth that doesn’t kick its heels at the fallow seasons or compare itself with the neighbor’s crops.
Each part of the book focuses on the growing seasons—both in our lives and on the farm. At the end of each chapter, the author provides reflection questions that help the reader internalize the lessons of growing slow. If you’ve grown soul-weary and burned out, this book will show you a new way to grow and bloom.
By Jennifer Dukes Lee, Bethany House, May 2021, 128 pages.
The Bible study provides the perfect in-depth companion to Growing Slow. Individuals may use the book alone, or as part of a small group. The six sections, intended to take a week to study, follow the same pattern. A key Bible passage, My Land, Your Land, The Holy Land, Un-Hurry Your Heart, and Prayer.
The My Land section introduces readers to the author’s story of learning from the land during the different seasons. You Land provides space for readers to reflect on their own struggles and how those struggles have shaped us. In The Holy Land section, readers take a deep dive into our spiritual ancestors. Readers can reflect on the week’s lessons and apply them to their everyday life in the Un-Hurry Your Heart section. The author offers a prayer at the end of each lesson.
I especially appreciate the short leader’s guide at the end of the book, as well as the videos that accompany the lessons. Even if you’ve never lead a small group book study, you’ll feel equipped and ready to lead out after reading the guide and seeing all of the materials the author has made available.
Why I Love These Books
I have a problem with living a hurried life. At times in my life, I’ve suffered from the soul-sickness the author describes. Soul-sickness that had physical effects, too. These books remind me of the importance of allowing God time and space to work in my life. They remind me I don’t have to orchestrate my growth nor my growing seasons. I DO need to show up, though, with a heart receptive to instruction and growth. Even if the growth looks like nothing I ever imagined.