Big changes coming at JenniferDukesLee.com

May 8, 2018 | Blogging, It's All Under Control, Tell His Story, writing | 69 comments

It was late on a Monday night in 2008. I opened up the laptop, and wrote these words:

“I want heartburn. I pray that it’s chronic. When I first fell in love with Jesus, it was as if God lit a match in my heart and said, OK, watch this. Let’s see what happens next. That’s what I want all the days of my life — a heart that burns for Him. Chronic, holy heartburn. ‘Did not our heart burn within us while he talked with us by the way’ (Luke 24:32).”

And then I hit publish.

That was my first blog post, one decade ago. Approximately two people read it. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

There have been thousands of blog posts since then, and those blog posts led to two published books, and another book and a Bible study on the way!

This blog has gone through so many transitions and name changes and growing pains since those very early days of blogging. As my blog grew up, so did my faith. This is the place where I made sense of what my own life was saying to me. Writing has always helped me sort things out.

In its early days, my blog was a place where I chronicled my family’s daily happenings, trips to the zoo, maddeningly sleepless nights with little kids, and my own search for meaning.

Throwback photo from early years of blogging.

Then, it became a place where I showed up — not primarily to tell my story — but to Tell His Story. With a weekly blog linkup, thousands of other bloggers over the years have shared their stories in that linkup, and I’ve done my best to honor those writers by featuring one of them every week in the sidebar of my blog.

So many of you have become heart-friends because of this space. Here are a few of the friends I’ve made through those early years of blogging.

Throwback to the days before Ann Voskamp (left) wrote her book, One Thousand Gifts. At right, the amazing Deidra Riggs.

 

Many of my early blogging friends were colleagues at TheHighCalling.org. Let me know in the comments if you remember The High Calling!

 

This blogging community has banded together to raise thousands upon thousands of dollars for projects in Haiti.

 

The (in)courage writing team back in 2015-ish. Sorry to Lisa-Jo Baker and Renee Swope for posting a picture where neither of you are looking at the camera. And sorry, Karina Allen, for the bad crop, at right!

 

I’ve tried to embrace change along the way. Blogging has evolved so much since those early days. Change has come again to this place. And it’s got me feeling sentimental, a bit tender, kinda weepy … and very excited.

Here’s what’s coming: 

NEW WEBSITE: Over the next few months, my blog will go quiet as Ted Barnett and I work behind the scenes to transform this space into something that will serve you best, as you walk through the daily challenges of life. This summer, we will open the doors to a brand new website, where you will continue to find stories that will offer encouragement and hope.

MORE RESOURCES AND FUN CHALLENGES: In this space, you’ll soon be invited to open the doors to new rooms, with free resources, fun challenges, and more. All of that takes time to create, so I need to quietly slip away and make all of this very special for you. (If you want to be notified about what’s coming, please subscribe by clicking here. Subscribers will be the first to know.)

A BIBLE STUDY: While we make changes to this website, I’ll also be preparing videos that will accompany my brand new Bible study, a six-week companion to my forthcoming book, It’s All Under Control. Writing that Bible study was truly life-changing. I pray that it will bring peace and sanity to your life, like it did mine. Over the next month, I will be working hard to put together the best video content I possibly can for you.

(And yes, you can preorder the Bible study and the book! The teaching videos will be FREE! So make plans now to take this study with your girlfriends in the fall. It will be available September 18.)

THE LAST CHAPTER FOR “TELL HIS STORY”: Sadly, these changes mean that, after five years of hosting Tell His Story, I will no longer be hosting the linkup. You’ll find the last linkup below. For those of you who have been linking all these years — or perhaps just recently — thank you for telling His story so beautifully. Your words are giving people hope in a world that feels pretty crazy. Please don’t stop. Your stories make such a difference in so many lives, and have made such a difference in mine. If you’re looking for another blogging linkup community, I recommend the Wednesday linkup on the blog of author Holley Gerth.  

These are a few of the early Tell His Story bloggers — Paula Gamble, Amy Breitmann, Tammy Hendricksmeyer.

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH: While I won’t be over here on the blog much in the next couple months, I will be offering daily encouragement on my Facebook page and on Instagram.

Meanwhile, if you think of me, or if you see my avatar on social media, would you say a prayer for me, for this ministry, and for the content I’m creating? I want to serve you in the ways that are most helpful to the challenges you face. And I want to do it in a way that honors Jesus, above all.

One thing remains unchanged: I still want a heart that beats like this: Jesus … Jesus … Jesus.  I still want chronic, holy Heartburn. 

Love you to pieces,

Jennifer

#TellHisStory

Each week for the last several years, I have hosted an encouraging community of bloggers who are telling their stories around the web and across the world. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT) on my blog. This will be our final linkup.

Each week, I have featured one of the writers in our #TellHisStory community. Our final featured writer is Jeanne Takenaka. She wrote about comparison, calling, and God’s timing. I’d love to encourage you to visit her space today! Find Jeanne here.

xo Jennifer


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69 Comments

  1. JeanneTakenaka

    Awww, Jennifer. I’m so excited for what the next chapter looks like for you! I’ve only been linking up here for a few months, but man, it’s been such a great place to “hang out.” I’ve so appreciated your stories and how you make God known through your words. And, it’s been fun to meet up with other writers here. Thank you for providing this place for so many of us!

    I will be praying for you in the weeks and months to come. And looking for you on Facebook and Instagram. And thank you for featuring me today. I’m truly humbled.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Jeanne, I’ve absolutely loved having you be a part of this community. It was fun to feature you on this … the last week of the linkup. You are a gifted communicator, and I’m grateful for the ways your encourage. God bless you… and I’ll see you over on social media, until we get this place shaped up again! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Anita

    Aww! I’m sad to see the #TellHisStory link up go away, but so excited for your new ventures! May God go with you and may the Holy Spirit be with you as you experience growing pains and work out your new plans!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I am so sad, too, Anita. You’ve been such a treasured voice in this community. I am excited for new beginnings, but a little sentimental over what’s being left behind. So much love to you, friend. Thank you for always being here.

      Reply
  3. Tara Ulrich

    I too am sad to see #TellHisStory go away but I totally understand. Prayers (and also excitement) for this new venture for you my friend. You are a gift and I cannot wait until our paths cross someday in real life. Blessings!!!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I was so sad to write that section of this blog post. So many fun new things ahead, but it breaks my heart to stop the linkup. Thank you for your encouragement, your good words on the web, your powerful ministry. You are a treasure, Tara.

      Reply
  4. Susan

    I do remember the High Calling. And, I think this is all very exciting. I am a lover of change so Hear! Hear! Change is in the air! xo I’ll be seeing you on IG and FB!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Yay! I loved the High Calling, and have so many fond memories of it. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead, and trying not to get TOO sentimental over what is being left behind. Here’s to new beginnings!

      Reply
      • Susan

        Was it Dr. Seuss or Winnie the Pooh? “Don’t cry because it’s over; Smile because it happened!” You will be just fine my young friend!

        Reply
  5. Rachel Lee

    So sad to see this LinkUp go, but EXCITED for what’s coming!!!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh Rachel … I was sad too. It’s been so fun creating this little space for our community. I am looking forward to new beginnings, but it isn’t without a bittersweet feeling.

      Reply
  6. Theresa Boedeker

    So much excitement and adventure coming this summer for you. I will be praying for all your projects, Jennifer. It has been fun linking up here and getting to know you through your blog and comments. Excited to return and visit the rooms when your website is once again open. Thanks for your encouragement and pointing us to our maker.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I’m so excited, but of course, it’s bittersweet. I treasure your voice in this community. I’ll be back soon. Meantime, I’ll be on my social media accounts most every day, encouraging and engaging in community.

      Reply
  7. Tiffiney Holmes

    Wow! The last link up??? Glad I made it out to today’s party. 🙂 This all sounds so exciting, Jennifer! I’m so happy for you. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this blogging community and I can’t wait to see the reveal of your new blog and to see what God has in store for it. Thank you for being such a gracious hostess all of these weeks.

    Blessings,
    Tiffiney | Welcome Home Ministry

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I know! WAAAHHHH! I have been dreading this moment, even though I knew for a while that it was coming, that I would need to make the space in my life to do what God is calling me to do in this season. Here’s to new beginnings!

      Reply
  8. Teresa

    Thank you for providing the link up for so long. Looking forward to seeing the new site when you unveil it. God bless you! 🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I have so enjoyed this community, and believe that the connections made can continue in different ways. Here’s to new beginnings, while appreciating what has come before. Hugs to you, Teresa.

      Reply
  9. Beth

    Congrats, Jennifer, on this next chapter! Thank you for the linkups and be blessed, my friend!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Beth! Keep writing. Keep encouraging. You are a blessing!

      Reply
  10. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Ah. . . . Ecclesiastes… there is a time and season for everything. I’m so glad it doesn’t mean you will not be writing or blogging. I love how the Lord is using you and your gift Jennifer. I’m eager to witness the next phase, and thank you for all the time and effort it will take to make these changes. I love how I just “randomly” ran across you one day, and your blog and others opened up to me a whole new world of writing to which I had not been exposed (as a traditionally published author). And now, you are both blogger and trade-book published! Yay! And in following you, I love the side benefit of having met your beautiful family virtually and you in real-time twice!! You are as beautiful in person as you are online, both inside and out. As for HC, I wish I had had the opportunity to visit that gorgeous retreat center or to write w/ them. They published a piece of mine, and then, they were suddenly no more. Thank you for continuing on in this gratifying, if sometimes difficult calling, and sharing the Good News of Jesus near and far. That is reward enough for doing it, huh?
    All my love,
    Lynn

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I can’t NOT write. I just am needing to take the time to write and plan for the projects that God has placed before me right now. Those videos, some challenges, and more. I can’t wait to open up this space and tell you more. Soon! xo

      Reply
  11. Karrilee Aggett

    I love you so… and I will miss the #TellHisStory tribe! I am oh so thankful for how you said yes and let God build it here in this space! Super excited for what is next… praying for you, sweet friend!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I love you too. You are gifted at being a cheerleader and an encourager, and I’m so glad that God crossed our paths. Looking forward to staying connected, both on social media, and on our blogs/websites. More coming soon! Love you.

      Reply
  12. Mary

    I have loved every minute in this space. You have taught me so much by opening your arms wide to this community. I love your heart for God and also see how He wants to use it for so much more. I will miss this “family” and am feeling a bit sad too as we say “goodbye” to what was but “hello” for all to come. Praying for you in this season of transition as you move to the new and get ready to launch another new book and Bible study.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh Mary, Thank you so much for being here. You know how much I treasure you. Can’t wait to open the doors to new and exciting things here in the future. Blessings to you as you bless people in your circles of influence! Love ya.

      Reply
  13. lindalouise

    I remember the hike at Laity Lodge, when you walked beside me. You are a pure delight. I am so proud of the good work you’ve done and the way your heart and your words and all that you are reflect Jesus. I’m waiting excitedly for the next leg of the journey and so honored to be able to be with you on it.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I remember it, too, Linda! In fact, as I was going through old photos to use in this post, I came across some of the images! I love you, Linda, and am so glad that God thought to connect us via the Interwebs. Here’s to new beginnings, while treasuring old friends, too.

      Reply
  14. Michele Morin

    I feel like a late comer to the party, and yet I’ve appreciated the community and your open-hearted sharing each week. Every blessing to you in this new and exciting phase of your ministry!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I so appreciate you, Michele. You’ve been such a treasured part of this community. I can’t wait to open the doors to something new and fresh and exciting for you. I have so many words of hope and encouragement that I want to share in the years ahead, God-willing.

      Reply
  15. David Rupert

    Jennifer, if I believe we were very early blogging buddies. Your guest post at Red Letter Believers was your first and you gave me the return honor at Getting Down With Jesus. And then we served together for those wonderful years at the High Calling. We’ve all been very proud of the way your words have grown and impacted so many others. Excited to see the changes coming!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      VERY early. I think maybe even within the first few weeks of blogging, is when I came across your blog, David, … and it was most likely through The High Calling. I miss those times. Like Jody said here in the comments, in Internet years, that feels like a galaxy away! The delivery of our words is changing so fast, and it can be hard to keep up. I choose to embrace this new beginning, while fondly remember the days we’ve shared together in the past.

      Reply
  16. Betsy Cruz

    Oh Jennifer, these changes sound wonderful! May the Lord bless and guide you and your ministry! I already subscribe, so I’ll get your update when it happens. <3 Love to you.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I’m so excited, Betsy. And yes, a little scared. Kinda shaking in my boots, but feel like blogging is changing so much, and I need to be prepared to change, so that I can reach people in the most effective way possible. Love you.

      Reply
  17. JViola79

    Jennifer, this all sounds so wonderful and sure to bless many. May God be with you, guiding you as you seek His Words to tell His story in the days ahead! Blessings!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I’m excited to share more in the weeks/months ahead. Thanks for being such a treasured part of this community, friend. You’re so dear to me.

      Reply
  18. KristinHillTaylor

    So thankful for your journey that you’ve included us on! You know I’m excited about your new book and whatever God is going to lead you to do. Love you, my friend. xo

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Here’s to new beginnings! Thanks for being such a great friend, Kristin. Love you.

      Reply
  19. Stacey Pardoe

    Thank you for creating this space for us to share our words, Jennifer. Our paths crossed briefly last summer at She Speaks, and you are a woman of grace and dignity. Your commitment to walk well with God and love others shines through you, whether through the words you write to the world or through the way you live out your faith in the world. Thank you for blessing me so richly!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Stacey! I appreciate you so many. Are you going to She Speaks again? I had a great time last year.

      Reply
  20. Tammy Kennington

    I felt teary just reading your words this morning, Jennifer. May the Father bless the work He has called you to as you continue to follow after Him. Thank you for inviting us into your heart and for sharing story with us!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I felt teary writing this words, Tammy! Thanks for being here. I can’t wait to open the doors wide open to a new beginning. I hope you’ll join me!

      Reply
  21. C. Hazelwood

    Thank you Jennifer, both for the blog and for the exciting new challenges ahead. I have a question, though. If we are already subscribed to your blog, do we need to subscribe again?

    I’ve really been happy to get a glimpse into your life as a farm wife and some of the struggles you have dealt with in God’s grace.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hey friend … No worries. You won’t need to subscribe again. Since you’re already a subscriber, you’ll be the first to know when the doors open wide again. Thanks for being with me all this time. You’re awesome. Here’s to new beginnings!

      Reply
  22. Rebecca

    So excited for all the good things God has in store for you and this space! With every change of season there is a bit of loss that lingers, but the beauty of what is coming quickly realigns our focus to all that is good!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Rebecca. I cherish you, and am looking forward to bringing you something new and fresh and fun in the weeks/months ahead. A new beginning!

      Reply
  23. Jody Ohlsen Collins

    Dear Jennifer, yes, I remember the folks at the High Calling well. You were one of the first Christian bloggers to welcome me into the blogosphere in 2012, which, in internet years was in another galaxy it seems. You and many HC folks were early cheerleaders of mine.
    I also remember the Getting Down With Jesus link ups from back in the day. Wow. Thank you for making space for me to share my “Preapproved” post on your blog w a y back when “Love Idol” first released.
    Hard to believe you’re on book 3. What does God have in store next? I can’t wait to find out.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You’re so right. It is like a galaxy away in Internet years, isn’t it? Things are changing so fast. I remember when The High Calling seemed like THE place to hang out as a blogger. So many bloggers got their start by gathering there. I miss it, but am also grateful that God provides us with new and exciting ways to connect. Love you, Jody.

      Reply
  24. Lisa notes

    Thank you, Jennifer, for five years of your faithfulness to this community! You’ve been a wonderful hostess. I will miss this group, but I look forward to the new things that God is going to be up to! Blessings to you, friend.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Lisa. You’ve been here for the entirety of it, I think. And I’m so grateful for that. I see this as a new beginning, a necessary change, and it has brought a fresh wind to my writing sails!

      Reply
  25. Debbie Kitterman

    Congratulations on the soon to come new website and all the exciting things going on with you. This is a time and season when the winds of change are beginning to blow for many of us. It is an exciting time for sure 🙂 Blessings and thanks for the fun community to linkup to each week

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I’ve known that I needed to make this change for a while, but I’ve got to tell you…. The linkup community made it so hard to make the change. I didn’t want to break up this fun group! I hope everyone will come back when we get the dust out of the corners, and bring something fresh to this space!

      Reply
      • Debbie Kitterman

        Jennifer, I can understand, the community and connection with others is why we do what we do 🙂 I am sure that we will all come back when your space and site has been refreshed, not to worry. You are an encouragement to many! It really is an exciting time and besides who doesn’t want to be a part of the fresh! ?? yay.

        Reply
  26. Sue Donaldson

    super duper – will stay in touch for sure and I love that first blog post prayer – burning alongside. will send your Bible study info to our ministry leader. xx (yes, a new website will be fab ) s.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I’m so excited, Sue, and so grateful for your behind-the-scenes thoughts on one of the pieces I’m preparing. Grateful! … P.S. — That Bible study is 6 weeks, and will have video content with it!

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, dear. 🙂

      Reply
  27. Rebecca Presnell

    Congratulations! While change is scary and big and messy, it can also be exciting! You have touched my heart in so many ways through the ministry of your blog, just as you have for so many people. I’m excited to see what changes lie in store for you and this space, and blessed to be here to witness it. I’ll still be part of the FB and Instagram tribe, as always! And I’m always praying for you, and will add your specific requests to my daily lineup! Much love my friend!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh Rebecca… I’m so glad to see your smiling face here. You’ve been such a dear soul to me. I’m excited and nervous and scared and …. yes, it’s messy, too! But I hope to clear the cobwebs, dust off some corners, and start something new and fresh!

      Reply
  28. Leslie

    Jennifer, thank you so much for your link up! I just want you to know how much I’ve appreciate it. Very excited for all you new ventures! Blessings to you! <3

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I’m so glad you’ve been a part of our community here, and I pray that you’ll find more encouragement here in the months and years ahead. Blogging has changed so much, and I want to serve my readers in the best way that I possibly can!

      Reply
  29. Lisa Appelo @True and Faithful

    You have a beautiful space, a generous heart, amazing creativity and I can’t wait to see how God continues to work through all of it. Thank you for being one of the first link-ups I found and cheering on fellow writers. I know where to find you! 😉

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I have loved having you along for the journey. This isn’t the end … but, I pray, a new and exciting beginning. Stay tuned, and thanks for being such a great blogging friend.

      Reply
  30. Caryn Jenkins Christensen

    Your blog has been so much more than an inspiration to me. Your words have soothed me, taught me, and exhorted me in a way that is uniquely yours. I am SO excited for you and for this new season God has called you to. You are often in my prayers along with your mama and dad. xoxo

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I love you, Caryn, and I’m so excited for what’s ahead. Nervous … but excited. The blogging world has changed so much, and people’s preferences have changed. I want to meet them where they are, offering words that continue to bring hope and healing. This is my prayer. And thanks for being such a faithful prayer warrior and friend to our family.

      Reply
  31. Diane Bailey

    I’m so excited for you Jennifer. I remember the first time you commented on my blog post as, Jennifer from Getting Down With Jesus!

    God has moved mightly through you to those of us around you.

    Praying that He continues to open Divine doors for you to walk through.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      We go back practically to the dark ages, don’t we, darling? I love that our friendship has continued to grow and grow.

      Reply
  32. Maree Dee

    Jennifer – Sorry if this is a duplicate comment. I am so excited to see what kind of spectacular you will have when you unveil your new site. Thank you for hosting the link-up, it has been one of my favorite places to join each week. I will miss this place but know the next will be good. Praying for you as you transition.

    Reply
  33. Nancy Ruegg

    So exciting to see your ministry unfurl, Jennifer. May you fly on the wings of the Spirit!

    Reply
  34. Lynn Mosher

    (I could have sworn I left you a message. Couldn’t go without that!) I’m so excited for you, Jennifer. You are a precious soul and I know God has such great plans for you. I love all that you’re doing. I loved being a part of High Calling, though I wasn’t a part of the retreat. Sad to see it go. I look forward to seeing all your efforts of obedience unfold. I know whatever you do will be a blessing to many. May the Lord continue to bless you outrageously! 😀

    Reply

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