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
& you will too!
Find more at DaySpring.com
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Jennifer, I could not love this more! This makes my heart long for more Doris’s in the world while reminding me that it’s possible to fulfill that longing by *being* a Doris in our daily lives.

    A Doris in my life is my friend Elise. No matter what’s happening in her own life, what trials she is facing, she always has a word of truth and encouragement for others, and is intentional about reminding people that they are *so very loved* by God.

  2. Violet is our family’s Doris, and we know without a doubt that she loves us — unconditionally.
    This is such a gift in a culture that demands worthy-ness on every front. Of course, I don’t “deserve” to be loved in the way Violet loves me, but even God loved us “while we were yet sinners,” so I want to spread more Doris-esque love among the people I encounter.

  3. Jennifer,
    I wonder if you did a study, if you would find that people (like Doris) lived longer because they spent their lifetime sharing love?? I think hate, and cynicism, and judgment drain our lives, but when we build others up and encourage them, I believe God breathes life into us as well. I’ve had several Dorises….Jan, Maureen, Tedra. Oh that I would live a life that emulates theirs. Wonderful reminder, Jennifer!
    Bev xx

  4. Jennifer – thank you for this ‘LOVEly’ sharing – I am blessed to have a handful of Doris’s in my life – beginning with my first spiritual mother – Mrs Ruddick – she was a shining example as written in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 which speaks to LOVE coming alive – the miracle of Christ’s indwelling power is that the LOVE He revealed is exactly the love He will communicate to others through us!

  5. Jennifer,
    This is something that I really needed this morning. I am doing a “Love” theme in my blog for February and you just help me kick it off, and also I really need this for myself this morning. I asked God how am I suppose to feel loved by something I cannot touch, see, feel? So I trust Jesus will show up and he did through you this morning.
    We all need Doris in our lives, everyday! Thank you for being my Doris in this post!

  6. Jennifer, Love is THE most important, isn’t it? For GOD so LOVED the world that HE Gave HIS only begotten SON… GOD’s LOVE within us, does mean that we GIVE…
    Thank you so much for this perfect encouragement about what is most important to GOD and us all.
    And let’s always remember to not get too busy, rushed, overwhelmed with life and people outside our own family, that we forget the special LOVE our spouses, children, grandchildren, and other relatives need from us that only we can give, that affects their whole lives (including if they are able to love others)!
    Thank you so much, Jennifer, and GOD’s love blessings to you!

  7. Just last night I was missing my Mom, who’s name happened to be Doris, and who was also the card-sender and cheer-giver in our family. What a sweet confirmation from the Lord, to continue her sharing of God’s love to those around me. Thank you for this precious word this morning.

  8. Oh and PS…Don’t forget your parents deserve and need love, if they are still living. Mine passed into eternity 4 and 5 years ago, and I do not regret any time or love I poured on them, would I could have more. In this day and age, they are often at the bottom of the list of being loved by their grown children. I was so pleased to read about all your caring love for your Mom in the hospital, Jennifer!

    • NJ,

      I totally agree!! Our parents need & deserve our love and attention. They cared for us now it is our turn to help them out. I don’t regret the time I spent with my dad. It required I quit my full-time job. No work or income for 15 months. My main job was to assist in the care of my aging dad. He went to be with Jesus March 2017. We had good, bad & hard days.


    • Yes! I am in the thick of this right now, with Mom in the hospital and Dad living with us. We have remarked so often about all the seniors who don’t have family to help them through the healing.

  9. Jennifer, what a beautiful story of a beautiful life lived! Imagine my surprise opening my email this morning and reading “Be a Doris”, for obvious reasons! I aspire to carry on her name with honor by loving people well. I have several Doris’ in my life and cherish their wisdom and joyful attitudes. Sounds like Doris made a major impact while here on earth and her voice is living on through you!

  10. Jennifer,
    Thank-you for writing this lovely post and a chance to openly share the Doris’s that have graced our lives. I’m thankful to of been blessed with the few that have touched my heart in their own loving ways.
    blessings to all,

  11. Yes, yes and yes again Jennifer! My Doris’ name is Delia. She was a co-worker who always wore a smile on her face, gentleness in her eyes and love in her heart. In fact, she led me to Christ right at our workplace (in a bank). My prayer is to be SALT & LIGHT to radiate God’s glory and to be a Doris to someone. You said it, in this world full of cynicism, caring, compassion, kindness and openness are a welcomed reprieve from the hostility. Blessing to you.

    • I love this story, Tyra! We are crazy if we think ministry only happens in a church or Bible study! It happens in banks, too, go figure. Glad she deposited some love in her fellow bank employee, and no doubt, you do the same in others.

  12. Funny, because there was a woman named Doris in my church when i was a college student. She never married or had her own kids. When she found out I had lost my mom shortly before graduating from high school, she swept in and mothered me in all the best ways. I loved my Doris just as you did. The world needs more of them.

  13. Thank you, Jennifer, for reminding me what we all should aspire to be remembered for. To be that person who always shared God’s love with everyone. For me, there are many Dorises, but my best human example of this quality is a Fred. My sweet grandfather chats up everyone everywhere. Waiters, grocery store check out clerks, nurses. He always learns their names and leaves them feeling seen and loved by God. Thank you for this beautiful reminder to pursue this kind of life, as if our lives depended on it. God bless! Heather

  14. I grew up with a Doris in my life. She played a large role in my faith. My home life was difficult, but seeing her made me feel safe and loved. I had not seen “Doris” in many years, throughout that time I had made some unwise life decisions. I came across “Doris” one day and was ashamed to greet her as I was sure she puked have known about my past. She greeted me with the same unconditional love as always. Nothing had changed her view of me. It was a true picture of our Father when we sin and repent. He loves us unconditionally. Yes! We definitely need more Doris’s in our world. Thank you for sharing!

  15. To everyone reading this: GOD LOVES YOU!!! No matter your failure or what you’re going through right now. You can know: He only has your VERY BEST in mind! I know it’s something we hear (or tell ourselves) all the time, but it’s something we forget so easily.

    🙂 And there is someone sitting here and typing words on her computer that loves you LOTS too!

    PS: Think of how much you love the person in your life you love most. And then think: I am loved a million times more than that.

  16. Carmen is my Doris. She just radiates God’s love in a tangible way and it shows in and on her – she’s beautiful. I want to be like her.

  17. My Doris is Doris too my 88-year -old neighbor. She does all kinds of things to help others and she knows all about natural remedies. If you even hint you need something she finds a way to get it for you. She had neighbors from years ago call her and she always says I love you when they hang up. I am do blessed to have her in my life!

  18. I am a hospice volunteer. Right now I am on a Demetia unit. My client has never ever said my name. But yet she recognizes me. My visits with her are the hightlight of my week. I sit with her and one of the other patients. I have affectionately nicknamed us the Ladies Supper Club. I have come to realize that I truly am a doer and an encourager. I do the simplest things out of true love for them like cut up their meals for them. I don’t really have to do it fo one of the ladies but I do. It is through giving that I receive. I receive the waves in the air when they see me. I receive the shared laughter and joy they give me in sharing their memories of their past. I love these two women like they were my own family. But they are….We are sisters in Christ. Thank you Jennifer Dukes Lee for showing me how to take the Happiness Dare.

  19. Jennifer, thank you for sharing your Doris story! That’s so encouraging that it doesn’t have to be complicated to impact others positively. (My word this year is simplify!) My Doris is named Belle – she never married or had children, she’s a shut-in, suffers chronic pain, and she’s a prayer warrior. Before she gets out of bed everyday she prays for all her family. In a recent phone call, the first words out of her mouth were encouragement. I marvel at how upbeat she is, as much pain as she suffers. She exudes excitement for Jesus and has an infectious smile. She rarely discusses her health issues unless you ask. I told her I want to be like her when I grew up!

  20. My Doris is my Aunt Carolyn. She’s filled with grace and the love of God and shares it so easily with everyone. She loves to knit little kitchen cloths and gives them to anyone she sees, telling them when they use it to always remember that Jesus loves them. I do believe that God’s light shines so brightly on those that share His word, His love and the blessings they receive are a gift for all the blessings they give to those around them. I pray to be more like her and to provide that light to someone in need. This journey of life is more about what we can do for others, than the little dot our body actually is.

  21. My Doris is Emily. As long as I can remember she has had a card ministry, writing to and praying for, not just her church family but her extended church family, even though she is crippled by arthritis. I don’t know how she holds a pen. I want to be like that when I “grow up”.

  22. I feel like 2018 is the year to surround myself with as many people like Doris I can find. Thank you for the reminder.

  23. Wonderful post, Jennifer! Especially for me, as my mom’s name was Doris, and she too had a remarkable knack for making people feel seen and loved. She took an active interest in others, from the supermarket checker to the man who delivered her oxygen tanks. Through good eye contact and a sincere interest, I’m certain she made a difference. So I’m already commited to being a Doris, to being more like my mom, and you’ve given me even more inspiration.

  24. Jennifer,

    Daily I try to spread love, cheer & encouragement. I know a few workers at Walmart & always say hello with a smile. This world says me first-get yours & don’t worry about others. Everyone is doing their own thing. We have reached an all time high with hatred. I do my best to send encouraging cards, texts, emails. Hugs & smiles are my go to at church & in the world. I guess you could call me a mini Doris!

    Blessings 🙂

  25. Yes, this world so desperately needs to know it is loved. Thanks for this beautiful reminder. The Doris in my life was my dad. Since his death, my sister and son have stepped in and become Doris. Funny, but when someone says you are loved right now, it throws a lot of people off and they respond to you so much kinder and tender.

  26. I, too, want to be a Doris, a person who is “so sufficiently full of God’s grace [she] can’t help but leak love onto the people around [her]”. Love the image of someone aglow with God’s grace, leaving sparkles of love wherever she goes! Thank you for the inspiration, Jennifer.

  27. There’s a sweet retired teacher at our school that the kids call ‘Mama Bruce.’ She doesn’t answer the phone with ‘God loves you,’ but she gives great hugs and always has a kind word to say to even the naughtiest students.

  28. Jennifer, what a great post. I love the idea of “being a Doris” in another’s life. I’ve been very blessed to have women in my life who love me well and whom I get to love as well. Specifically, I have some “writerly friends,” and my “Go Through Life” friends.

    I need to be more intentional about loving the people who cross my path in the every day-ness of my life. I’m going to be thinking about Doris as I interact with people.

    Thank you for this, Jennifer.

  29. I love how you said, “together let’s tell the world it’s loved.” Makes me think of John 3:16.

  30. Oh, my dear Aunt Vi was my Doris. She went home to the arms of Jesus earlier this month. Oh, she was a LOVER! She never missed a chance to encourage me to be a good mother, and let me know how much I was loved. Looking forward to following in her footsteps and being that now for others.

  31. I love this post! We so need Dorises in our lives. I have been blessed to have a few over the course of my life. But more so, I pray that God would mold me to be more like Doris in the days ahead. Wonderful post!

  32. So true, Jennifer! You’ve given me the challenge to “be a Doris” today and everyday moving forward and I’m taking it! Thanks so much for this inspiring reminder of how we can influence the world for Christ!

  33. I knew a Doris. Bless her heart! And I know a Sheri- who just smiles a bright smile and makes you feel instantly at ease as you wait to get x-rays, an ultra-sound, or a biopsy. She’s been there to greet me- and my husband, my mother on other occasions- for several years. I know she loves God. Her greeting makes you sparkle all the way to your toes. and the world doesn’t know how much that is needed. Or how much they need to know that God loves them. Beautiful. There is certainly a lesson in that.

    Thanks Jennifer

  34. Jennifer,
    What an encouragement it has been to read your post about Doris and then the bonus of reading about all these other ones! I have been blessed with several Doris women in my life:
    My mom (Laura, who is 92), my sisters (Julie and Missy) who are like my mother in different ways and always such cheerleaders, my sister-in-laws (Barbara and Margaret) and two dear friends of more than 25 years, Beverly and Pat. Oh, God has so richly blessed me with these women who love Him and share His love so freely:)
    I pray that I will bless all who I meet with the love that has been lavished on me!