That Day I Answered the Phone and Discovered a Beautiful Gift

“Is this the author Lucinda Secrest McDowell?” came the lovely southern voice at the other end of the phone. I had been tempted not to answer. In my daily ritual of decompressing after a busy day at high school, I was sitting on the porch, drinking strong Earl Grey tea and — to be honest —  feeling a bit discouraged. “Yes…. this is Lucinda,” I tentatively answered. Polly Jo introduced herself as one of my…

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I Now Answer to the Name “Beloved”

“I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.” (Romans 9.25 MSG)           I remember the moment I finally got up enough nerve to say aloud “I am God’s Beloved.”  Now this is my primary identity.           After half a lifetime of wrestling with unworthiness, I finally received the gift the above scripture speaks of —  God’s unconditional love that transforms those who feel unloved and forgotten…

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Where Does A Writer Find Encouragement?

“Cindy, God has given you a gift of writing, and it is your duty to write for Him!” Imagine being only 26-years-old and personally hearing those words from Elisabeth Elliot—respected mentor, international speaker and author of more than thirty books. I had already felt a nudging from God on this path of writing, but her words helped confirm and encourage me further. Needless to say, I was a bit daunted, but also energized to pursue…

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That Time a Nest was My Refuge

I awaken to the sound of heavy rain encompassing me. This second floor sleeping porch contains one piece of furniture – a large bed surrounded on three sides by floor to ceiling windows, setting me high amongst the trees. Sliding down into the soft sheets, I pull up the covers, thankful for my cozy refuge from the outside world. Nothing, it seems, can touch me here. For the first time in my life, I have…

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“Heaven Is Going to Be Wonderful, You Know?”

sharing words from Dr. Stephen A. Hayner LSM Note: Our dear friend, Steve Hayner, president of Columbia Theological Seminary (and former president of InterVarsity, dean at Seattle Pacific University and pastor at University Presbyterian in Seattle) and his wife Sharol live in Atlanta. Steve officiated at Inka’s Seattle memorial service back in 1981 (Mike’s late wife) and also preached our own wedding sermon in Menlo Park CA in 1984. Our daughter Fiona and their daughter…

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Honest Letter to a November Bride

Dearest one, Only 10 days until your wedding – Woo Hoo! Our entire family is thrilled to join you both for this momentous celebration and I rejoice that God has brought you together for a lifetime of marriage. What a rich heritage you have — grandparents married 62 years and your own parents for 37 (and counting.) Marriage is a huge Gift. It is also extremely difficult at times. May I be perfectly honest? Will…

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“In My Life, I’ve Loved Them All”

I only learned a few things during my four years at Furman University: how to read critically believe radically write creatively think deeply share intimately celebrate spontaneously help compassionately dwell communally explore courageously I only learned how to embrace life and pursue my dreams. Nothing big. Only everything that matters when you’ve just turned 21. And you’re driving out the gate into the Real World with a diploma in your hand and an editorial job at…

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A Celebration of Words

This month we had two ‘births’ in our family. The most important one was the birth of my first grandchild which, even now, leaves me in awe and gratitude and wonder…. For that birth I was content to celebrate quietly by spending a week just holding little Saoirse in my arms. However, I’m also quite excited for the ‘birth’ of another heart dream – my new book “Live These Words” (which was celebrated far more…

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