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.

Artists Kristina & Polly Jo

Polly Jo introduced herself as one of my readers from Raleigh, North Carolina and then spent the next few minutes saying how much my one-word-a-day devotional “Dwelling Places” was ministering to heart and soul.

“In fact, my dear friend Kristina and I have just finished art-journaling all 40 of your words from the Lenten section ‘Renew,’” she concluded.

“Why that’s amazing! I’m not really even sure what art-journaling is,” I confessed.

“After reading that day’s devotion, we sit with the word, meditate on it, and then creatively pull in all kinds of mixed media to portray our thoughts and promptings as a picture in our journals,” Polly Jo explained. “Would you like to see some of our pages from those words?”

Of course I would. And when she sent them to me, they were exquisite expressions of how God had reached into the soul of a teachable woman and prodded her with One Simple Word.

How could I not share some of Polly Jo and Kristina’s creations with YOU, my readers? Here are a few from ‘Renew’ section.

Then, in late May I received word that these precious Raleigh women had decided to spend this summer going through the ‘Grow’ section of  “Dwelling Places” and art-journaling each word.  So here are a few from this summer.

Don’t you just love how God created us all so uniquely – with gifts that compliment one another? Gifts that differ and yet are used to help build the Body of Christ?

I am so grateful that my two new friends – Polly Jo and Kristina – followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to call a complete stranger and thank her for writing a book that is being used in their lives.

Do you even know how humbling this is for me?

And another thing, after a school day with noisy teenagers, when I am out on my screen porch during Quiet Tea Time, if you ring me, I promise to Answer the Phone!

Because one never knows when God will send a whisper that sounds so much like, “Cindy, yes, you are living in the Right Story I have for you… Keep going…”

“For we are God’s MASTERPIECE. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can DO THE GOOD THINGS he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2.10 NLT

under the mercy, Cindy

©2017 Lucinda Secrest McDowell 

One of these artists offers beautiful Notecards and Art Journeys – check out 

Would you enjoy reading and perhaps even art- journaling “Dwelling Places”  this summer? It was just awarded Christian Retailing Best Award for Devotional – voted by the bookselling/publishing industry professionals, which is miraculous in itself (being my 12th book and first book award, smile).

Order my award-winning book  “Dwelling Places” from Amazon HERE under $10

Order my award-winning book  “Dwelling Places” from ChristianBook HERE under $10


  1. maggierowe on August 2, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Cindy, what an amazing thing to happen for a writer – to have a book you wrote illustrated so beautifully. Kristina and Polly Jo’s artwork is outstanding. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a future edition of Dwelling Places could be published with their work included? Love this!

    • lucindamcdowell on August 2, 2017 at 8:31 am

      I love their pictures too – wish I could have inserted all of them in the blog. God continually shows up with So Many Grace Gifts. Love you, BFF…

  2. kimwilbanks on August 2, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    That’s beautiful!

  3. alyciawmorales on August 2, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    I love these, Lucinda! (And Kristina and Polly Jo!) I’ve just recently discovered the joy of mixed media art and Bible or art journaling. And God just this week whispered that I should use my new art journal to keep a record of His words to me this year and other quotes and such that reflect those words. Your post is inspiring; maybe I’ll start tonight! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. lucindamcdowell on August 2, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Yay Alycia!cant wait to see yours…

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