Two Words on My Birthday

The next time I blog, I will be a whole year older.

It seems to happen in the blink of an eye. One day we’re young and out to change the world, and the next day we turn around and six decades have flown by while we were simply living ‘one day at a time!’

Don’t scoff, my friend. If you haven’t yet experienced this phenomenon, your day will come (barring the undesirable alternative, of course). And when it does, you may find yourself — as indeed I have — in deep contemplation – “How have I spent this one wild and precious life?”

For Your mercy and Your grace, Constant through another year,

Hear our song of thankfulness, Father and Redeemer, hear!

Keep us faithful, keep us pure, Keep us evermore Your own;

Help, O help us to endure; Fit us for the promised crown.

hymn by Henry Downton 1818-1885

Next week is my birthday. Okay, there. I said it. Out loud. To all the world. And now I only have one more thing to say. Really, well two words…

Thank You.

  • Thank You, GOD, for the gift of Life and Health — and Your Grace and Mercy which allow me to go forth each day seeking to make a difference….
  • Thank You, MAMA & DADDY, for making sure I was deeply loved, fully provided for and graciously launched into life with a Bible/Newspaper in one hand and a Map/Etiquette book in the other….
  • Thank You, FAMILY. You might not have chosen me as kinfolk, but you have certainly stuck by me all these years and shown up at the most crucial times with casseroles, music, gifts and all kinds of advice…
  • Thank You, MIKE, for choosing me and loving me sacrificially for 38 years. Wow. No words. You are the Love of my life always….
  • Thank You, FRIENDS, who have the courage to sometimes say the hard things when I need to hear them, but who always remind me in countless ways that I am never alone….
  • Thank You, COLLEAGUES in writing, speaking, teaching and ministry, because you indeed “know-what-my-life-is-like” as you push me towards excellence and integrity in response to my calling….
  • Thank You READERS and LISTENERS of my many attempts at creatively communicating “encouraging words” that impart Life and Purpose and Power. My passion really is “helping you choose a life of serenity & strength!” As long as the doors keep opening, I’ll keep walking through — pen and microphone in hand….
  • Thank You, JUSTIN, TIM, FIONA & TIM and MAGGIE & STEPHEN for allowing me the ultimate privilege of figuring out this whole motherhood thing as we grew up together. Thank you for Saoirse, Hugh, Thomas, and Bram – a delight in my life this day! You indeed are my deepest Joy, my greatest Legacy….   May you never forget these simple yet profound truths: “Life is hard. God is good. All the time.”

So on May 23, 2022, my heart is full. My life is full.

Birthdays have a way of bringing life into perspective, don’t they? No, my life did not turn out the way I always imagined it would (we all have so many more challenges and struggles than the world will ever see, don’t we?), but it did turn out exactly the way God planned and allowed. He is sovereign. He holds all my days in the palm of His hand. And He will be the One to lead me into the future as I fully embrace each new day, hoping there will be many more occasions to ‘prove the promises of God.’

My work is loving the world… Are my boots worn? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half perfect?

Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.

Mary Oliver “Messenger”

I taught my children that when they receive a gift, the only proper response is “Thank you.” I have received the Gift of Many Years… and all I can say is “Thank You. “

         May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit  bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2022 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words weekly at


  1. Ginny+McNamara on May 18, 2022 at 11:09 am

    Happy Birthday!

  2. Colette on May 18, 2022 at 11:26 am

    Happy Birthday to you Cindy ❤️You always lift my up and give me so many thoughts to ponder on. God is souverain and when you share your feelings thoughts and prayers you help open mine and face my shortcomings. Thank you for your honesty thank you for your friendship and keep shining God’s love unpon his children… we are so much walking blind through the dark times. But His light is always burning to show us the pass he wants us to take.
    Happy birthday dear friend and many more to come!!😍much love and blessings. Colette

  3. Sheryl on May 18, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    One word : Yesssssss!

  4. Cindy Bolshaw on May 18, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    Happy Birthday!

  5. Maureen on May 19, 2022 at 9:36 am

    Thank YOU! I am one of many who is grateful God gave you life! ❤️

  6. Maggie+Rowe on May 19, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    Not sure whether you are able to see these comments, let me know if you do, but joining countless others who are so very grateful for your life! We thank God for you, Cindy.

  7. Beth Melzen on May 19, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Happiest of Birthdays to you Cindy. You are one of Gods shinning stars 💜 Thank you for helping us keep our eyes focused on our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  8. Melody+Chapman on May 20, 2022 at 5:32 am

    Happy Birthday to you!!

  9. Michael McDowell on May 22, 2022 at 11:14 am

    Glory to God for all things! A love
    and joyfilled birthday from your husband who loves you beyond measure! 🥰 Mike

  10. Deborah Somody on May 22, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    I am one who is so grateful that our paths crossed many years ago and that I am so very thankful for the love and joy and abundant grace I received from you. Thank you for thr opportunities to share my story with your precious women and to lead worship when asked many years ago. I didn’t know that you and my husband share birthdays! How fun! Happy birthday dear one!!

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