New England non-fiction author, Lucinda Secrest McDowell, has always been a voracious reader and continues to read at least one book a week—a practice “which greatly contributes to my writing, not to mention my life!”
Always a word girl and a lover of story, God began, early on, to weave his Word and the Kingdom Story throughout her script. “I’m an author who absolutely loves speaking! Whatever the theme or topic, all my messages are about going deeper with God and living in purpose and passion.”
During her seminary years, Lucinda had the privilege of being a live-in companion to renowned author and speaker, Elisabeth Elliot. She typed her manuscripts, cleaned her house, and drove her to speaking engagements. “Even though we were quite different, her influence was extremely valuable. One day she spoke into my life in her own confident manner, ‘Cindy, God has given you the gift of writing and it is your duty to write for Him!’ All I could respond was ‘Yes Ma’am.’ And today I’m writing on deadline for my 15th traditionally published book. Only God.”
For the first ten years of Lucinda’s publishing career, while working and raising four children, she wrote for more than fifty different magazines. Based on that body of work, she was named 1993 “Writer of the Year” at Mount Hermon. Her first book, Amazed by Grace, was published by B & H Publishing just after she turned forty.
Lucinda’s focus in this season of her life is to continue to encourage and equip writers and speakers to live their unique life story. She spends numerous hours coaching and enjoys serving as a faculty member at writer’s conferences.
Her advice to aspiring authors struggling with their first book is to “First of all, pray. Ask God not only for the message He has given you to share, but also for the reason you are called to write it and the purpose you hope your words will accomplish. This will help you focus on how to structure your work to touch that need. Of course, be aware that God can do something totally different along the way. Receive and release. In the process of writing (or trying to publish) you may be totally redirected by Him. This is a good thing. Personal dreams are wonderful, but make sure you always desire more what God has for you than how you envision your life will unfold. God gives more than we imagine. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2.9 NLT
For the past six years, Lucinda’s co-directed reNEW – retreat for New England Writing and Speaking in Connecticut—a spiritual retreat for creative people who want to worship and connect, and study under faith-filled writing and speaking faculty.
Her newest book, Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most, will be released this fall by New Hope Publishers and can be pre-ordered here. A sixty-day devotional journal, it encourages readers to identify personal challenges, find freedom, and be reminded of truths as they choose daily steps to serenity and strength in God.
“God is our ultimate agent. He can do whatever He pleases to promote our efforts that will bring Him glory. I must continue to have a generous and grace filled presence in the world in order for my message to be heard. But my goal is to do this with kindness, humility and complete trust in my God who is sovereign over all. Our lives glorify God whenever we allow Him to do things through us that could never have been done in our own efforts. Living so that ordinary graces are not only noticed and appreciated, but passed along to others. That is our call.” —Lucinda Secrest McDowell, Ordinary Graces – Word Gifts for Any Season