Tuesday, July 17, 2018

What Can Happen with Your Writing One Year from Now?

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Whoever invented the phrase “the wind rustling through the leaves” obviously sat on this screen porch in these woods. The breeze is so cool, the leaves are dancing, the birds are singing, and I am remembering one year ago when I sat right here and asked God to guide my writing of a new book.

Last summer while house/pet sitting for dear friends, I spent hours just listening – remembering stories, researching prayers and biographies and biblical teaching so that I would have enough chapters to submit to potential publishers. My desire was to write a devotional focusing on key biblical words that encourage action. 
At that time I had the 40 words and needed everything else. 
This summer? On the same porch, attended by rustling leaves, I hold the published book in my hand – “Live These Words.” In the short span of a year, God has fulfilled my dream and “established the works of my hands.”

The first chapter, “Come,” speaks of that time: 

“There at “Mountain Meadows” I settled into an antique wicker chaise on the screen porch which beckoned me during each morning cup of coffee. As I sat back and listened to the singing birds, the chirping cicada and occasional patter of raindrops, I was content. 

I was ‘with God.’

Just like Piglet in Winnie the Poohas he seeks his dearest friend. 
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you.”

Do you need to just ‘be sure’ of Jesus? Then, get right next to Him.” *

Isn’t this always the first step towards spiritual growth – to get next to Jesus? Recently I was speaking in New Jersey and mentioned this illustration. In the audience was a visitor who had never been to a women’s retreat. After hearing my mention of Piglet and Winnie, she came up to me and pushed up her pants leg to reveal a tattoo. 

An ink replica from “Winnie the Pooh” classic storybook illustration of when
Piglet sidles up to Pooh “just to be sure of you.” And my words that night (of all the children’s books I could have mentioned) were a clear confirmation of God calling and wooing her to Himself. By the end of the weekend, she had responded in faith.

When we take time for God, He meets us in surprising ways. So this morning as I feel the breeze through the screen, I know that the Holy Spirit has continued to blow through my life since I last sat in this antique chaise.
What are your dreams, hopes, visions and desires this summer?Will you pray and seek God’s face? Ask Him to reveal to you … what? A new path? A new sense of His love and acceptance? A new “kick in the pants” to take the plunge of faith?

Why not set apart a time somewhere to simply be in God’s presence --  exploring a quiet place and marking a specific time on your calendar? Whatever you do, just enter in to your time with an open heart to receive God’s love. Come with open ears to hear His voice and come with open hands to carry back all you have gained. Just come….

“Father, I exult in the free, confident access You have provided so that I can come into Your Presence for warm fellowship, for refreshment, for mercy when I’ve failed, for grace when I’m in need. What a joy to know that I can draw near to You at any moment, wherever I may be…that I can come boldly to Your throne of grace, assured of Your glad welcome. Thank You that I can ‘be still’ and know that You are God… that You are in control… and that I can restfully depend upon You and absorb Your strength and joy and peace. Amen.” *
Ruth Myers (1928-2010)

As you pray this prayer, be prepared for what can happen in a year’s time. For me, those rustling leaves sound a lot like trees “clapping their hands.”

God did it. The applause of Heaven…

*selections from “Live These Words” by Lucinda Secrest McDowell

What Can Happen with Your #Writing One Year from Now? @LucindaSMcDowel on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Give God time and see what He can do with your #writing - @LucindaSMcDowel on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is passionate about embracing life — both through deep soul care from drawing closer to God, as well as living courageously in order to touch a needy world. A storyteller who engages both heart and mind, she delights in weaving grace and mercy into ordinary life situations. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, she is the author of 13 books and contributing author to 30+ books. Her books include the award-winning, Dwelling Places (2017 Christian Retailing Best Award for Devotional) , Ordinary Graces Live These Words Refresh! and Role of a Lifetime.  A member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA), Lucinda received Mt. Hermon “Writer of the Year” award and guest blogs monthly for The Write Conversation.Whether co-directing  "reNEW ~ retreat for New England Writing,"  pouring into young moms, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages. Lucinda’s favorites include tea parties, good books, laughing friends, ancient prayers, country music, cozy quilts, musical theatre, and especially her family scattered around the world doing amazing things.  Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, she writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and blogs weekly at http://www.encouragingwords.net/ 


  1. Beautiful! God's blessings Ms. Lucinda

  2. An inspiring post! Thank you, Lucinda.

  3. Much needed today, Lucinda. Thank you!

  4. Thank you, Lucinda. Everything all in His good timing. :-) When I prayed the prayer at the end of this post, I strongly felt the presence of our loving Father.