As part of the Litfuse Blog Tour for Ordinary Graces, I am pleased to welcome Lucinda Secrest McDowell to the blog today!
Lucinda Secrest McDowell 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 offers “Encouraging Words” to all on the journey. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, Cindy is the author of 13 books, including “Ordinary Graces,” “Dwelling Places,” “Live These Words,” “Refresh!,” “Quilts from Heaven” and “Role of a Lifetime.” Whether co-directing the “reNEW – retreat for New England Writing,” mentoring young moms, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages.
Find out more about Lucinda at http://EncouragingWords.net
Her most recent devotional, Ordinary Graces, released October 17, 2017 from Abingdon.
Everyone loves to receive a gift.
And God has given us many, such as his grace-the gift we don’t deserve and can never earn. Promises from the One who declares we are already loved, already accepted, already created in his image. The question becomes, will we truly receive that gift? Will the reality of it actually change the way we think and notice and reach out?
God’s Word will stand forever, in any season of life. These truths prompt us to respond with compassion and courage.
Through inspiring devotions, Lucinda Secrest McDowell reveals biblical blessings that remind us that: God’s promises give us strength, God’s grace can be most evident at our weakest points, a proper response to our abundance of blessings is simply gratitude, and the “more” we are all looking for is the same abundant life that Jesus came to give us.
Would you like to receive these gifts of ordinary grace? Join Lucinda in focusing on one word a day through devotional readings and short benedictions for any and every season to explore the many facets of Grace, Strength, Gratitude, and Life.
Hi Lucinda! Welcome to the blog!
Lucinda: Oranges, love those little “cuties” – like candy!
Carrie: They do satisfy a sweet tooth, don’t they?
Lucinda: Summer – connecting with family and friends, no snow and ice.
Carrie: I’ll give you the ice …. but snow… it’s so pretty! 😀
Lucinda: Dogs of course – because they are people.
Carrie: haha! Yes indeed. My dog Zuzu highly approves of this answer.
Lucinda: Tea – loose leaf and black, steeped with a timer, drenched in milk. Hot. Yes.
Carrie: ‘drenched in milk’ sounds key
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Lucinda: My superpower is encouragement.
Carrie: I have no problem at all believing that 🙂
Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Lucinda: My favorite book character from late childhood is Christy Huddleston from “Christy” by Catherine Marshall. I read it the year it came out. It quite literally changed the whole trajectory of my life.
Carrie: Yes! Christy – the character and the book – have deeply impacted my life as well.
Q: What do you enjoy most about writing?
Lucinda: I’m a word girl. I love words and their meanings, their origins, and their power. The best part about writing is finding the right words to tell the story, and having the Holy Spirit step in when I can’t find the right words…
Carrie: He is so faithful, isn’t He? ♥
Q: Why the theme of ‘ordinary graces’? Why is that important to you?
Lucinda: “From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1.16 In “Ordinary Graces” I introduce words that convey the many gifts God bestows on us – grace gifts that will help strengthen our souls and provide courage to live adventurously. Gifts just waiting to be received, unwrapped and incorporated into our hearts, souls and compassionate actions. To me, “ordinary graces” are surprising gifts that come to me while simply living my story. They are gifts I discover in ordinary places, like the people who touch my soul because of their courage, kindness or self-sacrifice. I even find them in the challenges that simultaneously turn my world upside down and change me from the inside out. If I am in a hurry I will miss them. If I am distracted I will ignore them. But for anyone who is attentive and seeking, these ordinary graces abound.
Q: What is something that surprised you while researching Ordinary Graces?
Lucinda: I personally enjoy a variety of devotions – spiritual readings that draw us into the presence of God, helping us grow in our faith. When I started writing such books, I realized that I wanted to write what I personally wanted to read. In other words, I wanted my devotions to be a balanced combination of inspiration and teaching, always with practical application! And yet, the nature of a daily reading is that it is short, not exhaustive. So that was then the challenge of writing short, yet deep. Not easy! In the process of telling stories, I wanted to offer substance that enlarged the reader or made them want to dig in more to God’s Word. And then do something about it. These devotions are best when they are a mere catalyst to further study. Also, I include many other fascinating sources in “Ordinary Graces” – not just my own limited wisdom.
Carrie: I hadn’t thought about that aspect of writing a devotional – how to fit all of that into a short reading! What a challenge!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Ordinary Graces?
Lucinda: Readers love that “Ordinary Graces” is compact – small enough to fit into a briefcase, purse or backpack. It is written for both women and men, older girls and boys. This small volume helps to promote the daily spiritual practice of time with God in His Word and prayer. It offers revealing word studies which enable the reader to grow deep in faith and life. There are practical challenges to both absorb the teachings from each section of grace, strength, gratitude and life – with a goal of personal application. I also believe that because it is short (only two pages per word) it is not overwhelming, but gives enough to prompt the reader to further explore the topic.
Carrie: I agree!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me!
What about you? What is an ‘ordinary grace’ you’ve found in your whole life?