When A New Book is Birthed…
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Yesterday was the official birth of my 12th book – “Dwelling Places – Words to Live in Every Season”
It’s a miracle. Seriously. I mean, who would have thought a publisher would actually ask me for my words even once? Much less, twelve different times. Yes, I know it’s a miracle. And I am so very grateful.
But there is a long process involved in publishing a book. Towards the end – the birthing part – the author is often stretched to do things out of our comfort zone.
I love writing books. I love speaking the encouraging words contained in my books. But the marketing part of publishing? Ah, not so much. Most writers are like me – we are hesitant to “toot our own horn” in telling people how wonderfully their lives will change if they just read our little book…
Yesterday early readers and colleagues were so great about helping to create a “buzz” and congratulating me on social media. Honestly, I felt like it was my own birthday and not just the birth of a new book. I pray that many will get this devotional in their hands and through reading the one-word-a-day will actually discover the joy of dwelling daily in God’s presence, peace and power.
You see, that’s why we promote our work – offering others an opportunity to experience and discover what we learned in the process of living the truths first, then writing about them. And yes, it is a necessary part of the publishing journey.
So on today’s blog, I’m going to just enjoy the miraculous experience of actually seeing a dream come to fruition. Of having someone (an acquisitions editor) catch my vision for a work and go to bat at a publishers meeting in order to offer me a contract. Of the countless hours of study and research and creativity and writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. Of having others (many, many others) do the hard work of editing and creating a cover and lining up sales to bookstores and establishing outlets for marketing and publicizing the book. The good folks at Abingdon Press have been marvelous to me in this process and I couldn’t be more grateful.
But it is you, my readers, who touch me the most. If I only received ONE text/email/post/review that mentioned how a certain devotional touched your heart or encouraged your soul, then I would be forever grateful for this great privilege of putting words to paper — words that came to me the hard way, through learning their value first hand.
But you have given me so much more than just one word… All I can say is Thank You.
So…. how in the world did I come to write a book called “Dwelling Places?” Honestly, this one-word-a-day devotion (meant to both inspire and teach) came out of my own need to know. And to grow.
Every year I choose a “word from the Lord” and find myself marinating in what it means to my life on all levels — spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Last year the word was DWELL and as I explored the many facets of DWELL, I recognized my own desire to learn how to dwell in peace and serenity and joy and hope; rather than spend my time in exhaustion and hurry, chaos and confusion.
Turns out God’s Word is full of DWELLING places – those sanctuaries of refuge and abiding. In my new book “Dwelling Places” I offer many of those words (130 actually) and unwrap their meaning through storytelling, biblical teaching and hundreds of quotes from hymns and godly people who are my own teachers.
This book has four sections which can be read at any time, but they include 30 days for Advent and 40 days for Lent if you’re interested in trying out that special discipline during the church year. DWELL (Fall) SHINE (Advent) RENEW (Lent) GROW (Summer) OR just read any word, any page at any time.
Will you join me in discovering your own Dwelling Places this summer? Let me know what you think – my email is cindy (at) encouragingwords (dot) net. I’d love to hear from you.
I am so utterly grateful for my early readers (now called a Launch Team) as well as these special friends and authors who all agreed to read my little book and offer words of encouragement. These are authors whose own work I greatly admire and embrace:
“Lucinda Secrest McDowell can unpack a word and find its inner core, its hidden center. Her lyrical writing style, her spiritual insight, her storytelling prowess combine to make “Dwelling Places” a treasure. Don’t just read it. Experience it.” – Jennifer Kennedy Dean, Executive Director of The Praying Life Foundation, Author of the best selling “Live a Praying Life” ® and numerous books and Bible studies
“If you’re looking for encouragement based on God’s Word, read “Dwelling Places.” Lucinda Secrest McDowell has taken 130 key words from the Bible and created powerful devotions that will comfort, exhort, and bless you daily in every season of the year. Her powerful stories and poignant ending prayers will capture your heart and point you towards hope and truth. Buy one copy for yourself and ten more to give away!” Carol Kent, speaker and author of “Waiting Together” and “Unquenchable”
“In “Dwelling Places,” Lucinda Secrest McDowell elevates devotions to a new level. As always, McDowell uses some of the best quotes you will read this year, but she adds to them her special brand of storytelling as well as teachings that will minister to your soul. A masterful devotional, managing to be both short and deep at the same time.” Tessa Afshar, Christy award winning author of “Land of Silence” and “Fields of Grace”
“Lucinda has used her gifts of gentle and straightforward storytelling to give us a treasure filled with practical and spiritual truth for all seasons. This lovely book – “Dwelling Places” – will be on my bedside table for years to come.” Amy Julia Becker, Publishers Weekly award winning author of “Small Talk”and “A Good and Perfect Gift”
“As there are seasons of the year so there are seasons in our walk with Christ. In “Dwelling Places” Lucinda McDowell takes us on a gentle sojourn through words that inspire, encourage, educate and magnify the Lord.” Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
“I never miss a new book from Lucinda Secrest McDowell. Her writing is so real and warm and down-to-earth — and at the same time thought-provoking, profound, and theologically grounded. A rare combination! “Dwelling Places” offers readers deep moments of reflection, inspiration, and encouragement that will stay with us throughout the day and throughout the seasons of our lives.” Christin Ditchfield, syndicated radio host, speaker, and author of “What Women Should Know About Facing Fear”
“Dwelling Places” is balm for the soul, resonate and full of life, bringing the Word to dwell with me as I pondered each of the daily words long after I’d finished reading them.” Christa Parrish, Christianity Today award and Christy award winning author of “Still Life” and “Stones for Bread”
“No matter what season you’re in, this beautiful devotional will meet you right where you are – and then lead you straight into the heart of Jesus. In “Dwelling Places” Lucinda is not only a terrific teacher, but a trusted friend. She offers fresh insights to God’s Word in an accessible way. Her words will be a great encouragement to you as you start each day!” Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of“The Happiness Dare” and “Love Idol”
“Once again, Lucinda Secrest McDowell has written high-impact thoughts that compel readers into a deeper, more informed, more intimate understanding of how much God’s words and presence matter. In “Dwelling Places” McDowell draws us into her stories and reflections, lovingly urging us to consider His truths. Every entry becomes an entrance into a deeper walk of faith.” Cynthia Ruchti, Award winning author of “As Waters Gone By” and “Tattered and Mended”
“If you live life at a rapid pace and struggle to carve out time for meaningful reflection, renewal, and rest, then this book is for you! “Dwelling Places” is a devotional filled with relatable, inspirational stories and Scriptures that can be read quickly but will lead your soul to linger in the hope of Jesus all day long. – Gwen Smith, speaker, worship leader, co-founder of Girlfriends in God and author of“Broken into Beautiful” and “I Want It ALL”
“I love the rich heritage McDowell brings to these devotions in “Dwelling Places” —a lifetime spent studying the Word, directed by our Lord and underlined by His servants, spiritual giants whose writings we know too little today: Bonhoeffer, Ten Boom, Marshall, Elliott, Carmichael, Buechner, Watts, Wesley, Nouwen, Manning and so many more. Thank you, Lucinda McDowell, for digging deeper and for sharing these treasures!” Cathy Gohlke, Christy award winning author of “Secrets She Kept” and “Saving Amelie”
“No matter what’s happening today in your life I suspect you, like I, need encouragement. In “Dwelling Places” you will discover a rich meal, easy to digest, full of nutrition for great benefit. Grab two copies of this book – one for yourself and one for a friend and share this ‘meal’ together.” Susan Alexander Yates, author of “Risky Faith”
“Dwelling Places” is signature Cindy McDowell. Rich, encouraging, and relevant. Each day’s entry savors one word, deepening it with Scripture and story. 130 readings guide you through the year, with special and much needed attention given to Advent and Lent. Lucinda’s deep reading of Scripture and contemporary and classic authors, her wide range of life experiences and her vast interest in just about everything, render each day’s read different, interesting, and always compassionate. I was much encouraged to dwell deeply through “Dwelling Places.” Jane Rubietta, speaker and author of “Worry Less So You Can Live More” and “Heartbeat of a Mother”
“So many devotionals offer you a Bible verse, a story of application and a prayer. Not this one. I love the depth of emotional honesty wrapped in serious study and reflection. Yes, Cindy is a wonderful storyteller. But her depth as a seminary grad shines through each word study, often going back to the original language. She draws from a dozen different Bible versions to give you the richest nuances of each word she has chosen. And the notes! I love a devotional that quotes broadly and deeply from great thinkers and devoted followers of Jesus through the ages — theologians, pastors, hymn writers, missionaries, New York Times columnists, professional counselors–and combines it with nuggets of wisdom from children’s books, Christmas carols and Southern Living. Cindy is that rare breed that combines intellectual depth with emotional depth. She writes as a fellow traveler with a teachable spirit who has clearly learned A LOT from marrying a widower and becoming an instant mother to three children, one with intellectual disabilities. You will love the richness of this book because it comes from the overflow of a mind that is saturated with eternal truth and meaning and a heart that delights in God and lavishes his love and encouragement on others.” Lael Arrington, speaker and author “Faith and Culture Devotional”
Now you know why I am so grateful.
under the mercy, Cindy
WANT YOUR OWN COPY OF “DWELLING PLACES”?
Order from Amazon HERE
Order from ChristianBook HERE
Order from AbingdonPress HERE
And, dear ones, if by any chance you have read this book, please kindly take a few moments to post a short REVIEW on Amazon or ChristianBook. I will love you forever!
©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Than