“Encouraging Words for Today” – May 10, 2011


by Lucinda Secrest McDowell

          “I’m the greatest star, I am by far…but no one knows it.” These are the opening lyrics to one of my favorite songs from Funny Girl. I can still remember playing the soundtrack as a teenager and listening to Barbra Streisand belt it out… “I can make ‘em laugh, I can make ‘em cry. Someday they’ll clamor for my drama!” Perhaps I even hoped that one day I would be ‘the greatest star.’ But life took me down a different path…

Maggie McDowell 1991

Along this path I providentially became the mother of ‘the greatest star.’ I asked this fourth child — little Maggie at age three —  what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her answer? “A Star!” I laughed at the time.

I’m not laughing now.

Last week Maggie had her first New York City singing audition for a national musical and was called back for the dancing part (for those of you not in the business, only 20 of the 200 were called back, that’s what is known as a ‘good thing.’ Smile. )  And tomorrow Mike and I will travel down to Nashville and rejoice as she receives her BFA degree in Musical Theatre from Belmont University – the culmination of many years of dreams and very hard work on her part.

Proud? You betcha. Grateful? Oh my, Yes! Surprised? Not really… Interestingly enough, the currently-much-more-mature Maggie would probably now answer that question differently. I don’t think she necessarily wants to be a ‘Star’ as much as she wants to fulfill her divine destiny, however that may play out. She knows that God has given her gifts – talent, intellect, health, opportunity – and she has offered them back to Him to be used whenever and whatever. One day that may mean Broadway …. but it might also mean many other things.

Maggie McDowell 2011

My prayer for her (and all of my children, really) is that she is able to daily seek God’s will and God’s way. It won’t be easy in this 21st century culture of glittering images and fluctuating truth… but I know that God’s divine power will give her ‘everything she needs for life and godliness’ (II Peter 1.3). I am full of HOPE and GRATITUDE and GREAT JOY as we walk through her graduation experiences this week, move her to her new place of employment and ‘launch’ her officially into the world of adulthood!

For me, Maggie is ‘the greatest star’, not because of any achievements or abilities, but because SHE SHINES!  “You will be God’s children without any faults among people … You will SHINE LIKE STARS among them in the world.” (Philippians 2.15 God’s Word) 

Perhaps you too have a child who is graduating or launching out into a new and scary situation? If so, you might want to pray with me the following prayer for wisdom and discernment in our adult children:

 “Lord, You have said that if we lack wisdom, we are to ask for it and You will give it to us (James 1.5). I come to You asking that You would pour out Your Spirit of wisdom upon (name of child). Give him (her) wisdom to always speak the right word to others, to seek godly and wise counsel, to be humble and not prideful, and not be drawn toward the wisdom of the world. Help him (her) to have the kind of sound wisdom that brings discretion, so that it will become life to his (her) soul (Proverbs 3.21-22). Give him (her) wisdom that will help him (her) always make good decisions, and to trust the right people. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.” 

And now, for the fun part… I hope you enjoy this short video of Maggie performing “I’m The Greatest Star” at her senior show at Belmont University earlier this year.  And if you happen to be at Hershey Park this summer, be sure to stop by her show: “Rock the Juke Box” Hershey Park Show  And for all you casting agents out there: (smile)

under the mercy, Cindy


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9 Responses to THE GREATEST STAR

  1. Betsy West says:

    What a wonderful tribute! God has blessed you with wonderful children and I’m glad you can celebrate with this very special daughter!!! Having heard her in person, she IS a great star and has an amazing future ahead of her!

  2. Ruth Ellsworth says:

    Dear Cindy,
    To see God at work in Maggie’s life has been an inspiration through the years.
    May God continue to bless her and you as she pursues her career.
    Congratulations, Maggie!

  3. Karen Hearl says:

    rejoicing with you in Maggie’s accomplishments but more so in who she is as a daughter of the King. What a lovely and gifted young woman she is. AND what a voice! Congratualtions Maggie. God bless you!

  4. nancy allen says:

    Dear Lucinda,
    thank you for the lovely words and of course I love that you used Maggie in the blog. I have to speak to the graduating seniors of our church this Sunday and your words have inspired me. Would you mind if I pray your prayer with those parents and students? It is beautiful and I could not word it better. You are truly a gifted writer – thanks for sharing. nancy allen

    • Of course, Nancy. I’m honored. Hope the talk goes well. We’re off to your fair city – hope we see you at graduation. Can’t THANK YOU enough for all you did for our Maggie in teaching and encouraging. Have a grand summer. Cindy

  5. Lauren says:

    God’s heart will delight in a child who is willing to serve him in the arts. It’s a huge missions field and grounded, loving workers are needed. He’ll bless her, no doubt.

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