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  1. Christy Lynne Wood says:

    I originally met Cindy at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference back in 2017. She was such a joy and encouragement. On awards night we both were wearing a lace dress and took a picture together.

    But my favorite memory is from Speak Up last year because she encouraged me not to give up even if I didn’t fit the mold and even if I was tired of being rejected. I never got to tell her that I’m finally publishing my book with Credo House Publishers. She would have been so proud of me!

    1. Thank you for your uplifting words, Christy! Cindy was the ultimate encourager. How THRILLED she would be to know that your book is being published by Credo House Publishers. The Speak Up Tribe is cheering for you!

  2. Jessie Seneca says:

    Oh Carol, what a beautiful friendship you and Lucinda had. She was a gem the moment she said hello to me at the Communicators’Collective retreat. She exuded the joy if the Lord and her presence was one of warmth and love. I was looking so forward to a new friendship in Lucinda. But God had different plans. I will be forever marked by her life and love for Jesus. Although, the interaction was brief, it came with a lifetime of impact. Love to you as you grieve the loss of a dear dear friend. Love Jessie

    1. Dear Jessie…your comment said it so well. Within moments of meeting Cindy, people felt like they made a friendship for a lifetime. She was generous with her time and loved encouraging emerging authors, speakers, and leaders. She was a woman of prayer and loved sending hand-written notes with gifts of encouragement–a bookmark, a tea bag, or a package of flower seeds. I’m so glad you were able to meet her!

  3. Tracy Arntzen says:

    Oh, I have several favorites of Cindy-she was gem. How God orchestrated a personal introduction. After attending a workshop I was personally introduced through our mutual freind, Cathy Day. Through Cindy God taught me – He directs our steps. During a coaching call she taught me to write/speak for my audience, not to them. Through Cindy God taught me humility-still a work in process. My last encounter with her she gifted me a copy of Courage to Write and encouraged me not to give up that my story needed to be told. Through Cindy God taught me to persevere. Such a gift to have known her. The ultimate encourager!

    1. I love your comments, Tracy, and I’m so glad Cindy gifted you with the book she was passionate about–“Courage to Write.” Your words are a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman of influence for God’s glory.

  4. Sally M. Chetwynd says:

    How blessed you (and all of us) are to have been with her in her last moments on Earth. How provident that God filled her with such wisdom that she then shared in her published writings. No doubt Jesus greeted her on her day of glory with “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

    1. It was a sacred honor to pray over our precious friend before she left us for heaven. Thank you for your comment.

  5. Kimalea Arrighi says:

    My starkest memory of Lucinda is from the 2022 Speak Up Conference when I approached her after one of the main sessions. Lucinda was my mentor for two rounds of quarterly Learn On mentoring a few years before. When I approached Lucinda I expected to have to reintroduce myself. Instead, she greeted me by name with a giant bear hug as though I were her daughter returning to the family home. Lucinda’s smile and the lavish hug she gave me sealed the deal and I regarded her as a mother in my writing journey from then on. Lucinda, I still see your blue eyes looking into mine and cheering me on.

    1. What a beautiful tribute to the life and legacy of Cindy McDowell, Kimalea! Thank you so much!

  6. Debbie Wilson says:

    Carol, thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to Cindy. She was a special person and her words were just what I needed today. “Be empowered to simplify and focus on the essentials.” May God continue to use her words and influence for His glory.

    1. I need to focus on the same thing, Debbie–simplify and focus on the essentials. I appreciate your comment!

  7. Louise Tucker Jones says:

    I never met Cindy in person but contributed to a couple of her books & found we had some things in common, including a child with special
    One of my sweetest memories was when I posted on AWSA that my husband had gone to heaven only 17 days after a diagnosis with pancreatic cancer.
    Cindy wrote a note to AWSA ladies, “And she just lost her daughter!” And that was true. My daughter died 30 days before my husband. I found it so sweet that Cindy actually remembered the grief I was already experiencing when my husband died—an enormous grief. She didn’t know me personally but she remembered. It touched my heart.

    1. Louise, what a lovely tribute! Not only was Cindy encouraging, she was compassionate. Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory.

  8. Jeanne Zornes says:

    Thank you for your tribute to Cindy. Her given name “Lucinda” means “light,” and she was that to me as well as many others. I first met her about 1980 at Wheaton College when she was taking a few classes between ministry assignments and where I was in the graduate program. About a half dozen “grad” women decided to meet weekly to prayerfully support each other and do a Bible study (we did Daniel!). Doesn’t that sound like her…scripture and encouraging fellowship? All these years we kept in touch. It was through Cindy (who helped me prepare my first speaker one-sheet) that I learned about you, Carol. We also connected on book compilations. Cindy liked to focus on powerful words in her writing. As I write, these come to mind for her: Prayerful, Personal, Prodigious. I’m grateful that you, Carol, could prayerfully encourage her in her last hours. That personal touch is “you” and is teling of how YOU have blessed thousands in YOUR ministry.

    1. What a memorable “Cindy story,” Jeanne! I love hearing that her name, Lucinda, means “light.” How meaningful! She definitely lived for things that will outlast her life–and I’m so glad she introduced you to me. One day we’ll all have a glorious reunion in heaven!

  9. Saundra Dalton-Smith says:

    My favorite memory was how intentionally she showed love to other writers and speakers. I can recall the first time Carol invited me to share a keynote at the 2020 virtual Speak Up Conference. Minutes before my presentation I got a text from Lucinda praying the sweetest prayer of encouragement. Over the years I got many more pre-event prayer texts from her along with handwritten notes of encouragement during book releases. It’s rare to find someone so accomplished to share their love and time so freely. She will be greatly missed and leave a legacy of encouraging writers and speakers to follow in her footsteps.

    1. Carol Kent says:

      Saundra, I greatly appreciate this beautiful description of the way Cindy encouraged fellow speakers. There was never any feeling of competition–only collaboration, combined with lots of prayer. By the way, we’re looking forward to having you speak at the in-person Speak Up Conference on July 13-15 in Grand Rapids, MI!

  10. Jennifer Sakata says:

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute Carol. For certain, my favorite memory was the first time we met face to face. She lit up like a Christmas Tree as if we’d known each other for decades. (She was one of my faculty mentors for my virtual Speak Up in 2020). She was uniquely encouraging, a one-of-a-kind soul who didn’t know a stranger.

    The picture I posted asking people to pray for a peaceful home-going looked like we were sisters. Indeed we are and she has now gone before us, taking that radiant smile with her but leaving behind the legacy of enduring love through Jesus.

    1. Carol Kent says:

      What a meaningful tribute, Jennifer! We will all miss Cindy so much. Yesterday I was thinking that this was her first Easter in heaven. What a celebration!

  11. Nancy J Smith says:

    Thank you Carol for this tribute. All of us at reNew were reeling from Cindy’s sudden departure but o confident of her new address. We have our retreat in lessthan 2 weeks and I can’t believe she won’t be there! Thank you for being there to pray.

    1. Thank you, Nancy. The entire reNew Writers Retreat team is in my prayers. Cindy loved opening doors for Christian writers and mentoring those who needed coaching and encouragement in their writing journey. We all miss her so much!