Messy, Chaotic but Beautiful World

Some weeks, it is simply impossible to put on a brave face, smile, and say everything is okay. This is one of those weeks for me. You may have noticed that the blog has been fairly quiet lately, and I haven’t been “around” the Internet as much. I don’t intend to share the specifics because they are private, but I feel compelled to mention my emotional state because now I am “practicing what I preach.” That is, I am practicing gratitude at a time when I don’t necessarily feel grateful.

My daughter went to an art camp this week and produced the collage you see in the photo. I have used it as my touchstone this week. As a reminder that while the world is a messy, unpredictable, chaotic place, in the midst of it all, it is also very beautiful.

Quotes on Gratitude

“The purpose of life, after all, is to love it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“We begin to find ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be.” — Anne Lamott

“Gratitude … goes beyond the ‘mine’ and ‘thine’ and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” — Henri J.M. Nouwen

Gratitude List for the week ending July 28

  1. I received some exciting news this week. I can’t yet reveal details, but they are exciting. When I am able to reveal them, you will be excited too (I hope)! 🙂
  2. A slight break in the scorching hot weather, including a little rain
  3. My critique group buddies, who cheered me up immensely on Monday night
  4. Going to my daughter’s “art show,” having lunch, and then heading to the library
  5. Going to the Farmer’s Market Wed. night and finding it cool enough to picnic in the park
  6. Getting new author/website photos taken, including the chance to feel like a movie star when my friend Cindy did my makeup!
  7. The Olympic opening ceremonies
  8. Schramsberg champagne
  9. The anticipation and excitement of seeing one of my best college friends next week – AND seeing Les Mis.
  10. The anticipation and excitement of attending SCBWI -LA next week

What are you grateful for this week?

Categories: Family, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday, SCBWI, Summer · Tags: , , , , , , , ,



  1. I admire your courage in this post. I know how difficult it can be to write and keep a blog going when your heart is hurting. Last weekend I too felt the chaos of life and it was a friend who held me up. I came out grateful for friendship and understanding that the darkness is necessary in order to see the shining light.

    My thoughts are with you and I look forward to reading all about your trip to LA.

    • Thanks Krista! It is hard to blog and keep all the plates spinning when times are tough, but I think it is easier to admit all is not perfect than try to write something false or “a lie of omission.” Thanks for your support! I’m grateful, too, for your friend who helped you last week.

  2. Julie, I appreciate the honesty and truth in this post. I’m sending you good thoughts and prayers for peace from California. I am looking forward to seeing you — an inspiration for myself and so many others — at SCBWI Friday. Safe travels.

    • Kirsten, thanks so much! I’m looking forward to meeting you too. It is going to be an amazing conference, and I feel so fortunate that I’ll get to meet so many 12xers in one place! 🙂

  3. This sounds a bitter sweet post Julie. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time but it sounds like you also have a lot of great things going on and that picture is beautiful, I love abstract art. Take care.

    • Thanks Catherine! I love the picture too, and we’re going to get it framed. 🙂

  4. Julie, you’ve given us writers so much–we’re there for you–and grateful to you. Best wishes.

  5. I love the colors in your daughter’s art work! It’s a smile inducing piece 🙂
    Thanks for this post Julie. I recognize some of my own struggles in your thoughts and it’s a great reminder that even when things are tough there is good.
    I hope you have an awesome time at the conference!

    • Thanks Coleen – it’s always good to know we’re not alone (WANA?) 🙂 I plan to truly enjoy the conference!

  6. I loved what you said about your daughter’s the midst of the chaos, it’s very beautfiul, and bright, I might add. Praying for you this week!

  7. Sometimes gratitude is the light we need to make it through the dark. 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing. It’s funny how the gratitude from others reminds you of your own. It also reminded me of a quote I heard earlier this week.
    “Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” -Tyler Knott Gregson

  9. Love honest posts like these. Thinking of you. I have had to say goodbye to my two cats this past week, as by next weekend I shall be homeless and itinerant as the job I thought I had fell through. However, I am SO grateful that I found two different families to take my two cats and didn’t have to try and find a refuge for them. Enjoy SCBWI, I know you will!

  10. Thank you for sharing, Julie…although I don’t know what problems are hurting your heart, I’m glad you are able to see the sparkles in the raindrops. The SCBWI conference will be a wonderful lift, I’m sure. 🙂 I LOVE the WANA…maybe you need to make a bumper sticker! Peace and joy are what you deserve…so I wish them for you.

  11. Always easier to bear things when you choose to share things. Sometimes weeks, sometimes months, are just not okay. Hope that relief comes and joy in your morning. Enjoy LA…and your daughter’s collage is richly vibrant!

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