Grateful Despite Chaos

In this time of chaos and uncertainty, God put it on my heart to offer a new perspective – one of gratitude. There is much to be thankful for even in the midst of this global pandemic, and now many of us have time to pause and take a break from our normal routines. Why not use this time to focus on something beyond anxiety-driven newscasts, empty grocery shelves, and toilet paper shortages? While I plan to stay informed, I’ve decided not to become immersed and to instead direct my energy and attention to my blessings – and I invite you to join me. 

Each morning when I wake up I thank God for a new day – it is a gift I never want to take for granted. I then glance over at my adorable Toto still sleeping next me, and I praise God for him and all of my loved ones. Today my mind also turns to others I am thankful for, especially the strangers God continues to drop in my life. As I type, for instance, I realize that I wouldn’t be writing this story without my incredible behind-the-scenes editor Judy who has encouraged me and helped me grow in my skills and craft as a writer. She has been a blessing to me since our paths unexpectedly crossed when I showed up late one day to a new Bible study.

It was a difficult time of transition in my life and, on many fronts, I was starting over. On that particular day I entered the doors of my new church, Traders Point, where I didn’t know a soul. Running a few minutes late I entered a jam-packed room and grabbed the first open seat closest to the door. I didn’t know it at the time, but the stranger in the seat next to me was Judy. As our table discussion began, I learned that she had been a writer and editor most of her life. I smiled as she shared her story, knowing that this would be the beginning of a new friendship and, hopefully, mentorship. God knew exactly what I needed and, in a room filled with 100+ women, placed her right in the seat next to mine. Coincidence? I think not!

So today I am thankful for you, Judy, and the many others who have encouraged me, mentored me, and most of all stayed by my side through the years. This story and the hundreds of others before it would not have been possible without you. God blessed me beyond words – literally – when he brought you into my life, and I will be forever grateful.  

Who are you grateful for today? 

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18)

Celebrating at my first Chicken Soup book signing with the two people who made it possible – my awesome mom and my amazing editor Judy.

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6 Responses

  1. Beautiful message, Julie. It is a crazy world and I will take your advice and set my memory remote to the Hallmark Channel. God bless you!. Here is a video of the anthem our sang at church today (this is not us - it is a choir in Texas). God is good and will get us through this. Be well!
    • Some Hallmark marathon movie nights will likely be in my future during this time at home.Thanks for sharing that beautiful song. Stay safe! ~Julie
  2. Loved it, Julie. Thank you, too. I remember meeting Judy that night and even though it was your story that made it to C.S., you honored me as well.It was a special night and it was meeting Judy that really started your writing career. God put her in your life at that time and look at all that has happened to you and many of us who are gifted by your gift. I will always be grateful. I like the picture, too. Thanks for the idea of writing to those we appreciate this week. I will try that, too. My Reserve friends would probably appreciate a little something, too. Love, Mama
    • Thanks for always being my #1 encourager, Mama! Yes, God did put Judy in that seat right next to me – there's no doubt. And now you get the blessing of Judy too:) Love yah, Mama! ~Julie

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