Messy Musings: Poems, Lyrics & Other Writings

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This limited collection is a walk through a life—my life—of experiences expressed through poetry, lyrics and prose. It’s like any other life—one of love and joy and pain and suffering, of questions and answers and struggles and rest. I began writing (mostly journaling, songs and poetry) as a child in an innate response to work through childhood pain and trauma. I began writing songs again just before having children and then paused again for a time, as life (raising kids…my joy!) sort of got in the way. I began writing later in life as I tapped into, once again, the cathartic and therapeutic nature of putting pen to paper…or fingers to keyboard, depending on your preference. I wish I had written more often, but I’m glad for the times I did and even more pleased that I can leave this little bit of my creative, inner self for my children and for any others who can relate to the me who is expressed through these pages. Although this is a limited number of writings that I chose to share from 1993 to 2001 (“blast from the past”) and more recent works of poetry and other writings from 2016 to 2020, I hope it spurs within the reader an array of thoughts and emotions worth contemplating, experiencing and appreciating.


Within the heart of the artist lies a yearning for what lives within them to be expressed. Julie’s heart is genuine and so is the song she sings in her writing. They are “messy” because they are genuine. I hope you will read them slowly and drink deeply from the heart of my friend.

—Karl Forehand, Author of Apparent Faith

Hard questions deserve hard answers. What Julie does with her poems, lyrics, and musings is give us a glimpse into the mind of a traveler. One who is no longer okay with the status quo. One who understands it is time to rock the boat. The poets are continually on the front lines of change. Julie is no exception. She makes us look deeper at these questions. She makes us look deeper into ourselves.

—Jon Turney, The Unpastor

I first met Julie over the phone in preparation to do an interview. What started out as a 15-minute “get to know you” discussion turned out to be an hour and a half’s time of engagement and sharing. I was so impressed with not only her intellectual capacity but with her tender, brave heart to not only know truth but to engage with the Person of Truth. This engagement has not been without cost; it has also yielded tremendous intimacy and insight. Julie reflects this more mystical side of who she is in her Messy Musings - an intimate collection of poetry, lyrics and other writings. She invites the reader into a glorious exploration of truth, beauty, God, and life. Her approach is fresh and intimate. I could feel the breath of God unveiled as the words rolled off the page. She is a gem, as is this work. I am privileged to know her and endorse Julie McVey’s Messy Musings: Poems, Lyrics & Other Writings.

—Catherine Toon, Speaker, Coach, & Author of Marked by Love: Unveiling the Substance of Your True Identity

Life is random. Not a linear journey from cradle to grave but an immense series of this and that, often random events only connected by us. Imagine if we had the foresight to collect and reflect on those events, those moments. For Julie McVey, Messy Musings is the result of such reflections. A smorgasbord of savoury, sweet and even sour moments of her life offered to us in poetry, prose and song. Some pieces are intensely personal and moving, like “Fleeting,” …‘a comfortable shoe that wears out too soon’—what a beautiful way to express the loss of a friend (and a phrase I shall steal!). Or the profound, “Coloring Outside the Lines,” …‘Don’t follow or stay within the lines others give you,’ and “Art out of Shitstorms,” which is my personal favourite, because shitstorms are where the best art comes from. This is a collection I shall return to again and again.

—Rev. Simon Hammond, MTh, Practical Theologian