grief, Joy

10th Birthday!

When my first blog post went live 10 years ago today, I was not sure JoyReturns would be around to celebrate 1 year let alone ten. In fact, I was skeptical it would last six months.

Well, here we are 10 years later. Pretty good for someone who always thought her writing stunk because of it’s casual tone. God gifted me with the ability to write informally because He knew I would become a blogger. Writing about grief does not need to be done in a formal, stuffy manner like CEO’s, lawyers and other business professionals.

JoyReturns started as a way to provide encouragement to widows that their joy would return and to support them as they journeyed through grief. The best way for me to do help them was to share my adventures as I worked through grief, unemployment and whatever else came my way. Hopefully, not only would my readers be encouraged by my journey but they would get a laugh or two.

Also, I hoped sharing my adventures would show society widows do move forward with life and that we are not scary creatures with cooties.

God used my words to reach people in 165 countries and I was privileged to hear from widows about how they found the inspiration to move forward with building a new life. Other people reached out about how I gave them a better understanding of widowhood and how to help their friends and/or family members that were suddenly widowed.

So thank you God for how you have used JoyReturns so I could accomplish my vision

 “…That henceforth I may be the salt of the earth and a blessing to all.”

Regeneration – prayer from The Valley Of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions – edited by Arthur Bennett

In 10 years the world has drastically changed. I do not understand the world and will not try to figure it out but simply turn it over to God. He is still on His throne and still in charge – Hallelujah!

Last year, I was planning on a big blowout of a party. However, with all the insanity of 2020 carrying over into 2021, it will just be a quiet night with a Dairy Queen Blizzard.

What does the future hold for JoyReturns, that remains to be seen. God whispered in my year “widow’s website” early one morning, so I am praying for God’s guidance. Nothing I thought of last year, newsletter, podcast, printables etc seemed right.

I will republish older posts in addition to Weekend Wisdom and new content.

Whatever comes our way this year, God willing I will still be pursuing my vision of being both the salt of the earth and a blessing to all.

Thank you my dear friends for coming on this journey with me. Your friendship these past 10 years means more than you know.

Have a joy-filled day and remember:

For his anger lasts only a moment,

    but his favor lasts a lifetime;

Rainbow Over Woods Behind House – June 2008 (photo by Michele Kearns)

weeping may stay for the night,

    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5 (New International Version)

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog

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