Category Archives: Faith

What I Would Tell My Younger Self

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This post is inspired by Holley Gerth’s Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely for which I was blessed to be a member of her book launch team.

In chapter 5 Holley talks about if she could go back to her elementary school, she would look into her younger self’s eyes and tell her

“You’re going to be okay. Actually, you’re going to be quite wonderful.”

That got me to thinking what would I tell my younger self if I could go back to elementary school.

Now you have to be very, very, very careful what you tell young children as they are very, very, very, impressionable. I know. I was very impressionable and had words said to me that should not be said to anyone of any age.

I am going to put a different twist on Holley’s idea and say what I would tell myself at the following turning points in life:

  • elementary school self
  • 18-year-old self the night before graduation
  • 22-year-old self the night before college graduation
  • the night before my wedding self
  • the returning to work self the first day back after Joe’s passing.

My Elementary School Self

What I would tell myself the night before I start first grade. This is the most difficult because I would not want to freak my young self out, but there is an important life-changing, life-shaping event that will happen in a year. I need to instill confidence in her and not destroy her self-esteem.

  • Never forget Jesus loves you.
  • Love everyone
  • Be Kind to everyone
  • Pray
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“Honky Tonk Woman”

Oh, and 1 + 1 = 2 not 11.

My 18-Year-Old Self 

The night before my high school graduation I would say:

  • Don’t give up the flute. Take lessons in college. Start a hobby career as a flute player for weddings, cocktail parties, and other social events. Keep track of your clients and stay in touch with them during the holiday season. This is called networking and you will be ahead of the rest of society if you develop good networking skills now.
  • Change Your Major. Instead of setting your sites on being a teacher, major in Library Science with a minor in creative writing. Make sure you do not lose your conversational writing tone.
  • Stop being a people pleaser. Instead, live to please God.

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My 22-Year-Old Self

The night before my college graduation I would tell myself:

  • Stay grounded in the Bible. It will always be your manual for living fully and loving bravely.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. You need to be grounded in gratitude as it will help you get through life.
  • Learn how to apply makeup and keep up with the trends. Teaching people how to apply makeup is a vital skill now and in the future. If you work in retail, push to get into the makeup department.

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The Night Before My Wedding Self

I would say:

Love, Live, Laugh, Dance, Hold Hands, Snuggle, Kiss A Lot

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You waited a long time for marriage – cherish it.

  • Keep doing small things for him. It’s the small things that matter, like making Tuna Casserole.
  • Live by Elizabeth Barret Browning’s How Do I l Love Thee poem:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

 

My Newly Widowed Self

Here is what you need to do to thrive:

  • Write, write, and write. No one but you has to see what you write – not yet anyway. Hone your writing skills but keep the conversational tone.
  • Get some career counseling. Start and figure out what you would do if you were laid off.
  • Go back to school. I know the thought of term papers makes you want to puke but go back to school anyway.
  • Trust God. I know it is easier said and done, especially when times are tough but you have to do it.  He really IS your shepherd.
  • Keep praying and keep writing in a gratitude journal. This will help keep your mind focused on God and what is right in your life.
  • Get Back to photography, and reading. You enjoyed these hobbies before you got married, now get back to doing them again.
  • Eliminate the word “survive” and “okay” from your vocabulary. Focus on thriving instead. Surviving means treading water and okay means mediocre. You need to thrive and not survive.
  • But most of all:

BE KIND

Life is not going to get any easier. As a kid, you always knew life would be a struggle and your gut instinct was right. So no matter how hard life gets be kind to others as you are not walking in their shoes and don’t know what battle they are facing. Being kind will help keep your heart from hardening.

Remember no matter how hard the rest of your life will get:

Life is beautiful2

 

Now It’s Your Turn

That’s the advice I would give myself throughout different turning points in my life.

What advice would you give yourself?

 

Hands Photo by Shelby Deeter on Unsplash

All other photos by Michele Kearns

Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely by Holley Gerth

Let’s be the HEROINES in our own wild, imperfect, glorious stories. Never the understudy for someone else’s. 

Holley Gerth

Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely

Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely is a collection of stories from Holley Gerth’s life packed with encouragement. This is Holley’s best book yet because of how vulnerable she is in sharing personal stories.

Every chapter beings with a powerful quote from other author’s such as Madeline L’Engle, Ann Voskamp, Kaitlyn Bouchillon and the late Kara Tippetts. Then Holley tells a story about a certain time in her life. Events from childhood to college to marriage through the present are told in a conversational tone with faith,  wisdom, and encouragement being woven throughout.

You will read stories about, a paddleboat, bone in a chicken, infertility, and depression among others.

Time Machine

Her stories transported me back in time to my childhood and while I didn’t have a paddleboat,  I had a saucer sled. My friends and I had plenty of fun with that saucer sled during the summer when using it with a piece of rope and a chestnut tree.

Holley’s words show you how you have already lived fully and love bravely, what you need to do now is figure out how to get back the fierceness you had that got lost in the business of everyday life.

Never Too Late

While all the quotes Holley chose to begin the chapters are excellent and contain their own wisdom, it is the quote at the beginning of the epilogue that spoke to me the most:

It’s never too late for a happily ever after.

Lovelle Gerth-Myers

Holley’s daughter

Lovelle is right. It really is never too late for a new beginning. The story Holley shares about Lovelle’s adoption proves it.

Holley’s book gives you the support and encouragement to get out there and live fully and love bravely. Whether you are widowed, divorced, or just feeling lost, this book is for you. Because you are already a fiercehearted woman, a heroine of your own God-ordained story,  you just don’t realize it yet.

Remember, your happily ever after is waiting.

Fiercehearted Manifesto

Here is what Holley wrote about fiercehearted women on a plane one day that became the inspiration for her book.

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Disclosure: It is a blessing to be on Holley’s book launch team and be a part of a wonderful team of women. You too will be blessed by reading Fiercehearted. After you do, go out and fully and bravely live and love so you too can say “it’s never too late for a happily ever after.”

FYI: I had a hard time writing this review because of all the words and phrases running through my head. I finally decided the words belong to several posts and not just one. So there will be more posts based on the subjects in Fiercehearted.

Wednesday Wisdom: Fiercehearted

Yesterday was release day for Holley Gerth’s new book Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely.  As a member of the Fiercehearted Warrior Launch Team, I got to read Holley’s book before launch day.

As usual, there are a lot of notes in the margins, sticky notes, and highlighter. I plan on doing a more in-depth review later this week but thought I would share some of my favorite quotes with you in case you are in need of a mid-week pick me up.

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“It’s a brave thing to stay fully alive in all your living.” 

 

“I thought if I could just be successful enough, I would become someone else. But you can’t grow into someone new. You can only grow into more of you.” 

 

“The Lord Restores.”

 

“Because friendship is really all about helping each other become who God intends for us to be tomorrow.”

 

“Whatever this world may do, we’re going to keep being courageous.” 

 

“Let’s make this

our declaration: 

instead of trying to have it ALL TOGETHER, 

we will dare to do

real, messy, imperfect

life all together

 

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Full review coming Friday 10/6. 

 

All We Are Left With

 

The post At The End Of All Things. by my friend and fellow blogger Andrew, really hit me hard yesterday. His wisdom and common sense are gained from being in the process of moving to heaven.

Here are some of the words that spoke to my heart.

At the end of all things, all we’re left with is our faith, and our hope, and our love. These are the imperishables, but they’re ours to throw away if we choose.

Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart

Yes, at life’s end all we are left with is our faith, hope and love. Whether we love well or poorly, love is our greatest legacy.

Will you be like Andrew and become love?

I encourage you to read Andrew’s post, it will give you a different perspective on your life.

Andrew ends his posts with a musical theme. Today’s music is from the late Jim Croce. Lyrics are below.

“I Got A Name”

Like the pine trees lining the winding road I got a name, I got a name Like the singing bird and the croaking toad I got a name, I got a name And I carry it with me like my daddy did But I’m living the dream that he kept hid

Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

Like the north wind whistling down the sky
I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
Like the whippoorwill and the baby’s cry
I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I go there proud

Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

And I’m gonna go there free

Like the fool I am and I’ll always be
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
They can change their minds but they can’t change me
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
Well, I know I can share it if you want me to
If you’re going my way, I’ll go with you

Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by
Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and seize new opportunities to rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can view her photographs at OgleOhio.com, because one blog is not enough.

A Job Is A Banquet

Today is the 3rd and final installment of the series Parables for 21st Century Job Seekers.

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As an employer you have an obligation to hire someone who is unemployed, as long as they are mostly qualified. Hiring unqualified people for a position is irresponsible. However, is there another position in your company they can perform?

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Working for you is being invited to the banquet. The job will help them pay the bills, put food on the table, improve their self-esteem, strengthen their skills and develop new skills.

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

Matthew 25:40

(NIV)

As Ann Voskamp mentioned in The Broken Way, A Daring Path Into Abundant Life, Jesus does not care about your bucket list.

He cares about what you did to help the least – the poor, lame, widowed, unemployed, homeless and others society marginalizes. How did you serve them?

How you served them is how you served Jesus.

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Luke 14:12-14

(NIV)

Being paid back at the resurrection of the righteous is more important than being paid back now.
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Job Seekers

Remember, when someone invites you to the banquet you are required to mind your manners. This means you need to perform your duties better than what you manager expects. By doing your new job well, it will encourage your manager to take a chance on inviting other unemployed people to the jobs banquet.

Be open to feedback from your manager but work as though you are working for God.

Question

To all you hiring managers –

Who will you invite to the banquet today?

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Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows as they move through grief and seize opportunities to rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can view her photographs at OgleOhio.com because one blog is not enough.

 

Parables for 21st Century Job Seekers – Camels and Needles

Welcome to the second post in the series Parables for 21st Century Job Seekers. Today’s parable is about the rich man.  This is a lesson for the job seeker on how to behave now and when they are no longer a job seeker. However, this is mostly a lesson for the rest of us who are not job seekers. Disclaimer: I did not attend seminary and do not have a Master of Divinity degree.

I was a 21st Century job seeker, trying to rebuild a career that allows me to thrive financially and pay all the bills. Yesterday I started training for a work from home call center job.

Now on to today’s parable.

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The Rich and the Kingdom of God

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his kneesbefore him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[d]

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

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April? (left) & Oliver? (right)

This parable is one that got reinforced and the point driven home more and more since I started rebuilding my career.

Now Jesus does not indicate what amount of money makes a person rich. The Bible states “great wealth.”

While rebuilding my career, I have found rich people are too busy working at staying rich and/or powerful to reach out a hand to help someone up on their feet or even help them put one foot up on the next rung of a ladder. They are not even willing to listen to and/or stand in solidarity with those in career transition.

Not all rich people are like this, there are those who are willing to reach out their hand into another person’s darkness and turn on the light for them. But those rich people are rare. Yes, I know some and I thank God for them being involved in my life. 

I am not the only one who has noticed rich people not being willing to help out even in the smallest way. There are lots of conversations about this a various networking events.

The tough part is to find ways you can help another one while you are poor yourself. Listening to someone about their problems and sending encouraging emails or cards are two ways to help.

If you find ways to help other poor people during your poor time, that makes you richer than a person with great wealth. 

5 Ideas To Help A Job Seeker

  • Spend 5 minutes calling H.R. and let them know someone you casually has applied for a position at the company and would they please pull your acquaintances resume from the black hole, review it and at least call the applicant. It is up to the applicant to do well enough on the phone call to get an in person interview and do well enough in the interview to get the job. 

 

  • When you know that your friend started a new job at a company and you have connections at that company. Offer to connect your friend to your connections. Your friend may not be aware that you have connections there. It helps to have an ally when starting at a new company.

 

  • Gift cards are a great way to help a struggling person. Whether gas, food or clothing they will be appreciated. My brother in law and his wife usually get me a calendar and attach one gift card for each month. Last year instead of a calendar, they gave me a new wallet with several gift cards in them. They are how I eat and get gas during financially troubled times.

 

  • When you have a barbecue, invite your friend going through a job searcht. The diversion will be treasured. Perhaps your friend will make a new friend at your barbecue. The principle also applies during holiday parties.

 

  • If you say you will keep a job seeker in your prayers – do it. I have heard that phrase numerous times but it is usually said in a way that makes me doubt whether the person is praying for me. Now there are a few close friends who I trust to pray for me and their prayers are much appreciated. 

 

  • Then there is also the ever popular meeting for coffee. This way you can find out how the person is doing and it gives them someone to vent to if necessary. When you are in the midst of a job search, time to vent is important. A coffee meeting that lasts 30 minutes will be the bright spot in a job seekers day and let’s them know they are not alone.

One Second

If you are rich, remember it only takes a second for you to suddenly become the job seeker in need of help. So remember to stop using all your time to stay rich and powerful and spend some of your time humbling yourself in service to others.

If you are struggling now, do your best to give with a cheerful heart however you can and you will be richer than the richest man on earth. Remember, it only takes one second for you to be employed again. When you do, never forget your recent experience and help other job seekers.

Definition Of Rich

Oh and by the way, I define rich as $30,000 and up.

(Coming next week: Banquet)

Photos courtesy of Unsplash; Verse courtesy of Biblegateway .

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives by seizing new opportunities. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can view her photographs at OgleOhio.com because one blog is not enough

21st Century Parables – Introduction

Good Morning.

Starting tomorrow = I will be writing about some of the parables Jesus taught and explain how they apply to job searching in the 21st Century.

Job searching is one of my adventures since becoming a widow (it is worse than grief).

Lately Jesus’ parables have crossed my mind and I’ve been able to see how they apply to today’s job search. This is a subject I’ve been thinking about for some time and finally decided to do it.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication (college speak for public speaking) and not a Master of Divinity so I’m not an expert in theology. What I am an expert in is grief, job search, and society’s treatment of those in transition.

The Parable of the Sower is coming tomorrow. Other parables are:

  • The Rich Man
  • The Banquet

as well as any other ones I can apply to job search.

Now off to put paint chips on my spare bedroom walls as I am converting it into an office.

Enjoy your day and I will see you tomorrow.

God bless you.

 

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