Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.Psalm 47:1
New International Version (NIV)
You are invited to join me in the clapping and shouting that I’ve done the past few days.
About 5 years ago, JoyReturns had been read in 115 countries according to the map in my WordPress analytics.
If someone in a country read this blog, then the country was light blue. The more people in a country that read a blog, the darker the blue. If no one has read the blog, then the country was white.
Just for grins, I decided to access my stats and get an updated count on the countries JoyReturns has reached. I expected the number to be between 115 -125.
Well God pulled a fast one on me.
JoyReturns has reached 161 countries.
The ideas, opinions, thoughts, and adventures of this unexpected widow have been read by people in 161 countries. Not bad for someone who always thought her conversational writing stunk.
I have not promoted JoyReturns on any social media platform for years. The fact that this blog has reached an additional 46 countries is the work of God.
Where JoyReturns Is Not
According to the WordPress map, these are the places where JoyReturns has NOT been read (click on the links to learn more about them):
- South Sudan
- Central African Republic
- Western Sahara
- Cabo Verde
- Sierra Leone
- North Korea
- Equatorial Guinea
- Solomon Islands
- New Caledonia
- Papua New Guinea
- Svalbard-Jan Mayan
- Republic of Congo
- Falkland Islands
First, I would like to thank God for whispering the words “Widow’s Website” in my ear early one morning in late 2010. I wrote the words to blog posts and you saw that they were read in countries where they needed to be read.
Second, my humble thanks to J.T. O’Donnell of Work It Daily for her guidance and coaching on how to start a blog and for being my first subscriber.
Third, Thank you to my readers for your support over the years. Many wonderful relationship were made here and I cherish everyone of them. It is a pleasure to read blogs about other people’s adventures whether they be the good, the bad or the ugly because we all have something to learn from one another’s lives.
Lastly, but certainly not least, I thank you Joe. Every moment, from the first time I dispatched a service call to you to our last moment as man and wife, was an integral part of making me the woman I am today.
I thank you for loving me, for your kindness, for your faith in me and for the joy you brought to my life. It was an honor and a privilege being your wife for 14 3/4 years.
You still and always will have a piece of my heart. But I have done what you wished and moved forward with life.
I look forward to the day when we will see each other in heaven.
Future of JoyReturns
JoyReturns future is in God’s loving and capable hands. Only He knows the plan for this blog. However, my goal today is the same as when I started blogging:
“…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 )
I hope by sharing my adventures as I rebuild my life they provide support and encouragement for widows and educate society about grief, joy, and the realities of widowhood. If so, then with God’s help I am accomplishing my goal.
Time to Celebrate
Now I am off to celebrate reaching 161 countries and my Dad’s birthday at Dairy Queen. Dad, Joe, Rommie and numerous other relatives are celebrating his birthday with him in heaven.
…Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.Psalm 30:5 NLT
No matter what country you live in. 😀
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. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, co-facilitating a grief support group, and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com