Category: Life

Living With My One Broken Heart

In the new devotional book The Way of Abundance, a 60-Day Journey into a Deeply Meaningful Life,  Ann Voskamp asks at the end of the Day 4 Devotion,

  • How are you living with your one broken heart?
  • How is God asking you to step toward an abundant healing?

These are the first questions, I’ve been able to answer. The other 3 days left me sitting at my computer in a stupor saying “Duh! I don’t know.”

My One Broken Heart

How am I living with my one broken heart?

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A heart that’s been broken more times than I can count in the last decade. First with Joe’s passing, then a year later being laid off due to a departmental reorganization, and then years of struggle rebuilding my career. So the answer to “how am I living wth my one broken heart? is:

  very messily

Life has been messy for the past few years. It’s what happens when every year is worse than the last one and you do not know what to do to improve your life. Fortunately, I have a job but as much as I love it, there are bills that can not be paid. Changes are coming soon which hopefully will mean a brighter future.

Abundant Healing

How is God asking me to step toward an abundant healing? The answer to that question is simple, painful and frustrating –

He is asking me to put my trust and hope Him.

Trust and hope are the two things that have slowly disintegrated in my life the last 4 or 5 years (I’ve lost track).

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It is hard to trust and have hope in God when everybody else’s life is flourishing and yours is heading down the crapper, no matter how hard I pray,  how long I pray, or the wording of my prayers. But I am called to put my trust and hope (confidence in a future event) in God even if he changes my residence to the city’s sewers.

More Questions

So those are my answers to Ann’s questions. I will be blogging about questions to other devotions as well.

 

What are your answers to these two questions?

 

(Disclaimer: I am on Ann Voskamp’s book launch team and received a copy of some devotions for review.)

 

 

red-rose_signatureBio: 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, 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 and is an amateur photographer.

New Year’s Eve Wisdom – Adelaide Anne Proctoer

I used her Thankfulness poem on Thanksgiving Day and then found a verse from today’s poem on QuoteGarden.  Thanks to Poetry Nook for the entire version.

May Adelaide’s poem speak to you this blessed night.

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The Old Year’s Blessing

by Adelaide Anne Procter

I am fading from you,
But one draweth near,
Called the Angel-guardian
Of the coming year.

If my gifts and graces
Coldly you forget,
Let the New Year’s Angel
Bless and crown them yet.

For we work together;
He and I are one:
Let him end and perfect
All I leave undone.

I brought Good Desires,
Though as yet but seeds;
Let the New-Year make them
Blossom into Deeds.

I brought Joy to brighten
Many happy days;
Let the New Year’s Angel
Turn it into Praise.

If I gave you Sickness,
If I brought you Care,
Let him make one Patience,
And the other Prayer.

Where I brought you Sorrow,
Through his care, at length,
It may rise triumphant
Into future Strength.

If I brought you Plenty,
All wealth’s bounteous charms,
Shall not the New Angel
Turn them into Alms?

I gave Health and Leisure,
Skill to dream and plan;
Let him make them nobler;—
Work for God and Man.

If I broke your Idols,
Showed you they were dust,
Let him turn the Knowledge
Into heavenly Trust.

If I brought Temptation,
Let sin die away
Into boundless Pity
For all hearts that stray.

If your list of Errors
Dark and long appears,
Let this new-born Monarch
Melt them into Tears.

May you hold this Angel
Dearer than the last,—
So I bless his Future,
While he crowns my Past.

 

 

See you on Tuesday 1/2 when I will announce my Word for 2018.

 

christmas signatureBio: 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 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. 

Your Halloween Treats

Happy Halloween!

I know not everyone celebrates Halloween so today’s post has something for everyone.

Today was Rommie’s favorite holiday. We got her on Columbus Day and then 2 1/2 weeks later she learned about Halloween and became a fan of all the people who came to see her every year. She did not care whether they were rich, poor, young, old, middle-aged, white, brown, yellow or green. She showed the same love to everyone…and everyone showed the same love back to her.

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Howl-o-ween 2013

No Treats For The Kiddo’s 

I will not be passing out treats to kids as I am working until 7 p.m. and Trick or Treat is from 6 – 8 p.m. After work, I will probably join the neighbors and their 2 teenage boys who LOVE to scare the teenage girls. It is so funny to see the girls go running down the street screaming, sometimes with one of the boys chasing them. The little kids are left alone but teenage girls are fair game.

Treat For You 

You, on the other hand, are getting a treat – Timothy Keller’s speech at Q Ideas. He is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the author of the books Hidden Christmas, The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ and The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms among many others.

Please don’t skip watching this video. You will know if you are truly saved after listening to Tim’s speech.

Halloween Fans

For those of you who celebrate Halloween, here is a treat from 1964.

Enjoy your day, whether or not you celebrate Halloween.

 

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 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.

 

52 Bible Verses for a Joy Filled Year – Week 44

Welcome to week 44. I’ve taken a different approach and created a picture post with a collage of the good things (people, places, animals, and events) at the end.

Enjoy!

What no eye has seen, 

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What no ear has heard, 

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and what no human mind has conceived

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the things God has prepared for those who love him. 

1 Corinthians 2:9 

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June 19th, 1993

 

Skull Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash

Headphone Photo by Malte Wingen on Unsplash

Eye Photo by Drew Graham on Unsplash

All other photos by Michele Kearns

 

 

 

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She blogs 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 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.

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

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.