Category Archives: Life

Normalcy Returns

A sense of normalcy is returning to my life and with it joy.

During morning break on Sunday I replaced the air filter in the furnace knowing that the air conditioner would come on this afternoon when temperatures soared in the 80’s.

Then Sunday night I walked barefoot to the mailbox to get the mail I forgot to get on Saturday. It was wonderful to feel the grass between my toes. Most of the dandelions are nothing but bald stems. Those with “hair” remaining are about to be dust in the wind.

This was May 9th, the day before Mother’s Day.

And today as I stepped down the front steps onto the stones in the border and onto the grass.

I am so confident that the freezing weather is finally behind us that I washed my parka at lunch and put it in the closet.

However, the surest signs of normalcy in life are several streets in the neighborhood blocked off due to road construction. Yes, the lovely orange and white flowers have popped up everywhere. Some of you might call these flowers barrels but we in Ohio call them our state flower. 😀

May you notice signs of normalcy returning in your life and may they bring you joy.

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 for a Fortune 100 company. 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 also does not think or pray like you normal people. Michele is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Back To Normal

I had a picnic at the cemetery on Sunday. Numerous people were out there tending to graves, letting little kids ride backs in the back unused section and just walking around for some fresh air and exercise. Cemeteries have always been a great place for social distancing.

There are ponds, lots of trees, Canadian geese and the occasional swan or two. It really is more like a park than a cemetery, which is why I chose it.

I ate my Panera Cesar with chicken salad and drank my green tea, then read part of Beth Moore’s Chasing Vines book. It was a lovely mid-70’s day.

Afterwards I headed home. On the way I decided it would be best to stop at a red light instead of blowing through it. The guy behind me was not pleased and flipped me off. 🐦

So you see despite the pandemic, somethings are already back to normal. 😀

.Bless him Lord.

The Legal Pad: This post was NOT sponsored by Panera or Beth Moore’s new book Chasing Vines.

See you Thursday.

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 for a Fortune 100 company. 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 also does not think or pray like you normal people. Michele is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Drawing Circles Around Ohio – A 40 Day Prayer Challenge

Hello May!

So wonderful to see you.

Thank you God for nourishing the earth with rain today.

Liftoff!

Today, Ohio starts it’s journey back to economic prosperity. It will be a slow process but we will get our economy soaring to new heights. We have to, work is all there is to do in Ohio as a lot of summer activities are already cancelled.

So I figured this is a very good time for another read through of Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge. Forty days of setting a foundation of prayer around Ohio’s new beginning.

If your state is either still in quarantine or just starting to get back to business as usual, I challenge you to get a copy and circle your state in prayer.

You do not have to start today but can start on any date that makes sense. If your state opens on May 15, then start on that date.

I have a regular spiral bound notebook as my journal for the next 40 days. Ohio got circled in blue pen this morning, but I have my watercolor pens ready to use in drawing daily circles around Ohio. It will be fun to see what this page looks like in 40 days.

Now while I am challenging you to pray for your state the next 40 days, God may overrule me and want you to pray for another area of your life, such as work, family, or friends.

Listen to God.

Circle in prayer what He tells you to circle.

God’s Presence

In the introduction to Draw the Circle, Batterson writes:

If you press into God’s presence like never before, you will experience God like never before.

Mark Batterson
Draw the Circle
The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

Considering the shape of Ohio and this country, we need to press into God’s presence more than ever. We the people have eliminated God from our lives and are fearing:

  • the terrors of the night
  • the arrow that flies in the day
  • the disease that stalks in darkness
  • the disaster that strikes at midday

Psalm 91 tells us not to fear these things. However not only are we fearing those things, we are listening and putting our trust in man, in our government, and believing every word they say as gospel truth.

Stop It!

Give your terrors, your fears, your state, our country, or some other area of your life over to God the next 40 days and see what God will do. Maybe He will do something big or maybe something small or maybe He will do nothing at all – until the 55th day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

After the 40 days is over hopefully you’ve established a regular prayer routine. And hopefully Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 finds your state or another area of your life more prosperous, but if not, don’t despair as God answers prayers in His time not ours.

Just keep drawing the circle.

Stay humble. Stay patient. Stay focused.

Keep circling.

Mark Batterson
Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge
pg 20

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 for a Fortune 100 company. 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. Michele is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

A Simple Prayer

I wrote this post right after my church’s online prayer meeting.

Dear Holy, Gracious and Loving Heavenly Father,

I thank you

  • for being Holy, Gracious and Loving
  • for being generous with your love and blessings
  • for being incomprehensible – unable to be fully known but yet fully knowing us.

Lord as far as you being incomprehensible, I am unable to fully understand why on April 22, 2020, it is snowing – again.

I thank you for the snow. I may as well thank you for it because this mere mortal can’t stop it.

All I ask is that you use the rain, lightning, thunder, wind and snow that have blown through here the past few days and weeks, to clear out the Coronavirus. Just like in The Wizard of Oz where Glinda the good witch cleanses the field of poppies with snow.

That request may sound far-fetched to others, but you can do anything. I know that if it is your will, you will use this funky weather to lay the smackdown on the Coronavirus, ridding it from Northeast Ohio and the world forevermore.

In You Son Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name I pray.

Amen.

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 for a Fortune 100 company. 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 also does not think or pray like you normal people. Michele is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

How The Lock Down Has Messed With My Brain

I am going to get real, I am going to get messy and I am going to get real messy.

JoyReturns was never intended to be a rose-colored glasses, Don’t Worry, Be Happy website. Yes, I hope that my adventures through widowhood will provide some joy, hope, and roll on the floor laughing moments as you learn what to do and not to do while building a new life.

However, sometimes life gets in your face. Jesus dealt with issues head-on and so will I.

This pandemic has me missing Joe more than normal. There is nobody to snuggle with on the couch watching Sci-fi or John Wayne movies and no one with whom to discuss this mess. If he were here, his head would have exploded along time ago over what has happened to this country. In a way, it is good he is not here.

March 28th was the 12th anniversary of a blood vessel bursting at the bottom of Joe’s brain. That is the night I had a nightmare about rape, murder, grocery delivery and running to a neighbor’s house. I woke feeling very afraid for my life. The feeling penetrated all the to my core.

I’ve had 4 more nights of dreaming, but not remembering my dreams, and waking up with fear, dread, and anxiety. I’ve had to take a couple of 1/2 days off work to regroup.

Not sure why the brain is doing this because I know:

  • Jesus walked out of the tomb.
  • God is still on His throne and always will be.
  • The Holy Spirit is at work in people.
  • This closure will not last forever.

The virus does not scare me as I know Psalm 139:16 is true, our days were numbered before the world began.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:16
English Standard Version
(ESV)

I will go live with Jesus at the appropriate time and not a second before or a second later.

My concern is the slow destruction of this country. The founding fathers saw a country run by citizens and not big government. I understand President Trump has put together a committee to oversee the reopening. At least it is a start. There is an end in sight.

If I who am employed in logistics is feeling this mental anguish I can’t even begin to imagine what the unemployed are feeling. Yes, I have experienced unemployment but not under these circumstances. To all the unemployed may God bless you in unbelievable ways.

Just so you don’t think I am unable to see joy in this day, here is what I found:

  • Great conversation with my friend – via telephone.
  • Being able to take time off.
  • The wren’s returning to their home in my gutter after hunting worms all day
  • The maple tree on my tree lawn still standing after high winds. (20-40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph).
  • The golden lining in the silver clouds as the sun sets.

Now it is time for pizza, Pepsi, and McArthur Park (Donna Summer’s version) because what pizza, Pepsi don’t cure – disco will. 😀

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 for a Fortune 100 company. 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 OgleOhio.com

Happy Easter!

HE IS RISEN!…

Happy Easter everyone!

I know Easter celebrations will be smaller and more intimate this year.

This verse was Rommie’s favorite as she lived it out every day. The moment she woke up she grabbed her tennis ball and was ready to go outside and play. This was taken when I caught her rolling around as she loved to do.

I love the NLT version because it contains the word WILL and not “shall” or “let us” as in other versions.

So get out there and roll around as you sing Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia! with all 4 paws in the air!

For this IS the day the Lord has made and…

He IS risen, indeed!

The Easter Bunny hopped on over to OgleOhio after leaving his eggs here.

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 for a Fortune 100 company. 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 OgleOhio.com

Good Friday Wisdom: It Is Finished

Jesus willingly went to the cross with you and your sins on His mind. Thank you, Jesus.

The Death of Jesus ] Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19:28-30
New International Version
(NIV)

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 for a Fortune 100 company. 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 OgleOhio.com

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