Category Archives: Life

Life, Death, Weather and Climate Change

When I attended GriefShare there were two videos dedicated to counting down the top 20 lessons one learns while going through grief. God’s sovereignty is their number one lesson and it is that lesson combined with a few things going on in this wild, wacky and wonderful world that inspired this post.

Life

Contrary to popular opinion, it does not take two to make a baby. It takes three – man, woman and God; a different type of Holy Trinity.

If God wants there to be a baby, then a couple will have a baby. Just think of how crowded the world would be if a man and a woman had a baby every time they made love. That does not happen because God does not want it to happen. He wants men and women to experience the pleasure of love making and not always have a baby.

When Joe and I married we decided to leave the decision about having children up to God. If He wanted us to have them then we would. However God knew our future, He knew the marriage would only last 14 3/4 years. So He decided we should not have children.

Instead, He blessed us with a golden fur child we named Rommie. We had some great times together as a family before Joe passed away. Rommie and I had some wonderful times together before she joined Joe in heaven 4 years ago. We were so thankful God brought her into our lives.

My favorite picture of Rommie and Joe

Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:16
New International Version
(NIV)

He also knew you, the moment you would burst forth in this world and how your life was going to fit into the the grand plan He had set in place.

He knew your trials and tribulations, your highs and lows and your successes and failures. All this He knew long before you were born.

Not only did God know everything about you before creation, He LOVED and STILL LOVES you despite your shortcomings.

Death

Since He knew us and the moment of our birth, it also means He knows the exact moment we will move to heaven. We can not do anything to lengthen our lives.

There is nothing I could have done to stop Joe from moving to heaven. His move was predestined – just as the date of my move was written in stone before God created earth and heaven.

Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful servants.

Psalm 116:15
New International Version
(NIV)

Thy Will Be Done

So often we rage against God for thwarting our plans. We act as if we are in charge and God is our personal genie at our beck and call. He is to do as we say and not function according to His will.

But that is not the case.

There is a reason the Lord’s Prayer contains the line

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

It is because God is in control. His will is perfect and better than ours – always has been and always will be. Even Jesus knew His Father was in charge.

Our birth and death are not the only things God alone controls. He also reigns supreme over the climate and the weather.

Supermoon 2012

Weather

Weather is defined by m-w.com as:  “the state of the atmosphere with respect to heat or cold, wetness or dryness, calm or storm, clearness or cloudiness.”

I am writing this on a balmy October morn here in Northeast Ohio. Balmy is not a word we use to describe October weather. When this post publishes the state of the atmosphere will be fall-like and not balmy.

If I Ruled The World balmy weather would continue till January (need 6 weeks of 32 or below to keep the insect population under control).

But I do not control the weather. Temperatures will fall, as they normally do this time of year resulting in windows being closed and wearing long sleeve fleece tops instead of my silky sleeveless ones.

The falling temps will eventually result in scenic views such as:

AND

If humans could change the weather us Northeast Ohioans would turn a steering wheel and send all the Lake Effect Snow to Michigan. The folks at the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) would turn a steering wheel and drive all hurricanes out to sea.

But we can’t send our snow to Michigan and hurricanes can’t be driven out to sea by humans. Only God can steer snow and hurricanes. He is exceptional at controlling the weather because He created it.

Galveston Bay 2009

24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Matthew 8:24-27
English Standard Version
(ESV)
Emphasis Mine

Climate Change

Climate is defined by m-w.com as: “the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation.”

Any climate change is a result of God, not man.

If God wants Ohio to be an arid zone, then He will change it. If he wants Texas to be covered in ice, then so be it. The climate is His and His alone to control.

Ever since God created the earth, it has gone through heating and cooling cycles. Cycles that last longer than our life span.

Nothing we do will stop Him from implementing His plan. He is weaving all our light and dark moments (both individually and collectively as humans) together and one day we will see His finished project.

The Only Climate We Can Change

“Downstream From Soda Dam” – October 1992 Santa Fe National Forest, Jemez Springs, NM

We can only change the climate of our hearts. How? Pray, Love God, and Love your neighbor.

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14
English Standard Version
(ESV)

AND

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22: 37-40
English Standard Version
(ESV)

Under New Management – Not New Ownership

This world was created by God and given to us to manage. Have we managed it well – sometimes yes and sometimes no.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Genesis 2:15
English Standard Version
(ESV)

Do we pollute the air more than we should – yes. Do we litter more than we should – yes. But God already knew how we would manage the world. He already knew about our use of petroleum, coal and natural gas and knew we would raise cows for our dairy and meat needs.

He knew because He gave us the knowledge and talent to be creative and invent technology that would help us thrive and prosper generation after generation.

Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
    you established the earth, and it endures.

Psalm 119:90
New International Version
(NIV)
Emphasis mine.

Quit trying to put yourself on the same level with God. We answer to Him, He does not answer to us. He owes us no explanation for anything that happens including earthquakes, hurricanes, lightning strikes, and untimely deaths.

The Bottom Line

We will be fine despite littering, polluting, farting cows and other things. The climate will continue to go through cycles and we will live the exact number of years God predetermined before creation.

Rainbow Over Neighborhood – June 2008 (photo by Michele Kearns)

So work on changing the climate of your heart, taking care of the planet and all of God’s creatures great and small but remember

God is in control.

Whether you like it or not,

He Has The Whole World In His Hands.

Either Chiniak or Kodiak, AK 1952
Taken by my Father while in the Navy.

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, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

The Legal Pad: All links are non-affiliate (just in case you could not read my writing).

The Last Summer Weekend: A Random Post About Life

This is the last summer weekend as fall officially arrives in Northeast Ohio Thursday, October 3rd when it will be rainy with a high of 65 degrees.

Until then we are blessed with more 70’s, 80’s and even a 90 degree day with some rain. Expect people to play hooky from work (like the Cleveland Indians did) this week so they can seize the last of the summer weather.

Changes

Personally, I am NOT ready for long sleeves and sweaters. I hate being cold because being cold means I am unloved. I have always felt this way. Yes, I know that being God’s daughter means He loves me even when the whole world does not.

Cool mornings and warm afternoons will give way to cooler days and even cooler nights which means a change in routine. More time will be spent indoors. More time spent reading and writing. (I really slacked off on my reading the past couple of months and need to pick up the pace.)

current reads

It also means more time spent in front of the boob tube watching Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, (Amazon – December 6) Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Amazon – November 1st), and the 3rd season of The Crown (NetFlix – November 17th). Other than those shows, I do not watch television.

My Fall Goals

Besides reading more, my goal is to spend 30 minutes a day on this blog. My tasks are to write and clean up and reformat old posts. After all, JoyReturns will be 9 years old on January 13, 2020 and she needs to be whipped into shape because something will return starting Saturday, January 18th, 2020. It brings me joy just thinking about it.

I also looked at my stats and discovered a milestone on the horizon. Reaching this milestone is only a few blog posts away, so I decided to go for it. This means more blog posts than originally planned. Since I work in retail, I better get them written as starting mid-November, life will be very chaotic.

Fall Bible Study

This is the new study our church is doing this fall. The small group I’m in meets once a month to discuss it. All I can say is WOW! Read this book. If you think you know the stories of Job and Abraham, you don’t. I see the story of Job and Abraham in a new light.

My advice to you is don’t focus on Job’s suffering. Focus on the fact that He had faith, he repented, he forgave and prayed for others during his suffering. We need to be like Job and do these things in times of trouble.

Abraham’s story is proof God can redeem any situation. Remember, Abraham tied his one and only son Issac to an alter and raised a knife preparing to kill and present him as a offering. Issac did not struggle or protest. He trusted his father.

So shouldn’t we trust God too with redeeming us from our nasty situations?

Next up chapter 3, Jacob’s story. The book ends with Nehemiah’s story.

Highly recommend this book.

It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Ring

I leave you with the exceptional Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington performing It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing. I change swing to ring at the start of every Cleveland Indians baseball season. Thank God baseball is JUST a game and NOT life or death.

Now go out there this weekend and next week and find a way to win despite the obstacles in your life. Remember, don’t compare your life to someone else’s life. We are all unique individuals and what winning looks like in our lives will be different.

Also, God’s got this because –

…God is incapable of messing up your life.

Avril Vandermerwe
Bible Stories For Big People
pg 35

Author’s Note: I had plenty of snarky, sarcastic comments about the Indians season but decided I would be a good girl and delete them.

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, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

The Legal Pad: All links are non-affiliate links.

End of Summer Life Update

Happy September.

It’s time for another exciting and down right thrilling life update. 😉

This summer was like any other summer with me getting up and going to work every day. No exciting vacation as travel plans are not in my budget.

A cousin from Texas visited for a few days. It was great to see him as it had been several years since his last visit.

The most exciting and blessed event was my youngest niece giving birth to a healthy and happy baby boy.

The second most exciting thing was my neighbor releasing his first album on Spotify – Mango Man and The Funketeers. If you like jazz you will love this album. They are just beginning to make their mark on the music world.

At work, I was chosen for a special logistics project and won serveral Amazon gift cards due to attendance and performance. One of the items I bought was a telescope.

Even Rommie is having fun learning how to use it and find objects in the sky. It also came with an attachment so I can take pictures with my phone. Once I get the hang of it I will share pictures with you.

Speaking of winning, I also won $127 dollars in free jewelry as a mystery hostess at a jewelry party. This jewelry junkie almost passed out from sheer joy.

History Love Rekindled

The biggest personal change this summer was a deepening of my love for history. It was always my best subject in school. But my love of history got put on the back burner after graduation because real life happens. However, I am looking at current events and life from a historical perspective.

Update On Experiencing God

In my last update I mentioned that our church was reading Experiencing God, Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King. We met in small groups once a month to discuss that month’s chapters.

A good time was had by all in my small group. Work interfered with me attending the third meeting and a pulled knee muscle prevented me from attending this month’s meeting.

Did I experience God this summer – yes. He showed up at work one day and the 5 or 6 of us that were working functioned so well as a team handling a situation none of us ever dealt with before – and never want to deal with again.

It was so stressful and the adrenaline pumping so hard and fast that I decided I was not fit enough to drive somewhere and eat a hearty meal – so I ordered pizza. Yes, I know it is called emotional eating and in that situation I had zero guilt and zero regrets.

If I could tell you what happened, you would understand.

Happening September

On September 17th I will be participating in Max Lucado’s Happiness Challenge which runs for one week and is being held in conjunction with the release of his new book Happiness Happens, Finding Lasting Joy In A World Of Comparison, Disappointment and Unmet Expectations.

I’ve read Max’s book Anxious For Nothing; Finding Calm in a Chaotic World and enjoyed it. Therefore, I am confident Happiness Happens will be a good read as well. A review will be posted as soon as I finish the book. I will also update you after I complete the one week Happiness Challenge.

Future Posts

In addition to the review of Happiness Happens, there will be posts at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

There may be a couple extra posts if I have a thought or adventure to share.

Ending on a Patriotic Note

I leave you with a video of Ray Charles singing America The Beautiful from game 2 of the 2001 World Series.

Have a fabulous, fun-filled fall.

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, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

The Legal Pad: All links are non-affiliate links.

Rebellion To Tyrants Is Obedience To God – A Widow Rekindles Her History Joy

Ever since Joe’s passing I’ve been rediscovering and/or reinventing who I am. The first step was upgrading from film to a DSLR camera, the next step was reading books, then came unemployment followed by LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogging. That is what widowhood is all about – moving forward with creating a new life while not forgetting the old one.

Now I am on to rekindling an old flame – history.

This summer I read Rebellion To Tyrants Is Obedience To God; The Role Of Christianity In The American Revolution by Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH.D.

History always fascinated me and was my best subject in school. Once I got out in the working world, my love of history did not occupy much of my time. My interest was slowly been rekindled over the past few years but has intensified this summer. History brings me joy.

However, in school I do not recall getting much of an education about Christianity’s role in our founding. My teachers may have casually mentioned it. So I did some research on Amazon about Christianity and our founding. Dr. Stackhouse Jr’s book was one of the search results and I found the title intriguing.

His book is packed or should I say stacked with quotes from and information about the founding fathers and their faith. There is so much information I found this post hard to write because I want to include everything.

Here is my best shot at a general overview with some quotes scattered through out.

The title of the book comes from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson proposed seal for the United States, which is on page 98 and the book’s cover.

They Had A Dream

The founding fathers had a dream, a dream of a country where man was not under the rule of tyrannical leaders imposing taxes on it’s citizens. A country of the people, by the people and for the people where man was free to choose and create his own destiny.

They Had Faith

But bringing this dream to life was in going to be what most would say is an impossible dream. However our founders had the faith to know that nothing is impossible with God.

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26
King James Version (KJV)

Their faith in God is the one thing that I quickly noticed when reading in the book. It was a strong faith, a passionate faith, a faith unlike what we see and experience today. These men KNEW their Bible and applied it to everyday life.

Our faith today is sterile, sanitized and bleached out. It’s too formal, to routine, to bland in fact it is down right too establishment-like. But that is a subject for another post.

#EarlyInfluencer

The Apostle Paul talks about submission to those in authority in Romans 13 as God put them there. It is generally interpreted as blind obedience to whoever is in authority.

However, Puritan minister Johnathan Mayhew (1720-1766) of the West Church in Boston gave a sermon on Romans 13 where he stated obedience to whoever is the ruler applies ONLY when the leader is being kind to his people. If he is imposing things, like taxes on tea, he is not being kind. Since he is not doing God’s will, we have a duty to rebel against the tyrant.

If it be our duty, for example, to obey our king, merely for this reason, that he rules for the public welfare, (which is the only argument the apostle makes use of) it follows, by a parity of reason, that when the turns tyrant, and makes his subjects his prey to devour and to destroy, instead of his charge to defend and cherish, we are bound to throw off our allegiance to him and to resist.

Johnathan Mayhew
Rebellion To Tyrants Is Obedience To God
Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH. D.
pg. 13

Mayhew’s sermon was given on the 51st anniversary of King Charles I’s execution after the English Civil war of the 1840’s.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (emphasis mine)

Matthew 22:37-39
King James Version (KJV)

Obviously imposing taxes or other nasty things on people is not loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Therefore we the people have the right to rebel against tyrannical rulers.

Preaching Politics

There were even sermons about politics preached from the pulpit in the pre-revolutionary war years. Sermons about God being almighty, powerful and the ultimate ruler. Understanding this puts into the power of kings and queens into perspective as they are mere mortals like the rest of us.

Knowing God is the almighty gave them courage to boldly proceed with the fighting for our right to be free from England and the tyrannical rule of King George III.

The Country’s One Foundation

American historian Henry F. May best explains the answer as to why Christianity played a role in our founding:

A great many people believed throughout the period that the religion of the Bible, understood best by simple people, was the safest foundation for all essential truths.

On the whole, various forms of Protestant Christianity served the emotional needs of most Americans better.

Henry F. May
American Historian and Margaret Byrne Professor Of History
University of California, Berkeley
Rebellion Against Tyrants Is Obedience To God
Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH.D.
pg. 43

Christianity is about a loving God who wants a relationship with all of us because we are his children. However, we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. He sent Jesus down to rescue us because God knew we would never be able to work our way up to heaven. Our good deeds towards others prove we are saved by God’s grace.

It is that simple. And that is how I like my religion – simple. No fancy, foo-foo, frilly religion for me. Foo-foo belongs on evening and wedding gowns. Life was hard back in the 1700’s and is still hard now, therefore religion needs to be simple.

Christianity And The Declaration

With Biblical principles so entrenched in people’s minds it only made sense to use them in the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…

The Declaration of Independence
Rebellion Against Tyrants Is Obedience To God
Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH.D.
pg. 60

The words were discussed and discussed until everyone could agree upon them because:

The Declaration had to be acceptable to all of the American People “if Congress expected them to live by it and die for it.” wrote Rod Gragg.

Forged in Faith How Faith Shaped the Birth of the Nation 1607 – 1776 by Rod Gragg
Rebellion Against Tyrants Is Obedience To God
Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH.D.
pg. 60

Dr. Stackhouse, Jr. points out that while Thomas Jefferson (writer of The Declaration) did not acknowledge a personal salvation experience, he agreed with Jesus’s teaching. He was also suspicious of religious institution and their leaders.

[Christ’s] system of morality was the most benevolent and sublime probably that ha sever been taught, and consequently more perfect than those of any of the antient philosophers.

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Dr. Joseph Priestly
Rebellion Against Tyrants Is Obedience To God
Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH.D
pg 62

Guess it is a good thing you are not alive today, Thomas. There are a lot of preachers and religious leaders that you would cause you to raise an eyebrow. (By the way, antient is an archaic variation of the world ancient per Merriam Webster.)

“But Wait, There’s More!”

There is more information in this book than I can cover in this blog post – freedom of speech, the Great Awakening, and separation of church and state (spoiler: it does not mean what you think it means) are just a few topics I did not cover.

There are also more quotes from other men such as Benjamin Franklin, Pastor William Sherwood, and George Washington.

I highly recommend Dr. Stackhouse, Jr’s book Rebellion To Tyrants Is Obedience To God; The Role Of Christianity In The American Revolution. It is only 102 pages but the wisdom and knowledge in those pages is vast and profound.

In fact, it would make a great election year Bible Study.

“And The World Will Be Better For This”

It took courage and guts to work tirelessly at fighting for our freedom from England and establishing this country. Their effort is something that we take for granted today.

The world is better because of the founding fathers and their “marching into hell for a heavenly cause.”

To them and to God I humbly and simply say:

Thank you.

The Legal Pad: All links in this post are non-affiliate links.

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, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Lesson From A “Love Note”

Yes, you read the title right – I got a “love note.” It has been over a decade since my last one from Joe.

However, this is one I NEVER want to get again.

Last week I found a “love note” from my city taped to my door. The note stated I had 15 days to replace my broken sidewalk.

HUH!

I am not able to pull that kind of money out of thin air. Who do you think I am Jeff Bezos? Warren Buffet? President Trump?

My neighbor is a contractor and last evening we discussed the situation as they got a “love note” too. There’s is in better shape than mine and they still got a “love note.” He will fix theirs and the 3 broken spots on my sidewalk.

So all is under control.

The Lesson

Check with your city and see who is responsible for the sidewalk.

Your Homework

Then save up thousands of dollars in a sidewalk fund so if / when you have to replace it, the money is there – especially if you happen to be a one-income widow when a “love note” is taped to your front door.

Section replaced by gas company 16 years ago.

By the way, they even used red tape. 😀

Hey!, wait a minute…what’s my city doing using my hard-earned tax dollars to buy colored tape? Plain old grey duct tape should be sufficient and cheaper.

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, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Welcome Tornado Season! – A Life Update

Happy Spring!

I wish I had an action-packed life update for you but alas…it has just been work (virtual call center), eat, and sleep since January.

Oh wait, I forgot about going from tornado sirens to snow to sun and green grass in about 16 hours.

I finished work one day in April, grabbed an apple from the fridge and went to sit on the porch and eat my apple before working overtime. I opened the door and was met with tornado sirens. (I highly recommend tornado sirens as a great late afternoon pick-me-up.) 😉

I flew back to my spare bedroom office and advised everyone in the chat I was out due to the sirens and then ran outside on the back deck to see what was going on. This picture was taken before the rain started.

What I learned from watching the Facebook live from one of the local TV stations is if the National Weather Service sees rotation on the radar they are going to issue a Tornado Warning, even if all is well on the ground. And all was well on the ground, no wind, rain, lightning or thunder.

When the rain came it was a gentle rain. I have video of the storm and a bird comes flying across the screen. There was also a lot of birds chirping in the video. I can’t get the video to upload to my blog or I would show it to you.

Then the next morning I work up to this:

Yep – snow.

Then in the afternoon, this was the scene:

Welcome to Northeast Ohio where Mother Nature’s hormones are extremely out of whack.

Book Launch

The highlight of the year so far was being on Christie Purifoy’s book launch team for her new book Placemaker, Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty and Peace. What made it so special was feeling as though we were a group of girlfriends getting together for a book club, even though we met on Facebook. The atmosphere was warm and cozy which made this launch team experience one of the best.

Bible Study

The church that I am a member of is doing the Bible Study, Experiencing God, Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King. When I found out about this, I thought “You could blog your way through this book.”

Yes, similar to the movie Julie and Julia where Julie Powell blogs about cooking her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I need to make up my mind quickly if I am going to do this as we are already on week 3 or 4. It would mean a blog post per week for 26 weeks or I could write the posts and publish one a day the month of October in memory of the now defunct Write 31 Days.

I am through chapter 4 and have some conflicted thoughts I am mulling over.

The Soundtrack of My Spring

Here are some of the musical tracks I’ve been enjoying:

Still Rolling Stones by Lauren Daigle from her CD Look Up Child – play this every morning.

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by J.S. Bach (Organist Unknown)

Symphony Number 5 in C minor Op 67 by Beethoven (West–Eastern Divan Orchestra Daniel Barenboim, conductor)

Rhapsody in Blue – George Gershwin (Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic Orchestra)

Hallelujah Chorus – London Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus, John Pritchard – I play this at the end of long, hard work days.

Stomp – Brothers Johnson – This is how I start my weekend.

Alexa played Symphony #5 and immediately went into Rhapsody in Blue which really caught my attention. I never thought putting those back to back on a playlist. Guess my Echo Dot is good for something – we have a love/hate relationship.

And speaking of playlist…I am working on creating 2 playlists on Spotify. One is entitled Cardio and the other is Inspirational. I will let you know when the lists go live.

See You In September

Well, that’s all that is new and noteworthy in my life. See you in September with another life update that hopefully will not involve tornado sirens.

I leave you with a picture of the golden retriever statue Joe bought in 2004 that I dressed up for Easter. Joe and Rommie are up their in heaven shaking their heads in disbelief. 😀

Disclaimer: All links are non-affiliate.

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 an amateur photographer.

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.

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