40 Days of Joy

40 Days of Joy Update

Earlier this year, I stated that on November 22, 2022 I would start the 40 Days of Joy series again. It consists of recipes, quotes, scripture, gift ideas, regular blog posts and anything else.

However, there will not be a 40 Days of Joy this year. My year has been very productive just not in regards to my blog. While productivity mean accomplishments, it also means tiredness. But oh the accomplishments are wonderful.

This year has been filled with family, friends, good food, and good times. So I’m not complaining. It’s just unfortunately JoyReturns suffered.

I will be doing my best to publish more than once a week during the holidays but no guarantees.

Have a wonderful rest of the week and thank you for visiting JoyReturns.

God Bless You.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. Michele is the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.

40 Days of Joy

Anniversary & Announcement

I’ve been toying with an idea and decided that today, the 14th anniversary of Joe’s passing, would be a good day to make my decision public:

40 Days of Joy will return this year starting on 22 November and ending on 31 December.

“Joy To You and Me”

For those of you new here, 40 Days of Joy was a series I ran for a few years where I shared, recipes, thoughts, scripture, and gift ideas that might bring a little ray of joy during a chaotic time of year. It is basically Weekend Wisdom on steroids.

I will be working on new projects for this year’s version and may drop some hints throughout the year.

A project like this is what Joe would want me to work on, especially during these unsettled times.

May you have a blessed day filled with lots of 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. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele loves Jesus, books, history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.

40 Days of Joy

Unique Idea For First Christmas

Author’s Note: It’s 6/25 which means Christmas is only 6 months away, better get started on your Christmas shopping! Here’s an oldie but a goodie post that will give you some ideas to start working on. HoHoHo!





Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

Psalm 71:3 (NIV)

I wanted to do something special and unique for Joe’s brother’s, niece’s and nephew the first Christmas after he passed.   I thought about it and just could not come up with anything and even asked God for help.  (You can go to God for help with anything from the serious to the mundane – that is why he is there.)

Well Duh!

Then one day it hit me…Joe was a movie fanatic so I did gift bags containing some of his favorite movies.  They liked the gifts a lot and it gave them a sense their brother and uncle’s personality.

“Welcome to the Rock”

They knew he liked bang-bang shoot ‘em up movies (“The Rock”), action-adventure movies (“Pirates of the Caribbean”), and science fiction movies (“Serenity”).  However, his family was unaware of his love for movies such as:

  • “Cats and Dogs” – Family Movie
  • “Miss Congeniality” – Chick Flick
  • “Shawshank Redemption” – “Drama”
  •  “The Quiet Man” with John Wayne and Maureen O’ Hara (his all-time favorite) 

Other Idea

I thought of this again tonight while out with friends, only this time I thought of different items but same idea.

A gift bag of:

  • CD’s
  • Books
  • Pictures

Also include a list of more cd and book titles enjoyed by your spouse or other loved one. This way they can purchase more once they finish reading or listening to their gift bag contents.

Still Another Idea

Make a list of favorite:

  • Poems
  • Bible Verses
  • Quotes – Inspirational or Movie Lines

You could pick out a particular quote or verse and frame it to give along with the list.  Do a different quote or verse for each recipient.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas.   If you are unable to do this for Christmas, do this for each family member’s birthday.


“Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.”

Janice Maeditere