Spiritual Prepping

{Day 11} Spiritual Prepping: Renewing

For over a decade now, I’ve said grief is life’s greatest self-improvement course. It is true. God will draw you closer to Him during your grief journey. My relationship with God is much closer now than it was at any other time in my life. But that closeness did not happen overnight.

God and I had many a long, hard wrestling match since Joe’s passing and after I got dumped in the unemployment line one year later.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

I spiritually transformed because God used grief to get me to sink my roots deeper into scripture which renewed my mind. However, he also reignited my desire for history and photography and then nagged at me until I decided to learn blogging.

Doing each one of those things helped me become a different person. A person who keeps renewing her mind with God’s word so I do not conform to worldly patterns – well…most of the time I do not conform.

When I crawl into bed tonight, I will thank Him for the day and ask Him to forgive my sins and make me a better person tomorrow than I was today.

The renewing of my mind will continue until He calls me home at which point I will experience the ultimate transformation.

So let God work on renewing your mind every day. You will be amazed at the results.

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 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 loves Jesus, books, history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.


Introduction to 31 Tricks to Scare Away The Grief Monster Series


Tomorrow is October already and in the blogging world that means one thing – time for another round of Write31Days. This year hosted by Crystal Stine.

Last year was my first year and I joined in the 11th hour so my posts were not good. However, I have been planning and outlining this years posts since June.

This series was inspired by the book Life Is A Verb, 37 Days To Wake Up, Be Mindful and Live by Patti Digh. The idea came to me in June but started taking shape in July.

My Credentials

I am not a licensed grief counselor. My grief lessons came from the school of hard knocks starting in March 2008 when my husband Joe unexpectedly moved to heaven. Since then, I’ve had over 10,000 hours experience being a widow and learning to redefine and live a new life.

I also attended the GriefShare program for one year and was asked to be a Co-facilitator in June 2009. For the next 5 years, (as my work schedule permitted) I mostly listened as God helped people mourning the loss of spouses, children, parents and other loved ones get through their grief. This Christ-centered, Biblically based program works.

Every Day

You will find the following items in each post.

  • Scripture Meditation
  • “Tricks”
  • Quote Meditation
  • Original photography

The “Tricks”

These “tricks” are easy and simple because that is what you need when grieving. They will require you to do something as doing is the best way to move forward through your grief journey. It is alright if you fall flat on your face while doing these “tricks” because falling on your face IS moving forward.

You will also find a link to each post on my 31 Days page in case you miss a day. The links will be orange colored.


There are well over 1,000 bloggers doing this challenge. I will share links to other blogs if I believe they will be of assistance to you.


You can also put your email in the box on the sidebar to get a daily post in your inbox. If you already get posts from me in your inbox, you are all set. (Don’t worry, I do not spam anyone or sell your name to any person or company.)

I welcome connection requests on LinkedIn, (personalized requests only) and Twitter. My email is Michele dot Kearns @ joyreturns.com (spelled out to avoid spammy emails).


Not much sleeping will be going on in the Kearns’ household this October and I will not be the only sleep deprived blogger out there. So look out world!

If you own a Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Panera or a local coffee house, my fellow bloggers and I will help you exceed your monthly sales goal.

Personally, I also welcome suggestions for an excellent but affordable eye cream and concealer. Besides doing this series, I am in career transition and need to look good for my interviews.

Wishing you joy,



31 Days of Joy: Day 31 – Getting Lost In Music As October Goes

Today is the end of 31 Days of Joy, and the end of October.  I will make sure the links are up this weekend to all the posts.

It is very fitting I end this month with a post about music. I love music and feel great joy getting lost in the strains of Beethoven’s Symphony #9 Frank Sinatra’s The Best Is Yet To Come or The Village People’s YMCA.

Instead of posting “The Monster Mash” or some other Halloween song I decided to post a Barry Manilow song.  After last winter I now see October 31st as Barry Manilow Day – and it gives me the shivers.  Today, October goes and that means one thing…“The snow begins to fly” – brrr.

Enjoy this beautiful song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Barry Manilow.