Tag Archives: 31 Days of 5 Minute Freewrites

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.


31 Days of Joy: Day 30 – Comfort and Joy in Philippians

Before I read today’s devotion I was having small moments of panic realizing the expenses I have coming up – car insurance, new battery for computer, and Rommie’s hip medicine.

I sat in the dining room chair this morning to read my devotion. “Hopefully I can find some comfort in my devotion.” I said to Rommie.

When I opened the book to today’s devotion, this was the verse:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

The devotion was all about changing your thinking, because what you think about you bring about. Focus on what you have, focus on the positive, and focus on the Lord.

After all, the Holy Spirit is more powerful than my chattering monkey brain.

A good message to read since my seasonal job ends tomorrow.

Yes, I found comfort in today’s devotion but I also felt a connection to God’s love and peace. In other word’s I found joy.

31 Days of Joy: Day 29 – Joy in Ephesians

There is nothing pressing on my mind to share with you today.  Instead I decided to share this verse:

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 

Ephesians 3:19 (NLT)

I wish this for all my readers.

Sleep well in God’s arms tonight.

31 Days of Joy: Day 28 – This Is Not A Trick But…

it is not a treat either.

I was told today that my seasonal job will be ending on Friday.

This is not unexpected after all I knew it was a seasonal job when I hired on.

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10

The joy in all this is when I am home, I will NOT be drinking Pepsi in the afternoon. High volume call centers run on caffeine whether it is coffee or pop.

This weekend I will be tweaking my resume, LinkedIn profile and making changes to my blogs.

I have already sent out emails updates to my friends letting them know.

God brought me this job and He will bring me to another one.

        I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

    where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121: 1-2

So stay tuned – November is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) so you could find 30 days of posts about job searching.       😉



31 Days of Joy: Day 27 – 71 Degrees of Joy

It’s late October in Notheast Ohio  The sign at the local bank indicated it was 71 degrees at 7:15 p.m. when I went to get a Mint Oreo Blizzard.

71 degrees on 10/27 in Northeast Ohio – now THAT’s joy.

Thank you God.

Now off to enjoy the nice weather with Rommie before bedtime.

Sleep well my dear readers.

31 Days of Joy: Day 26 – Chasing Mr. Groundhog

I slept all night.  It was a great night’s sleep, one desperately needed after working 48 hours last week. Upon rising, I fed and watered Rommie, ate breakfast, skipped church, and went to Petco.  After I got home, I moved the computer and lapdesk to my bed and started working on the lessons from the online Business and Marketing Writing course I am taking.

Naptime was around 1:30ish and lasted until approximately 4:50 when the burglar alarm (Rommie) went off. She was at the sliding glass door barking and jumping up and down while looking in the direction of our neighbors. I thought they were outside and Rommie wanted to say hi.  I asked her why she was barking like that at the neighbors.

I opened the sliding glass door and she jumped off the deck into her yard and ran faster than a speeding bullet towards the neighbor’s brown fence. It was then I gasped and held my breath.

You Would Think…

Rommie (golden retriever) has lived with me for 12 years. During that time she caught a bunny, chased numerous kitties that roam the neighborhood, pulled out 2 5-week old kittens from under the deck, and had 3 encounters with the black kitty who has a white stripe down his back.

So you would think that I would learn to look at what she is barking at before opening the door…but nooooo.

The Invader

What captured her attention was Mr. Groundhog.  Instead of being by the fence at the back of Rommie’s yard, he was up close to the house.

I silently prayed for Mr. Groundhog to outrun Rommie and slide under the gate before she caught him while visions of a trip to the emergency vet danced in my head.

Luckily, Mr. Groundhog did slide under the gate to safety. Rommie might be 12 and have hip dysplasia but that did not stop her from chasing Mr. Groundhog.

Here are some old pictures of Mr. Groundhog. There simply was not enough time to grab the camera and take pictures today.

"Hmm, where is that crazy golden?"

“Hmm, where is that crazy golden?”

"Should I or Shouldn't I"

“Should I or Shouldn’t I”


"See Ya!"

“See Ya!”

Thank you God for Rommie not catching Mr. Groundhog.

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