Tag Archives: hope

Weekend Wisdom: Overflowing With Hope

This is one of my favorite Bible verses.

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

All We Are Left With


The post At The End Of All Things. by my friend and fellow blogger Andrew, really hit me hard yesterday. His wisdom and common sense are gained from being in the process of moving to heaven.

Here are some of the words that spoke to my heart.

At the end of all things, all we’re left with is our faith, and our hope, and our love. These are the imperishables, but they’re ours to throw away if we choose.

Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart

Yes, at life’s end all we are left with is our faith, hope and love. Whether we love well or poorly, love is our greatest legacy.

Will you be like Andrew and become love?

I encourage you to read Andrew’s post, it will give you a different perspective on your life.

Andrew ends his posts with a musical theme. Today’s music is from the late Jim Croce. Lyrics are below.

“I Got A Name”

Like the pine trees lining the winding road I got a name, I got a name Like the singing bird and the croaking toad I got a name, I got a name And I carry it with me like my daddy did But I’m living the dream that he kept hid

Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

Like the north wind whistling down the sky
I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
Like the whippoorwill and the baby’s cry
I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I go there proud

Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

And I’m gonna go there free

Like the fool I am and I’ll always be
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
They can change their minds but they can’t change me
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
Well, I know I can share it if you want me to
If you’re going my way, I’ll go with you

Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by
Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by

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 seize new opportunities to rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can view her photographs at OgleOhio.com, because one blog is not enough.

{Day 1} 31 Tricks To Scare Away The Grief Monster – CHOOSE

Welcome to 31 Tricks to Scare Away The Grief Monster. This series is part of the Write31Day challenge which is held every October. As revenge for writing this series, the grief monster decided to mess with the formatting of the second half of this post. I will not let him prevent me from doing this series. I choose to write on.

Today’s “Trick” 


Scripture Meditation

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

When your spouse, or other loved one, moves to heaven you have 2 options:

  1. Stay Stuck In The Muck
  2. Move Forward With Your Life

You need to choose which option and your choice will impact the quality of your life.

Door #1

The first option is the one the Grief Monster wants you to pick. He loves it when people stay stuck. Staying stuck means you do not progress any further in your grief than Day 1. You choose to feel the intense pain and shock of Day 1 for the rest of your life. You go through a lot of mascara because it keeps running down your face when you cry all the time.

Door #2

The second option makes the Grief Monster cower in fear. He does not want you moving forward with life. By moving forward I mean doing the work to determine what life looks like without your loved one.

Some questions you will ask are:

  • Do I do the things I did before you became a couple?
  • Do I continue with the same things we enjoyed as a couple?
  • Do I develop new interests?

Choosing to move forward means you still grieve, but you work through your grief. Your time line did not end just because your husband’s did.


Choose to move forward in honor of him, knowing he is in your heart forever.  


Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.

Walter Anderson

Today’s Resource

I will periodically share resources with you throughout this series. Here is today’s resource:
Sara Borgstede has put together My Hope Toolbox: Practical Help for Depression and Sadness. I have my copy and plan to use it to help with the frustration and sadness of job searching. This kit will work, as long as you choose to use it. Click on the picture in this post, or in the sidebar to purchase for $4.
I am a member of Sara’s Faithful Finish Lines program and have been since November 2014. She’s done a wonderful job building a community of women who support and encourage one another on their faith and fitness journey, that is how I know My Hope Toolbox will work.  Read more about Sarah here.  (Disclaimer: The link is an affiliate link and I will receive compensation for any purchases.)
My Prayer
It is my prayer that you choose to work through your grief. If you are not grieving but know someone who is, encourage them to deal with their grief.
Dealing with the grief monster is not easy and quite painful at times. Choosing to move forward with life tells the grief monster you value life too much to stay stuck in the muck.
10-10-2011_3by5Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© Award-Winner of JoyReturns.com. She encourages widows and educates society about grief and life as a widow by sharing her widowhood adventures. A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in communications, she has used her skills in the banking, collections, outdoor products and social media industries. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can see more of her photography at OgleOhio.com.

Going Away

Yesterday was the 7th day of the new year – 7 days in and I’ve already crashed and burned. So I am taking a break till Tuesday because I am tired and weary. I need to renew my strength and resolve for this fight called life. And life is a fight – otherwise we would not need the armor of God.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God,so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Tuesday 1/13

Four years ago today I signed up with WordPress and on 1/13 it will be 4 years that I published my first post. So there will be a brief anniversary post on Tuesday and then I will go away for awhile.

You will have a better chance of finding me over on my  photography blog OgleOhio since no words are necessary there.

You are able to reach me by either completing the contact form at the bottom of this post or at michele dot kearns at joyreturns.com 

Until such time as I see fit to return:

May the God of Hope fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust in Him. 

Romans 16:13

Blessed and Alone: A Summary of 2014

A few weeks ago I read an article, I think from WordPress, about summarizing 2014 in a few words. I had already thought about the words that best describe this year.

After much reflection 2014 for me is best described as the year of being blessed and alone.

Some of my blessings in 2014 were:

  • good health
  • a wedding
  • two babies (not mine)
  • blog growth
  • a roof over my head
  • good health for family
  • seasonal call center job
  • Rommie being in good health
  • Faithful Finish Lines Challenge
  • good health for my 10 yr old car
  • the women of Faithful Finish Lines
  • freelance work for a marketing company
  • the women of 31 Days of 5 Minute Freewrites
  • the friends who helped with my job search
  • the trainers and co-workers at my seasonal job who were always available to answer questions

These are a few of the blessings God bestowed upon me this year.


The sense of aloneness I experienced this year was worse than any year since Joe moved to heaven. It is hard to describe this aloneness that has taken over every nook and cranny of my body and soul.

I understand God is with me and together we can do anything but it does not feel like He is with me.

Hope For 2015

There is hope for next year – there is always hope.

It is hope that I cling too because:

Hope is an expectant desire; a confidence in a future event; a ground for trust and confidence; to think; to look forward to with trust and expectant desire.”


A hope that God eliminates this aloneness.

A hope that He blesses me in multiple ways.


Dear Grief, Your Armageddon Is Coming

(Kate Motaung wrote an e-book entitled Letters To Grief. It is just .99 cents on Amazon. Here is one of my letters to grief, which will be linked to Kate’s blog.)

Dear Grief,

It is hard to believe it is over six years since you moved in with me after Joe’s unexpected passing. You are also the only one with whom I have danced cheek to cheek since then and  you are not a graceful dancer. Besides my toes, you also stepped on my heart. Then you dipped and twirled me at the wrong times and places as we waltzed to life’s music.

I learned to cope with you while moving forward with my new life. I also did reconnaissance work and learned your ambush tactics.

Oh, how I despise your ambushes! You attack me with the power and might of a nuclear bomb. Usually, I am able to anticipate your attacks and launch counter-measures.

However, I must applaud you for the exceptional job you did nuking me at Joe’s youngest niece’s wedding reception. I anticipated your appearance but was unprepared for the intensity of this nuke, which made a hot August night, even hotter.

The type of nuke you chose was music and the song was out of this world – Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing from the movie Armageddon. All the couples made their way to the dance floor where they slowly swayed to the music, while getting lost in the moment of holding each other close.

And there I sat alone – the wallflower.

No one with whom to dance.

No one to wrap their arms around me, holding me close enough to hear their heartbeat.

It brought back memories of the junior and senior high dances, only back then I had hope for a future full of dancing cheek to cheek with a husband.

Now-a-days men my age prefer women in their 20’s and 30’s, therefore as far as I know I will never again feel sweet surrender as a man holds me close while dancing the night away.

But wait…

There is hope.

Because God will one day dry every last one of my tears.

Afterwards, hopefully He will allow Joe and I to once again hold each other close and dance cheek to cheek – on top of your grave, Grief.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21: 4

Your Armageddon is coming Grief – are you and your best friend forever (BBF) Death ready?

No Love Always,


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