Tag Archives: joy

Christmas Music For The Grieving

Christmas music took on a new meaning for me after Joe’s passing in March 2008. It was something to be avoided. It no longer brought back memories of singing carols in church or when youth group went Christmas caroling. Even recent memories of Christmas services became a blurred memory.

Christmas is a time to chipper and sing joyously at the top of your lungs. I was anything but chipper that year. Especially when it comes to the  “song-which-must-not-be-named.”

So this year I Googled Christmas music for the grieving and came upon Denny Burke’s wonderful article about Steven Curtis Chapman.   After reading the article, I went to my Amazon music account and listened to some of Steven’s Christmas albums in order screen which ones would be least likely to induce a meltdown.

Here are the three I spent listening to. They are from least likely to most likely to produce a meltdown of Wicked Witch of the West proportions. (Of course, it is entirely possible that any Christmas music will reduce a grieving person to a puddle of tears.)

Christmas Hymns (2015). As the title indicates, there is nothing romantic on this album. Now if you spouses favorite Christmas hymn is on this album, then you might shed a few tears.

The Music of Christmas (1995). There is nothing romantic that will induce a meltdown of Wicked Witch of the West proportions. However, Going Home For Christmas is about a mother’s move to heaven. Precious Promise is a beautiful, tender song about Mary and Jesus’ birth and could cause some tears just depending on your mood.

Joy (2012) Recommended only if you have been a widow for at least 5 years. But be forewarned there is a romantic song entitled Christmas Kiss, that might send you over the edge. The song is definitely not for the newly grieving spouse.

These are my opinions. Every person and every grief is different. Please review the list of songs before deciding whether or not to purchase as you need to make sure the songs will not cause you to have a meltdown.

I will keep looking for Christmas music by other artists that are appropriate for grieving people.

In the meantime, please avoid the “song-which-must-not-be-named” – Have Your Self A Merry Little Christmas. 


(Disclosure: All links are non-affiliate.)



christmas 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 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.


52 Bible Verses For A Joy Filled Year – Week 4

The verses used in this weekly series are from Norman Vincent Peale’s 52 Weeks To A Positive Life, which is a series of 52 cards. However, the card for week #4 is missing. So I found another Bible verse that is not in the cards.


This is one of my favorite verses and there is a magnetic book mark standing on my desk to keep this verse front and center in my mind. I find it very comforting and uplifting. Hopefully you do as well.

May you overflow with hope this week.

Weekend Wisdom: Bacon

Every Thursday night there is a Five Minute Friday chat on Twitter (#fmfparty). During the chat Kate Motaung reveals the word prompt everyone is to write on for five minutes and then publish. I usually check what the word is on Friday and see if I can come up with a post. This year my brain has struggled to come up with posts so my participation in the group has not been what I want.

Last week’s word for the final Five Minute Friday of Write31Days was BACON (click to read all the Bacon posts from different bloggers).

It was my intention to work that prompt into my 31 Days of Tricks to Scare Away the Grief Monster, however my brain was so fried from all the writing I was unable to see, through all the grease, how to work it into my series.

So I skipped the word prompt again.

Then this past week I was given a new Christmas decoration and I now have someone to pet.

Here is a picture, which is worth a thousand words er laughs.

So without further adieu, I give you Santa Bacon.

Santa Bacon

Here is Eartha Kitt’s original version of Santa Baby.


Oh, and my goal for next Halloween is to be able to fit into this dress.

What To Do In Ohio During November – It Is Not What You Think

Some people like to snuggle and watch movies during November in Ohio. Others like to head to one of the area malls and get a head start on holiday shopping. There are those that prefer to curl up on the couch underneath a homemade afghan with a good book and a cup of hot tea.

However there are a few people, a rare breed who prefer to go to the lake and not to just sit and be still before the Lord but..


to waterski.


Yes, it was that warm yesterday.

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

And I did praise him as I sat there at Chippewa Lake taking in what should be the last 70 degree day for many months.

So if water skiing season is over where you live, come to Ohio.


10-10-2011_3by5Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. 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 view her photographs at OgleOhio.com her photography blog because two blogs are better than one.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Well happy Wednesday folks. I’ve received the Sunshine Blogger Award from Joan at MarltonTrainer.com and Art4All. If you have a creative blog, click on the Art4All link and leave a comment for Joan. She is putting together a directory of creative blogs. You Rock Joan!

I first met Joan during the Write31Days challenge when she did the ever popular 31 Days to a Better Butt series. Don’t worry she is a personal trainer so you are in good hands.

Now to answer Joan’s questions.

What do you enjoy the most about blogging? Connecting to readers and other bloggers. It is the modern day form of having pen pals. I have friends in Germany, Spain, Illinois, New Mexico, and Alabama just to name a few.

Have you been or aspire to be published? Have not been published but I have an idea, I think. We’ll see what comes from it.

What makes you happy  joyful? My backyard view as I feel connected to God there, full moons because I love to try and photograph them,  rainbows because they are God’s promise to His children (there were a lot of them after Joe passed in 2008) sunsets and photography.

100_0422 - Copy

Supermoon 2012

Supermoon 2012

"Mr. Roy G. Biv"

Summer Night

What is your scariest moment? I’ve been through a lot of scary moments in the past 7 1/2 years but I think the scariest will be when, if, when I go out on a first date again.

What upcoming movie or TV show are you looking forward to most? I read books instead of watching TV. As for movies, they are usually not in the budget. However, there is a Biblical one coming out in January that looks interesting.

Which season is your favorite? Spring – New Beginnings, New Life.

Do you enjoy the holidays and if so which do you like the most? I hate the chaos of Christmas but LOVE spending time with Joe’s family. Mom and I celebrate New Year’s Day together.

Are you more of a homebody or a person that goes out? More of a homebody but I need to change that since I am in job search mode.

Would you consider yourself an Introvert or an Extrovert?  There is introvert, ambivert (middle of the road) and extrovert.  I am 1/2 way between Introvert and Ambivert. I do not mind talking to people on the phone, which most introverts hate.

What is your favorite animal and why? – Golden Retriever. Why? Lots of smiles and unconditional love.

Rommie Kearns 8/5/2002 - 7/31/2015

Rommie Kearns
8/5/2002 – 7/31/2015

My Nominations

If you are a blogger and would like to receive the Sunshine Blogger Award, please comment below, answer the same questions on your blog, and link back to this post. I have not read a lot of blogs lately but am working on resolving that issue.

Thanks again Joan for the award.


Just had to post this too and if you do Joan’s exercises – you will look good in these clothes.

Unroll.me – How to Unclutter Your Email

Since for the next two weeks I will be working on behind the scenes maintenance with Writing 101 and Blogging 201 from WordPress, I decided to work on another “behind the scenes” project known as taking out the email trash.

Oh boy does my email get cluttered and it is my fault. I always need to keep learning more and more so I sign up for all sorts of newsletters and blog posts to hopefully help me be a better blogger, writer, jobseeker, networker and a better person overall.

Word for 2015

My word for this year was Thrive (and I’ve once again survived but not thrived). There were 3 words that supported “thrive” – Intentional, Simplify, and Trust.

Well yesterday I intentionally simplified by email by logging back into my Unroll.me account and deleting a lot of subscriptions to newsletter and blog posts.

It’s simple. All you have to do is create a Unroll.me account using your email and a password you remember, then it will show you all the newsletter and blog posts you have subscribed to. You simple click “unsubscribe” to anything you no longer want to receive. This is a great tool for simplifying your email inbox.

Now my email looks a lot better and yours will too.

Stay tuned for the further adventures of Michele’s “behind the scenes” life during the next two weeks.

Have a joy filled week.


Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. 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 photography at OgleOhio.com.

{ Day 31 } Finale of 31 Tricks to Scare Away the Grief Monster – GROW

Hallelujah! We’ve both made it through the Write31Days challenge. Thank you for sticking by me through thick and thin this month. It was an rough journey for me, one that I did not expect. Here we are crossing the finish line together.

Today’s Word is


Scripture Meditation 

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.

1 Corinthians  3:6

God uses your grief to grow you in your spiritual walk with Him.

You do the work, walking baby step by baby step and God uses those baby steps to grow you. You grow with every smile or wave you give someone. You grow by sitting with someone as they grieve. You grow by dreaming and crafting a new life. Every little step you take, God is using to mold you into the person He wants you to become.

That is His plan for everybody – growing your character. It is not about achievements as that is boasting. It is about who you are as a person that is important to God. He will use all sorts of life circumstances to grow you.

You can be a ditch digger but as long as you are serving God right where you are at, you are accomplishing His will for your life. If you are a motivational speaker but not helping others up to the next level in their career, you are not accomplishing His will for you.

So take baby steps every day in confidence knowing God is growing you and yes, growth is painful. But He is your comforter.

Quote Meditation 

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.

Benjamin Franklin

Coming Tomorrow – Final Thoughts About This Series and How I Made It Through the First Halloween Without Rommie

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