Blog

Surviving the “Land Between”

Posted: March 6, 2017

It’s a strange and raw place…that “land between.” It’s a lonely and dry desert; caught between our old normal and longing for our glorious destination. It could be a myriad of things that brought us there like divorce, bankruptcy, death, move or any other painful loss. What once was familiar is gone, and the unknown future looks bleary, sad and perhaps even hopeless. You and I don’t want to be like the Israelites wandering around in the desert for 40 years lamenting the meat and melons they left behind and yet fearful to embrace their promised land. While we are in that dry and lonely place, how do we move toward the hazy horizon to make our new destination a glorious reality? The “land between” is a hard place. In the last four months of my grieving journey I have seen and experienced many glimmers of hope for my good…

Posted in: Fear, God's promises, grief, Hope, pain, pray, Prayer, rest, time

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Friends Help us to Heal

Posted: February 7, 2017

I call it my “Black Friday.” Throughout the three weeks of my husband Jack’s death and funeral, my house was a revolving door with family, friends, neighbours and super sized casseroles. Then the day came when I drove my last child to the Kelowna airport and walked through my front door. Empty house. Alone. Then came Friday. The sky was heavy with winter gloom and grief stabbed at me with knives that shook me to the core. Never before had I experienced the depth of such pain, darkness and “aloneness”. I was startled when my cell phone rang and then heard the gentle and loving voice of a dear friend. Once I heard the emphatic tone in her voice all I did was sob. And sob. She didn’t try to console me, fix me or make things better. She simply cried with me and then listened. Once I was able…

Posted in: alone, death, empathy, friends, Friendship, funeral, grief, listen, pain, pray, relationships, sympathy

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Finding Hope when Life Falls Apart

Posted: February 1, 2017

While having lunch with a friend, she looked me square in the eye and blurted out: “Can I ask you a personal and tough question?” I smiled, nodded and she proceeded. “I know that in the last 23 years both your husbands died suddenly, one on the basketball floor and one on your kitchen floor. These similar events both happened before Christmas. How do you reconcile this with God?” I smiled and chose my words carefully before I began. At church we worship with hands in the air, clapping and declaring that God is a “good, good God, and that He is good all the time.” What joy to sing this when life is good and our daily normal is filled with passion and purpose. But, how do we find hope in the midst of devastating and mysterious events? In spite of my circumstances I am able to heal and…

Posted in: community, crisis, Friendship, good shepherd, grief, Hope, mystery of God, trust, Uncategorized

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Building Authentic and Loving Relationships

Posted: January 23, 2017

Since my last blog post I’ve had many women ask: “So Heidi, how do we build those loving and authentic friendships and relationships”? This past week I spent a delightful evening with one of my tribes and I posed that very question. The next hour was filled with honest and engaging conversation. Here are 7 basic tips we came up with: Know Yourself. Our soul must be nurtured to be healthy and strong so that we can overcome jealousy, offenses and negative situations. If we foster a victim mentality eventually we will feel disappointed, hurt, rejected and move onto what we think will be something better. Often times the best friendship is right under our nose but we don’t take the time to cultivate it. Our foremost and vital relationship is with God who is the only One who can grow us into the people He designed us to be….

Posted in: authentic, Expectations, Forgiveness, Friendship, loneliness, personalities, relationships, shame, time, vulnerable

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A Home Called Harmony

Posted: December 2, 2016

My beloved Jack McLaughlin wrote this blog for me in November, 2014. He died November 15, 2016 leaving a powerful legacy of building a blended family  which he called: “a home called harmony.” Today I want to honour him by showing the world that Jack not only wrote these words, he lived them with honesty, passion and love. Through 48 years of consisting of 2 marriages, I have learned the significant part that husbands have in alleviating family stress and tension and promoting peace and harmony. It simply requires that a man step up to be proactive, rather than withdrawing and isolating himself from what goes on in the home I experienced a very positive example of this several years when my wife Heidi and I were invited to spend a weekend with a couple and their three children. We looked forward to the visit with keen anticipation of a weekend…

Posted in: Expectations, Families, Harmony, home

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You Loved Him Enough to Marry Him

Posted: November 11, 2016

He’s my hunk, tall, dark and handsome, the man I dreamed about marrying. Your guy may be blond and blue eyed; rugged and strong; funny and outgoing, or intelligent and quiet. Yet we all found qualities we loved in the guy we chose to marry. He’s our hunk; the man we thought was the perfect fit for us. Then the lovey-dovey feeling we had when we first got married wears off. This happens around six months to two years after our weddings. Then we must make choice; will we learn to love our spouses even when we don’t feel like it, or do we give up in defeat? I chose to stay in love with my husband, appreciate his good characteristics, and pray about the rest. Staying in love is a decision of the mind and heart; it’s as commitment to God and each. The Elevator Woman House and riches…

Posted in: Commitment, companionship, Encouragement, Friendship, Good Marriage, Harmony, love, Respect

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5 Ways to Exit our Comfort Zone

Posted: October 27, 2016

We love the comfort zone of habits. Sitting in our usual church pews, visiting with the same friends, eating at our favourite restaurant and travelling the same route to work each morning take the guesswork out of our complicated life. It’s easier to stay home and watch Netflix series, lounge around in our P.J’s and converse through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Staying within our comfort zone is like a security blanket that keeps us from worrying or looking stupid. But it can also make us predictable and boring. We need to know when it’s time to let go and move into a new season. Yesterday on my walk I came across a pear orchard, splendid in its brilliant harvest colours. I was busy clicking pictures when I noticed a single pear hanging on for dear life. I could almost hear it saying: “I like it here. Leave me alone, I’m…

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty Unleashed, Boring marriage, comfort zones, Encouragement, Freedom, Friendship, fulfillment, Good Marriage, happiness, joy, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, patterns, weeping

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De-Clutter Your Marriage-9 Simple Ways

Posted: October 3, 2016

One of these days I will de-clutter and re-organize my walk in closet. “One of those days” came on January 3 of this year when a portion of the closet broke away from the wall and dumped itself in the middle of the floor. As I sneezed through the attempt to rescue the drywall-covered mess, I came up with a plan. This was my time to rid the closet of all unnecessary clutter. I threw the rest of the clothes on the floor and added to that pile all the “stuff” out of my bins. Then began the ruthless process of de-cluttering and disposing. If I hadn’t worn it in the last 2 years or didn’t like it, it went into the “giveaway” pile. I was shocked to realize how much “stuff” was lurking and cluttering up my life. We Accumulate Unhealthy Habits There are times we need to STOP…

Posted in: Balancing life, Communication, de-clutter, Expectations, finances, frustrations, good conversation, Good Marriage, happiness, Intimacy, messes, Simple, Understanding each other

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Winning at All Costs: Can you Afford it?

Posted: September 6, 2016

Today I have invited my friend Deb DeArmond as my guest blogger. Deb and her husband Ron are authors, teach at marriage conferences and have written a brilliant book called DON’T GO TO BE ANGRY: Stay up and Fight. I highly recommend this book for its wisdom and practical tools for a Godly and healthy marriage. Below is just a snippet of what you will find in their authentic teaching. DEB’S STORY: “You process faster than I do. You talk faster than I do. And if you want to “win”—you’re on a roll. But if you want the best solution Deb, one we can both fully support, we need to slow this conversation down and really listen to one another.” It was a moment. Do I want to win? Or do I want the best solution? My solution IS the best one, therefore, I win! Good thing my husband, Ron,…

Posted in: angry, Communication, companionship, Conflict, Differences, fighting, Finding Truth, good conversation, Good Marriage, honesty, Listening, Making Wise Choices, wining, winning

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Respect: 12 Examples for Happiness

Posted: August 13, 2016

After 30 years of being married I finally learned that respect is a husband’s greatest need.  Finally, I found the perfect formula for a marriage and of course, it’s in the Bible: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy…” (Ephesians 5:25). It goes on to say: “…and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). If this simple but challenging principle is lived out, especially during difficult seasons, it is a sound solution for a happy marriage. It saddens me to see marriages breaking up because of selfishness and a sense of entitlement that says: “He/she is not making me happy and meeting my needs, and I don’t want to be married anymore.” First of all, we are the only one responsible for our happiness. It  will astound us that when we show respect to our husbands the…

Posted in: communicate, companionship, decisions, Expectations, Friendship, fulfillment, Good Marriage, happiness, Harmony, Making Wise Choices, power of words, Respect, Understanding each other

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