Blog: ask God

SIGHTS AND SIGHS-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 9, 2022

Apparently I sigh a lot. My daughter Michelle informed me of this as I huddled over a very difficult 1000 piece COKE puzzle during the Christmas holidays.  Of course I was sighing, this was a seemingly impossible task. But my sighing turned into joy when another piece found its place. Eventually, by asking for help and calling in the troops, the puzzle was completed and we cheered and clapped. I know puzzles are a frivolous example, but there are a lot of hardships to sigh about right now. Reading the heartbreaking news of over 1000 homes burnt to the ground in Colorado, the new Omicron variant, harsh winter where I live and tragedy everywhere. Just this week I’ve received news of two more dear people graduating into Heaven. So much sadness. So much sighing.  I love the comfort of the verses in Psalm 5:1 “Give ear to my words, O LORD,…

Posted in: adversity, anxiety, ask for help, ask God, breathing, disappointments, disasters, Expectations, feeling good, God's promises, grief, hurting world, mourn, Omicron, Overcoming Struggles, pray, Prayer, sighing, sighs, waiting

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Chasing Sunshine-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 28, 2021

Bursts of joy immerse my heart when the sun breaks through the clouds and sunglasses glide onto my face. Add to that my favourite flip-flops and a linen top and I’m on my way to a good day. I live in a beautiful vineyard valley with lots of sunshine, which is perfect for nourishing the grapes and sweeting the wine. But it’s not all sunshine. A heavy blanket of grey seems content to sit on top of the mountains from the middle of November to February. These are the months I have to get up and actually chase the sunshine. We have to chase the sunshine. If I don’t make a concerted effort to seek sunshine, the gloomy clouds will suffocate my soul. So I have to remember that clouds can be deceptive.  Their puffed up, dark stories lie to us. This is your life right now, dark, gloomy without…

Posted in: alone, ask God, beauty and joy, bitterness, chasing sunshine, do the right thing, Encouragement, Forgiveness, fresh joy, gloomy days, God's goodness, Kindness, Making Wise Choices, Patience, temporary

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Accumulate Experiences-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 7, 2021

Pumpkins are put away, and in Canada, the Christmas wreaths will soon be adorning the front doors. Quite frankly November is one of those in between, dreary months.  And with the oncoming time change it will soon be dark when we get up in the morning and dark while eating supper. One of my least favourite times of the year. The trees are almost bare, the vineyards have lost their colour and I can smell the oncoming snowflakes.  Not enticing for a fun loving, outdoor energetic person. f I’ve learned anything in the past 21 months it’s that life can evaporate without meaning if I don’t intentionally embrace it.  And with Covid still lurking and hovering in the sidelines, let’s spur each other on to ignore fear and NOT become “lazy-boy Christians.” I’ve decided I’d rather accumulate memories than accumulate more possessions. I’ve needed so little in the last 20…

Posted in: accumulate experiences, ask God, beauty and joy, don't be fools, Encouragement, fresh joy, Friendship, God's creation, hiking, joy, pray, we need each other

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When Life Squeezes You-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 29, 2021

I squeezed a lot of lemons this summer. Trying to stay fresh during heat waves, smoke from forest fires and lemon water for keeping my summer company hydrated. I squeezed lemons for lemon water, canning peaches, and grilling salmon. The results were always the same; lemon juice came out. But of course, when something is squeezed whatever is on the inside will come out. The Bible puts it this way: “…for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). We’ve been squeezed the last 19 months and it’s a daily struggle. You’re all glued to the news these days so I don’t have to list all the lemons. So how are you dealing with the restrictions, disappointments, polarized opinions and those “other” people that annoy you? Are your true lemon colours showing up? Have you become angry, defensive, blaming, gone into depression or withdrawn? Or do…

Posted in: adversity, anger, anxious, ask for help, Beauty from the Inside Out, Christ in us, Conflict, disappointments, Faith, feeling bad, Finding Truth, Forgiveness, from glory to glory, God's promises, lemonade, lemons, Overcoming Struggles, Prayer, squeezed, transformation, trust, trust Good, worry

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Growing Joy and Freedom in the Fiery Furnace-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: March 8, 2021

Let’s face it; we don’t like being thrust out of our comfort zone. But if we knew that adversity revealed our destiny and freedom, how would we handle life differently? Even when we can’t see it, it’s when we’re in the fire of adversity where we become more beautiful from the inside out. It’s in the firestorms of life where we find our freedom. How is that possible? In the book of Daniel there were three young men named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who disobeyed King Nebuchadnezzar’s orders and were thrown into the fiery furnace. The King ordered the strongest men of his army to securely tie up the three disobedient protestors and throw them into the blazing furnace. Did you notice there were tied up? Because when they came out of the furnace they were unscathed, and the only item that burned were the ropes binding them together. And,…

Posted in: adversity, ask God, beauty and joy, Beauty from the Inside Out, fiery furnace, fiery furnae, Freedom, fresh joy, grace, joy, Offenses, pain, people pleasing, perfectionism, refined like silver, suffering

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What Do I Really Want?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 25, 2020

My three-year-old grandson Austin was bored and hungry.  He opened the pantry door and with a perplexed look stared at all the tempting food.  “Sweetie,” I said, “what do you want?” He kept staring and responded: “I want what I want.” “What is it you want?” I repeated.  He kept repeating: “I want what I want.” I recognized his craving; he wanted something to make him feel better, happier but he wasn’t sure what that would be. Isn’t that like most of us?  We wake up in the morning and we want something to make us happier. We want Covid to be over. Even if life wasn’t perfect, we want it to be back to normal. We want what we want but not exactly sure what that would look like. Just something to make us feel better. More sleep, a better job, more money, happier children, a more attentive husband, a…

Posted in: ask God, Cravings, empty soul, Expectations, feeling good, gift of peace, happy, needs, normal, Overcoming Fear, recapture your joy, troubled hearts, want or need, what is normal

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I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: June 14, 2020

I knew there was trouble the moment I woke up and set my feet on the floor. The room was spinning and the earth moved under my feet. I’ve had dreams where I’m stuck in a wobbly elevator or trying to walk over an unsteady foot bridge, and I intensely dislike the feeling of my body being out of control. If you’ve ever had vertigo you know the feeling.  Hanging onto walls while walking from room to room and fighting the nausea. When you turn the wrong way you spiral into a dark, black hole. I know many people feel like they are in “vertigo” mode right now. With Covid-19 nothing feels solid and trustworthy. We’re trying to hang onto what normal we had, but find ourselves venturing into bottomless unknown territory. How do we stop the spinning? To find what is solid, good and true we have to be…

Posted in: ask for help, ask God, companionship, Covid-19, decisions, disappointments, Faith, Fear, Finding Truth, focus, Friendship, God's promises, Making Wise Choices, new normal, Overcoming Struggles, thankful, trouble, trust, vertigo

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Covid-19 Will Not Wreck Me-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: April 19, 2020

In the last month Amazon has run out of bread makers, we’ve pulled puzzles out of our closets and even stopped scoffing at paint by number projects. In my own family my granddaughter has taken to painting rocks, we’re learning German, canning pickles and there’s heated bread-baking competitions. During this harshly imposed isolation I am left to live alone.  I’m an extrovert and I love being involved with people and events, and within a week all my speaking and travelling events were cancelled.  My calendar was wiped clean.  After gasping for air and realizing none of this was a joke I made a deliberate choice. This Covid-19 would not wreck me. First, I had to settle some truth and facts. In our family when there is an unexpected or unpleasant turn of events we use this phrase, “accept and allow.” To “accept” the Covid situation I had to be real…

Posted in: accept and allow, adversity, all alone, alone, anxiety, ask for help, be creative, Christ, companionship, Covid-19, crisis, decisions, Encouragement, Expectations, Faith, Families, Finding Truth, friends, heart of God, homes, isolation, Jesus, loneliness, love, make your bed, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, temporary, trouble, trust, trust Good, we need each other

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Learning To Live Alone-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: October 7, 2019

Living alone is hard, especially if you’ve always had someone by your side for a long time. Your body is jarred when your heart is exploding with joy and no one at home to share it with. Or, an unexpected bill arrives in the mail and now it’s up to you to handle it. You need to turn on the irrigation but don’t know where the knobs are, or you need to learn how to barbecue or change the filter in the furnace. In the almost three years of living alone, I’ve overcome all those frustrations and solitary adventures, but the aloneness is always there. I’m facilitating a group called Grief Share, where once again I’m confronted with the reality of people learning how to live alone. Some for the first time after fifty or sixty years. I ache for them and cry for them because this is hard. Now…

Posted in: alone, ask God, Christ, companionship, decisions, empty chair, Encouragement, Expectations, feeling good, friends, Friendship, happiness, havens, homes, hospitality, laughter, loneliness, Overcoming Struggles, pray, recapture your joy, relationships

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When Is It A Deal-Breaker?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 8, 2019

We don’t like lying, broken promises or unmet expectations. It’s hurtful, unfair and we feel betrayed. And it’s not nice or right. I know of a married couple that got a divorce because he broke the deal. The agreement was that if the wife had to pitch in and help with alimony payments, the marriage was done. That ended the marriage. Now they’re onto their third attempt for happiness. I also know of parents that have lied to their children, and it’s hard for the family to move on because trust has been broken. This hurt is justified and the human response is to withdraw and resist. But is this a deal-breaker? I often wonder the same thing. When we write/text encouragement and love notes and there is never a response. Do we continue? Is the “non-response” a deal breaker? When something gets too needy and tiresome or we feel over-burdened,…

Posted in: anger, betrayal, Christ, Conflict, deal-breaker, disappointments, emotional abuse, Expectations, Forgiveness, God's love, Jesus, love, physical abuse, sexual abuse, trust

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