Blog: Beauty from the Inside Out

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 Have you become angry, defensive, blaming, gone into depression or withdrawn?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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Growing Old-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 19, 2020

I overheard a conversation at a ladies fashion store. It went something like this: Lady in dressing room: “It’s strange, I used to be a size 8 but something in my body has changed.” Store Owner: “Yup you’re right.  Did you know that as we grow older our boobs grow longer, and so do our ears, and noses.” I wasn’t ready for that kind of information and that conversation just about made me fall over. I was shocked to hear of yet more changes I wasn’t prepared for. We applaud and admire youth and beauty. The flawless skin, tight and skinny arms and slim taunt legs. Looking into the mirror when we were 20 we could never have imagined that beautiful, unlined soft skin would one day have wrinkles. It happens. We have no control over it. It’s part of the circle of life. When I was younger I recall…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, becoming, care, Christ, Expectations, Freedom, God's love, grace, growing old, happiness, Jesus, joy, laughter, love, love yourself, rest, Valued

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My Silver Christmas Ladder-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 24, 2019

I’ve known her for forty-two intimate years and call her “she.” By the skin of her teeth I saved her from being discarded and thrown into a dumpster.  This beat up, rickety, paint splattered ladder became an important part of our family’s life. After I cleaned her up and gave her two coats of dazzling white, she was the focal point at Christmas. Covered in garland, treasures and gift bags she stood out as the “belle of Christmas”.  Two weeks before Christmas in 1994 when my first husband Dick died playing basketball we ran out of spots to place funeral flowers. Friends used the rungs of the ladder to place flowers, and I was horrified so see “her” being desecrated as a reminder of darkness and pain instead of Christmas joy. After I was remarried to my beloved Jack, it was time to face the reality of reviving Christmas and…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, Christmas, Christmas joy, Christmas ladder, circumstances, decisions, from glory to glory, God's love, God's promises, God's promises are true, Jesus, joy, recapture your joy, refined like silver, refining process, suffering, transformatin, transformation, trust Good

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Do You Love Your Body? – by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 3, 2019

As a teenager my lips and nose were too big for my face and my knees didn’t fit with my skinny legs. I wanted to look great in tight pants, but being so thin made everything look awkward. In my twenties and thirties I didn’t like my legs or face and in my forties it was my waist and arms. And on and on it went. Nothing was ever right about my body. Now that I am so much older I actually love my body. Not that my body is perfect by any means, in fact it’s looking old on the outside. The wrinkles on my face are there to stay and most days my feet and hands hurt when I get out of bed. Due to a fall this last January I hurt my knee and the trauma escalated arthritis. My neck is wrinkled and I have spots that…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, becoming, Finding Truth, Holy Temple, Jesus, joy, love yourself, my body, self worth, thankful

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Three Lies that cause Unnecessary Suffering-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 12, 2019

I know you can relate when I tell you I’ve caused myself a lot of unnecessary suffering because of lies I believe. For example: Lying awake at night because I made a mistake, did something where I didn’t measure up, said the wrong thing again or misinterpreted a comment.  Imagine what joyful and fruitful lives we could experience by overcoming some of the daily, debilitating lies. We know all our shortcomings and foibles so it’s easy to condemn ourselves.  God’s truth seems so perfect and unreachable. The reality is that we live in a world of truth and lies The list of lies is endless but I will tackle three. This is my personality. Really? Your personality was shaped through all the imperfect script, images, information and your environment. Yes, a large portion of it was passed through your family genes, but God is in the people transformation business. You’re…

Posted in: adversity, angry, ask God, Beauty from the Inside Out, Christ, decisions, disappointment, disappointments, Expectations, Faith, False Belief Systems, faulty thinking, feeling bad, Freedom, God's love, grief, happiness, healing, joy, lies, love, messes, needs, Overcoming Struggles, pain, personalities, pray, self worth, self-esteem, suffering, temporary, Valued

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How To Feel Good When You’re Feeling Bad-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 9, 2018

We’re a generation that’s not good with feeling bad.  Yet there are those days or seasons where life just feels bad.  I’m not talking about a depression or severe anxiety that needs tender loving counselling or therapy; it’s the dailyness and sometimes ruggedness of a certain season. Like sadness or loss of something precious and valuable, or the month of December known as…Christmas. Christmas is difficult for many people.   Christmas is the season where you are supposed to feel good. We all want our life portrayed like the magical Holiday movies of people skating at Rockefeller Center, houses covered in lights and Christmas presents with huge, perfect bows. It’s the magic and pleasure we all hope to experience.  But sadness or grief confuses our expectations and priorities. On one hand we want all that goodness and fun, yet somehow it seems wrong and too much work. Both my husbands…

Posted in: adversity, alone, Beauty from the Inside Out, care, Christ, Christmas, could, death, decisions, Encouragement, Expectations, Faith, feeling bad, feeling good, Freedom from Busyness, gifts, God's love, grace, grief, happy, Hope, joy, Laughter, Overcoming Struggles, presents, shoud, should, trust

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11 Habits that turn Adversity into Advantages-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: July 9, 2018

If you only had 30 days to live what would you do differently? I’m quite certain the first thing you would do is quit your job and lean into people and things that are most important to you. Many people are not really willing to live fully alive, until they know they’re going to lose what they already have. So why not start living full out, not stuck in the “if only’s”, letting go of resentment and past hurts and using your past adversity as a springboard into your very best life? Our world is infatuated with comfort and well-being. But we need to embrace our adversity. Each and every form of our trials brings a great opportunity to be seized for something much better. You and I, with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, can turn every affliction and pain into a new advantage and lasting joy in…

Posted in: adversity, ask God, Balancing life, Beauty from the Inside Out, Christ, companionship, God's love, happiness, happy, honesty, joy, Kindness, Making Wise Choices, Prayer, relationships, resilient, self worth, trouble, trust, victory

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MY TOP 3 NEEDS

Posted: March 16, 2016

We have needs. We need food to stay alive. Sleep to stay healthy, focused and refreshed. Money to buy necessities. But we also have deep emotional needs that must be met. This is more than our “love languages”; this digs below the surface to see how our needs and love languages marry up. For example, I know my three love languages are: Acts of service, words of affirmation and physical touch. But here is an example of how those are connected with my needs: Acts of Service turn into – “When I ask for help I really need it!” I love it when Jack washes my car or picks up some groceries. Those beautiful, loving gestures respond to my love language. But my NEED is somewhat different. I am a very independent woman and don’t need help very often but when I do ask for it, I really NEED you…

Posted in: Acts of Service, Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, companionship, Encouragement, Expectations, Friendship, Good Marriage, Harmony, Intimacy, Listening, love, needs, true love, Valued

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THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-“SUN OR SHADOW”

Posted: May 27, 2015

Let’s be honest. When we enter a room full or people, we love it when someone shouts, “Hey Carol, come over here with us. It’s so great to see you!” We feel noticed and valued. Admired and loved. On the contrary, it’s horrible when we stand beside someone who gets all the glory and attention. We go unnoticed. We feel invisible because we are standing in someone else’s shadow. We have to recognize that this also happens in our marriages. Especially these days with husband and wife both juggling careers, staying connected and involved in their community, perhaps competing in athletics or even running their own businesses. We have to make sure competition and recognition says healthy and balanced for both parties. For example: My husband Jack and I both have prominent positions in our community and our country. When we were first married and attended functions where he was…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, communicate, Good Marriage, happy, honest, invisible, recognition, Resentment, self worth, shadow, sun

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