Blog: Encouragement

ALONE ON MOTHERS DAY-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 10, 2024

I’m not telling you I’m alone on Mother’s Day to feel sorry for myself, or for you to take pity on me. I’m alone and that’s just a fact. None of my children, step-children or grandchildren live near me and sometimes that really wounds.  Mother’s Day is a big Hallmark moment with flowers and cards, and many women suffer silently knowing they are alone. This blog is for women who have to put on a brave face for Mother’s Day. “Above all else protect your heart”. (Proverbs 4:23)  Since my husband’s death I’ve had to learn how to get through these lonely Hallmark moments. I prepare ahead of time. I’ve already booked myself in as a single on a golf course, and I’m already looking forward to it. Why not do the same…not golf but perhaps lunch or a hike with a friend? Maybe your way of overcoming loneliness is…

Posted in: all alone, alone, companionship, empathy, Encouragement, grit, hiking, loneliness, loneliness epidemic, make time for each other, Mothers Day, our children, Overcoming Struggles, relationships, take care of your heart, we need each other

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Be a “Lifter Upper” – by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 17, 2023

Beware of the deadly 3 “D’s”. It starts with discouragement, catapults into despair and may end up in depression. Some how you’ve ventured into a dark cave and found there was no light to guide you out. Your aching body feels heavy and fatigued. Your mind is ruminating, you can’t focus and you keep chewing over the scene of your mess, failure, loss or disappointment. I know every one of you reading this has experienced at least one of the deadly “D’s”.  It’s a horrible place to be in, and we need to help one another getting out of our cave. That’s where you come in. We all need to take part in being God’s hands and feet on earth to lift up those going through one of the 3 “D’s”. If you are the one going through one of the “D”s right now, I pray that someone reading this…

Posted in: adversity, ask for help, ask God, be a blessing, caves, companionship, cover each other's backs, darkness, depression, despair, disappointment, don't give up, Encouragement, failures, faulty thinking, feeling bad, Finding Truth, Friendship, Making Wise Choices, one-another, Overcoming Struggles, power of words, Prayer, rescue, seasons of darkness, self worth, show up, we need each other

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Is That a “Should” on your “Shoulder?”-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 21, 2023

If you knew you only had thirty days to live, what is one thing in your life that you would stop right now?” This provoking question started a lively discussion amongst my group of friends. After much animated banter, one main theme came into focus; stop the life-sucking “shoulds”out of our daily activities. We agreed that many of us cave into guilt-induced obligations. We are afraid that we will disappoint people or they might not like us. The discussion became livelier as we tried to determine the obligations we needed to let go so that we could enjoy the vibrant, fulfilling life that Jesus came to model for us. There is one prevailing statement I hear these days: “I am so tired!”It is a proven statistic that today we sleep 1-1/2 hours less that we did one hundred years ago.[i] More motor vehicle accidents are being reported because both men…

Posted in: anxiety, ask for help, ask God, chaos, Conflict, each day has enough troubles of its own, Encouragement, Expectations, Freedom from Busyness, frustrations, grace, live one day at a time, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, perfectionism, re-evaluate, Say no, should, trust God for today

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BEYOND ORDINARY-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: March 12, 2023

What does it even mean to be “beyond ordinary?” The last 3 days I’ve been involved in a Global Conference with women around the world from 45 countries with the theme CALLED: BEYOND ORDINARY. I know we would all like to wake up one day, look in the mirror and reflect a woman that is smart, capable, enchanting and beautiful. After hearing many testimonies and keynote speakers, here’s what’ve learned about becoming “Beyond Ordinary.” BECOME UNCOMFORTABLE. Well, that’s not what we want to hear. To become something “more than ordinary” we have to step out of our comfort zone. Often times it’s with fear and trembling as we step into the unknown. Like stepping out of a plane and soaring effortlessly as Miss Wheelchair Canada Vahen King did so courageously. LOVE ME TO DEATH SO THAT HE CAN KISS ME TO LIFE. That’s a radical powerful statement made by Kathy…

Posted in: achievements, be a blessing, be a follower, Beauty through Boldness, beyond ordinary, brokenness, circumstances, Come to Jesus, comfort zones, disappointments, Encouragement, God's creation, God's goodness, God's love, Hope, hurting world, kiss of life, Lord, Overcoming Fear, Overcoming Struggles, pain, praise, seasons of darkness, success, thanksgiving, transformation, trouble, uncomfortable, victory, worship is a weapon

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Spiritual Friendships-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 12, 2023

We crave connections and knowing we belong.  The kinds of relationships that make us feel seen, heard and safe. Life refuses to be predictable and we all need spiritual friendships to help us navigate the crazy uncertainties of life these days.  Trustworthy and spiritual friendships lovingly share their wisdom and guide us into places we’ve never been before. But it takes more than just one friend. We all want that BFF that “gets us” and we hope they will complete us in all ways. My pastor, Scott Lanigan, last weekend made it very clear that no one on this planet can complete us fully. That’s God’s job and He loves to do it! So our spiritual friendships are here to be the hands and feet of Jesus to help us be better, stronger, wiser and more loving. But we can’t expect one friend to fulfill all those roles. You probably…

Posted in:  Ecclesiastes, a time for everything under the Heaven, adventure, ask for help, beauty and joy, Best friends, Bible Study, companionship, Encouragement, Friendship, girlfriends, God's love, happy heart, joy, Laughter, relationships, spiritual friendships, triple braided cord, we need each other

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Weddings, Funerals and Everything in Between-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: October 8, 2022

Being one of my children is not for the faint of heart. My daughter Michelle and my son Donovan have experienced an intense amount of heartache and suffering through the death of both of their dads. So weddings and funerals are not their first rodeo. As Donovan drove me to the ceremony where I was to be married to my second husband Jack, my son made an extraordinary statement: “Mom, weddings and funerals are very similar. Everybody gets dressed up, there are lots of flowers, there’s food, lots of tears and laughter, and there’s music and a ceremony.” My son’s words always evoke me to make me look at life from unusual angles, and obviously his statement has never left my brain. Life is made up of seasons. Births, deaths and everything in between. Here in Canada summer is waning and it makes me melancholic and a bit sad. As…

Posted in:  Ecclesiastes, a time for everything under the Heaven, a time to be silent and a time to speak, beauty and joy, Encouragement, funeral, grief, lamenting, Laughter, seasons of life, weddings, weeping

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What my Hydrangeas Taught Me-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 15, 2022

Something happened to my hydrangea bushes this year. The flowers, which always give me so much joy and delight, this summer they’ve given me pathetic disappointment. But in all this they’re giving me some valuable life lessons. When planted in the right soil and sun/shade, hydrangea bushes are exquisitely beautiful and resilient. When I prune them just right they flourish year after year, and as I dry the flower heads, they add stunning décor to any room in my home. Until they don’t. My two bushes gave me joy for 25 years but were slowly becoming root bound and it was time to dig them out and plant new ones. So I planted new bushes with joyful expectation. But sadly the new bushes are not thriving, instead they look sick and I’m not sure they’re going to make it. I fully believe God gives us examples in His physical creation…

Posted in: 5 things, adversity, beauty and joy, bitterness, crisis, decisions, disappointments, empty soul, Encouragement, Expectations, feeling good, Finding Truth, Forgiveness, fresh joy, frustrations, hydrangea bushes, joy, Overcoming Struggles, pruning, relationships, Resentment, retaliation, satan, take care of your heart, tender soul care, toxic relationships

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LET’S DO THIS-By Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: June 12, 2022

Based on electrochemical brain activity, our present moment lasts about 200 milliseconds.[1] In a millisecond all of life is behind us and the future looms before us as one big unopened gift. Aren’t you eager to open it? I have this sign in my home that says: “LET’S DO THIS”…whatever “this is.” For me it means to step into the now and savour the sweetness of the moment. Right now many of you are thinking that your present moment is anything but sweet. But think about this. This moment will never come again so are you living it to the best of your ability? As my days before me are shorter than the days behind me, I am savouring every moment and treasuring them in my heart. Because I can never relive them in the same way. You may be thinking that you probably never want to see these moments again,…

Posted in: be creative, comfort zones, Encouragement, familiarity, goodness of God, Laughter, Let's Do This, miracle moments, regret, step into the future

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When Weariness Sets In-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 15, 2022

An article on weariness is what brought me to tears. Whoa…what brought on those tears? I don’t think I feel weary why did this impact me so profoundly? I realized this article hit a trigger and I recognized my spirit was weary. Anyone knowing me would quickly respond by: “Well Heidi, you have too much on your plate, you’re always on the move, no wonder weariness has set in.” But that’s not it. My personality and passions do propel me to add many wonderful things to my calendar, but this is not a physical weariness. But this is not a physical weariness. For two years we’ve hung on by our fingernails waiting for Covid to be over. And yes for the most part we’re back to normal but there is underlying and lingering angst and anger.  Too many of my friends are sick right now from Covid and stress.  Angry…

Posted in: anxiety, ask God, circumstances, Conflict, Covid-19, cry, disappointments, do the right thing, don't give up, Encouragement, focus, God's creation, Hearing God, hiking, listen, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, re-evaluate, resilience, rest, tender soul care, weariness

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Miracle Moments-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: March 13, 2022

Miracle moments aren’t always the parting of the Red Sea or water gushing from a rock. Miracles continue to be all around us. The God who performed those miracles thousands of years ago, is still involved in miracles today. The God who provided daily manna for the millions of people wandering in the desert is the same God who will provide for us today.  God is the I AM, the same God of yesterday, today and tomorrow. What God did for David, Moses, Elijah, and Joseph and on and on God can also do for you and me. Today. Have we forgotten that? Let’s remind ourselves and begin to look around. I facilitate a Bible Study group and one evening I asked all my participants to share their miracle moments. One participant who had multiple back surgeries two years ago, is once again walking and engaging fully with life. Another…

Posted in: ask for help, ask God, communicate, decisions, Encouragement, God's goodness, God's love, Intimacy, marriage, miracle moments, miracles, Overcoming Struggles, pray, relationships, trust Good

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