Blog: happiness

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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Where Have All The Relationships Gone?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 19, 2019

I live alone, so relationships take top priority. I’ve come to realize it takes sacrificial time on all our parts to make relationships meaningful, intimate and joyful. Sixty years ago people had family and friends over for meals, sitting on the front porch or in the living room and having “interesting” conversations. Sometimes fun and meaningful and other times cringing with awkwardness. But at least people were connecting and talking. There are 24 hours in the day for all of us, but time has become our scarcest and most precious commodity. Let’s unpack T.I.M.E. and see where it takes us. T.        Take time – In this generation one of our greatest expressions of love is when we make time for each other. You won’t recognize its significance or value until your life falls apart.  My friend Cheryl said this: “Many of my friends have lost loved ones and I’ve been around grief a…

Posted in: Communication, companionship, Encouragement, Faith, Families, feeling good, Friendship, girlfriends, good conversation, grief, happiness, homes, honesty, joy, Laughter, loneliness, love, recapture your joy, Understanding each other

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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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Self-Compassion or Selfishness? – by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 13, 2019

In our present “me first” generation how do we separate selfishness from self-compassion? Haven’t our last few decades erupted with some self-entitled children, and a society that is enamoured with happiness at all costs? Where did we go wrong? After all, the only thing we wanted was a happy life and happy children with solid self-esteem. Too often we felt the pain of disappointment and failure and wanted to protect our children from experiencing those devastating feelings at all costs.  So everyone wins.  Everyone gets a trophy.  Yayy, you’re a winner and entitled to feel that way. We’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy again. But, this creates selfishness. Yes, it’s extremely important how we play the game, but the fact remains that life is also about losing. We have to learn to lose, to feel rejected and disappointed. We don’t always get our way, everyone doesn’t always…

Posted in: disappointment, Expectations, fulfillment, God's love, happiness, happy, loneliness, love, perfection, relationships, self worth, Self-compassion, self-esteem, selfishness, suffering, vulnerable

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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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What Do You REALLY Want?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 27, 2018

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 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 new Michael Kors bag, a pedicure. Anything to fill that gnawing in our soul. I understand. I looked…

Posted in: ask God, desires, Encouragement, Expectations, gifts, God's love, happiness, happy, Overcoming Struggles, Peace, troubles, want or need

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Finding Unshakeable Joy

Posted: November 13, 2017

These are the dark days of remembering. The paramedics revived my beloved Jack’s heart on November 11, but then he died November 15th. Yesterday (November 11th) one of my children asked, “Mom, what did you think about when you first work up this morning? I responded, “My house full of paramedics, machines, frenzied and hushed conversations and a lot of thumping.” But as the day evolved, the images changed from the horror of that day, to the beauty found in the valley of pain. My two words for 2017 are hope and healing. For the past year those two words were on my prayer sheet, and the lenses through which I sought God to birth fruit to meaningless words on paper. However, those words became alive through my faith, family and friends. Faith: Faith is my top spiritual gift, but it didn’t feel like it during the dark and lonely…

Posted in: Faith, Families, friends, happiness, healing, Hope, joy, laughter, love, pain, pray

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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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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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