Blog: Hope

The Beauty and Power of Tribes-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 7, 2021

When we’re caught in rip-tide of discouragement, aloneness and even medical issues, we need friends to pull us out. Yes Covid has restrictions but they cannot be used an excuse for not tenderly caring for one-another. There are ways. If you’ve been part of my Fresh Joy Book study you notice that I often refer to friendship circles as “tribes.” Tribes are vital to our soul and our health. Tribes are vital to our soul and health. A tribe is, “a distinctive or close-knit group.” We need people in our life who will engage with us, help us when we’re stuck, make us laugh and call us out on bad behaviour. Before Covid, this was done in face-to-face in groups (2 or more) celebrating victories, grieving together or just connecting heart-to-heart. The richness of this cannot be duplicated and must be pursued. During Covid we are limited but there are…

Posted in: alone, beauty and joy, Christ, companionship, Covid-19, disappointments, Encouragement, fresh joy, Friendship, girlfriends, good conversation, Hope, isolation, Jesus, joy, laughter, Lifter-uppers, loneliness, loneliness epidemic, relationships, tribes

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Home Alone at Christmas-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 13, 2020

The movie “Home Alone” is a hilarious Christmas classic. But with the unwelcome guest of Covid, being alone at Christmas is not funny; it’s a harsh and ugly reality.   Some of you might be rolling your eyes right now. You’re stuck in a house filled with people finding ways to pass the days, and would welcome a dose of being alone. And it’s true, aloneness can be a gift when we seek it and find contentment.  But loneliness is different. This topic is no longer idle conversation; it’s become an emerging epidemic. People everywhere, especially singles and people in care homes, are suffering with loneliness. Loneliness is a reality. Many people are so busy at Christmas that they forget those who are grieving, depressed or simply don’t have any community or a loving tribe. I know…the world assaults us with too much information and we want to protect ourselves from…

Posted in: all alone, alone, alone at Christmas, Christmas joy, Covid Christmas, Covid-19, disappointments, God's love, Hope, hugs, joy, loneliness epidemic, single, singleness, singleness at Christmas

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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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Everything in Life is Temporary-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 30, 2018

A place I worked in for twenty-one years is being torn and shredded until it is non-existent. Gone. The office and people to which I dedicated those years have gone on with their lives, and so have I. It’s hard to accept that this successful and fulfilling era of my life was only temporary. If you don’t agree that everything in life is temporary, just pull out an old photo album. This year I’ve started almost every day saying: “Today is the very best day I’m going to have.”  It doesn’t always turn out that way, but if I have dedicated that day to God, then everything happened the way it was designed to unfold. Again, if you’re not sure today is your very best day, look at a photo of yourself 15 years ago, and you’ll probably agree: “Hey today is pretty good!” Today is the very best day…

Posted in: Encouragement, God's promises, grief, heart of God, Hope, Jesus, joy, loneliness, love, momentary trouble, Overcoming Struggles, pain, temporary, thankful, trouble, weeping

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How Do You Use Your Magnifying Glass?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 18, 2018

It happens so fast we don’t recognize it. You’re sitting with a group of friends having your favourite coffee and tea, and then it starts. All politicians are horrible, everyone you know has cancer, and all hair dyes or cough syrups will give you cancer or a stroke. You can’t trust anyone; all foods have too many contaminants and then it starts on the topic of GMO’s. Oh boy, it’s time to shut it down. The conversation is spiralling into darkness and you’ll walk away feeling defeated, negative and grumpy with words swirling around your head: This world is going to hell in a hand basket. Something happens within us when we focus or obsess over something.   Like a magnifying glass, that thing, gets bigger and bigger. Many of our friends and families are going through difficult seasons of grief, disappointments and other tough hardships. I am not saying…

Posted in: circumstances, Hope, Jesus, Lord, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Stuggles, power of words, praise, thanksgiving, worship

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Why It Takes Grit to Hope-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 28, 2018

  We all know the searing pain of disappointment. I was nine when I experienced the raw feeling of being forgotten. Left on the side of the road by my older cousins while they spent the day at the fairgrounds. My tender, young heart never forgot that horrible, no good day, and disappointment became a reality that turned into a false belief. It felt cruel to disappoint my own children or friends. Most of my adult life it felt like I was skating on thin ice to protect others and myself from disappointment. So what happens when you become a Christian and put your hope in a loving God? When life doesn’t work out. Or, in fact when life hits you in the gut? One of my words for 2017 was HOPE. It was the year where I needed something good to happen. I was in deep grief, crushed, physically…

Posted in: disappointment, Expectations, False Belief Systems, grit, Heavenly Father, Hope, Prayer, victory

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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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7 Ways to Prepare for Trouble

Posted: July 30, 2017

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of having a conversation with Don Piper, the author of the book and movie, 90 MINUTES ON HEAVEN. His gentle and kind words comforted me, gave me wisdom and put a smile on my face. His trouble came on a bridge, when his car collided with a semi-tractor truck and Don was pronounced dead. Ninety minutes later someone prayed over him, started singing a song, and soon Don sang along with him. His recovery was dreadfully painful and in the first year he had thirty-four surgeries.   We will all face trouble, and sometimes within seconds we feel helpless when our lives change. The Bible says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). My latest trouble came last November when my darling Jack, my second husband, dropped dead going for a cup of coffee. We don’t have a checklist on how…

Posted in: community, crisis, death, decisions, Faith, finances, grief, Hope, Jesus, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, relationships, troubles, Uncategorized

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UNOPENED GIFT BOXES

Posted: May 28, 2017

Imagine a room filled with gift boxes of every shape, colour and size. What would you hope to find that would make you happy beyond reason? Perhaps a new car, the latest TV screen, latest version of I-phone, a promotion, a new puppy or a luxury vacation? Or maybe you need a good night’s sleep, less stress, be able to get pregnant or stop the neighbour’s dog from barking late at night. I know those are all good desires that would bring a smile to your face and ease in your life. As Christians we have access to a room filled with gift boxes that hold everything we need to feel rich and fulfilled. But we won’t recognize our need for different boxes until a phone call, conversation or tragic incident throws our world out of balance. How do we find the kind of gifts we need during this dark…

Posted in: ask God, desires, friends, happy, Hope, i-phone, joy, Laughter, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, pain, Prayer, purpose, rest, trauma

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When Hope and Grit Collide

Posted: May 8, 2017

Hope gets us up in the morning. We can get through the rough stuff when we believe that something good is going to happen. But sometimes, out of the blue, grit shows up and stops us dead in our tracks. It may be a call from your Doctor’s office, an accident, divorce, bankruptcy, death or other bad news that changes everything and time stands still. That is what happened to me three months ago. Grit showed up in the way of a panic attack. I’ve only had two panic attacks (after the death of my first husband) so I was familiar with the sensations and breathing my way out of it. But it was a panic attack that would not stop and days later I was diagnosed with PTSD. I knew Jack’s (my second husband) death was traumatic and I thought I was dealing with that deep pain during the…

Posted in: alone, community, death, Families, friends, grief, grit, happy, Hope, Kindness, panic attacks, trauma, trust

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