Blog: joy

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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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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A Cheerful Heart-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 10, 2021

After 11 months of having our lives bulldozed with pandemic restrictions, watching the hatred and anger in the world, it seems like there is little room for cheer.  Along with the dreariness of the dark and bleak January months, cheer feels like something we used to have. Back in the day. After spending extended time in the Bible in the book of Proverbs I realize once again how important it is to have a cheerful heart: “A happy heart makes a face cheerful” (Proverbs 15:13). “ But the cheerful heart has a continued feast” (Proverbs 15:15). “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart” (Proverbs 15:30). “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). I want that cheer! There are two words in each of those Proverbs that jump at me and give me hope. “Cheerful” and  “heart.” Then in Proverbs 4:23 it says: “Above all else (Italics mine) guard…

Posted in: all alone, beauty and pain coexist, cheerful heart, Covid-19, decisions, feeling good, fresh joy, happy heart, joy, Laughter, Making Wise Choices, pray, recapture your joy, sleep, thankful

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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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So You Want to Receive a Blessing?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 30, 2020

It was time for me to grab my gardening gloves, water bottle and hat and give back to my church and community.  My beloved home church, Trinity Church Kelowna, was gifted 23 acres of land that has been transformed into magnificent vegetable gardens to supply food for our Food Bank and many other organizations. Volunteers do most of the immense work and I knew it was time for me giddy-up and get out there to help. Giddy-up and get out there. Yes I was on my knees for almost two hours, and it’s tedious work, but when I was done I felt satisfied and fulfilled.  I wanted to be a blessing but a double portion of blessing came back to me.  Here’s what happened: I “got to” spend almost two hours with a friend, across from each other picking tomatoes and having the most delightful conversations. As we finished, we…

Posted in: alone, anger, blessings, community gardens, Expectations, Forgiveness, Freedom, fresh joy, friends, happy, joy, marriage, Overcoming Struggles, sowing and reaping, thankful, what goes around comes around

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Think You’ll Go Back To Normal?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 10, 2020

Once we’ve experienced trauma or crisis, there is no going back to “normal.” When a brick wall falls down or a vase breaks, even though we repair it to make it look like new, it will never be the same. Hopefully in the near future we’ll be back in our stores, restaurants and churches and even though everything might look the same, we will perceive life differently. If we have a propensity to being fearful, we will become even more fearful. Because …”you never know what might happen next.” If we’ve hunkered down and trusted God for His daily emotional, physical and spiritual provisions, going forward we will learn to trust even more. We will perceive life differently. Hopefully we’ve become more resilient going through Covid-19. You see resilience is being able to go through difficulty such as misfortune or change, and become even stronger. We’ve all been thrust into an…

Posted in: Covid-19, crisis, decisions, Families, Fear, focus, happiness, hugs, Jesus, joy, new normal, resilience, resilient, thankful, trauma, trust Good, Uncategorized, unfortunate disaster

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We Need Each Other-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 9, 2020

Twice in this last week I’ve needed help and was gutsy enough to ask for it. One big “ask” was for gift items for a Boys Home in Colombia. I am part of a huge Women’s ministry in my beloved church in Kelowna, British Columbia and I bravely asked for help. I asked for gifts of LEGO, soccer balls, games and puzzles that I could take with me on my upcoming trip to visit three cities in Colombia. I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and generosity of the women to lavish elaborate gifts on boys they’ve never met. My second big ask was on Facebook. I need help with the subtitle for my new book called IRRESISTIBLE JOY launching October 10, 2020. The subtitle of any book is a vital piece for the reader to know what’s actually inside the book. So I posted three sub-title options on…

Posted in: alone, ask for help, blessings, Colombia, Encouragement, Friendship, isolation, joy, Kindness, loneliness, needs, thankful, we need each other

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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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