Blog: joy

Home Sweet Home-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 13, 2022

A home is the outer expression of a women’s heart. Travelling, seeing the world and adventures I love, but even more I love coming home. After a long and exhausting trip, there is nothing like walking into my haven; a place of safety, warmth and rest.  I love knowing where to put my keys, purse, shoes and then the ultimate luxury of crawling into my own comfy bed. Being surrounded by my favourite books and the aroma of peppermint essential oil. That’s why we call it “home sweet home.” We can have millions of dollars in our retirement fund, a glitzy car in the driveway, a closet filled with designer clothes and a successful career. But if we don’t have our home as a sanctuary, a place of healing surrounded by all the things that bring us peace and joy, we are still not fulfilled. So if our physical bodies…

Posted in: Anticipation, beauty and joy, Beauty from the Inside Out, blessings, Christ in us, Come to Jesus, desires, empty soul, gift of peace, God's love, havens, healing, home, home sweet home, homes, it is well with my soul, joy, love lives here, our havens, Peace, pray, rest

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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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Accumulate Experiences-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 7, 2021

Pumpkins are put away, and in Canada, the Christmas wreaths will soon be adorning the front doors. Quite frankly November is one of those in between, dreary months.  And with the oncoming time change it will soon be dark when we get up in the morning and dark while eating supper. One of my least favourite times of the year. The trees are almost bare, the vineyards have lost their colour and I can smell the oncoming snowflakes.  Not enticing for a fun loving, outdoor energetic person. f I’ve learned anything in the past 21 months it’s that life can evaporate without meaning if I don’t intentionally embrace it.  And with Covid still lurking and hovering in the sidelines, let’s spur each other on to ignore fear and NOT become “lazy-boy Christians.” I’ve decided I’d rather accumulate memories than accumulate more possessions. I’ve needed so little in the last 20…

Posted in: accumulate experiences, ask God, beauty and joy, don't be fools, Encouragement, fresh joy, Friendship, God's creation, hiking, joy, pray, we need each other

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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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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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