Blog: joy

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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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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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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When Worry Doesn’t Remove Anxiety-Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 11, 2017

I’m not prone to worry or struggle with anxiety. The only times I’ve felt anxious is moments before I step onto a platform with a large audience or waiting for biopsy reports. For thirty years I’ve taught people to find “the peace that surpasses all unde rstanding” (Phil. 4:6,7) by changing their worry words into prayer words. It looks something like this. Instead of worrying about a huge problem at work, change your words into a prayer: “Heavenly Father, You know that by tomorrow I have to resolve (the problem).   I confess that I don’t know what to do. I ask that when I wake up tomorrow you will guide me to the right people, the necessary paperwork and give me wisdom to resolve the issue. I thank you in advance for how You will work this out. Thank You, Amen.” In the last thirty years God answered this prayer…

Posted in: counsellor, Faith, friends, isolated, Jesus, joy, Peace, pray, Prayer, trust, unanswered prayer

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“If Only…” by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 27, 2017

Those haunting raw words keep us awake at night, encrust our hearts and trap us in the “City of Regret.” If only the ambulance arrived sooner. If only I saw symptoms. If only I hadn’t opened that cash drawer. If only I hadn’t said that, done that, ignored that. If only I hadn’t started gambling, drinking, overeating. The pain gnaws at our soul and accuses of us failure and forbids us to move forward in freedom. What I’ve learned in the last few months is that resurrection life isn’t just about what happens after we die, it’s what happens while we live. Fully alive! Right now my darling Jack is experiencing resurrection life in ways our human minds cannot even imagine. I miss him dreadfully and can’t even comprehend the joy he experiencing. But resurrection life starts in our spirit when we receive Christ as our Saviour and is completed…

Posted in: death, Freedom, grief, if only, Jesus, joy, pain, regret, resurrection, unbelief

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When God Doesn’t Answer Prayers

Posted: June 29, 2017

We don’t like to talk about unanswered prayer, we prefer miraculous stories of where the blind can see and the lame can walk. Don’t get me wrong, I love prayer. I have been a prayer advocate and warrior for over thirty years but often God has not answered my prayers. He’s not answered the ones where, years later, I saw evidence of how God protected me from harm or pain because He had something better in store for me. I get that. But sometimes, unanswered prayers change our lives dramatically in ways we didn’t choose or ask for. And it’s hard to live with the fallout. The Bible says we are to pray and believe, and that’s what I did. In fact, when Jack had his heart attack and they brought back a pulse, thousands of people were praying for his healing. Friends and family all over America and even…

Posted in: endurance, Faith, grief, Jesus, joy, Prayer, troubles, unanswered prayer

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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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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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Our Search for Happiness

Posted: January 8, 2016

More than anything we want someone, something that makes us happy. If we did a survey of what people wanted most for 2016 their answers would probably be: “I just want happiness.” What in fact we are looking for is a quick injection of serotonin and oxytocin. These are our favourite brain chemicals because they release pleasure, a feeling of well being, accomplishment and happiness. Our bodies and brains are designed to receive this wonderful feeling of pleasure. We look for it in our circumstances, to our husbands, our jobs and too often from our social media posts. We love the sound of the ping on our phones, the number of likes on our Facebook posts, the flash of a new text or the swoosh of our inbox telling us we have new mail. Those circumstances make us feel good and serotonin is released. When we begin a new relationship,…

Posted in: community, fulfillment, happiness, isolated, joy, Pleasure, search, serotonin

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