Blog: pray

What NOT to say to a Grieving Friend-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: July 7, 2019

I’ve earned the “School of Hard Knocks” degree of being a Grief Expert through no choice of my own. After being widowed twice, losing my dad through ALS, my mother through myelodysplasia plus a myriad of other loses; I’ve heard every encouraging, and not so, encouraging word. After reading that wonderful article by Celeste Headlee in her Huffpost article, I wanted to add a few of my personal favourites. Please don’t berate yourself if you find your words in any of the following scripts. Grief is the most painful feeling we encounter while we walk this earth.  It’s outrageously personal. It’s love with no place to go. It’s awkward. It’s the walking wounded and nothing you say is right or wrong or will make it better. I love it when people try to say something, instead of not making eye contact or walking away.  I’ve been one of the fortunate…

Posted in: alone, Christ, cry, death, Encouragement, friends, God's love, grief, Heavenly Father, honesty, joy, Kindness, laugh, listen, love never fails, pain, pray, relationships, smile, suffering

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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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The Empty Chair-by Heidi McLaughlin-Revised

Posted: April 14, 2018

Canadians are known for being polite, but not when it comes to hockey. The smell, sights and sounds of a hockey game bring out the unleashed passion of the faithful and dedicated Canadian fans. Don’t ever get caught up in a conversation about the opposite team, you’re about to hear more than our polite “Ay!” In the last week I’ve seen that Canadian passion turned into deep compassion as our country, and the world grieves the horrific accident claiming the lives of sixteen members of the Humboldt Broncos. The tremendous outpouring of love on this team is unprecedented, and this story has touched the lives of all of us.   Even those of us who are not hockey fans know the pain of deep grief and loss. Like the flavour of the week, the support, hype and attention will soon fade away. In a week this will be old news….

Posted in: Canadian Hockey, death, empathy, empty chair, Families, funeral, God's love, grief, Humboldt Broncos, listen, mourn, pray, Prayer, sympathy

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The Empty Chair-By Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: April 13, 2018

Canadians are known for being polite, but not when it comes to hockey. The smell, sights and sounds of a hockey game bring out the unleashed passion of the faithful and dedicated Canadian fans. Don’t ever get caught up in a conversation about the opposite team, you’re about to hear more than our polite “Ay!” In the last week I’ve seen that Canadian passion turned into deep compassion as our country, and the world grieves the horrific accident claiming the lives of sixteen members of the Humboldt Cougars. The tremendous outpouring of love on this team is unprecedented, and this story has touched the lives of all of us.   Even those of us who are not hockey fans know the pain of deep grief and loss. Like the flavour of the week, the support, hype and attention will soon fade away. In a week this will be old news….

Posted in: Canadian Hockey, death, empty chair, Families, funeral, Humboldt Cougars, listen, mourn, pain, pray, Prayer, sympathy

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Women, Love Your Husbands-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: March 12, 2018

I wrote a marriage blog for four years called the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart) Marriage, because I believe in the care and nurture of enjoying a loving marriage. So now that I am a widow why am I still writing about marriages? Because it wrecks my heart when I see husbands and wives not treating each other in ways that brings joy and fulfillment to their lives. God designed marriage to be good, so go for the good! Maybe you don’t have the perfect husband, but if he were gone tomorrow, you would treat him differently today. Marriage was not designed to be a power struggle, a wrestling match, or the biggest winner or loser. Marriage was designed to bring out the best in each other; the way God designed us to be. Yes, it takes sandpapering, but that is part of the loving process. Rick Warren in his…

Posted in: Families, fighting, God' Love, Harmony, homes, laughter, listen, love, marriage, pray, Prayer, relationships, time, Understanding each other, weaknesses, winning

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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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Surviving the “Land Between”

Posted: March 6, 2017

It’s a strange and raw place…that “land between.” It’s a lonely and dry desert; caught between our old normal and longing for our glorious destination. It could be a myriad of things that brought us there like divorce, bankruptcy, death, move or any other painful loss. What once was familiar is gone, and the unknown future looks bleary, sad and perhaps even hopeless. You and I don’t want to be like the Israelites wandering around in the desert for 40 years lamenting the meat and melons they left behind and yet fearful to embrace their promised land. While we are in that dry and lonely place, how do we move toward the hazy horizon to make our new destination a glorious reality? The “land between” is a hard place. In the last four months of my grieving journey I have seen and experienced many glimmers of hope for my good…

Posted in: Fear, God's promises, grief, Hope, pain, pray, Prayer, rest, time

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Friends Help us to Heal

Posted: February 7, 2017

I call it my “Black Friday.” Throughout the three weeks of my husband Jack’s death and funeral, my house was a revolving door with family, friends, neighbours and super sized casseroles. Then the day came when I drove my last child to the Kelowna airport and walked through my front door. Empty house. Alone. Then came Friday. The sky was heavy with winter gloom and grief stabbed at me with knives that shook me to the core. Never before had I experienced the depth of such pain, darkness and “aloneness”. I was startled when my cell phone rang and then heard the gentle and loving voice of a dear friend. Once I heard the emphatic tone in her voice all I did was sob. And sob. She didn’t try to console me, fix me or make things better. She simply cried with me and then listened. Once I was able…

Posted in: alone, death, empathy, friends, Friendship, funeral, grief, listen, pain, pray, relationships, sympathy

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