Blog: pray

SIGHTS AND SIGHS-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 9, 2022

Apparently I sigh a lot. My daughter Michelle informed me of this as I huddled over a very difficult 1000 piece COKE puzzle during the Christmas holidays.  Of course I was sighing, this was a seemingly impossible task. But my sighing turned into joy when another piece found its place. Eventually, by asking for help and calling in the troops, the puzzle was completed and we cheered and clapped. I know puzzles are a frivolous example, but there are a lot of hardships to sigh about right now. Reading the heartbreaking news of over 1000 homes burnt to the ground in Colorado, the new Omicron variant, harsh winter where I live and tragedy everywhere. Just this week I’ve received news of two more dear people graduating into Heaven. So much sadness. So much sighing.  I love the comfort of the verses in Psalm 5:1 “Give ear to my words, O LORD,…

Posted in: adversity, anxiety, ask for help, ask God, breathing, disappointments, disasters, Expectations, feeling good, God's promises, grief, hurting world, mourn, Omicron, Overcoming Struggles, pray, Prayer, sighing, sighs, waiting

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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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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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Learning To Live Alone-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: October 7, 2019

Living alone is hard, especially if you’ve always had someone by your side for a long time. Your body is jarred when your heart is exploding with joy and no one at home to share it with. Or, an unexpected bill arrives in the mail and now it’s up to you to handle it. You need to turn on the irrigation but don’t know where the knobs are, or you need to learn how to barbecue or change the filter in the furnace. In the almost three years of living alone, I’ve overcome all those frustrations and solitary adventures, but the aloneness is always there. I’m facilitating a group called Grief Share, where once again I’m confronted with the reality of people learning how to live alone. Some for the first time after fifty or sixty years. I ache for them and cry for them because this is hard. Now…

Posted in: alone, ask God, Christ, companionship, decisions, empty chair, Encouragement, Expectations, feeling good, friends, Friendship, happiness, havens, homes, hospitality, laughter, loneliness, Overcoming Struggles, pray, recapture your joy, relationships

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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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