Blog: relationships

THE RESENTMENT BOX-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: June 10, 2024

We want to be nice girls so we stuff our feelings, paste on a plastic smile and carry on. Inwardly the heart churns and toxic fumes accumulate as we drink our own poison hoping the other person will die.  Resentment is the number one killer of relationships, especially marriages. I consider myself an expert on this topic as I learned how to recognize and survive this toxic crisis in my first marriage.  I recall how each time I felt resentment, I wanted to pick up a rock and throw it toward my enemy.  But because I tried to have harmony in the home I hid the rock (my anger) and put it into a pretty little imaginary box where it would be nice and safe. I was clueless about the dangers of ultimate explosions. I did not know that resentment was: Feeling heartbroken after exerting a great deal of effort…

Posted in: accusations, adversity, angry, Anticipation, anxiety, ask God, Assumptions, betrayal, confront conflict, disappointments, do the hard work, don't give up, Expectations, faulty thinking, Finding Truth, forgive one another, frustrations, grit, healing, honest, Hope, messes, Offenses, Overcoming Struggles, power of words, relationships, Resentment, set free, shame, take care of your heart, Tension, trouble, Understanding each other, worry

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ALONE ON MOTHERS DAY-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 10, 2024

I’m not telling you I’m alone on Mother’s Day to feel sorry for myself, or for you to take pity on me. I’m alone and that’s just a fact. None of my children, step-children or grandchildren live near me and sometimes that really wounds.  Mother’s Day is a big Hallmark moment with flowers and cards, and many women suffer silently knowing they are alone. This blog is for women who have to put on a brave face for Mother’s Day. “Above all else protect your heart”. (Proverbs 4:23)  Since my husband’s death I’ve had to learn how to get through these lonely Hallmark moments. I prepare ahead of time. I’ve already booked myself in as a single on a golf course, and I’m already looking forward to it. Why not do the same…not golf but perhaps lunch or a hike with a friend? Maybe your way of overcoming loneliness is…

Posted in: all alone, alone, companionship, empathy, Encouragement, grit, hiking, loneliness, loneliness epidemic, make time for each other, Mothers Day, our children, Overcoming Struggles, relationships, take care of your heart, we need each other

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HOW DO WE SPELL LOVE?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 10, 2024

It’s the love month and I wonder how many of us are getting it right. I love what Rick Warren says in best selling book, “What on Earth Am I Here For?” He gets it right by quoting that the way to spell love is T.I.M.E. We can always earn more stuff, but we can never earn more time. One of life’s greatest regrets is: I wish I had spent more time with the people I love. Our restless nature craves to be understood, accepted and loved. But many have lost their way and are looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. Here are 4 ways to recapture and recalibrate our precious time. T – TAKE TIME TO LOOK UP AND DIG DOWN It’s time to lay down our technology, look into each other’s eyes and engage in intimate, honest and meaningful conversations.  We must dig behind words and…

Posted in: Best friends, Boring marriage, Communication, companionship, expect the best, Expectations, Friendship, happiness, honesty, Intimacy, joy, love, make time for each other, Power of the Tongue, relationships, we need each other

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Stealing Lilacs-A tribute to my Mother-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 14, 2023

The first time it happened I was only four. “Mommy why are we stealing these lilacs?” “Do those pretty flowers belong to us?” I was bewildered as I watched my gentle mother on her tiptoes reaching and snapping the branches from the vintage purple lilac bush.  Soon her arms were filled with bunches of purple and the succulent aroma made her smile from ear to ear. I must have been mistaken, my quiet and tender mother would never do anything wrong.  Certainly not steal. Captivated by my mother’s joy I clung to her hand and bounced along as we headed back to our compact bungalow nestled in a small village in Germany. World War Two left bomb shelters, broken dreams and poverty throughout Germany. Yes, the rubble was being transformed into its former beauty and culture, but families were still struggling to re-establish their former lifestyle. My young and innocent…

Posted in: Acts of Service, ambiance, be creative, beauty, beauty and joy, beauty in God's creation, Families, gardening, God's creation, home sweet home, homes, lilacs, nature, relationships, stealing

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Spiritual Friendships-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 12, 2023

We crave connections and knowing we belong.  The kinds of relationships that make us feel seen, heard and safe. Life refuses to be predictable and we all need spiritual friendships to help us navigate the crazy uncertainties of life these days.  Trustworthy and spiritual friendships lovingly share their wisdom and guide us into places we’ve never been before. But it takes more than just one friend. We all want that BFF that “gets us” and we hope they will complete us in all ways. My pastor, Scott Lanigan, last weekend made it very clear that no one on this planet can complete us fully. That’s God’s job and He loves to do it! So our spiritual friendships are here to be the hands and feet of Jesus to help us be better, stronger, wiser and more loving. But we can’t expect one friend to fulfill all those roles. You probably…

Posted in:  Ecclesiastes, a time for everything under the Heaven, adventure, ask for help, beauty and joy, Best friends, Bible Study, companionship, Encouragement, Friendship, girlfriends, God's love, happy heart, joy, Laughter, relationships, spiritual friendships, triple braided cord, we need each other

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Surviving the Christmas Fatigue-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 11, 2022

It’s not always the big stuff that can push us over the Christmas edge; sometimes it’s an accumulation of multiple little things that cause fatigue. For example: Saturday I was going to start my Christmas baking of cookies and my never fail butter tarts. But I didn’t check my flour supply and forgot about the corn syrup for the filling. So in the middle of a big mess, with no makeup and without brushing my hair, I’m driving down snowy, slippery roads to my closest store; Wal-Mart. But they were out of corn syrup. So were two other stores.  By the time I navigated all the parking, ran up and down a zillion aisles, stood in line to pay for one item, I’m struggling to keep smiling. Not to mention cancelled events, (for which I prepared) and wall-to-wall people in the mall. Each year I am determined to have a…

Posted in: anger, Anticipation, anxiety, Christmas fatigue, Christmas joy, disappointments, Exit plans, Expectations, Freedom from Busyness, frustrations, Move on, relationships, Resentment, rest, Say no, Simple, Solitude, take care of your heart

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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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Miracle Moments-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: March 13, 2022

Miracle moments aren’t always the parting of the Red Sea or water gushing from a rock. Miracles continue to be all around us. The God who performed those miracles thousands of years ago, is still involved in miracles today. The God who provided daily manna for the millions of people wandering in the desert is the same God who will provide for us today.  God is the I AM, the same God of yesterday, today and tomorrow. What God did for David, Moses, Elijah, and Joseph and on and on God can also do for you and me. Today. Have we forgotten that? Let’s remind ourselves and begin to look around. I facilitate a Bible Study group and one evening I asked all my participants to share their miracle moments. One participant who had multiple back surgeries two years ago, is once again walking and engaging fully with life. Another…

Posted in: ask for help, ask God, communicate, decisions, Encouragement, God's goodness, God's love, Intimacy, marriage, miracle moments, miracles, Overcoming Struggles, pray, relationships, trust Good

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Hearing God’s Voice-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 13, 2022

We long to hear God’s voice. I know I do.  When we come to a fork in the road, or moment of crisis we cry out to God and would love to see a banner in the sky, or hear the audible voice of God. Especially these days we hunger to hear God’s voice. Is it right to take the vaccination or not? Is this the right job for me? Is this the time to get pregnant again? So many questions and we need answers. When we are in relationship with someone we enter into each other’s space and we speak to each other. When we have a personal relationship with God, He wants to speak to us. That is what a relationship is all about. In Genesis God spoke the world into existence and in Revelations God spoke to the apostle John about the end times. You and I…

Posted in: ask God, Christ in us, crisis, decisions, Expectations, God's promises, God's voice, Hearing God, Making Wise Choices, mind of Christ, Overcoming Struggles, relationships

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Locking Horns-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: October 7, 2021

There are vineyards all around me, plus the bonus of a ready-made family of 15 deer. Male, female and many adorable bambis and they’ve taught me a lot.  They love most flowers including rose bushes, cedars, and almost anything with green leaves. They’ve made me want to pull my hair out when I’ve had to replant my front flower bed for the third time and stare at me through the window while I’m watching TV. But last week they gave me a two-hour teachable moment. Two of the males locked horns. It was heartbreaking to watch. The clicking-clacking of the interlocked horns. The pushing, shoving and writhing backwards and sideways. Their grunting expressed their agony and I was unable to help them. Both were in pain but could not get away from each other.  They were stuck! They were stuck! It became a “God moment “ where the Holy Spirit…

Posted in: accept and allow, betrayal, break free, Conflict, Control, deer head locks, Differences, fighting, forgive one another, Forgiveness, Freedom, Friendship, head lock, Heavenly Father, Intimacy, Kindness, relationships, set free, unlock

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