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Growing Old-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 19, 2020

I overheard a conversation at a ladies fashion store. It went something like this: Lady in dressing room: “It’s strange, I used to be a size 8 but something in my body has changed.” Store Owner: “Yup you’re right.  Did you know that as we grow older our boobs grow longer, and so do our ears, and noses.” I wasn’t ready for that kind of information and that conversation just about made me fall over. I was shocked to hear of yet more changes I wasn’t prepared for. We applaud and admire youth and beauty. The flawless skin, tight and skinny arms and slim taunt legs. Looking into the mirror when we were 20 we could never have imagined that beautiful, unlined soft skin would one day have wrinkles. It happens. We have no control over it. It’s part of the circle of life. When I was younger I recall…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, becoming, care, Christ, Expectations, Freedom, God's love, grace, growing old, happiness, Jesus, joy, laughter, love, love yourself, rest, Valued

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Home Alone At Christmas-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 10, 2019

The movie “Home Alone” is a hilarious Christmas classic. But being alone at Christmas is not funny; it’s a harsh and ugly reality.  Aloneness can be a gift when we seek it and find contentment. But loneliness is different. This topic is not just idle conversation; it’s becoming an emerging epidemic. Loneliness is a reality.  In January of 2019 the UK appointed Tracey Crouch[1] to take on the new role of Minister of Loneliness. Then last year, former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called loneliness a “growing health epidemic” in a Harvard Business Review essay.[2] Even more…I was shocked when I read the article on CNN stating: “Lonely Beijing citizens are helping create a billion-dollar industry around their pampered pets.” [3] People everywhere, including our churches, are suffering with loneliness. Many of us are “so busy” at Christmas that we forget those who are grieving, depressed or simply don’t have any community…

Posted in: all alone, Christmas magic, loneliness is an epidemic, singleness

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My Silver Christmas Ladder-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 24, 2019

I’ve known her for forty-two intimate years and call her “she.” By the skin of her teeth I saved her from being discarded and thrown into a dumpster.  This beat up, rickety, paint splattered ladder became an important part of our family’s life. After I cleaned her up and gave her two coats of dazzling white, she was the focal point at Christmas. Covered in garland, treasures and gift bags she stood out as the “belle of Christmas”.  Two weeks before Christmas in 1994 when my first husband Dick died playing basketball we ran out of spots to place funeral flowers. Friends used the rungs of the ladder to place flowers, and I was horrified so see “her” being desecrated as a reminder of darkness and pain instead of Christmas joy. After I was remarried to my beloved Jack, it was time to face the reality of reviving Christmas and…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, Christmas, Christmas joy, Christmas ladder, circumstances, decisions, from glory to glory, God's love, God's promises, God's promises are true, Jesus, joy, recapture your joy, refined like silver, refining process, suffering, transformatin, transformation, trust Good

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Do You Love Your Body? – by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 3, 2019

As a teenager my lips and nose were too big for my face and my knees didn’t fit with my skinny legs. I wanted to look great in tight pants, but being so thin made everything look awkward. In my twenties and thirties I didn’t like my legs or face and in my forties it was my waist and arms. And on and on it went. Nothing was ever right about my body. Now that I am so much older I actually love my body. Not that my body is perfect by any means, in fact it’s looking old on the outside. The wrinkles on my face are there to stay and most days my feet and hands hurt when I get out of bed. Due to a fall this last January I hurt my knee and the trauma escalated arthritis. My neck is wrinkled and I have spots that…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, becoming, Finding Truth, Holy Temple, Jesus, joy, love yourself, my body, self worth, 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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When Is It A Deal-Breaker?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 8, 2019

We don’t like lying, broken promises or unmet expectations. It’s hurtful, unfair and we feel betrayed. And it’s not nice or right. I know of a married couple that got a divorce because he broke the deal. The agreement was that if the wife had to pitch in and help with alimony payments, the marriage was done. That ended the marriage. Now they’re onto their third attempt for happiness. I also know of parents that have lied to their children, and it’s hard for the family to move on because trust has been broken. This hurt is justified and the human response is to withdraw and resist. But is this a deal-breaker? I often wonder the same thing. When we write/text encouragement and love notes and there is never a response. Do we continue? Is the “non-response” a deal breaker? When something gets too needy and tiresome or we feel over-burdened,…

Posted in: anger, betrayal, Christ, Conflict, deal-breaker, disappointments, emotional abuse, Expectations, Forgiveness, God's love, Jesus, love, physical abuse, sexual abuse, trust

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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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My Resentment Box-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: June 23, 2019

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’m a beaten up 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: Communication, Conflict, confront conflict, decisions, Expectations, faulty thinking, Forgiveness, Friendship, grief, happy, honest, intimacy destroyer, listen, Making Wise Choices, personalities, Resentment, suffering, Tension

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Where Have All The Relationships Gone?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 19, 2019

I live alone, so relationships take top priority. I’ve come to realize it takes sacrificial time on all our parts to make relationships meaningful, intimate and joyful. Sixty years ago people had family and friends over for meals, sitting on the front porch or in the living room and having “interesting” conversations. Sometimes fun and meaningful and other times cringing with awkwardness. But at least people were connecting and talking. There are 24 hours in the day for all of us, but time has become our scarcest and most precious commodity. Let’s unpack T.I.M.E. and see where it takes us. T.        Take time – In this generation one of our greatest expressions of love is when we make time for each other. You won’t recognize its significance or value until your life falls apart.  My friend Cheryl said this: “Many of my friends have lost loved ones and I’ve been around grief a…

Posted in: Communication, companionship, Encouragement, Faith, Families, feeling good, Friendship, girlfriends, good conversation, grief, happiness, homes, honesty, joy, Laughter, loneliness, love, recapture your joy, Understanding each other

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Binding Up My Messes-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: April 28, 2019

Christmas 1992 my first husband, Dick presented me with a precious gift, a new leather Bible. Oh the smell and beauty of this grand book. For twenty-seven years, through the death of both of my husbands, and travelling all over North American and beyond, this treasured book never left my side. It’s highlighted with notes, symbols and dates and I can’t perceive being without it.   Being hauled around in suitcases, passed around at conferences and thrown into overhead airline bins, over the years my beautiful Bible literally fell apart. Silver duct tape did the trick until December 18th, 2018.  I quit fighting the inevitable. I quit fighting the inevitable and took my Bible into a little Book Binding shop on a little side street in Kelowna, British Columbia. The owners were more than eager to help me find a new leather cover. As we passed through the back work area…

Posted in: ask God, brokenness, grief, messes, trust, trust Good

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