Blog

Finding Hope when Life Falls Apart

Posted: February 1, 2017

While having lunch with a friend, she looked me square in the eye and blurted out: “Can I ask you a personal and tough question?” I smiled, nodded and she proceeded. “I know that in the last 23 years both your husbands died suddenly, one on the basketball floor and one on your kitchen floor. These similar events both happened before Christmas. How do you reconcile this with God?” I smiled and chose my words carefully before I began. At church we worship with hands in the air, clapping and declaring that God is a “good, good God, and that He is good all the time.” What joy to sing this when life is good and our daily normal is filled with passion and purpose. But, how do we find hope in the midst of devastating and mysterious events? In spite of my circumstances I am able to heal and…

Posted in: community, crisis, Friendship, good shepherd, grief, Hope, mystery of God, trust, Uncategorized

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Building Authentic and Loving Relationships

Posted: January 23, 2017

Since my last blog post I’ve had many women ask: “So Heidi, how do we build those loving and authentic friendships and relationships”? This past week I spent a delightful evening with one of my tribes and I posed that very question. The next hour was filled with honest and engaging conversation. Here are 7 basic tips we came up with: Know Yourself. Our soul must be nurtured to be healthy and strong so that we can overcome jealousy, offenses and negative situations. If we foster a victim mentality eventually we will feel disappointed, hurt, rejected and move onto what we think will be something better. Often times the best friendship is right under our nose but we don’t take the time to cultivate it. Our foremost and vital relationship is with God who is the only One who can grow us into the people He designed us to be….

Posted in: authentic, Expectations, Forgiveness, Friendship, loneliness, personalities, relationships, shame, time, vulnerable

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A Home Called Harmony

Posted: December 2, 2016

My beloved Jack McLaughlin wrote this blog for me in November, 2014. He died November 15, 2016 leaving a powerful legacy of building a blended family  which he called: “a home called harmony.” Today I want to honour him by showing the world that Jack not only wrote these words, he lived them with honesty, passion and love. Through 48 years of consisting of 2 marriages, I have learned the significant part that husbands have in alleviating family stress and tension and promoting peace and harmony. It simply requires that a man step up to be proactive, rather than withdrawing and isolating himself from what goes on in the home I experienced a very positive example of this several years when my wife Heidi and I were invited to spend a weekend with a couple and their three children. We looked forward to the visit with keen anticipation of a weekend…

Posted in: Expectations, Families, Harmony, home

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You Loved Him Enough to Marry Him

Posted: November 11, 2016

He’s my hunk, tall, dark and handsome, the man I dreamed about marrying. Your guy may be blond and blue eyed; rugged and strong; funny and outgoing, or intelligent and quiet. Yet we all found qualities we loved in the guy we chose to marry. He’s our hunk; the man we thought was the perfect fit for us. Then the lovey-dovey feeling we had when we first got married wears off. This happens around six months to two years after our weddings. Then we must make choice; will we learn to love our spouses even when we don’t feel like it, or do we give up in defeat? I chose to stay in love with my husband, appreciate his good characteristics, and pray about the rest. Staying in love is a decision of the mind and heart; it’s as commitment to God and each. The Elevator Woman House and riches…

Posted in: Commitment, companionship, Encouragement, Friendship, Good Marriage, Harmony, love, Respect

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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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De-Clutter Your Marriage-9 Simple Ways

Posted: October 3, 2016

One of these days I will de-clutter and re-organize my walk in closet. “One of those days” came on January 3 of this year when a portion of the closet broke away from the wall and dumped itself in the middle of the floor. As I sneezed through the attempt to rescue the drywall-covered mess, I came up with a plan. This was my time to rid the closet of all unnecessary clutter. I threw the rest of the clothes on the floor and added to that pile all the “stuff” out of my bins. Then began the ruthless process of de-cluttering and disposing. If I hadn’t worn it in the last 2 years or didn’t like it, it went into the “giveaway” pile. I was shocked to realize how much “stuff” was lurking and cluttering up my life. We Accumulate Unhealthy Habits There are times we need to STOP…

Posted in: Balancing life, Communication, de-clutter, Expectations, finances, frustrations, good conversation, Good Marriage, happiness, Intimacy, messes, Simple, Understanding each other

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Winning at All Costs: Can you Afford it?

Posted: September 6, 2016

Today I have invited my friend Deb DeArmond as my guest blogger. Deb and her husband Ron are authors, teach at marriage conferences and have written a brilliant book called DON’T GO TO BE ANGRY: Stay up and Fight. I highly recommend this book for its wisdom and practical tools for a Godly and healthy marriage. Below is just a snippet of what you will find in their authentic teaching. DEB’S STORY: “You process faster than I do. You talk faster than I do. And if you want to “win”—you’re on a roll. But if you want the best solution Deb, one we can both fully support, we need to slow this conversation down and really listen to one another.” It was a moment. Do I want to win? Or do I want the best solution? My solution IS the best one, therefore, I win! Good thing my husband, Ron,…

Posted in: angry, Communication, companionship, Conflict, Differences, fighting, Finding Truth, good conversation, Good Marriage, honesty, Listening, Making Wise Choices, wining, winning

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Respect: 12 Examples for Happiness

Posted: August 13, 2016

After 30 years of being married I finally learned that respect is a husband’s greatest need.  Finally, I found the perfect formula for a marriage and of course, it’s in the Bible: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy…” (Ephesians 5:25). It goes on to say: “…and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). If this simple but challenging principle is lived out, especially during difficult seasons, it is a sound solution for a happy marriage. It saddens me to see marriages breaking up because of selfishness and a sense of entitlement that says: “He/she is not making me happy and meeting my needs, and I don’t want to be married anymore.” First of all, we are the only one responsible for our happiness. It  will astound us that when we show respect to our husbands the…

Posted in: communicate, companionship, decisions, Expectations, Friendship, fulfillment, Good Marriage, happiness, Harmony, Making Wise Choices, power of words, Respect, Understanding each other

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RESTLESS-Surviving Overabundance

Posted: July 25, 2016

  Lately I spent a lot of time with “little people” who love a packed fun filled day. Halfway through a swim, card game or mini golf expedition they become restless and the question of the hour is always, “So nana, what are we going to do next?” Grownups are not much different. We’re always talking about the “next best golf game, next vacation, next big pay cheque” and on and on. We are living in an era of over-abundance and it is hurting us. When we allow over-abundance for little people, we instil selfishness, narcissism and an attitude of entitlement. Who wants to be around that type of whiney, unhappy children? Unfortunately as grown-ups we continue to have that restless nature. Sadly, those character traits don’t bode well in a marriage relationship. Our wedding vows did not say, “Love, cherish and honour until we become restless and look for…

Posted in: Christ, Commitment, companionship, Control, Expectations, Friendship, fulfillment, Good Marriage, happiness, Kindness, Life of Jesus, marriagechallenge, narcissistic, restless, selfish, true love

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Overcoming Resentment

Posted: June 14, 2016

Statistics explain that resentment is the number one killer of marriages. That may seem shocking or surprising but think about it this way. Two people come into an intimate relationship with different personalities, unspoken expectations, various cultural backgrounds and wanting the other person to make them blissfully happy. The silent, toxic killer is the “unspoken expectation.” For example: You’ve had a crushing day at work, gritted your teeth through the traffic jams, picked up groceries on your way and now it’s time to make a healthy family meal. Your husband picked up the children and by the time you arrive home everyone is hungry, tired and crabby.   While you are trying to cook a meal, empty the dishwasher and keep the children happy, your husband is laying back on the recliner checking CNN news and Sports Illustrated. Every time you look over your feel taken for granted, frustrated and angry….

Posted in: communicate, Expectations, Friendship, good conversation, Good Marriage, Harmony, honesty, Intimacy, Listening, Resentment, SEX, true love, Understanding each other

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