Blog: alone

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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The Beauty of Hugs-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 10, 2023

It was May 2020 and three months had gone by without me receiving any human connection or a hug. The isolation of Covid did that to us. We were saving lives by locking ourselves up in our homes; so they said. Being single, an extrovert and someone who thrives on the companionship and joy of being with other people, I was slowly dying inside. It was the end of May and I agreed to meet my friend Joanne to remove rocks in preparation of a horse compound. We arrived together, got out of our cars, looked both ways  (to make sure nobody was watching us hug) and hugged like crazy. It felt so good and right, and tears flowed down my cheeks. Oh the power of a loving hug. When we’re thrown in jail for a crime we’ve committed, the biggest punishment is being put into solitary confinement. Society knows…

Posted in: alone, alone at Christmas, Christmas, companionship, Covid-19, failure to thrive, happiness needs to be shared, hugs, isolation, loneliness epidemic, power of hugs, singleness at Christmas, suffering, we need each other

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A Peachy Life-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 11, 2022

Over the past few years my grandson Brandon and I, have started a wonderful and fruitful tradition of canning peaches. It’s hard work, we get very sweaty but it’s also fun and the results are so rewarding and meaningful.  This year I discovered a little more about the life of a peach. Firstly, the harsh winter froze many peach buds, making it a very limited peach harvest. Thus doubled the price of peaches. But thankfully I have a great relationship with the family that owns a fruit stand down the road from where I live and I was able to get quite a few pounds of this desired fruit. Here’s what I discovered. Here’s what I discovered: Some were not able to survive the long, cold and dark winter. The fruit that did survive the winter took a longer time to ripen. Even though we’re at the end of the…

Posted in: adversity, alone, bitterness, canning peaches, decisions, don't give up, endurance, graft into Jesus, grief, meaningful, pathway through wilderness, pray, resilience, seasons of darkness, seasons of life, something new, suffering, sweet fruit, troubles, trust Good

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Chasing Sunshine-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 28, 2021

Bursts of joy immerse my heart when the sun breaks through the clouds and sunglasses glide onto my face. Add to that my favourite flip-flops and a linen top and I’m on my way to a good day. I live in a beautiful vineyard valley with lots of sunshine, which is perfect for nourishing the grapes and sweeting the wine. But it’s not all sunshine. A heavy blanket of grey seems content to sit on top of the mountains from the middle of November to February. These are the months I have to get up and actually chase the sunshine. We have to chase the sunshine. If I don’t make a concerted effort to seek sunshine, the gloomy clouds will suffocate my soul. So I have to remember that clouds can be deceptive.  Their puffed up, dark stories lie to us. This is your life right now, dark, gloomy without…

Posted in: alone, ask God, beauty and joy, bitterness, chasing sunshine, do the right thing, Encouragement, Forgiveness, fresh joy, gloomy days, God's goodness, Kindness, Making Wise Choices, Patience, temporary

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The Beauty and Power of Tribes-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 7, 2021

When we’re caught in rip-tide of discouragement, aloneness and even medical issues, we need friends to pull us out. Yes Covid has restrictions but they cannot be used an excuse for not tenderly caring for one-another. There are ways. If you’ve been part of my Fresh Joy Book study you notice that I often refer to friendship circles as “tribes.” Tribes are vital to our soul and our health. Tribes are vital to our soul and health. A tribe is, “a distinctive or close-knit group.” We need people in our life who will engage with us, help us when we’re stuck, make us laugh and call us out on bad behaviour. Before Covid, this was done in face-to-face in groups (2 or more) celebrating victories, grieving together or just connecting heart-to-heart. The richness of this cannot be duplicated and must be pursued. During Covid we are limited but there are…

Posted in: alone, beauty and joy, Christ, companionship, Covid-19, disappointments, Encouragement, fresh joy, Friendship, girlfriends, good conversation, Hope, isolation, Jesus, joy, laughter, Lifter-uppers, loneliness, loneliness epidemic, relationships, tribes

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Home Alone at Christmas-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 13, 2020

The movie “Home Alone” is a hilarious Christmas classic. But with the unwelcome guest of Covid, being alone at Christmas is not funny; it’s a harsh and ugly reality.   Some of you might be rolling your eyes right now. You’re stuck in a house filled with people finding ways to pass the days, and would welcome a dose of being alone. And it’s true, aloneness can be a gift when we seek it and find contentment.  But loneliness is different. This topic is no longer idle conversation; it’s become an emerging epidemic. People everywhere, especially singles and people in care homes, are suffering with loneliness. Loneliness is a reality. Many people are so busy at Christmas that they forget those who are grieving, depressed or simply don’t have any community or a loving tribe. I know…the world assaults us with too much information and we want to protect ourselves from…

Posted in: all alone, alone, alone at Christmas, Christmas joy, Covid Christmas, Covid-19, disappointments, God's love, Hope, hugs, joy, loneliness epidemic, single, singleness, singleness at Christmas

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So You Want to Receive a Blessing?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 30, 2020

It was time for me to grab my gardening gloves, water bottle and hat and give back to my church and community.  My beloved home church, Trinity Church Kelowna, was gifted 23 acres of land that has been transformed into magnificent vegetable gardens to supply food for our Food Bank and many other organizations. Volunteers do most of the immense work and I knew it was time for me giddy-up and get out there to help. Giddy-up and get out there. Yes I was on my knees for almost two hours, and it’s tedious work, but when I was done I felt satisfied and fulfilled.  I wanted to be a blessing but a double portion of blessing came back to me.  Here’s what happened: I “got to” spend almost two hours with a friend, across from each other picking tomatoes and having the most delightful conversations. As we finished, we…

Posted in: alone, anger, blessings, community gardens, Expectations, Forgiveness, Freedom, fresh joy, friends, happy, joy, marriage, Overcoming Struggles, sowing and reaping, thankful, what goes around comes around

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Covid-19 Will Not Wreck Me-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: April 19, 2020

In the last month Amazon has run out of bread makers, we’ve pulled puzzles out of our closets and even stopped scoffing at paint by number projects. In my own family my granddaughter has taken to painting rocks, we’re learning German, canning pickles and there’s heated bread-baking competitions. During this harshly imposed isolation I am left to live alone.  I’m an extrovert and I love being involved with people and events, and within a week all my speaking and travelling events were cancelled.  My calendar was wiped clean.  After gasping for air and realizing none of this was a joke I made a deliberate choice. This Covid-19 would not wreck me. First, I had to settle some truth and facts. In our family when there is an unexpected or unpleasant turn of events we use this phrase, “accept and allow.” To “accept” the Covid situation I had to be real…

Posted in: accept and allow, adversity, all alone, alone, anxiety, ask for help, be creative, Christ, companionship, Covid-19, crisis, decisions, Encouragement, Expectations, Faith, Families, Finding Truth, friends, heart of God, homes, isolation, Jesus, loneliness, love, make your bed, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, temporary, trouble, trust, trust Good, we need each other

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We Need Each Other-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 9, 2020

Twice in this last week I’ve needed help and was gutsy enough to ask for it. One big “ask” was for gift items for a Boys Home in Colombia. I am part of a huge Women’s ministry in my beloved church in Kelowna, British Columbia and I bravely asked for help. I asked for gifts of LEGO, soccer balls, games and puzzles that I could take with me on my upcoming trip to visit three cities in Colombia. I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and generosity of the women to lavish elaborate gifts on boys they’ve never met. My second big ask was on Facebook. I need help with the subtitle for my new book called IRRESISTIBLE JOY launching October 10, 2020. The subtitle of any book is a vital piece for the reader to know what’s actually inside the book. So I posted three sub-title options on…

Posted in: alone, ask for help, blessings, Colombia, Encouragement, Friendship, isolation, joy, Kindness, loneliness, needs, thankful, we need each other

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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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