Blog: beauty and joy

Sweat a Little, Laugh a Lot-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: June 13, 2021

It’s time to laugh again. We’ve toughed it out, physical distanced and stayed indoors too long. It’s time to get the limbic brain dancing. The limbic system in our brain is the seat of emotions, memories and is responsible for our well-being. In fact, if you place the limbic brain under an MRI when you’ re happy and energized, it displays beautiful colours and dances. It’s time for some colourful dancing and fresh joy. Yes, a chocolate bar or bowl of ice cream will help. But, therapists tell us that one of the best ways to help our brain do the limbic dance is to get out into God’s creation. We’ve been so caught up in the latest Covid reports, politics, vaccines, and homeschooling that many have forgotten the power of creation. God is the master creator. God is the master creator. He created thousands of orchid species and butterflies,…

Posted in: be creative, beauty, beauty and joy, Covid-19, disappointments, fresh joy, friends, girlfriends, God's creation, happiness needs to be shared, hiking, Laughter, limbic dance, limbic sytem, lower than the angels, mountain top, nature, physical distancing, rainbows, sweat a little, troubles, waterfalls, worry

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A Sweet Fragrance-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 9, 2021

Beauty pulls me into its orbit like a magnet. Whether it’s clothes, art, shoes, dishes, candles and especially book covers, I’m helpless and hopeless. And when I’m God’s creation and see the glistening water, traverse the hills and hear the birds, my heart is in awe and overflows joy. Springtime in British Columbia, Canada is a mosaic of colours, sounds and fragrances. The last month I’ve been hitting the trails and hiking in hills and groves covered in yellow balsamroot flowers, and white Saskatoon berry bushes. Often I stopped to lean in and smell the sweetness of the blossoms. What joy! We need to lean in to smell the fragrance. Which makes we wonder. In our present tumultuous and painful world where do we find beauty? These days certainly not in the news, social media or conversations. Most of us can’t go to church and get infected with spiritual uplifting…

Posted in: be a blessing, beauty, beauty and joy, Christ in us, Covid-19, fragrance, fragrance of Christ, hurting world, Prayer, relationships

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Love Lives Here-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: April 11, 2021

In my daughterMichelle’s guest room there is a sign that says: “LOVE LIVES HERE.” Whenever I spend time with the family I am the recipient of that love when I sleep in that pink, grey and cream beautifully decorated bedroom.  As I walk into the next room I am greeted with another sign that says: “HELLO BEAUTIFUL.” It’s uplifting being surrounded by reminders of beauty, love and encouragement.   During this past year we’ve been spending a lot of time in our homes and we need jolts of beauty and comfort that bring us joy. I’ve needed to make my home my haven and have also surrounded myself with signs, colours and images that lift my spirits. Joy doesn’t just happen.   Let’s tap into the portals of Heaven to unleash joy through the reality of goodness.  I’ve just finished reading the historical fiction book called: THE FOUR WINDS by…

Posted in: beauty and joy, Encouragement, fresh joy, God's promises, happy, happy meals, homes, love lives here, negativity, our havens, positive conversations, Uncategorized

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Growing Joy and Freedom in the Fiery Furnace-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: March 8, 2021

Let’s face it; we don’t like being thrust out of our comfort zone. But if we knew that adversity revealed our destiny and freedom, how would we handle life differently? Even when we can’t see it, it’s when we’re in the fire of adversity where we become more beautiful from the inside out. It’s in the firestorms of life where we find our freedom. How is that possible? In the book of Daniel there were three young men named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who disobeyed King Nebuchadnezzar’s orders and were thrown into the fiery furnace. The King ordered the strongest men of his army to securely tie up the three disobedient protestors and throw them into the blazing furnace. Did you notice there were tied up? Because when they came out of the furnace they were unscathed, and the only item that burned were the ropes binding them together. And,…

Posted in: adversity, ask God, beauty and joy, Beauty from the Inside Out, fiery furnace, fiery furnae, Freedom, fresh joy, grace, joy, Offenses, pain, people pleasing, perfectionism, refined like silver, suffering

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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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The Ugliness and Beauty of Pruning-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 10, 2020

Last year I told myself, “I’m not doing this again…ever!” But there I was again with clippers in hand, on the hottest day of the day, ready to prune all the dead branches from my five-foot tall, decorative rose bushes. For two hours, with sweat running down my face and back, those thorny branches attacked me. Long sleeved shirts and pants don’t protect me from those nasty, long thorns, which manage to grab and rip my skin until the blood spurts out. Then when my wheelbarrow is full, I have to push it up the rocky incline on the left side of my house toward my green container.  With the sun beating on me I sit down and collapse. I’ve been doing this for 24 years. Same story every year. This year my daughter Michelle and I were sitting on the lower patio encircled by the rose bushes and she…

Posted in: beauty and joy, beauty and pain coexist, celebrate instead of compare, decisions, disgard ugliness, do the hard work, fresh joy, happiness, new growth, Overcoming Struggles, pruning

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