Blog: Covid-19

Breaking Out-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: July 11, 2021

People are breaking out of their confined Covid spaces and it’s sheer, delicious craziness. My first international flight after a year and a half was a mixture of absolute delight and madness. When I flew to visit my daughter Michelle’s family at Easter, I was the only person going through security. This time, in the Kelowna airport the line-up for security went all the way back to Baggage Claim. Physical distancing at the Seattle airport was out of the window, and Starbucks line-ups made it impossible to grab a cup before the boarding gate closed. In the normal quiet, laid back mentally of Montana, the hidden jewel of the Northwest, we couldn’t get a dinner or National Park reservation. Coffee shop line-ups are out the door and kayak rentals are almost non-existent. All this to say that people are bursting out of their homes to once again experience all the…

Posted in: anxiety, boundaries, break free, Christ, Covid-19, Fear, Freedom, fresh joy, Friendship, isolation, live one day at a time, loneliness epidemic, momentary trouble, nature, Overcoming Fear, physical distancing, recapture your joy, trouble

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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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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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A Cheerful Heart-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 10, 2021

After 11 months of having our lives bulldozed with pandemic restrictions, watching the hatred and anger in the world, it seems like there is little room for cheer.  Along with the dreariness of the dark and bleak January months, cheer feels like something we used to have. Back in the day. After spending extended time in the Bible in the book of Proverbs I realize once again how important it is to have a cheerful heart: “A happy heart makes a face cheerful” (Proverbs 15:13). “ But the cheerful heart has a continued feast” (Proverbs 15:15). “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart” (Proverbs 15:30). “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). I want that cheer! There are two words in each of those Proverbs that jump at me and give me hope. “Cheerful” and  “heart.” Then in Proverbs 4:23 it says: “Above all else (Italics mine) guard…

Posted in: all alone, beauty and pain coexist, cheerful heart, Covid-19, decisions, feeling good, fresh joy, happy heart, joy, Laughter, Making Wise Choices, pray, recapture your joy, sleep, thankful

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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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Hugs Do More Than BringJoy-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 22, 2020

I had not had a hug or human touch for almost two months. It was now the middle of May 2020 in the thrust of Covid when I agreed to meet up with a friend to do some volunteer work. As I got out of my car, my friend walked toward me, looked around to make sure no one was watching and gave me a big hug. Not realizing how deprived I was for human touch-I hung on and cried. We are made for human connection.  Covid is disconnecting us in ways that are emotionally and spiritually harmful. Physical distancing is also causing relationship break-ups, family neglect and pain and for those who live alone-loneliness and horror. I know we need to be wise and follow the rules of our country, but somehow, we have to find ways to reach out and hug. A month ago I met another friend…

Posted in: all alone, anxiety, cortisol, Covid-19, Families, Friendship, hugs, loneliness, one-another, oxytocin, physical distancing, social distancing, we need each other

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What Are You Waiting For?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: July 12, 2020

How many times have you heard: “We were going to ….and then Covid .” For months we’ve had constant disappointments and spent a lot of time waiting for something new and wonderful to happen. Waiting for our hair appointment, our favourite store to open its doors, waiting for our first hug and news of when borders will open again. Waiting can be difficult especially when we’re constantly disappointed.   I’m tired of waiting for something to happen, I want to enjoy the sweetness of these long-awaited summer days.  If the familiar and comfortably predictable pathways are blocked, we have to find new ways to venture forward.  What are you waiting for? While golfing with a friend this morning we talked about our present tumultuous world. I shared a verse that I’ve found extremely comforting and allows me to enjoy each day.  “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take…

Posted in: a nxious, anxious, Covid-19, Expectations, happiness, hugs, live one day at a time, Overcoming Struggles, serenity prayer, waiting, waiting is hard

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I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: June 14, 2020

I knew there was trouble the moment I woke up and set my feet on the floor. The room was spinning and the earth moved under my feet. I’ve had dreams where I’m stuck in a wobbly elevator or trying to walk over an unsteady foot bridge, and I intensely dislike the feeling of my body being out of control. If you’ve ever had vertigo you know the feeling.  Hanging onto walls while walking from room to room and fighting the nausea. When you turn the wrong way you spiral into a dark, black hole. I know many people feel like they are in “vertigo” mode right now. With Covid-19 nothing feels solid and trustworthy. We’re trying to hang onto what normal we had, but find ourselves venturing into bottomless unknown territory. How do we stop the spinning? To find what is solid, good and true we have to be…

Posted in: ask for help, ask God, companionship, Covid-19, decisions, disappointments, Faith, Fear, Finding Truth, focus, Friendship, God's promises, Making Wise Choices, new normal, Overcoming Struggles, thankful, trouble, trust, vertigo

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Think You’ll Go Back To Normal?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 10, 2020

Once we’ve experienced trauma or crisis, there is no going back to “normal.” When a brick wall falls down or a vase breaks, even though we repair it to make it look like new, it will never be the same. Hopefully in the near future we’ll be back in our stores, restaurants and churches and even though everything might look the same, we will perceive life differently. If we have a propensity to being fearful, we will become even more fearful. Because …”you never know what might happen next.” If we’ve hunkered down and trusted God for His daily emotional, physical and spiritual provisions, going forward we will learn to trust even more. We will perceive life differently. Hopefully we’ve become more resilient going through Covid-19. You see resilience is being able to go through difficulty such as misfortune or change, and become even stronger. We’ve all been thrust into an…

Posted in: Covid-19, crisis, decisions, Families, Fear, focus, happiness, hugs, Jesus, joy, new normal, resilience, resilient, thankful, trauma, trust Good, Uncategorized, unfortunate disaster

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