Blog: decisions

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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What my Hydrangeas Taught Me-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 15, 2022

Something happened to my hydrangea bushes this year. The flowers, which always give me so much joy and delight, this summer they’ve given me pathetic disappointment. But in all this they’re giving me some valuable life lessons. When planted in the right soil and sun/shade, hydrangea bushes are exquisitely beautiful and resilient. When I prune them just right they flourish year after year, and as I dry the flower heads, they add stunning décor to any room in my home. Until they don’t. My two bushes gave me joy for 25 years but were slowly becoming root bound and it was time to dig them out and plant new ones. So I planted new bushes with joyful expectation. But sadly the new bushes are not thriving, instead they look sick and I’m not sure they’re going to make it. I fully believe God gives us examples in His physical creation…

Posted in: 5 things, adversity, beauty and joy, bitterness, crisis, decisions, disappointments, empty soul, Encouragement, Expectations, feeling good, Finding Truth, Forgiveness, fresh joy, frustrations, hydrangea bushes, joy, Overcoming Struggles, pruning, relationships, Resentment, retaliation, satan, take care of your heart, tender soul care, toxic relationships

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Miracle Moments-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: March 13, 2022

Miracle moments aren’t always the parting of the Red Sea or water gushing from a rock. Miracles continue to be all around us. The God who performed those miracles thousands of years ago, is still involved in miracles today. The God who provided daily manna for the millions of people wandering in the desert is the same God who will provide for us today.  God is the I AM, the same God of yesterday, today and tomorrow. What God did for David, Moses, Elijah, and Joseph and on and on God can also do for you and me. Today. Have we forgotten that? Let’s remind ourselves and begin to look around. I facilitate a Bible Study group and one evening I asked all my participants to share their miracle moments. One participant who had multiple back surgeries two years ago, is once again walking and engaging fully with life. Another…

Posted in: ask for help, ask God, communicate, decisions, Encouragement, God's goodness, God's love, Intimacy, marriage, miracle moments, miracles, Overcoming Struggles, pray, relationships, trust Good

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Hearing God’s Voice-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 13, 2022

We long to hear God’s voice. I know I do.  When we come to a fork in the road, or moment of crisis we cry out to God and would love to see a banner in the sky, or hear the audible voice of God. Especially these days we hunger to hear God’s voice. Is it right to take the vaccination or not? Is this the right job for me? Is this the time to get pregnant again? So many questions and we need answers. When we are in relationship with someone we enter into each other’s space and we speak to each other. When we have a personal relationship with God, He wants to speak to us. That is what a relationship is all about. In Genesis God spoke the world into existence and in Revelations God spoke to the apostle John about the end times. You and I…

Posted in: ask God, Christ in us, crisis, decisions, Expectations, God's promises, God's voice, Hearing God, Making Wise Choices, mind of Christ, Overcoming Struggles, relationships

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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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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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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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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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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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