Blog: joy

“If Only…” by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 27, 2017

Those haunting raw words keep us awake at night, encrust our hearts and trap us in the “City of Regret.” If only the ambulance arrived sooner. If only I saw symptoms. If only I hadn’t opened that cash drawer. If only I hadn’t said that, done that, ignored that. If only I hadn’t started gambling, drinking, overeating. The pain gnaws at our soul and accuses of us failure and forbids us to move forward in freedom. What I’ve learned in the last few months is that resurrection life isn’t just about what happens after we die, it’s what happens while we live. Fully alive! Right now my darling Jack is experiencing resurrection life in ways our human minds cannot even imagine. I miss him dreadfully and can’t even comprehend the joy he experiencing. But resurrection life starts in our spirit when we receive Christ as our Saviour and is completed…

Posted in: death, Freedom, grief, if only, Jesus, joy, pain, regret, resurrection, unbelief

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When God Doesn’t Answer Prayers

Posted: June 29, 2017

We don’t like to talk about unanswered prayer, we prefer miraculous stories of where the blind can see and the lame can walk. Don’t get me wrong, I love prayer. I have been a prayer advocate and warrior for over thirty years but often God has not answered my prayers. He’s not answered the ones where, years later, I saw evidence of how God protected me from harm or pain because He had something better in store for me. I get that. But sometimes, unanswered prayers change our lives dramatically in ways we didn’t choose or ask for. And it’s hard to live with the fallout. The Bible says we are to pray and believe, and that’s what I did. In fact, when Jack had his heart attack and they brought back a pulse, thousands of people were praying for his healing. Friends and family all over America and even…

Posted in: endurance, Faith, grief, Jesus, joy, Prayer, troubles, unanswered prayer

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UNOPENED GIFT BOXES

Posted: May 28, 2017

Imagine a room filled with gift boxes of every shape, colour and size. What would you hope to find that would make you happy beyond reason? Perhaps a new car, the latest TV screen, latest version of I-phone, a promotion, a new puppy or a luxury vacation? Or maybe you need a good night’s sleep, less stress, be able to get pregnant or stop the neighbour’s dog from barking late at night. I know those are all good desires that would bring a smile to your face and ease in your life. As Christians we have access to a room filled with gift boxes that hold everything we need to feel rich and fulfilled. But we won’t recognize our need for different boxes until a phone call, conversation or tragic incident throws our world out of balance. How do we find the kind of gifts we need during this dark…

Posted in: ask God, desires, friends, happy, Hope, i-phone, joy, Laughter, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, pain, Prayer, purpose, rest, trauma

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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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Our Search for Happiness

Posted: January 8, 2016

More than anything we want someone, something that makes us happy. If we did a survey of what people wanted most for 2016 their answers would probably be: “I just want happiness.” What in fact we are looking for is a quick injection of serotonin and oxytocin. These are our favourite brain chemicals because they release pleasure, a feeling of well being, accomplishment and happiness. Our bodies and brains are designed to receive this wonderful feeling of pleasure. We look for it in our circumstances, to our husbands, our jobs and too often from our social media posts. We love the sound of the ping on our phones, the number of likes on our Facebook posts, the flash of a new text or the swoosh of our inbox telling us we have new mail. Those circumstances make us feel good and serotonin is released. When we begin a new relationship,…

Posted in: community, fulfillment, happiness, isolated, joy, Pleasure, search, serotonin

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