Blog: Overcoming Struggles

SIGHTS AND SIGHS-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 9, 2022

Apparently I sigh a lot. My daughter Michelle informed me of this as I huddled over a very difficult 1000 piece COKE puzzle during the Christmas holidays.  Of course I was sighing, this was a seemingly impossible task. But my sighing turned into joy when another piece found its place. Eventually, by asking for help and calling in the troops, the puzzle was completed and we cheered and clapped. I know puzzles are a frivolous example, but there are a lot of hardships to sigh about right now. Reading the heartbreaking news of over 1000 homes burnt to the ground in Colorado, the new Omicron variant, harsh winter where I live and tragedy everywhere. Just this week I’ve received news of two more dear people graduating into Heaven. So much sadness. So much sighing.  I love the comfort of the verses in Psalm 5:1 “Give ear to my words, O LORD,…

Posted in: adversity, anxiety, ask for help, ask God, breathing, disappointments, disasters, Expectations, feeling good, God's promises, grief, hurting world, mourn, Omicron, Overcoming Struggles, pray, Prayer, sighing, sighs, waiting

Read More



When Life Squeezes You-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 29, 2021

I squeezed a lot of lemons this summer. Trying to stay fresh during heat waves, smoke from forest fires and lemon water for keeping my summer company hydrated. I squeezed lemons for lemon water, canning peaches, and grilling salmon. The results were always the same; lemon juice came out. But of course, when something is squeezed whatever is on the inside will come out. The Bible puts it this way: “…for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). We’ve been squeezed the last 19 months and it’s a daily struggle. You’re all glued to the news these days so I don’t have to list all the lemons. So how are you dealing with the restrictions, disappointments, polarized opinions and those “other” people that annoy you? Are your true lemon colours showing up? Have you become angry, defensive, blaming, gone into depression or withdrawn? Or do…

Posted in: adversity, anger, anxious, ask for help, Beauty from the Inside Out, Christ in us, Conflict, disappointments, Faith, feeling bad, Finding Truth, Forgiveness, from glory to glory, God's promises, lemonade, lemons, Overcoming Struggles, Prayer, squeezed, transformation, trust, trust Good, worry

Read More



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

Read More



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

Read More



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

Read More



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

Read More



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

Read More



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

Read More



Three Lies that cause Unnecessary Suffering-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 12, 2019

I know you can relate when I tell you I’ve caused myself a lot of unnecessary suffering because of lies I believe. For example: Lying awake at night because I made a mistake, did something where I didn’t measure up, said the wrong thing again or misinterpreted a comment.  Imagine what joyful and fruitful lives we could experience by overcoming some of the daily, debilitating lies. We know all our shortcomings and foibles so it’s easy to condemn ourselves.  God’s truth seems so perfect and unreachable. The reality is that we live in a world of truth and lies The list of lies is endless but I will tackle three. This is my personality. Really? Your personality was shaped through all the imperfect script, images, information and your environment. Yes, a large portion of it was passed through your family genes, but God is in the people transformation business. You’re…

Posted in: adversity, angry, ask God, Beauty from the Inside Out, Christ, decisions, disappointment, disappointments, Expectations, Faith, False Belief Systems, faulty thinking, feeling bad, Freedom, God's love, grief, happiness, healing, joy, lies, love, messes, needs, Overcoming Struggles, pain, personalities, pray, self worth, self-esteem, suffering, temporary, Valued

Read More



How To Feel Good When You’re Feeling Bad-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 9, 2018

We’re a generation that’s not good with feeling bad.  Yet there are those days or seasons where life just feels bad.  I’m not talking about a depression or severe anxiety that needs tender loving counselling or therapy; it’s the dailyness and sometimes ruggedness of a certain season. Like sadness or loss of something precious and valuable, or the month of December known as…Christmas. Christmas is difficult for many people.   Christmas is the season where you are supposed to feel good. We all want our life portrayed like the magical Holiday movies of people skating at Rockefeller Center, houses covered in lights and Christmas presents with huge, perfect bows. It’s the magic and pleasure we all hope to experience.  But sadness or grief confuses our expectations and priorities. On one hand we want all that goodness and fun, yet somehow it seems wrong and too much work. Both my husbands…

Posted in: adversity, alone, Beauty from the Inside Out, care, Christ, Christmas, could, death, decisions, Encouragement, Expectations, Faith, feeling bad, feeling good, Freedom from Busyness, gifts, God's love, grace, grief, happy, Hope, joy, Laughter, Overcoming Struggles, presents, shoud, should, trust

Read More