Blog: Overcoming Struggles

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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When Weariness Sets In-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 15, 2022

An article on weariness is what brought me to tears. Whoa…what brought on those tears? I don’t think I feel weary why did this impact me so profoundly? I realized this article hit a trigger and I recognized my spirit was weary. Anyone knowing me would quickly respond by: “Well Heidi, you have too much on your plate, you’re always on the move, no wonder weariness has set in.” But that’s not it. My personality and passions do propel me to add many wonderful things to my calendar, but this is not a physical weariness. But this is not a physical weariness. For two years we’ve hung on by our fingernails waiting for Covid to be over. And yes for the most part we’re back to normal but there is underlying and lingering angst and anger.  Too many of my friends are sick right now from Covid and stress.  Angry…

Posted in: anxiety, ask God, circumstances, Conflict, Covid-19, cry, disappointments, do the right thing, don't give up, Encouragement, focus, God's creation, Hearing God, hiking, listen, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, re-evaluate, resilience, rest, tender soul care, weariness

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Babies and Magnolia Blossoms-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: April 10, 2022

It’s been years since I attended an “in home” Baby Shower, but I was honoured to be at one this past weekend. Covid sabotaged so many celebrations but once again we are able and privileged to come into each other’s homes and celebrate with joy and laughter.  And there was an abundance of that. That’s what the anticipation of new life evokes. Joy, dreams, hopes and plans.  We didn’t talk about messy diapers and all night feedings, but focused on the smell, softness and cuddliness of a tiny miracle creation. I also got to hold a four-week old baby, and what is it about the sweetness of the smell? The sweetness of holding a baby! Sunday morning as I drove into church I noticed the magnolias trees were in full bloom. Oh my heart, the beauty of the pink/fuchsia being a sign of the emergence of a new season. It…

Posted in: adversity, Anticipation, ask God, beauty and pain coexist, Christ in us, disappointments, each day has enough troubles of its own, happy heart, laughter, new birth, Overcoming Struggles, suffering, waiting

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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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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

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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

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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

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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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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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