Blog: relationships

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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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

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What NOT to say to a Grieving Friend-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: July 7, 2019

I’ve earned the “School of Hard Knocks” degree of being a Grief Expert through no choice of my own. After being widowed twice, losing my dad through ALS, my mother through myelodysplasia plus a myriad of other loses; I’ve heard every encouraging, and not so, encouraging word. After reading that wonderful article by Celeste Headlee in her Huffpost article, I wanted to add a few of my personal favourites. Please don’t berate yourself if you find your words in any of the following scripts. Grief is the most painful feeling we encounter while we walk this earth.  It’s outrageously personal. It’s love with no place to go. It’s awkward. It’s the walking wounded and nothing you say is right or wrong or will make it better. I love it when people try to say something, instead of not making eye contact or walking away.  I’ve been one of the fortunate…

Posted in: alone, Christ, cry, death, Encouragement, friends, God's love, grief, Heavenly Father, honesty, joy, Kindness, laugh, listen, love never fails, pain, pray, relationships, smile, suffering

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Become Like A Child-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: March 31, 2019

Why should we become like little children? After all they wear us out with their frenetic activity, messes to clean up, and their defiant “no’s” and “mine.” Not to mention the sleepless nights, the need for constant attention, whining and temper tantrums.  Well, we don’t have to worry about becoming that, because we are that already. So when Jesus tells us in the Bible to become like little children, what do you think that means? And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) The key words here are “unless you change.”So how does that apply to us fully grown, responsible and efficient world changers? Let’s take a magnifying glass and zoom in. The simplicity of relationships. It takes very little to make little children happy. Last year I dedicated many hours to teaching little ones to blow bubbles…

Posted in: becoming, companionship, Encouragement, Friendship, God's love, happy, humility, Jesus, joy, Laughter, Life of Jesus, messes, Pleasure, Prayer, recapture your joy, relationships, Simple, simplicity, stuff managers

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Self-Compassion or Selfishness? – by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 13, 2019

In our present “me first” generation how do we separate selfishness from self-compassion? Haven’t our last few decades erupted with some self-entitled children, and a society that is enamoured with happiness at all costs? Where did we go wrong? After all, the only thing we wanted was a happy life and happy children with solid self-esteem. Too often we felt the pain of disappointment and failure and wanted to protect our children from experiencing those devastating feelings at all costs.  So everyone wins.  Everyone gets a trophy.  Yayy, you’re a winner and entitled to feel that way. We’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy again. But, this creates selfishness. Yes, it’s extremely important how we play the game, but the fact remains that life is also about losing. We have to learn to lose, to feel rejected and disappointed. We don’t always get our way, everyone doesn’t always…

Posted in: disappointment, Expectations, fulfillment, God's love, happiness, happy, loneliness, love, perfection, relationships, self worth, Self-compassion, self-esteem, selfishness, suffering, vulnerable

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11 Habits that turn Adversity into Advantages-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: July 9, 2018

If you only had 30 days to live what would you do differently? I’m quite certain the first thing you would do is quit your job and lean into people and things that are most important to you. Many people are not really willing to live fully alive, until they know they’re going to lose what they already have. So why not start living full out, not stuck in the “if only’s”, letting go of resentment and past hurts and using your past adversity as a springboard into your very best life? Our world is infatuated with comfort and well-being. But we need to embrace our adversity. Each and every form of our trials brings a great opportunity to be seized for something much better. You and I, with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, can turn every affliction and pain into a new advantage and lasting joy in…

Posted in: adversity, ask God, Balancing life, Beauty from the Inside Out, Christ, companionship, God's love, happiness, happy, honesty, joy, Kindness, Making Wise Choices, Prayer, relationships, resilient, self worth, trouble, trust, victory

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Women, Love Your Husbands-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: March 12, 2018

I wrote a marriage blog for four years called the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart) Marriage, because I believe in the care and nurture of enjoying a loving marriage. So now that I am a widow why am I still writing about marriages? Because it wrecks my heart when I see husbands and wives not treating each other in ways that brings joy and fulfillment to their lives. God designed marriage to be good, so go for the good! Maybe you don’t have the perfect husband, but if he were gone tomorrow, you would treat him differently today. Marriage was not designed to be a power struggle, a wrestling match, or the biggest winner or loser. Marriage was designed to bring out the best in each other; the way God designed us to be. Yes, it takes sandpapering, but that is part of the loving process. Rick Warren in his…

Posted in: Families, fighting, God' Love, Harmony, homes, laughter, listen, love, marriage, pray, Prayer, relationships, time, Understanding each other, weaknesses, winning

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Love Never Fails-Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 3, 2017

Since I’ve come back from Romania many people have presented a valuable question. “So Heidi, what difference do you think you made over in Romania?” Initially this question caught me off guard and I responded with the most obvious answers, “Well, we helped clean a church, put on Ladies Teas and handed out gift bags, and helped create an atmosphere for a Canadian Thanksgiving.” Upon reflection I realize I did not change the world with those helpful gestures. I simply took two weeks out of my luxurious life to try to show God’s love to an impoverished country through acts and words of love and kindness. In the last three days I’ve taken long walks and asked God this puzzling question, “God, how did I make a difference?” Today the answer came as clear as though it was written on a banner in front of my eyes. “LOVE NEVER FAILS”…

Posted in: Encouragement, generosity, God' Love, Kindness, love, relationships, Romania

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7 Ways to Prepare for Trouble

Posted: July 30, 2017

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of having a conversation with Don Piper, the author of the book and movie, 90 MINUTES ON HEAVEN. His gentle and kind words comforted me, gave me wisdom and put a smile on my face. His trouble came on a bridge, when his car collided with a semi-tractor truck and Don was pronounced dead. Ninety minutes later someone prayed over him, started singing a song, and soon Don sang along with him. His recovery was dreadfully painful and in the first year he had thirty-four surgeries.   We will all face trouble, and sometimes within seconds we feel helpless when our lives change. The Bible says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). My latest trouble came last November when my darling Jack, my second husband, dropped dead going for a cup of coffee. We don’t have a checklist on how…

Posted in: community, crisis, death, decisions, Faith, finances, grief, Hope, Jesus, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, relationships, troubles, Uncategorized

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