SAND TO PEARLS: Making BOLD Choices to Enrich Your Life
Heidi McLaughlin believes there is nothing more gorgeous than a woman who knows she is loved. An international author and speaker, she uses humor, real life stories and biblical truths to inspire women to become beautiful from the inside out. She will make you laugh and she may make you cry-but she will always inspire you to know your magnificent and full potential.
Heidi’s previous book, BEAUTY UNLEASHED: Transforming a Woman’s Soul, gave her opportunities to speak at many Conferences and be a guest on various Television and radio programs across North America.
Heidi lives in the beautiful vineyards in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada and is married to Pastor Jack. They have blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. Her favorite activity is curling up with a great book; or golfing and laughing with her husband, family and special friends.
Q. Two chapters in your book are devoted to Friendship and Relationships. What causes people to make poor, destructive choices in their relationships?
A. One huge factor is our false belief system which established our expectations of what life should look like. We all see the world through different set of lenses and we all have expectations of what we expect from the other person. When people that we love do not meet our expectations, we feel disappointed, hurt, resentful, and do whatever it takes to escape our pain. Unfortunately too soon; and too often we don’t stick around to communicate and discover the intimate language in our hearts which would reveal our unmet expectations. When we feel we are not heard, or accepted for who we are, we will make choices to hurt the other person or depart. When are courageous enough to communicate our disappointments, anger and resentments and to change our expectations and behavior, it is a great starting point for rich relationships.
Q. On the back cover of your book you make a statement that suggests your book “has a blueprint for a rich, fulfilling life.” What truth in your book backs up this bold statement?
A. We are often too blinded by our own insecurities to make wise, fulfilling choices. We remain stuck in our uncertain reality because we don’t know how to move forward. We forget that God has the power and potential to intervene and guide us toward wiser fulfilling choices for our future. The blueprint is right inside each of us. The bible tells us “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him-but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit…for we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:9, 10, 16). Each time I read that verse it blows me away; to think that the Spirit of God is right inside of my mind waiting to guide and direct me into a glorious future.
We discover this blueprint when we begin our relationship with our creator, God, and then when we take the time to stop and read the word of God and listen to the Spirit guiding us through our mind.
Q. Aside from being a published author, you are also a Pastor’s wife, a Controller for a Volkswagen/Audi car dealership, and you have a speaking ministry. What unique observations in these conflicting roles inspired you to write a book about choices?
A. I love all the different roles in my life because they give me a bigger, clearer perspective on human nature. From observing people in the different sectors, I learned that we all make choices out of our desperate need to be loved and feel valued. I expected my church and Christian friends to be less greedy, wiser, feel more secure, and yet I realize we are all struggling to find our place in life. For years I thought that affairs, divorce and pornography addictions only have their place in the secular world, but these dilemmas have invaded our church walls. I had to learn that I cannot compartmentalize my life. Whatever role I am in at the present moment; I have to make deliberate choices to live with integrity, show love and compassion to everyone. We are all broken, hurting and we all need help; no matter what our roles are.
Q. What destructive choices have you made that were ultimately transformed into pearls?
A. During my teenage years I was very rebellious. I thought that if people would just leave me alone and let me do life my way I would be free and happy. I rejected my church and my God and made decisions that I thought would bring me happiness. These choices were all about trying to make me happy by partying, drinking too much and filling my life with activities. When the “divorce” word came up in my marriage, I knew that I had been making destructive choices and something needed to change. When I began my personal relationship with Jesus Christ; God gently taught me how to live a new life evoked through God’s truths in the bible and the power of the Holy Spirit in me. All my past failures and mistakes have become pearls of wisdom to help me make better choices.
Q. What hope can you give to people who feel that the choices they have made are irreversible and have ruined their lives?
A. I had a young man sit across from me in my office at the end of 2010 and he was heartbroken because he felt he had wasted nine years of his life. With tears in my eyes I told him that nothing in his life was wasted, but that God can use everything he had gone through to guide him into making wiser choices for his future. The biggest mistakes I have made in my own life have ultimately brought me the greatest joy because of what I learned from them.
When trees burn down-they grow again. When bones break-they heal. When our hearts break-God restores them. God is a restorer and He can restore everything in our life. That gives me incredible, unbelievable hope. When I know I have this hope I can acknowledge my mistakes and then move on, learn from them and move toward a more glorious, free, joyful future.
When I don’t know how to start, I give my mistakes and heartache to God and wait expectantly for Him to work it out. I cling to the verse that says, “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3).
God always listens, restores and gives new hope.
You may want to follow Heidi’s blog at http://heartconnection.wordpress.com/