Today I have the honor of hosting author Heidi McLaughlin in a guest post. Heidi is a dear friend and has just released her new book Restless For More.
UNLEASH YOUR JOY! by Heidi McLaughlin
Whenever I meet women vulnerable enough to be honest about their feely sings, all too often I hear this: “Heidi, I just want to feel joy. But I’m so tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, and I feel empty. How do I find fulfillment in my life so that I know I am finally enough? I understand. Our souls are restless for that ultimate feeling of joy.
Take Care of Your Heart
One of the first questions I ask is: “How are you taking care of your heart?” Imagine your heart being shaped like a bucket. Your bucket is full when you’re getting enough sleep, eating properly, spending time with God and all your relationships are in order. Conversely our buckets are empty when we feel angry, close to tears, lonely, resentful, mean, anxious and many more depleted emotions.
We desire a full bucket and so we try harder, work longer hours and are on a relentless quest to discover the right formula that will ultimately complete our soul and unleash joy. Sadly though, doing more does not fulfill us more. But Jesus tells us that in Him we can find it.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill an destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT).
Gratitude Unleashes Joy
2010 was the year of my empty bucket. The desolation of that gnawing emptiness made me lean into God to find an answer for fulfillment and peace. I found the most unusual concept.
“Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus “ (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT).
In spite of the fact that I was weary, sad and frustrated and my circumstances evoked more questions than answers, I chose to obey God and give thanks. I started a Gratitude Journal. Each day as I wrote something I was grateful for, I was reminded of God’s grace, His promises and that He is involved in every detail of my life. Over time thankfulness refilled my bucket, I felt more fulfilled and joy was right on its heels.
I encourage you to take this simple step of starting your own journal and see how it will refill your bucket, find fulfillment and unleash your joy.
Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband and special friends.
You can download a FREE accompanying Study Guide when you purchase Heidi’s latest book
RESTLESS FOR MORE: Fulfillment in Unexpected Places.
It can be purchased on her website: www.heartconnection.ca