Book Drawing for “Fresh Joy” by Heidi McLaughlin

Joy can be a challenge for any of us for a variety of reasons. That’s why I’m so pleased to give Heidi McLaughlin an opportunity to showcase her latest book, “Fresh Joy.” I’ve loved reading it myself. Maybe you also need a cup of fresh joy. Or how about one that lasts all day? In a world fraught with stress and anxiety we need to know how to access daily joy. The good news is that joy and pain can co-exist, because joy is the currency of Heaven and available to us 24/7. Heidi’s book helps you discover how you can access joy, enjoy it and grow it.

See below how to enter the drawing. UPDATE: drawing closed.

Here’s an excerpt from Fresh Joy to encourage you and give you a sample of her fabulous book.

FRESH JOY – Our “Joy Givers”

 By Heidi McLaughlin

We all need friends—the kind who tell us when we have lipstick on our teeth or a tag hanging out the back of our shirt. Better yet to have friends with whom we spend a balmy summer evening lingering on the patio, watching burning candles, who are vulnerable enough to answer the question “So what has God been doing in your lives in the last while?”

Deep, intimate, and loving friendships that exude joy are life-giving and contagious. God created us for relationship. Not just spiritually but also in vibrant loving face-to-face connections that actually help us to live longer and healthier.

Loving friendships are life-giving and contagious.

Growing up we might have heard, “The only person you can rely on is yourself.” But ultimately this self-reliance robs us of true love and joy. We need each other to point out our blind spots, encourage one another when life doesn’t go as planned, and take time to celebrate our victories. It takes strength to recognize that reliance on others can be healthy and emotionally affirming. So take ownership of the attitude that fostered this false belief and challenge yourself to be vulnerable and work toward a healthy interdependence.

Vulnerability moves us toward intimate relationships.

To grow joy we need to stand strong, but admit our weaknesses, and take time to build our tribes. The door to the reservoir of joy is found in loving relationships, and we must learn to seek them and drink from them. When we connect and share the powerful characteristics of Christ, we experience the fulfillment and joy of what it means to live out the Christian life. The good of every Christian soul is hidden underneath our rubble and shame, and once it is released, we find freedom and a sense of belonging that cannot be found any other way. We help each other go from admitting our “badness” to calling forth each other’s “goodness.”

To grow joy we have to make relationships our highest priority.

Friendships are our “joy givers.” We must take the time to build tribes to pray for us, celebrate, grieve, and sandpaper each other to live out our highest calling. This doesn’t mean it’s easy, but here is how we can start:

  • Ask yourself, When you fast forward to the end of your life, what is one sentence you would like people to say about you? Will it include success or relationships?
  • Recognize that our greatest accomplishment in this life will be how we loved one another. Love is something that we learn how to do here on earth, and it will be fulfilled in the most glorious way in eternity.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to help you bring out the goodness first in yourself and then in each other.
  • Recognize that isolation is a trap the enemy uses so that you are not covered by the protective and loving shield of other Christian friends. Good Christian friends keep us accountable, pray for us, and call us out on things that harm our soul.
  • Ask God to fill you with his love and remove any shame so that you can live an authentic and joyful life.

My dear reader friend, trust me when I say, “We must take time and make intentional efforts to build healthy, Christian, loving relationships. They are one of God’s greatest gifts to shape us, strengthen us, make us more like Christ, and infuse us with God’s dependable joy. At the end of the day, the richest gift we will have is a deep connection with God and each other.”

Thank you, Heidi, for encouraging us!

If you would like to enter the drawing to win Fresh Joy, make a comment on my blog post. The drawing ends Thursday, April 1st. Only USA & Canada addresses can win. UPDATE: Congratulations to Darlene, the winner of the drawing! Drawing is now closed.

If you’d like to buy it immediately, check out these online stores:

Heidi McLaughlin believes that there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who knows she is loved. Heidi’s passion is contagious as she inspires her audiences to grasp their magnificence and step up to the plate to embrace their full potential in Christ. She will make you laugh, and she may make you cry, but you will know you have lovingly been challenged to your highest calling.

Heidi speaks all over North America and overseas, including Poland, Romania and Colombia. She has been teaching, speaking, writing and mentoring women for 29 years. She is an award-winning author, and has written several books and Study Guides and hundreds of articles and blogs. Heidi ‘s latest book is called FRESH JOY: Joy in the Midst of Loss, Hardships and Suffering and has already won an award and is helping hundreds in North American and beyond.

Heidi lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. Heidi has been widowed twice and is the mom and step-mom of a blended family of 5 children and 12 grandchildren. Her greatest joy is spending time with family and friends, laughing and experiencing new adventures. In the summer you will probably find her chasing a white ball down the many beautiful fairways in the Okanagan Valley. Heidi has experienced much tragedy, but has also learned how to recapture her JOY. Find out more information about Heidi