Lydia McLaughlin wants to share the Lord’s joy with women everywhere.
Lydia McLaughlin, a former star of “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” is using her faith to help inspire others to find their joy.
McLaughlin was ‘the happy wife,’ and a peacemaker amongst the other more combustible personalities. After being part of the show for two seasons she left Housewives in 2018, as it no longer served God’s purpose for her or fit with her values.
Since Housewives, McLaughlin has focused on her faith – sharing with others through writing and social media.
“My time in the spotlight or on ‘Housewives,’ I was known for being a happy housewife…someone [with] a lot of joy,” she told CBN. “I just believe in the joy that comes from the Lord.”
McLaughln’s first book “JoyFull: 365 Daily Devotions for Women,” is aimed at helping women get closer to Jesus. Each daily devotion in Joyfull includes inspiring Scripture, a reading on the day’s theme, an uplifting prayer, along with questions and challenges designed to encourage introspection in the reader.
McLaughlin cites the different personalities of her children as one motivating factor in writing her book. Joy may not come naturally to everyone – it might need to be learned – and ‘Joyfull’ can help women find their joy.
As a teen, McLaughlin was involved in Eastern religions and searching for something to fill the void in her life. She felt that she was not happy, and living a very self-centered life. McLaughlin became a Christian as a high school freshman, and was transformed after encountering Jesus. She found joy and purpose in her relationship with God, then met her husband Doug while participating in Young Life, a non-profit Christian ministry.
“I walked into a Young Life leadership meeting, and, across the room, I saw Doug,” she said. “And I feel like it’s one of the most profound times the Holy Spirit has spoken to me. And He was like, ‘You’re gonna marry him.’”
The two fell in love (despite Doug calling her Lynda,), got married and started a family, which in time brought her to The Real Housewives of Orange County.
McLaughlin suggests practical steps for cultivating joy as a Christian, including:
1. Be rooted in God’s word. Faith increases when we hear the word of God, so McLaughlin encourages people to start their day off with the word of God instead of reaching for their phone or a bad habit.
2. Pray for faith. McLaughlin suggests praying for God to pursue you and for you to have faith in Jesus. She believes that having faith in Jesus can transform your life and your family.
3. Focus on the positive. Known for being a positive person in her time on TV, McLaughlin believes that focusing on the positive can help cultivate joy in your life.
4. Practice gratitude. McLaughlin mentions that even in the midst of difficult circumstances, she has seen God show up in big and small ways, which is something you can always give thanks for.
McLaughlin said she intends to continue sharing the hope God offers to everyone, and her devotional book is just one step of the process.
“[God] has transformed my life,” she said. “His word has transformed my life.”
You can watch Lydia McLaughlin’s full testimony below: