More Happy Headlines

In my last post, Making Our Own Headlines, I wrote about the idea of writing our own headlines for each day, focussing on the little things that matter to us and bring us joy, rather than all the huge world news and depressing statistics. If we can each find more beauty in our days, and be grateful for it, we can bring more hope to the world.

So here are a few more of my “happy headlines.” I hope they inspire you to notice many joyful moments in your own day, and if it’s a harder one for you today, here’s sending you a giant hug, and wishes for a better tomorrow! 🥰

Bees Keep Buzzing, Blissfully Ignoring World Pandemic

There’s hardly ever I time I go into the garden without being inspired by its wild and hopeful beauty. Just keep planting seeds…and so much life keeps springing up. It always gives me hope especially as a parent, that if I keep on loving and learning with my kids, they’ll blossom in ways beyond what I can imagine.

Tired Mom Receives Home Spa Treatment from Tiny Masseuse

I was trying to put this little beastie to bed, but she decided I needed a little love first, and slathered my arm with lavender cream from Lush instead, all the while sticking out her little pink tongue in concentration.

Summer Brings More Family Time For Fancy Baking

My eldest daughter learned this recipe at a girls club; it was really fun to try it out together, and fairly simple for such a fancy looking result. I really want all my kids to be empowered in the kitchen, and to know how to take care of themselves. It’s good for them to learn to cook, and it’s a lot of fun for me not to be the lonely only chef! I really like the extra time we have to do things like this together in the summer. It’s the stuff of memories, and when they’re older, and cook for themselves, they’ll be able to recreate the taste of home.

Mother and Daughter Bring Joy to Neighbour by Sharing Home Baking

My 8 year old and I had such fun baking these mini-apple pies in muffin tins and weaving tops for them. When they were hot and ready, we brought one to our friend next door, who is a recent widow, along with flowers from our garden. She was touched to be pampered in this way, and is constantly showering my kids with yummy snacks as well. We have basically adopted each other, and our Tupperware goes back and forth over the fence filled with little sweet signs of love. “Never return Tupperware empty,” her mother told her. We are both so much enriched by this exchange, especially in these isolated times. My littlest kids love to chat with her from our back porch to hers, and feel that despite everything right now, the world is still a friendly sort of place.

Save-On-Foods Grocery Delivery Service Saves the Day for Car-less Family

Yes, I really do think the save-on drivers, and the people who work night shift to shop all night for morning deliveries, are super heroes! My kids get so excited when they come to drop off the groceries, and they almost always have a kind word for the kids, who like to help carry them to the kitchen to put away. As I have seven kids and no car, you can see why I think the save-on trucks should have capes flying off them!

Well, I realize many of my happy headlines have to do with food…I guess feeding people is my love language, and stocked cupboards make me feel safe. I am so lucky to be able to take such good care of the kids in this way, while my hardworking accountant husband slogs away to earn our daily bread. Thanks, honey.

Katie to the Rescue!


Have you ever had one of those months where you get a mouse in your kitchen, your stove breaks, you’re pregnant during what feels like a heat wave (and wearing charming compression stockings that make you look and feel about 80), the leftovers get burned and set off smoke alarms late at night, and on top of it all, your back goes out?

Times like this, it’s amazing to have a mind-reading friend, a really good old friend from university, one of the people who is like family to you, email you out of the blue and offer to stop by and bring you dinner. The friend you wanted to call for help but didn’t want to disturb, who heard your silent prayer and took time out of writing her thesis to help you. This is what happened to me.

My friend Katie brought a green salad, Thai chicken soup, cherries and her sweet company. Simply wonderful. We dove into a great conversation about homeschool, writing and being contemplative in the midst of busy daily life. How being prayerful helps us to focus and be inspired when we write. Nothing like a really good talk to feed the soul.

Here are some pictures of the dinner we were lucky enough to receive!

Thai Chicken Soup with red peppers:


Don’t forget fresh lime…


“Yum!” says baby.


My 8 year old said: “It tastes Thai-tastic!” and “The cucumbers are cucumber-licious!”


She’s my big helper.


“Aaah, that’s cool!” My 6 year old had seconds of chicken and salad and said “It tastes good.”


So Katie, thanks for being so lovely! My world is a more beautiful place because of you, and dinner was delicious, as was the break from cooking! 😉 Getting to chat with you over iced coffee (life-saver!) reaffirmed the goodness of the world, and put little struggles in perspective. Life can’t help but be wonderful when you are loved.

Also recently my Dad brought me flowers, my mom called to say how much she loves me, my brother found and cleaned up the icky dead mouse (heroic!), my landlords bought us a brand new oven, my friend Ida brought us bread from Cobbs and Milton brought us treats from Starbucks, and my friend Sara took my big girls swimming with her daughter twice to give them an outing and me a break. There is so much to be grateful for! For every challenge, I bet we could all count three blessings. One of them is that challenges help us to be humble enough to reach out and ask for help, which gives people a chance to be heroes and show us how much they love us.


May you all be blessed with friends and family like mine!

The Grace to be Present

I saw this quote online and it made me laugh to think how true it is:

Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.

Sometimes we think that it is a noble thing to worry, that it is somehow more responsible to worry than to trust. Perhaps we know that we shouldn’t really worry about whether or not a new haircut will turn out perfectly, but we fall into the trap of thinking that it is right to worry extensively about the things that do really matter, like whether or not we are a good enough parent. Surely in this matter we are justified in periodically raking ourselves over the coals…right?


While it is responsible to spend some time in reflection and planning, in setting goals and making small changes, this kind of beat-yourself-up worry can easily be more self-indulgent than useful, because it can lead to apathy and despair, instead of hope-inspired action.

Furthermore, while worry removes us emotionally and mentally, gratitude helps us to be present, to really experience the moment and the people we are with. Worrying when you are with someone is like the mental equivalent of texting at the table. How about instead of sitting worrying about whether you are a good enough parent, spouse, or friend, give your loved one a hug? The love of an imperfect person goes a really long way; after all, we all are!

5 things to do if you catch yourself sliding into a worry spiral:

1. Get up and do something. Take one small, concrete step towards the issue troubling you, and then try to let it go.

2. Work up a sweat. Go for a brisk walk, get down and scrub the floor (it’s hard to worry when huffing, puffing, and making your house shine) or get down and boogie. A little living room dance party does wonders for the soul.

3. Read something uplifting. Remember all the beautiful things happening in the world. Give thanks for what is going well, and try to trust that there is a good plan behind the things that, in your limited view, are not.

4. Call a friend. Ask them about their day. You’ll remember others have struggles, too, and yours will become a lot smaller. Just voicing your fears to a confidant will help them become less ominous, and you’ll likely receive the emotional boost you need along with some good laughs. Also, friends are good at telling you the things you already knew but forgot, and needed to hear from someone you love.

5. Pray. There’s no harm in asking for help, in letting the things beyond our control out of our tight grasp, in letting go so that something good can happen, something better even than what we imagined. Remember, “worrying is like praying for what you don’t want,” so instead, pray for you heart’s desires, for peace, wisdom and joy, for the hope to begin again each day with trust. As Anne of Green Gables’ lovely school teacher Miss Barry said, “Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it…Yet.” Just remember, making mistakes doesn’t disqualify you from being loveable, but worrying about your mistakes can prevent you from loving. Remember to be gentle with yourself, and that gentleness will extend to others.

And if all else fails, eat some chocolate and watch a funny movie! Or maybe do that part anyway…