the definition of peace

(just woke up!  I love just woke up baby faces!)

My life seems to be completely free from peace, yet full of it at the same time.  Looking up the actual definition, there is more than one.  There is peace as freedom from disturbance, or quiet and tranquility which is definitely not an accurate way to describe life at our house, and then there is peace as mental calm.  Gosh, I don’t necessarily feel mentally calm either.  I think I do carry a deeper peace though,  one that is stronger than the peace most commonly spoken of, less easily shattered.  I guess that is how I handle the lack of actual quiet and tranquility in my life!  With Jonny deep in several renovation projects right now, our house is a huge disaster.  The lack of order is getting under everyone’s skin, especially mine.  Okay, mainly mine.  But once these projects are finished, hopefully life will be more ordered and peaceful than it was before.  But only a little more.  You can’t expect everything to be clean, quiet, and calm when you are raising a family.  Anyway, we are having company later this week, so we have to get at least partially cleaned up!

Beatrix got a strange and rare urge to wash dishes the other day.  It’s typically Seth’s job to load and unload the dishwasher, and Gabe’s job to wash pots and pans.  Beatrix felt she was helping both of them.  Beatrix likes to chatter non stop (have you guessed that already?)  Here is some of what she was saying to me, to herself, to anyone who might be listening as she washed:

“Too bad Larkie isn’t helping out.  She’s just standing there.

I’m such a big help.  Aren’t you glad I’m helping?  Aren’t you so proud of me?  Gabe’s going to be really proud of me.  Too bad no one else is helping.  Aren’t you glad I’m so helpful?  Larkie, why aren’t you helping out?”

I’m almost finished knitting another Jane hat.  Larkspur took the photo of me knitting.  Jonny says I look mad in that photo.  I explained to him that I wasn’t mad, but that must just be my natural expression.  I also changed my header over on Facebook, if you want to see.  I really love making photo collages.

He’s so cute, it makes you want to lick him, right?

Oh, Silas.

Happy Monday!


  1. That’s a hysterical series of photos. 19m DD sometimes will give Daddy, but not Mommy, open mouth kisses on the cheek. (sjn821)

  2. Sometimes peace has different meanings for us. The deep peace I’ve found is from Jesus Himself.
    Lovely photos of adorable kids.

  3. LOL! Crying tears of laughter about these faces of Job! Lovely!! Wish you and all the other Mums Peace and Quiet in the middle of the little thunderstorms we welcomed in our lives!
    Love, Maren

  4. I named a lamb after your Beatrix last year. It was a B year. And I have to tell you, that lamb is so much like your little sweet girl. She is the most vocal lamb. And the loudest. I do believe she got the right name! I think about your Beatrix every time I hear my lamb. And your little job is so precious. I feel like I know all your kids. Thanks for sharing them all.

    Also wanted to say that my husband is the youngest of 9 kids. They all lived in the smallest house I have ever been in. Small kitchen, small living room, 2 very small bedrooms and a bathroom that was added years after the kids were all grown. And an attic that was later used for a bedroom. But they were all happy and it all worked.

    We made our attic here in our house into 2 bedrooms and a full bath for the grand kids. They will not go up there by theirselves. When they spend the night, I have to sleep up there with them. And it is extra to have to keep clean.

  5. Lisa Howie says:

    Question about your Jane hat. I love the pics of yours, but it looks like you didn’t double the brim. True? I think I like it flat better than the original pattern. Just wanted to verify.
    Thanks for sharing all your lovely knitting projects. Inspiring!

  6. I don’t think you look mad there – just thoughtfully preoccupied.

  7. I also have a ‘knitting face’. I imagine it to be much like yours, despite it being one of the most relaxing activities going!

  8. Oh My goodness!!! Every time you post a picture of baby Job, I think it’s baby Silas! The resemblance is uncanny!! Mind you, they are both such cute babes that I’d like to lick them too!

  9. Love that last picture. Our baby usually giggles and smiles when he wakes up. It’s cute, if a little disappointing when it is early. 🙂 I love babies.

  10. I completely understand what you are saying regarding peace :-). And I have to say, thank you for the last pictures and the licking comment especially. I was giggling out loud over that last bit. Thanks for brightening my day – we needed it here!

  11. I’ve read your blog for quite a while but have never commented before. The first lines of this post, however, just lept out at me as I have never heard this phenomenon more accurately described. My life, too is filled with a deep peace underneath the minute to minute craziness of being mama to two toddler boys 9 months apart in age, trying to be a good wife and friend and taking care of our farm. The simple life, it is not, but I think the peace comes from living in accordance with our values even though that takes a lot of work. Thank you so much for mentioning Soul Gardening Journal. I received my first copy last week and have been reading through it sometimes one paragraph at a time but it has been such a calming presence and the words stay with me as I move throughout my day. Peace to you and yours!

  12. Ginny,
    That picture at the very end is priceless!! I love it, what a big smile it brought to my Monday.


  13. So cute!! Job is adorable. I love the dialogue that Beaxtrix was having. My 8 year old son is that way. I love to hear him in the bathroom or another room just talking away. I just stop and listen. He also does a lot of walking around and talking at the same time. When he is reciting his Bible verses for AWANA at church, he will practice by walking around and around and saying his verses. It is so funny to me but that is how the Lord made him. I wonder just what the Lord has in mind for him one day! 🙂 Isn’t that always fun to think about your kids futures and wonder just what they are being prepared to do.

  14. HA HA…my 2 year old also licks our new baby! I think he is just giving “puppy” kisses.

  15. !! Job’s face after the lick! That is the best.

  16. Love the honey bear (I’m assuming) holding the dish soap. Not sure why it caught me eye but it did!

  17. Job’s “post lick” face is funnier than the licking sequence! “Mom, really? You let him LICK me?!”

    I don’t think you look angry either….but I can’t decide if you’re thinking “what are they doing now?” or “one….two three…..four…..five…..where is number six? Where is….oh – she’s beside me….whew!” (I always counted my kids when we were outside – and I only had TWO!)

    Bea is welcome at my house anytime….would love to hear the chatter – teen age boys don’t chatter…they grunt!

  18. I love Beatrix’s monologue! Reminds me of myself at such an age. She’s got spunk! Licking faces must be the new “thing” as some strange character licked a woman’s face on the season finale of PBS’ Sherlock. It’s cuter when Silas does it.

  19. I can just hear Beatrix saying all that, so cute. It’s such a small window of time when they actually want to wash dishes! And yes Silas is yummy and lickable! My husband thinks that is so gross and entirely weird when he hears me and other women say that about babies. It gives him the creeps.

  20. Oh, Ginny…you never fail to make me smile!

    When I first saw the sentence about wanting to lick your baby, I was open-minded and thought that was an interesting way to phrase that urge to kiss your baby, but when I saw the photos of young Silas actually licking Job, well, I laughed out loud!

    xo Jules

  21. Ginny…to say I would like to crawl inside your blog and hide out is an understatement. The space you have created, despite the reality awaiting behind the beautiful pictures and words, is so enticing.
    I feel, with just three children, like the chaos is just too much sometimes. I long for some peace, any peace. And being a follower of Jesus…well…I feel too like such a failure at times that I don’t have this peace.
    I’m wound so tightly. The messes, the homeschooling, the squealing (oh, the squealing)…I know there is joy to be found in all of it, but sometimes I lack the strength to uncover it sometimes. Becoming here revives me.
    So thank you…for all of it. The snapshots, the transparency, the comfort. Reading your blog is like sitting down with a dear friend…knitting and chatting. It brings a little calm to my day.

  22. The peace that is the chaos of presiding over a house full of love…it’s a good kind. (And I love that hat–off to bookmark the pattern!)

  23. I so loved/needed this post today. “You can’t expect everything to be clean, quiet, and calm when you are raising a family”. I am right there with you. While I only have three children, this third one has thrown me for quite the loop. We’re preparing for a move in the next few months and it’s completely overwhelmed me. I too am trying to focus on the good and the peace of each day. Thanks for that reminder. And I LOVED Beatrix’s chatter. She and my daughter Ainsley (5) would get along swimingly. (just last night I found she’d “washed ” all her doll clothes and laid them out on her side table to dry, all after we’d gone to bed. That girl.

  24. Oh, Ginny!

    The Beatrix chatter was priceless. (I think Z and B would never stop talking…) But that last licking sequence MADE my day.

    Hang in there, friend.


  25. I hear you. I think that when one is present to where they are and accepts it (i.e. a house with children is a house with children) then peace is there and that sounds like where you are at. love the pictures!! 🙂

  26. So sweet! Peace to you, dear Ginny! 🙂

  27. Thank you so much for the laugh this morning Ginny, I love Silas licking wee Job; I just knew he was super sweet.

  28. The licking is so funny. I think I must have a default mad-face myself. The other day at the grocery store, as I was unloading the cart to check out, the cashier asked why I looked mad. I wasn’t mad at all, and told her so. I was concentrating on not forgetting anything in the cart! The week before, I’d forgotten a bottle of Worcestershire sauce wedged in where I couldn’t see it, and had to pay for it separately. I didn’t want to hang around for two transactions again!

  29. Awwww I don’t think you look mad. You’re watching. Bea is just so pretty. I wish I could hear her talking! I also wish I had that much light in my kitchen. We have one of those weird hallway kitchens that is about half the size it should be and it’s so dark. Ugh baby Job’s wake up face is priceless!

  30. Love the licks! I think my normal expression is mad too even though I’m not. I prefer pensive. Ginny, just be glad you’re not me right now. Moving is horrible and I don’t wish it on anyone! I haven’t been able to sleep through the night in awhile. too stressed. I hope your visit with your dad goes well!

  31. Ahhhh….a ‘mad’ knitting face! I apparently have that too…..only really I am mad….because I’m trying to knit! It’s all in my post from yesterday!
    My house always looks like a bomb just went off in it…..and I’m the only one that seems to notice. I’ve just grown to love the ‘mess’ of children…..and farming. I had too…..otherwise I would be crazy.

    • Yes! Sometimes we come home from an outing and I look around and say that if I didn’t know better, I’d say we’d been ransacked by robbers!!!

  32. Ahah! My son loves to lick the baby too.
    We’re in the middle of reno as well, with all of our dresser lined in the hallway and I can’t get any clean cloth in them, so all the baskets of clean (and less clean) clothing are piling in the laundry room, which is slowly becoming intolerable. So I can relate!! But at the end we’ll have a new bedroom without painted linoleum in it and without old semi-ripped wallpaper too. Renos are worth the little chaos!

  33. i love this! i think your feeling of peace fits mine…. i have my emotional flare ups…. more than most i am thinking…. the house is not quiet… but i do feel often feel an overwhelming sense of calm.. that is when i am not raging or crying above something!

  34. So lovely, Ginny. Thanks for sharing yourself so deeply with us all. Not much peace over here, either. Lots of worry. Worry for lambs that didn’t make it and wondering if we’re cut out for this. Worrying about a sick llama and cold chickens. Worry about our kids health and happiness and all the rest. So it goes. We reach for peace in the shadow-space within day by day. Love to you, friend.

  35. I completely agree with what you said about peace. Our home is not quiet or calm, but there is a certain peace within. We have five children, ages 8, 6, 4, 2 years and a three month old. We homeschool, so they are here all the time, which means the noise and the chaos is always around. BUT we do have this peace of love within our home.
    The licking photos are hysterical! Kids crack me up!

  36. Ah, the peace that passeth understanding. So good to have deep, deep down.
    Love Beatrix’s dialogue. Guess you never have to worry and wonder about what she’s thinking. 🙂
    And I was like ‘lick him’? no, eat him maybe…then I scrolled down and grinned.
    Happy Monday to you as well! We’re covered in snow again up here.

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