Life Refuses to Fit Inside a Blog Post

As it should.  Though an aspect of blogging that I have always particularly enjoyed is the visual creation of something cohesive surrounding a moment, an event, or a finished project.  There’s just something satisfying about that and it has always been a nice antidote to the chaotic nature of life.  When everything is messy, I can still craft something tidy and beautiful on the screen.  Not a lie, but a small window.  However, I find that I am rarely able to make my life fit into any tidy thematic blog posts anymore.

For Seth’s birthday, Jonny and Seth took a fossil hunting trip, just the two of them.  During the couple of days they were gone every bad thing happened.  I called my mom to laugh over the ridiculousness of it all.  I spent nearly three hours cleaning up after a sick dog without shedding a tear, but upon discovering beans dumped out on the lower level of the fridge, I sat down in the floor and cried.  The last straw, I guess.  My mom and I talked about all the amazing ways that God brings good from bad.  I laughed and asked what good we thought might come from me cleaning up all that dog crap.  She told me, “Well, your grandaddy used to say, ‘That’s the program and then you get the big surprise.'”  Ha!  A series of hardships and then you die.  My family has an interesting sense of humor.

I told my mom that I am the happiest I’ve been in many years.  This despite the fact that we went broke buying the land around our property to stop it from being developed and then promptly went into debt as everything we owned decided to break in the ensuing months.  Buying that land felt so “grown-up,” though there have certainly been consequences.  I’m dyeing lots of yarn, and while I am doing it for love of the process and just really awed by all the ways that this suits me perfectly, I started selling it in the face of a bill we couldn’t pay.  I don’t think I would have been confident enough to do it if necessity hadn’t played a role.  I’m almost grateful for the debt because it prompted me to explore and expand something that I love.  See!  Good from bad!

Bea fell and cut her wrist a few days ago, then fainted while sitting in Jonny’s lap.  (This was the first time this has happened to her, though it also happens to me.  Something lovely I passed on to her: passing out!)  In those short moments Larkspur thought her “Only sister,” as she retold the experience later, had died and she felt devastated for those few seconds.  She struggled for a couple of days to shake those frightening moments.  It’s possible that in recognizing how much she loves her sister, the sisterly squabbles lessened for a day.  These reminders are good:  we remember how much we love and we are reminded to love.

Life is so fragile, and rarely goes as planned or expected, but we continue to trust that in the end the big surprise will be a very good one.


  1. My mom and I share the fainting thing also. Funny, but it never crossed my mind that it may show up in one of my girls.

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us! And esp. the yarn dyeing. I so enjoyed my first attempt!

  2. But the blog posts that don’t fit into a box are my favourite! Must have been scary when little Bea fainted! I remember once when I taught a boy with autism who fainted, he opened his eyes, looked at me and said, ‘Holly, am I dead?’ – it is scary!

  3. I really like the pattern of the mug in the first picture.. Are those birch trees? Do you know who made them? Thanks in advance if you have time to reply 😀

  4. I love the title. It is so true. “Here and now is temporary” is what I always tell myself. Under the burden of stress, it is hard to hang on to joy. But that is also the beautiful thing about joy. It is not dictated by circumstance. God offers us joy even on the worst of days. 🙂 I will have to check out your yarn! It looked beautiful in past posts!

  5. Hi Ginny. If you are struggling with your finances, you and your husband must look into some Dave Ramsey materials. He is an amazingly wise financial adviser, and would be totally worth your time.

  6. I think this is my very most favorite of all your posts, ever. God is so kind to provide a silver lining to all our troubles, even when we don’t realize or see it immediately…His ways are not our own to be sure. Nonetheless, and I have to say I loved this, and then the big surprise. The best surprise! And in the meanwhile, we roll with it, trusting Him that He means it for good. 🙂

    Sorry about all the money woes…I missed out on your yarn last time but am keeping an eagle eye open for the next opportunity…hope it’s soon!
    xo Lisa
    PS: poor Larkspur!

  7. Hello from western Canada. I really enjoy your posts, especially this one. It’s important for readers to see the struggles too. I remember back in the day raising our 6 on a shoestring. Sometimes less. There would be a knock on the door and someone would have a meal or cookies for the children. God always provides. I’m glad you are selling yarn. Oh and the egg money. I miss my egg money ; )
    Hope the new Neighbors are nice

  8. What a great way to look at things–thank you for the reminder. I will try to look for the good among the bad. For example, today–unexpected emergency call to an electrician, resulting in a repair today and an estimate for many things that need to be fixed. But it’s good that we know about the issues now and can fix them *before* they cause serious problems.

    And also, life not fitting into a tidy blog post is one of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog–your posts are a joy to read, and somehow usually exactly what I need to read at that moment, but you always come across as very real and relatable.

  9. Dear Ginny … your very last line ” Life is so fragile, and rarely goes as planned or expected, but we continue to trust that in the end the big surprise will be a very good one.” is something I needed to read today. Three months ago my husband passed away after a two-year battle with a horrific illness … so here I am, alone, and with two little kids. I have spent a great deal of my week wrestling with God about this. Not the best week thus far. Probably won’t be the worse either! But I am trying to hold out hope that “in the end the big surprise will be a very good one.” Thank you for the reminder of that hope.

    • So very sorry for your loss, Roxy…I can’t imagine how hard things must be for you. Praying for you. xo

    • Dear Roxy, I am so sorry. What a struggle you must have gone through over these past years, and the grief now must be staggering. One of Jonny’s closest friends lost his wife last week after a two year battle with cancer. He also has children and is now trying to figure out how to move forward. It’s heartbreaking and so difficult to understand. You will be in my prayers. Love, Ginny

    • Roxy

      sending love and courage and prayers your way
      my husband is fighting for his life this year and we don’t know what the end will be
      I have had many more times than “a week of wrestling with God about this”, and I am sure will have more.
      I just wanted you to know you are not alone in those feelings.
      God Bless you and your children xoxox

      • shwell … dear one … thank you for your response. i am praying for your family … those are heavy shoes to walk in. feel free to holler at me if you need to “wrestle” … i’m hear to listen. so many have for us. many blessings!!

  10. In my opinion, this post did indeed create something beautiful out of the messiness that is daily life–without having to “make it pretty.” Pretty and beautiful are different, aren’t they? (I think so.) I so much appreciate your ability to do that. It was just the right reading for the end of a long week. My life is so different from what you describe here, but I completely understand the feelings behind your words. Thank you.

  11. Life is so fragile, a point that has once again been made front and center in my life, I’m not taking a moment for granted.

    • I hope all is well with you, Tracey! We had this reminder this week as well as one of Jonny’s best friends lost his wife to cancer. It’s been a rough one.

  12. Amen!!!

  13. I am cheering for you about buying the land and coping with finances being tight. Your photos are beautiful, the kitty, the building framed, etc.

  14. I think this is the strangest thing I could comment, but that picture of your beautiful cat came at just the right time, and helped heal me. My own beloved cat passed away very recently, and it’s been very painful to look at other people and their happy felines. But I love how serene and calm that picture is, and it made me smile 🙂

    Thank you

  15. This week my dear friend’s son fell out of our hay loft and broke his wrist (oh, the hazards of being a farm kid). Thank the Lord, he is otherwise OK. His little sister cried harder than he did. My son, who is so close to these two that both families sometimes refer to them all as siblings, asked me why she was crying so much since she wasn’t hurt. I explained that she was very upset and worried about her hurt brother. To which my son replied, “Huh! She doesn’t cry when she hurts him!” Oh, kids.

    • I have read and been moved by the many comments on this realistic and beautiful post; but Maria, your comment struck home! Thanks for the laugh. Actually, the whole post resonated with a familiar sensation; small children injuring themselves at 10pm on a Saturday when Daddy is working the night shift, my oldest daughter fainting right out of the high-up chair of the opthamologist onto the floor, (now I remember to catch her), sewing slings and nursing pillows to sell, rushing to the doctor nine months pregnant at the sacred time of “nap” with a toddler who put a bead up his nose. Maybe I need a retro blog post today; nah, I’ll just reread yours.
      Blessings to you, Ginny, and to those working through great loss; thinking of you today.

  16. My darling mum, who passed away over 10 years ago, used to say “Everything happens when your father’s on night shift!” (he was a railway worker here in New Zealand and worked his way up to a high position, but did it the hard way!). I remember, as a young teen, laughing with her as we mopped up water from a broken pipe from all over the floor, and struggled to turn off the water at the mains. We made the best of the situation, and I love and miss her even more for that memory.

  17. Cindy in NC says:

    My husband travelled a good bit (sometimes for weeks at a time) when we had a houseful of young children. We didn’t have cell phones or a home computer for e-mail and couldn’t afford long distance (anyone remember calling cards?), so he never knew what was going on at home while he was gone. On the drive home from the airport after his return I’d always ask if he wanted me to list the catastrophes chronologically, alphabetically, or in order of severity. I wish back then I had your ability to see the good that can come from such chaos.

    When will you be offering more of your hand-dyed yarn for sale? Will your goats ever be a source of fiber for you?

    • I am hoping to have yarn available in about a week! The goats we have now aren’t fiber goats, but I do hope to explore raising my own fiber animals someday when my children are older!

    • “chronologically, alphabetically or in order of severity” – thank you for the great laugh. Anyone who has had a traveling spouse can relate, I am sure 🙂

  18. Megan Wahl says:

    the sisterly/sibling love is heartwarming. just think- maybe one of those beans was a magical bean, and a giant beanstalk will grow in your kitchen! 😉

  19. I am so with you.. Especially as you marvel over the way tight spots force us to find creative ways to “get out,” and In the process we discover something we love. So true. Necessity really is the mother of invention!

  20. I’m sorry there have been difficult moments. I’m cheering you on all the way for buying that land, and I’m so glad you’ve decided to sell your yarn, a great idea. Wishing you a good weekend, and an excellent week next week. CJ xx

  21. I am inspired by the risks you take: buying the land, selling the yarn. I often play it safe but I no longer want to live with the regret of missed adventures. I love your posts whether they have a tidy theme or not!

    • Jonny and I called this past year or so, the one following our dear friend Sarah’s death, the “Year of Experiences.” We may have actually gone overboard, but found ourselves not wanting to play it safe anymore knowing that life is short, and you never know when it will end.

  22. The passing out from holding your breath while crying has happened a few times in our family. This is where I get my gray hair.;)

  23. This post made me smile. And this is completely random, but I was wondering if you’ve ever done a review of your Aurora Co. shoes on your blog, or if you’d consider doing one? I’m thinking about saving up for a pair, and while I hear wonderful comments about their shoes, I’d like to hear some more detailed thoughts about them…

    • I haven’t ever written a specific review, though I think I talked a bit about the shoes in an Aurora giveaway post earlier this year. I love them and wear them nearly every day and have so for several years. They are worth saving for!

    • If you live anywhere near Aurora, their shoes are about $80 if you buy them directly at the store (vs about $150 if you have them shipped to you)!

  24. Just love you Ginny, thanks for sharing your wisdom and beautiful life!

  25. Yay for happy and “all things right with the world” even though our worlds can be very buzzy and loud and messy!
    You did the right thing to buy the land. You won’t be sorry.

  26. Ginny,
    This was so very encouraging for me today on a day when I really needed great encouragement. Thank you for your openness in such a public place.
    Based on your Grandpa’s quote, a book that I think you would really enjoy would be ‘Death by Living’ by ND Wilson. It is so full of story an about delighting in our own story.
    Blessings to you today!

  27. Shelley Lentz says:

    I love your pictures of you and your family. Its great the way you have decided to raise them. I love the way you manage to make it all work.

  28. Ginny, I just love the kids-around-the-table-doing-lessons photo. Glimpses of others homeschooling are so few, but so precious for the commonality and camaraderie.

    I like to think of it as actually a very Catholic sense of humor. We can seem quite morbid to others, always dwelling on death and our mortality, but it’s a good thing. And then sometimes we joke about it. What else can you do? I got a good chuckle out of Granddaddy’s wisdom–it’s very relatable!

  29. Your post was just what I needed this morning, as we a going through a very similar situation with finances right now. Through sharing your experience you are such an encouragement to others! (More good from bad!). So thankful for a God who is in control and knows what we need in each and every situation! Blessings to you and your family!

  30. I absolutely love the title of this post!

  31. I believe there is always good to find even in the bad. Sometimes I have to look harder than others. Sometimes I just want to complain. But complaining doesn’t really do much and cultivating gratitude in my life really does!!

    Hooray for your yarn and your love in creating it! And yay for making lemonade from the lemons.

    I love this about blogging too. The visual and the beauty of capturing moments with my camera lens and the aspect of making memories when I post them.

  32. Gill Millington says:

    I live in Wales, UK, am a senior citizen, have no children or land but share all your crafting hobbies and am interested in all you do. Thank you for sharing your life, photographs and everything with us. Best of all, we worship the same Father.
    Bless you all.

  33. Yes, that small thing can just push you over the edge of the cliff when fighting the big monster had you on sure footing. Many prayers for you, dear sister. Keep fighting the good fight!
    I’m excited to see what your newest collection of dyes will look like!

  34. You know I was thrilled to see you selling your hand dyed yarn, it is marrying your love of plants (and education) with your craft and maybe a source of income, you know a full circle kind of thing.

    In our house I am the vomit/diarrhea parent. I can clean ANYTHING up. My husband is the trauma blood parent, he can look at any bloody kid and decide if we are going to ER or not (we’ve been there many times with our son). I think we make a really good team 🙂

    My son faints when he has blood drawn 🙂

    I love how you weave your life and moments into your blog posts, Love you Ginny!!

    • Ha! Karen, that is definitely how it is at our house. I deal with the poop, Jonny takes care of blood! Thank you for your encouragement about my yarn!! It does feel so perfect for me and I am having a lot of fun.

  35. Oh, I have cried over spilled beans (or such like tragedies) many a time! I love your perspective. I feel similarly that life just ain’t going to fit into a blog post for a long time. Trying to be okay with the messiness (even virtual messiness) of it all.

  36. Your hive photos reminded me of a novel I just finished told from the perspective of a bee, called Bees. It was interesting and beautiful. If you would like to read it, I’d be happy to send you the copy I have here. I’m also looking forward to more of your beautiful yarn!

    • Hi Dona! Is it The Bees by Laine Paull? A friend recommended that one to me recently and I would love to read it! I’ll email you!

      • Yes, that’s the one! I have it set aside for you, I just need your address and I’ll pop it in the mail. (I’ll go check my junk folder right now in case you have already emailed me and I missed it!)

  37. So many beautiful projects are going to come from you needing to sell your yarn!!! I love the skein I received and am trying to figure out what special item to make…….something that will remind me of you, the originator. I like memories associated with my projects……😉 Glad Bea is O.K (Lark too) Life is scary and then that just makes us more grateful for the good!! Hang in there!

  38. Oh boy, do I get this. Life is a beautiful kind of crazy with a houseful of children and animals. What is the new building going up?

    • It’s a portable chicken coop. It’s awfully big though. I told Jonny that maybe it should be a portable yarn dyeing studio instead!!! 😉

  39. Gwendolyn says:

    Ginny, love your candor. I loved all the pictures, but especially of the kids at the table working on their schoolwork. Yes, everything goes wrong when the man of the house is gone. Your tickseed sunflower yarn is a hit. My daughter noticed the doll blanket I was knitting for my granddaughter and she doesn’t really say anything about my projects! Now of course, my granddaughter (Sydney) decided she found another mini barbie and I needed to make TWO doll blankets. Thank goodness I bought 2 skeins. We’ve got a hay rack just like yours and I always thought it would make an awesome play house…now to convince hubby. Your chicken house will be beautiful I’m sure. Looking forward to you selling some more of your yarn. Have a great weekend.

  40. Hugs, Ginny. I think you’re doing great. Everyone I know has these moments of being overwhelmed. Sometimes all you can do is laugh and be glad for most basic things in life. I hope Bea is okay.

  41. Adding you to my novena today. Your perspective of a messy day helps me put our recent messy days in the proper light …God’s light.

  42. Oh, Ginny. I can relate to so much — not being able to fit life into a blog post. Or maybe not being able to squeeze enough time out of life to write one. My blog has been vacant since a Yarn Along post long ago! I hope life starts to turn upward for you and you can find more good than bad. I have so much to be grateful for (the greatest being no dog poo to clean up!), and I thank you for steering me to find a glint of gratitude today.

  43. These are the posts I love….. because I know in the moments of everything going wrong, I am not alone. It reminds me we all struggle. We laugh and cry. We are pushed to new heights through hardships. I so admire and respect your honesty. It’s one of the reasons I love you! I am glad Bea is ok! Maybe things come in threes and you’re overdue for an easy stretch 😉

  44. Oh Ginny. You are so not alone. I am sure everyone who reads your blog is reaching out and giving you the biggest hug right now. I have found myself sitting on the kitchen floor, surrounded by one mess or another, overwhelmed and in tears on far more than one occasion this year. It happens. There is a fine line between a good day and a bad day. Virtual chocolate and wine coming your way.

I love to hear from you!