Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hospice/Michigan/France... touching heaven and bearing fruit that will last.

This was taken about 6 years ago in France... our faces aglow with the powerful experience of watching 6 take their habit and change their names in The Community of the Lamb!  Not our daughter, Hallel, she was to take her first vows the following morning and the reason for us making the trip.  John and I had made the trip 2 years before to see Susan come in in her habit for the first time and to hear her new name, Little Sister Hallel, for the first time!  Pat was unable to join us as it all happened in 24 hours, but he now knew the power of the transformation and had tears come to his eyes.
Time in a sunflower field just next to Saint Pierre...

Why am I dipping back into this time?  It has been a morning of great waves of memories starting with one of Michigan 3 years ago today, when I arrived to find Maria and her family at the Big Lake for our 2 wonderful weeks of family time supreme!  I had been thinking with the 4th just days away that we would be going to Michigan just about now... and so the memories come rushing back.  I also came across a sharing about France I had done on this day about 4 years ago, and that mingled in filling me with more touches of small slices of heaven we are given on our journey here on earth!
Yes, Pat's 92 year old mother made the trip!  We miss her always willing and excited to be a part of our lives!

I had a lot of errands to make this morning, so enjoyed my beads traveling through my fingers in my chapel on wheels!  I accidentally took a road that added 10 miles across country to my trip, and brought me past a house where I had a patient for hospice years back and sat with her family as she passed from this earth.  I found myself making the sign of the cross as I passed it, and the deep memoires of all my years in hospice flooded me, and finally I was able to be part of my dear beloved mother-in-law for her 20 months on hospice.  I knew early on in my nursing that I loved hospice... I am a deep person and like to get down to deep sharing and get the superficial out of the way!  Looking death in the eye certainly does that... it gets down to Faith and Family at that point, and that is where I am comfortable and like.  Death is merely a part of life that we all will face.
John and I in the shadows... John's second trip to France and now 2 years cancer free! 

Today is St Irenaeus and the Gospel from Matthew about the good tree bearing good fruit/"by their fruits you will know them."  So many of the feasts and readings each day remind me of our clinging to Jesus and trusting in our early days of realizing that we had no control after John got brain cancer and grandson, Patrick, was born dead and brought back to life... cross after cross!
I apologize if it seems like I go back to this too much, but that Cross has brought us to a place of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT with each new day!
Hallel introduces two 92 year olds to each other... Little Sister is still alive, and mom is now gone for 6 months!

Jesus, how I love you and am so blessed by the powerful moments when heaven is touching us on this journey!  It seems as though my path has been climbing a narrow steep mountain pass this day twisting back and forth through many powerful experiences I have been given through my deep and powerful years of hospice work, my wonderful glorious family bonding crazy times sharing our cabin in my beloved Michigan and also France where our daughter became a Little Sister of the Lamb/your bride/a contemplative nun/your Word came to LIFE in our lives more and more as they "chew" your Gospel with each new day starting the night before!  My cup is overflowing this day and the fruit is ripe and good and filling me to overflowing with so much good and happiness as I embrace my Most Cherished Cross and find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Our Lady of Lourdes helped John come to her Son and His Bride, The Church!  We share that love, and this mother is not jealous one bit when he tells me.  "I love you, mom, but she is the best mom of all!"  I agree 100%.
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Doing morning prayer with John and Pat this morning and reading from John 1 as St Irenaeus was a disciple of St Polycarp, who had followed St John the Evangelist... how I love this canticle they used for morning prayer!
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.

All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race:

the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
The true light, which enlightens everyone.
was coming into the world.

And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father's only Son,
full of grace and truth.
So amazing on this powerful day of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT/the good fruit which shows the world the Way, the Truth and the LIFE!
Yes!!!
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“Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being what God want us to be.”
--St. Therese

Today glory in the simplicity of it all. A blade of grass is not called to be anything other than what it is. And neither are you.
...
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Just as you are. Right in this moment.

Rest in the arms of the Lord today. Ponder his will for you. Ponder the plan he wrote on your heart when he created you.

And grow in the warm, abundant love of God.
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Nancy's beautiful sharing today!
Therese on the beach 3 years ago... the sand had appeared!
It is hard for me to say goodbye to this part of my family life... Lord, help me to trust in your new plan for our vacation family time.  As Big Dave asked a few days ago; "Now where will be go grandma?"  There is always the county fair David and grandpa is talking about a big trip out to the West Coast to see Maria and Joe and family... lots of days in the car for that, but family in between.
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Both give us what we need to go forward down the narrow path. 
Just because it is so pretty -a street in Portugal
Danielle Rose - Memorare
Hills and Valleys



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"You let your emotions rule" "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you." Matthew 7


I was so happy last night!  I had a bag with matching outfits for Ruth's 3 girls in my closet for weeks now... awaiting a chance to have my first photo shoot with baby Joy!  Well, I finally had them at my house for supper while Ruth was doing an intro session for her natural/Creighton Model.


 I had little Joy and she is so sweet and good and I got found a long sleeve top with lots of pink and ruffles in my drawer and put it on her under another frilly top with the matching coral color of the theme.  Then the hat!  Looking at her now... I can see why the girls including her mom thought I had done beautiful little Joy a great disservice to say the least!  Talking to Maria a bit ago... she pointed out to me that I was carried away with the emotions of it, and didn't really take time to look at the result.  I am sure with all my photos... I have hurt many with my emotions on my sleeve!
Another crazy attempt... Joy was not very happy with being on her tummy and with the crazy hat I found digging in my baby headband drawer. 


The Gospel came strongly back to me this morning thinking about how I really do not like to see myself in pictures these days and when others put a picture of me... I tend to cringe at the shocking sight.  Look what I did to baby Joy and I was so excited and happy... carried away with the emotions of it!  Baby Joy got her first taste of her crazy grandma, and my obsession with pictures...  Just ask Mary, who did not want to take the ones I wanted by Mary when I saw that the color of the geraniums matched their outfits...
Joy can be very smiley and happy, and she seems a bit shocked at this crazy grandma in her face.  Her older sisters are putting up with me barely.  My excitement and happiness of last night is now hitting me in the face like a cold glass of water...  I would not be nearly as sweet and agreeable as these 3 if asked to go through this for someone like me.  Why would I do to them what I would hate to have happen to me? 
The hat came off and she looked hugely relieved, but still the crazy outfit, grandma!


After Hallel being here and my kids were very kind in allowing me to take picture after picture of us together, knowing that she only gets home every 3-4 years.  I do cherish them, but I also know that I am a bug about them, and it would be hugely good for me to let go!  Lord, thank you for a dose of reality and eyes opened to my faults and weaknesses.  May I consider the feelings of others and honor them with respect and not purely emotions.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb
"Grandma, I forgive you.  Just please don't dress me up like a frilly clown again, OK?  Now we have this as a picture to remember always!" 
This will pass the test... we had a fun night with supper, picking mulberries for sundaes, and a bath in the Jacuzzi.  Joy was such a good baby girl for grandma and Godfather, Uncle John.
Purple feet from picking mulberries... and mosquito bites while picking.
Mulberry ice cream Sundae!
Washing purple hands and feet in the bubbles - they bring their swimsuits and pajamas to grandma's house... a great new tradition has begun!  So happy with my wonderful new bathrooms now that all the work and mess is done! 
Beautiful baby Joy loves her home and her family! 
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A familiar image from our church here in Marshall.  I was reading today that the loose sandal is because when the angels showed him how he would die... he became so scared that he ran so hard and fast and jumped into his mother's arms, and there next to her Immaculate heart,  "His own heart was strengthened" to look upon them.  May we find that hope and strength as we are close to the Immaculate Heart of our Mother of heaven and earth!

Joe in training in Virginia... now a lawyer/JAG in Fort Lewis, WA!
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Love it!!! She is my best girlfriend!














Monday, June 26, 2017

"journeyed on by stages..." Genesis 12

Ruth's two youngest today.  Joy is such a good little girl, and slept all night til 7a this morning.  It is so wonderful for her mom to get a good night's sleep with her busy household to care for and all that goes on with the farm and family each day.  Thank you, Joy Jean, for being such a little angel.  Grandma sure enjoyed your sweet smiles this morning. 
Yes, we got hail to start our day early Thursday morning, and today about 30 farmers gathered in out shop to get all the information they need to figure out what they should do about it.  Farmers certainly know that they have no control about the weather, and you pick yourself off and dust yourself off and then figure out what you can do with what you are given each year. 


Today the readings were a good reminder of how we are being called to go forward according to the plan Jesus has for us.  Looking back at my life and how I continually asked the Lord to show me my path, and there were definitely twists and turns along the way... considering religious life was part of what brought me into The Church with my family of 13, then being told that the sister giving me direction was leaving the order and getting married seemed to make my desire evaporate, then meeting my farmer, but now I have a daughter, who is a nun, a lot due to my call and encouraging all of my children to consider this amazing option of priesthood or religious life!  Yes, Hallel also heard the call and answered with the "yes" of her entire life for her LOVE, Jesus Christ, her spouse!
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/the-amazing-story-of-13-becoming.html
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/my-most-cherished-cross-patrick-gerard.html
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/susan-angela-agneslittle-sister-hallel.html
Rose in her Sunday dress biking up the driveway on a cool Sunday!


These words about Abram "journeyed on by stages" from Genesis today after the Lord led him to the promised land and to make of him a great nation.  Yes, we certainly journey down the narrow  path by stages set by our station in life, or our age and point of family life.  I was sharing with someone this morning  how great it is to have the young family here now, and that it is a special gift to us that we can experience it over again.  Yet, I still can come home to my quiet home, and do not have the responsibility of it 24/7.  Yes, there have been stages of my nest years and now my being put out to pasture and allowing the younger ones to help out on the farm.
It is fun to see Ruth getting her kids to help put the clothes on the line and off...COL!  I was telling the kids at lunch that I washed my diapers for 5 kids and put them on the line every day!  They gave me some crazy looks, because their vision of diapers would be a very bad mess in the washer.  "They were cloth and nice and white, and your mom put many on the line for your Uncle Johnny."  I always had a good feeling to have a baby in the house and to see that diapers blowing in the wind on the clothes line every day.  I would have at least 2 loads of wash a day with the whites or light load and the farm clothes load.  Now I am down to about one a day.  But I still enjoy my clothesline time.  I will never be totally out of that stage, but no more diapers for sure!
What a delight to watch the stages of life with a new little one in our midst.  Each day she engages with us more with her sweet smiles and looking into our eyes! 


My day has escaped me and my rosary is calling me along with the lawnmower and garden full of weeds. I cling to my prayer time each day, and withstand some judgment and criticism over it.  I know that the plank in my eye is huge and causing me to not see clearly most especially with those the closest to me in my domestic church/family.  Lord, I need you and cling to you as I blindly go forth from this stage of my life on to the next.  I lay my burdens at your feet in the confessional and then I pray that I will return the Mercy that I have been shown by you.  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
What stage of the journey is this one?  Old and grey and gimpy reminding me of how weak I am, O Lord.  A bouquet of radishes is pretty indeed.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Cute to watch them playing so nicely and kindly together.
Suddenly Rose was whispering in Luke's ear... "What did she tell you?"  "She has to go to the bathroom."  Some things are private, I guess...

Joy is used to a noisy house... 3 brothers wrestling right behind her don't get her too upset at all.  "She is the best baby in the world!" says her mom. 
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Yes!!!
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BEATIFICATION DATE SET!

The Michigan Catholic reports Father Solanus Casey will be beatified on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit, Michigan.

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Happy Feast Day
Saint Josemaría Escrivá
1902-1975
Feast day: June 26

José María Mariano Escriva Albás was a Roman Catholic priest from Spain who founded Opus Dei, an organization of laypeople and priests dedicated to the teaching that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. He was canonized in 2002 by Pope John Paul II, who declared Saint Josemaría should be "counted among the great witnesses of Christianity."
https://www.portraitsofsaints.com/collections/all/all-images-st-josemaria
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The Little Mermaid is done and John won the leg wrestling competition! 
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The original Wonder Woman
I am smiling ear to ear!  John and I so agree with this... "She is the best mom, right mom?"  Yes!!!







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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Soon to be Blessed Solanus Casey on November 18,2017 in Detriot!!! 12th Sunday Ordinary Time

Breakfast in the bright sun on this cool morning on the farm after sharing 8a mass as a family on this 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time!  Spread the Good News - Jesus is alive and well in us thanks to His Word and Sacraments!


Just received the amazing news of the date for the Beatification of our dear Venerable/Soon to be Blessed Solanus Casey!  It will be November 18th in Downtown Detroit!  I have a feeling that John and I will be looking seriously at a road trip or flight to be there for that occasion.  Solanus became very close to us on our journey 8 years ago... just about that time of year when my parents brought a relic to pray over John with during the morning mass
Our 2 mother's looking at the relic of Venerable Solanus 8 years ago... It was in November of 2009, and I am overjoyed that almost 8 years later he will become Blessed!  The 8a mass was filled that day with many praying for John as he was brought out into the center aisle to be anointed and prayed over with the relic!  http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/johns-cancer-stories.html
No John did not have a miraculous healing that day, but Blessed Solanus is hugely a part of the healing of John as he found Faith through brain cancer.
A very special shrine to our man at St Michael's in Stillwater as he lived his life in Wisconsin and other places locally.   There with my parents on Father's Day last weekend was pretty powerful as that we the day 8 years ago that we first realized that John had brain cancer!  He was such a humble man, who touched many with his listening ear as they would come to the door of the monastery.
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Yes, his designs are mysterious and hard to understand, but he reminds us in the Gospel today... that we do not need to be afraid... no matter what we face!
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My new motto in my journey, because it is a struggle a lot of the time!
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Yes!!!  Life would be a lot more pleasant this way!
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A whole lot of appreciation for what He is doing in our lives to help us get to heaven forever!
"Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father."  Matthew 10... the Gospel today!
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so beautiful and how I would love to be that humble and patient!  Blessed Solanus intercede for me and teach me!
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I am really enjoying sitting at the feet of Solanus Casey and allowing him to share these pearls today. 

Lord, how I love you and thank you ahead of time for all that is ahead as I carry/drag my Most Cherished Cross down the narrow path to reach heaven forever with you, Mary and all the Saints along with our dear humble patient Solanus Casey.  May this Ordinary time be filled with your plan for our lives as we go forth to share all that you have done in our lives!  Most especially with those in our domestic Church/family.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless- Bless, Barb
Inside the remodeled farm house after breakfast - admiring the huge windows and the glorious sky filled with white puffy clouds on this clear cool day!
Luke and Rose sharing a secret while they play in the living room with the huge picture window as a backdrop!
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An amazing picture of a crucifix in a field not far from our house!  Such a symbol of His LOVE!
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