Sunday, October 31, 2010

Called to be saints - Halloween '10

Happy Halloween!  It was just a flurry of excitement as the old world was recreated for grandma and grandpa!  The black beast was attacked with love by the dragon beast and the knight in shining armor looked on and the damsel was beautiful!  Life is good... with the joy of little ones reminding me of days gone past with my sweet children!  Halloween was always themes and special times of visiting all the ladies that looked forward to catching up year after year.  Now only my mother is law is left of the 5 that we would make the rounds year after year!  Next they were heading over the great grandmas house in town!

It has been a mixed up day...once again trying to get some rest so that I can be alert as I work overnight at the nursing home tonight!  It was a great time with Sunday dinner with my son and my daughter and her family.  How I love Sunday dinner and the laughter and sharing of getting the family together!  John had humored me with one of my favorite things... a photo shoot with his 2 year old Godson, David and his healthy dog, Lilly, and of course the ever present Rat Terrier, Roger....  Before that we had gone to mass at the school where all of our kids attended for 9 years each!  John was very excited to go there and shared that he had always thought that the chapel was "so beautfiul!"  HE had a big grin on his face as we worshiped our Sunday service there... with our church in the midst of huge rennovation!  Then we went down for donuts and fellowship and John was so surprised at how small the cafeteria seemed...."It used to look so big, now it seems small!"  John you are about a foot taller now!  Then his dad said that for him, who had gone there almost 50 some years ago... it even was more surreal to walk into that cafeteria!  Now that is generations of memories!

The dragon wouldn't wear his head... we still could get the too cute picture!  All the saints pray for us on this vigil of All Saints Day!  May family give you joy and special memories to hold close to your hearts! 

Jesus, bless all families and may many saints arise from the fertile land of our domestic churches - our families.  As my son in law, Joe, is known to say... we are all called to be saints!  May we have the wisdom and strength to uphold the truth, and fight the dragons of the world that are lurking to destroy us with lies and fears.  May your truth set us free to follow you no matter what and to find a piece of heaven within the bonds of love and peace and Joy and happiness within our families!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!
Bless-bless, Barb
"You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own." I Peter 2:9

The story of recovery for man and beast!

John was home to take his dog, Lilly to the vet... she had been on death's door a year ago when we were struggling with John's brain cancer... His then girlfriend, Ailene, was prevet and would not stand by and let her die!  They loaded her into the car and took her down there to the Vet about 20 miles away.  She was very thin and her temp was sky high... she did not have long for this world! 
The vet sent her home on about 4 different meds to treat the "mysterious farm dog disease" that she had just treated in another dog that had come in... John would dutifully nurse her with a chunk of velveeta cheese with the about 10 pills stuck into it morning and night!  If he was gone for chemo he would be sure that she had someone to give her her meds!  Gradually she improved and although still thin and run down... her eyes would look more perky! 
Last week a post card arrived in the mail saying that she needed to come in for a one year check up and her shots!  John called from college to make an appointment for Saturday morning and came home to take his healthy dog to the vet and show her how she had gotten better... just as John had recovered with all the prayers and TLC that he had gotten at the same time!  It was so therapeutic for him to have someone else to think about and to get out of his own little world of cancer/worry!  She was good medicine for him!  How he would laugh with delight to see her bouncing and jumping and running ahead of him when he was outside doing things! He would sneak her in the house to watch TV on the couch in front of the woodstove in the winter too!  Then when his Aunt Joyce was visiting this summer they even gave her a big bath and brushed her!  Pretty unusual for a farm dog to smell like dish soap! 
WEll, John came home Friday night in time to help his dad haul manure!  Then the next morning his dad was busy going to a  funeral for one of his Louwagie Aunts, so John rigged up a collar and leash using the strap that you hang pour on when you work the cattle... the vet noticed it and got a good chuckle from that!  They weighed Lilly - She was up from 60 pounds last year to 78 pounds!  She had gained 18 pounds!  That was a true sign to us of how healthy she is now and how run down she was struggling with probably a fungus they think now....  John was so proud and pleased to have his special therapy dog doing so well... she is a symbol of hope for him and he loves to stoke her silky ears and head to show her his love and devotion!  Life is a gift and to see such a turn around in a year, and many more healthy years ahead for the two of them.  Just as John, his dad and I grew very close over the journey of the last 16 months... Lilly is a big part of it all too and a  poster dog for recovery from the brink of death!  Jesus we trust in you!  Bless-bless, Barb

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thankful mysteries.... lift us up!

The first Thankful mystery - For the Beauty of Creation! 

I admit that I went a bit nutty with the first Thankful mystery - For the Beauty of Creation!  But I am nutty about the rising and the setting sun and the way that it paints the world around me better than any masterpeice!  I do not do it justice, but am in awe of creation in the beauty of our farmland, and also with the special place we go in the summer... the inland sea, Lake Michigan!  Both are similar in the open visability, and I have grown to love to see in all directions and to appreciate the glorious sunrise and sunset! 
In the article from which I am gleaning all of this today... Patricia mentions that she was inspired by the Hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth" and realized that it covered all the major reasons to be grateful.  I just googled it and have the words to share;
For The Beauty Of The Earth Hymn

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

"Truly, no one does it better than our God.  The natural beauty found in creation surpasses any human artificial structure.  In creation, I experience God and so it is easy to give thanks."

The 2nd Thankful mystery - For Life and Our Time on Earth...

For each perfect gift of thine,

To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of heaven,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

Life is such an amazing thing... I will never forget the sister that taught me Anatomy and Physiology at ST Catherine's prenursing course - Sr Teresita!  A tiny ancient nun in full habit, who spoke with such conviction and wonder when she showed us the systems of the body and how there was no doubt that there was a God when you considered the wonder of the human body... As someone in the medical profession - a nurse - it is mind boggling to see the complicated systems and how they are so amazing to see... the way that they work together to give us life... the miracle of the senses and the mind that he gave us to make our own decisions in how our life should go... Yet, always there walking with us and even taking on human form to show us how to find true happiness here on earth.. but I am getting ahead of myself here... Because the 5th thanksgiving mystery is having to do with Christ! 

For Human Love - the 3rd Thankful mystery

"With great love comes the potential for great sorrow.  It is all one piece.  You can't have one without the other."

For the joy of human love,

Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
Pleasures pure and undefiled,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

Our 32 years of marriage has certainly contained some of both - sorrow and joy!  Without one there would be no excitement in life as we come from the pain into the lack of that pain!  Without the cross there can be no resurrection! 
It is lonesome during fall work, but those rain days and winter days to reconnect and bond are super nice after the separation!  ..."In times of sorrow, I can be thankful for the fact that I have loved and been loved, for the ability to grieve because grief witnesses to love."

The 4th Thankful mystery - For Church! 

For thy Church which evermore

Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise. - final stanza of the Hymn - For the Beauty of the Earth...

The Church!  I love it without reservation or end!  I totally see her as the beloved Bride of Christ and adorned with great jewels and flowing gowns of gold! She is much loved and Christ desires her with the greatest of passion!  He yearns for her to come totally to him and to have the most intimate of communion with her!  He gave her His Body to take of every day and every minute and every second of her life!  And He poured out words of amazing LOVE for her in His Word made flesh!  It is almost too HOT... His heart burning for love of her with every beat it takes!  The Church and what it has meant to me on this journey of faith is the greatest thing in my life, and for it I am forever grateful with great joy and endless praise - HALLELuia!!!!!

The 5th Thankful mystery - For Jesus, God with a Human Face!

"Jesus comes to meet us.  To welcome him, let us go to meet him.
He comes to us in the hungry, the naked, the lonely, the alcoholic,the drug addict, the prostitute, the street beggars.
He may come to you or me in a father who is alone, in a mother, in a brother, or in a sister.
If we reject them, if we do not go out to meet them, we reject Jesus himself."  Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

This is of a drastic reminder that Jesus continues to be a human face for us, and there is much to be thankful for in his presence around us in all that we meet as well as alive and life giving in His Body and Blood!  I must go and make a meal for my men!  How I love that and am thankful for this gift of time with my husband and son!  Jesus, I love you and thank you!  And I trust in You!  Amen and Halleluia! 
Bless-bless, Barb
"In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."  I Thes 5: 18

Speaking of thanksgiving...yes, there are tears in my eyes at 6a this morning as I was going to get ready for work... there on the mirror was this... for the cookies that I had baked before I went to bed... The men came in from hauling manure late... and enjoyed milk and cookies and love from me to them!  The love went both ways!