Friday, December 9, 2011

".. blessings will come upon you and overwhelm you." Dt 28:2

Looking at old pictures make me smile... I saw this one in my scanned pictures today, and it was reminding me of those special moments on a cold winter night bundled up in warm sleepers and under a comforter as we read stories before bed.  It looks like they are all just out of the bathtub, and their hair is already up in topknots or sideknots.  Little baby Maria is probably only 5 months old as she was born in mid August.  I just feel warm and snuggly all over when I look at this... remembering the special snuggle time with the woodstove keeping the house warm in our little house on Hwy 59.  It will soon be torn down we are told, but with special pictures like this we will always have such warm and loving memories about our tiny little house where all 4 of our girls were born!  We are so grateful for all the blessings of our "nest" years.  The girls have such a special place in their hearts for our little house, and the times that they would go over to be with dad when he milked cows.  Remembering my sister, Mary, and the time that she lived with us while I was pregnant - also is special times to remember.  WE love to have our farmlife to share as a family and with other members of the more extended family that come to see us... whether it be a weekend or weeks!
The beginning of our family Christmas card - with our almost 1 year old daughter, Ruth Ida Rose... I am in the midst of working on our Christmas greetings for this year, so to see this grabbed my attention. It is hard to believe that there have been 31 years since we posed for this picture... today we stopped over to see Ruth with her little 3 year old, David.  How we love to have them so close!  It was funny this morning... we had two alarms go off at about 6:30a... it seemed that the Lord wanted us to get up and go to mass this morning.  So we did! It is the feastday of St Juan Diego today...the one who received the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his cloak!  There were many at mass, and it was a special time for us to be there.  We had a river of blessings flow over us!  "If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, your vindication like the waves of the sea; Your decendants would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, Their name never cut off or blotted out form my presence."  Isaiah 48:17-19  From the first reading today.  Wow!  Doesn't that sound like a blessing that we all experience when we are taking up our cross and following after HIM?  It is so out of this world to see the Lord's blessings pour down upon our children! 

A fun one of my dad and I... almost 60 years ago for this one!  I am so excited to overflowing now in my life with our Cross Christmas Camp coming fast and furious next weekend... we are celebrating this year our 40th year of coming into the Catholic Church in a big way!  We will be having a family mass at camp on Saturday night with a special retired priest friend of my parents.  We are overjoyed that it worked out for him to come and be with us - we are now approaching 90 strong with the constant stream of new arrivals.  We just welcomed 2 new little ones in the last few months, and have at least 3 more to come by April!  I just did an official headcount and we are up to 85 now with all the greatgrands, and might be close to 90 by next year, if it continues to add more and more by marriage or birth!  We certainly will have a full gathering space made into a church complete with an altar that Fr will bring with him!  It just seems that the words or Isaiah are coming to reality, in the ways that we are being showered with such wonderful answers to prayers!  The size of my family reflects the idea of grains of sand and grains in how they are filling the world with many "Crosses."  I know...  A very poignant name to be sure... there is no getting away from that Cross no matter how much we would like to... Right?

"The more God wishes to bestow on us, the more does he make us desire."  St John of the Cross... The Lord God promises, "If you heaken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river," for these commandments reawaken in us the desire that draws us to God!  So many feelings of appreciation to the amazing True Church that the Lord called me to, along with my entire family, 40 years ago... I have been so blessed and continue to be with each new day!  I will always remember John sharing that he had a very excited young man in his fraternity.  He loved his faith and Jesus very much, and he just shouted out in his excitement; "Wouldn't it be amazing if there was a church service that you could go to every day!"  John and his friend, Brad Lanoue, just looked at each other with amazement and said; "There is one...the Catholic Church!"  To be able to wake up this morning, and within half an hour to be kneeling together in our beautiful church, and to receive Jesus... body and blood... too wonderful for words to give it justice!  And to be gifted with the most important and wonderful GIFT in the world - Eucharist as a family - as the high point of our celebration next weekend!  Too much, and so special, and so wonderful, and such blessing abound!  Thank you, Jesus!

Jesus, we are so touched and filled with gratitude to you for this special blessing to mark our 40th anniversary of being Catholic.  There is no better way for us to celebrate than to gather together at your table of LOVE and LIFE!  Yet, these last 40 years have been so special and the blessings continue with each new day... Your sacraments, your saints, Your Mother, your call to be open to LIFE, the wisdom of your pope and magesterium, the call to prayer and to serve, the respect for all life from conception to natural death, the rosary, the advent wreath and the seasons of the Church that call us to conversion, there is no end to the wisdom and wonder of your True Church!  I fall on my knees in gratitude for calling me through my family, and for all of us coming together to answer the call!  There will be so many special ways that we can say thank you and praise you in this gathering together now from 13 to 85!  That is truly one of the most visible blessings- all the lights to the world!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
"When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice.  If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will.  There are set before you fire and water, to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.   Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given to him."  Sirach 15: 14-17 

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