Saturday, March 31, 2012

Prayers for life in the womb!!!!!!!!!

I have been given permission from my second daughter to shout from the rooftops that all 3 of our married daughters are expecting babies at the same time!  Ruth is due in about 3 weeks or so with #4.  Nancy has now joined her sisters, and is due in November.  And Maria is due in September. 
Yes, come November of this year... 3 new little ones will have joined those here on earth!  God willing.  You had better believe the prayers are started... when John was home on spring break and we prayed for Nancy's baby for the first time as we shared morning prayer - we all laughed at the shere wonder and joy of it all!  The guys said that it sounded like I whinnied like a horse when I excitedly laughed with glee to be praying for now 3 pregnant daughters with precious LIFE in their wombs!

Pat has been praying for this and hoping for this to happen - "For all three of my girls to be pregnant at the same time."  Now he appears to be a prophet - his girls are calling him...  His hopes and prayers have become a reality, and now the prayers continue daily so that they can get the best start possible and get here safe and sound... along with their mothers, of course!

Life is a crazy beautiful gift... never dull or boring!!!!!!!!!!! 

In our Michigan pose this summer there will be just one new little member, but two with expanding bellies!  Come Christmas they will be here to join  in the picture, though.
Room for 3 more!!!!!!!!  Picture perfect no matter how many there are - the more the better!  These little ones will move aside for the new members of each of their families!  For all life in the womb, dear Lord, especially for our 3 daughters and their new LIFE growing in them surrounded by LOVE!  Jesus, we place them all in your hands and guardian angels watch out for them.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
Mary came over with Cindy-Lou hair thanks to some wire her dad had put on a headband...too funny - we had to take some shots with paper Hallel - we know that Susan/Hallel's prayers are surronding her new little neices and nephews in the womb. 

Our hearts are taking flight!!!!!!!!!!!

"But why???????????????" David Lanoue

A blue eyed grin and endless energy - until her runs himself out and then it is nap time immediately - little David the Ist, as he has a cousin David that is a year and a half younger than him... David II - David Joseph.  He has been a total delight to us, as are all of our wonderful grandchildren!  He is full of wonder at the world around him, and especially loves to be "grandpa's helper."  And you can only imagine how much joy that gives his grandpa, Patrick!  It seems like most mornings the first thought that Pat has is what is his Daver doing today...

3 1/2 year old Dave up on the top rung of the fence watches as his special farmer, who he basically worships the ground that he walks upon, is pulling a calf last evening.  "But why is grandpa putting his hand in the cow?"  Really he mostly just asks about everything that comes along - "But WHY?"  and then makes the appropriate hand motions so that you know what he is asking! 
In a few minutes the little white faced heifer was here, and grandpa announced that it was a girl/heifer... "But why?" came the expected question from little Dave - how do you answer that one?  And Dave is one that is predicting that he will have a brother this time - mom is due in a few weeks with their 4th child.  I am sure that whether he is wrong or right that he will ask the; "But Why?"  I am sure that the answer will be...that is the way that God wanted it to be, as with the new little heifer last evening.

Watching the mother cow lick the new calf that already has it's head up and is trying to stand up... Life on the farm is never a dull moment, especially at calving time!  Pat says that when he is working around the yard with Dave that there is a continuous stream of - "But Whys?" for everything and anything.  It shows that he is truly trying to figure out the world around him and make sense of it all... news for you, Dave, there is not an answer to everything!  That is something that we adults need to remember too!  How often do we question God about things that are happening to us?  Every other minute... just like little Dave and most 3 year olds that we remember?  When we faced the shock of cancer in our 20 year old son's brain - how we asked "Why?"  There was no answer to that one too, other than the constant reminder that Jesus was in control and we just had to place it all in His hands!  I think that Dave is satisfied with the answers that he gets or the chuckle from grandpa when he asks the usual question and the taking of his hand. 
 He trusts grandpa and probably doesn't even expect an answer most times to his always wondering question... it is what we should adopt too!  It is alright to ask Our Lord in prayer - "But why?"  But we should know that there is not usually an answer forthcoming other than that we need to TRUST in Him and that He loves us with his LIFE, and will let no harm come to us!  Much talk this morning about the shepherd of the sheep this morning - "I am the good shepherd, says the Lord.  The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."  John 10:11  The sheep that are constantly bleeting for the shepherd to show them the way - "but why?"  We have the Good Shepherd there to show us the way to green pastures! 

Jesus, we are so wanting to TRUST in you always! You are the shepherd, we your sheep - "You have scattered my sheep and driven them away.  You have not cared for them, but I will take care... I myself will gather the remant of my flock from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their medow; there they will increase and multiply.  I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and temble; and none shall be missing, says the Lord.  There will be one flock and one shepherd."  Jeremiah 23: 1-4  How we love to hear your words of LIFE and LOVE, and promise to direct our lives into your LIGHT!   May we give up of our personal needs and desires and be as sheep following the Good Shepherd into heavenly eternal LIFE!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb  Please take the time to watch this information about our Church!  This speaks about the affirmative orthodox shepherds that are being placed in leadership of our True Church!  We need them!!!

"I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mill so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia - the Horse and His boy

Jesus - the LION/LAMB- is always with us - He is in control!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Amazing late sun on sheets with 3 kids playing inside!

So much fun tonight - the grandkids and I went out after supper to play/take the clothes off the line.  I had washed all the sheets from upstairs, and the sun shining through the glowing sheets as the kids had fun running back and forth until some ran into each other...  The shadows of kids and folds in the soft fabric was so beautiful with smiling laughing kids here and there...
One contour sheet touched the ground and the kids thought that it was a glowing place to lay and "rest" in the setting sun and the greening grass!

A portrait of peace... Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless

"In the silence of the heart..."

So wonderful to see puddles after a good rain!  We have been in a drought really since last July 1st!  There is still much rain needed to get the moisture down where the roots of the plant go as it grows towards the sun...but it just feels like we have broken the cycle and that maybe the heavens will burst forth and give us the plentious rains that we need!  St Joseph, with Mother of God, Mary Most Holy, and Jesus the Savior of the World - hear our prayers! 
Yesterday after CS Lewis led into such a deep and painful place in which the Lord spoke volumns to me and my family... the loss of my last 3 children after John, and how John and I sharing his books of travels to imaginary lands where good overcame evil... I talked to John last night, because all day long I just missed him after sharing.  He remembered from his perspective that we would read for years together..."You would always read to me until I fell asleep, and the next night you would start where you left off, and I wouldn't remember that part, so you would have to reread some of it that I must have slept through.  I really was spoiled and felt really special to have this time with mom at night."  I was of course crying and laughing at the same time, while we talked about this shared experience and hearing his perception of it.  I do remember that Pat would every night have to pick up little John and take him to his bed.  So precious and special...I joked with him that the close time we spent fighting the enemy cancer really was a similar closeness, and now compairing the two it really was as close as you can get... "like the umbilical cord had reappeared."  Just the way that it felt to be THAT CLOSE! 
Yesterday started out emotional with my sharing here, and it continued on through the day.  I had put on a CD by Danielle Rose,while I made lunch, and it was the Pursue Me one that Maria had played often in the kitchen and danced with her little 1 year old, David!  The first song would come on and little Dave would reach his arms up to his mother and she would sway him around the kitchen to the song - In the Silence of the Heart - .  I wept loud and long while I was making our lunch, and Pat wondered what was wrong...  I miss my little family in Texas!
Special time with mother and son... she took a copy of the CD with her, and I am sure the special moments continue in her kitchen in Texas!!  Maria has no TV in her home and so there is much time that she has with her children without the distractions of the world!  They are free from all of that!  Such a blessing!  One of the things that they share daily is mass first thing in the morning!  That is truly sharing the most wonderful and important thing there is to share!  
Some more that I found while Maria and her kids stayed with us while Joe was in basic training!  Both Ruth and Maria will be adding one to this picture, and we can't forget about Nancy's,Augustine, to make the picture complete!  Today at mass I prayed for all those innocent little ones in the womb - thinking of all LIFE, and most especially my grandchildren that I pray for the safety of them and their mothers every day!
This will be a busy weekend with more family coming to see the new baby calves, so in gearing up for that I have been working on a watercolor of Mary out with the calves... I will gift it to her for her 6th birthday on April 19th.  It just seems like at this spring time of year and the summer... I feel the need to paint, and some of my best watercolors have been paintings that I have done for Nancy's birthday - April 2, and Maria's birthday - August 14th.  Now with Mary in April... I find that she was my main character as I had a semi-true and semi imaginary picture of her out in the pasture feeding apples to Snowball and Snowflake and her family, including the new baby due in a month, were back in the willow trees having a picnic on a beautiful late summer day! 
It was fun, and less than great by any stretch of the imagination!  Jesus, how we long to come to you in the silence of our hearts, and fall on our knees in thanksgiving for all the ways that you LOVE us in this lifetime!  Yes, there are those times that we cannot understand the pain and loss, but we can only Trust in your plan for each one of us!  There is tremendous peace when we can hand it over to you, and not try to control things.  Your ways are not always our ways... May we take the time today in prayer to listen to your words of wisdom and love to us, within the silence of our hearts.  You speak to us and we are yours.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
“I thought ... that I was carried in the will of Him I love, but now I see that I walk with it. I thought that the good things He sent drew me into them as the waves lift the islands; but now I see that it is I who plunge into them with my own legs and arms, as when we go swimming. I feel as if I were living in that roofless world of [Earth] where men walk undefended beneath naked heaven. It is a delight with terror in it! One's own self to be walking from one good to another, walking beside Him as Himself may walk, not even holding hands. How has He made me so separate from Himself? How did it enter His mind to conceive such a thing? The world is so much larger than I thought. I thought we went along paths--but it seems there are no paths. The going itself is the path.”

― C.S. Lewis, Perelandra

“The beasts would not think it hard if I told them to walk on their heads. It would become their delight to walk on their heads. I am His beast, and all His biddings are joys.”

― C.S. Lewis, Perelandra please take the time to listen to this young priest speak to Planned Parenthood..."I have a say..."  Here comes the Catholic Church!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rain brought out the artist (?) in me!

OK... maybe I got too artsy with my photos, but we had a big thunder storm at suppertime, and it dumped 4 tenths of rain on our parched land in about 15 minutes!  I had to go out with my camera, and capture some raindrops with upside down trees in them, and some water puddles with amazing reflections in them, including me in neon!  Oh well, I had fun with my picasa making the pictures even more than they ever could have been even with RAIN!
 I thought that the raindrop was cool along with the twisted fence wire!!!!!!!!!

Blue Neon rubber boots with a Barb type reflection in the rain puddle - it looked better this way than the muddy water puddle... Bear with me please!

Prayerful hopeful farmer husband comes in soaking wet and watches the rain "dump."  All the calves are inside except for the blind one - "He'll be alright. It's a warm rain, and I will put him in the barn later.  Just think of it as a bath.
Wishful thinking that this rain is going to keep on coming, and make our crops and world green!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless


"God whispers to us in our pleasures..." CS Lewis

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”  CS Lewis
I was looking for a quote that the speaker mentioned on the final night of our Church mission last evening... He said that CS Lewis had said that people are created for Joy.  Well, it must not have been a direct quote, because when I googled it... there were no matches, but I am in love with the mind, heart and soul of CS Lewis, so it was great to find a list of his quotes, and this one really grabbed me and held on... one of those moments when you nod your head and smile, in recognition of a truth that is expressed in eloquent words!  Lewis is well known for that, as well as his imaginary world stories called... the Narnia series.  John and I spent months reading those together before he started school.  Every night we would snuggle together and read starting with The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe we read through all the books and then wanted to continue so we launched into the Hobbit, and then started that Tolkein trilogy, but at some point we stopped... and it became a long faded memory.  I have often said that if I had known that John was to be my last child...I might  have gone into a huge depression, or handled it very badly somehow.  Instead those were years of hope and sadness, with the losses that were huge!  I got pregnant shortly after John and carried it 5 months, going in for my 5 month checkup there was no heartbeat!  The total devastation and question of "Why?"  Then the fear of how horrible the loss could be, if I just let nature take it's course... so I opted to have it using a 5 month abortion procedure called a prostagladin suppository! It was a miserable experience... with severe chills, and contractions, and a small baby boy with a fatally kinked cord to hold in a small blanket.  The ground was frozen, so we brought him home in a small box, and put him in the freezer until we could bury him!  So hard! The Lord was certainly talking to me with a megaphone in this pain... that His ways were not my ways, and that I had to hold on and TRUST, and that I needed to focus on the children that I had to raise in the domestic Church - our Catholic faith!  Sharing these losses with our family has made us so close!  We appreciate and cling to those that form our family here on earth, and we have a tie to heaven... where we have those family members waiting and praying for us!  I think that this is especially true of John, who has his brothers in heaven... those that he never had here on earth - although he has some amazing brother-in-laws and fraternity brothers that have given him his first ever earthly brothers!  It is all so mixed together at that time with John... as then I had another pregnancy that I carried for another 5 months, and once again there was no heartbeat at my 5 month check up!  Unbelieveable!  These two boys are so much the same, and the experiences were so much the same, and the questions of "Why,Lord?"  so much the same!  So hard!  And there was little John now 2 years old, watching mom and dad and his older siblings go through this!  Asking me; "Why can't I have a brother, mom?"  John, I am trying!  We finally were able to bury our two boys - William and Robert - in the cemetary at the foot of Pat's parents grave... we put a small in the ground marker there for them.  My dad,who is a permanent deacon, came and had a ceremony/funeral service there for them!   We go there to remember them on Memorial day, and at other times I stop in there from time to time - especially when the losses and memories were so recent and close!  I feel a closeness to them there, and a reminder that the call to LIFE is confusing and hard, yet always real and constant! 
For John and I to be sharing this bonding time with the books of CS Lewis through these hard years and months of loss... I can see how looking back... that going to this place of fantasy, yet with the strong images of faith with Aslan, as the symbol of Good overcoming evil in the world... it was a very wonderful way to come together in comfort and support for my small son and myself... tossed around in the midst of this world of LOSS!  For then two years later I had my last pregnancy, and how I prayed that the Lord would let me have one last child to show the world in a visible way... that I had not had my son and quit!  How many times had people said that..."Oh,you had a boy after 4 girls and then quit."  Even as recently as when John was in for his stem cell transplant, did one of the nurses make this comment to us, when she heard about John being the youngest after 4 older sisters...I didn't let it just go, as I do sometimes, when it is just too hard to explain.  I told her that this was most certainly not the case!  We were always open to life, and this is how it all turned out!  My last pregnancy in 1994, when I was 43 years old, ended in a loss after 3 1/2 months, and this one I named, Mary, the only one I felt could be a girl after all the others were boys.  I had thought that I was unable to carry boys, so I have named them all boys names - Christopher, Thomas, Joseph, William, Robert and Mary, pray for us!  They are with me every day of this journey, and that completes our family and is a strong tie to heaven... I need that and find strength in that!  Looking back at those hard years after John... CS Lewis was a big part of John and I sharing our faith and gaining strength and comfort in Aslan's soft mane! 
“It isn't Narnia, you know," sobbed Lucy. "It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?"

"But you shall meet me, dear one," said Aslan.
"Are -are you there too, Sir?" said Edmund.
"I am," said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
John and girls with a "brother" - Breno from Brazil, our foreign exchange student from 2000-2001!
Emeth speaking of Aslan, "Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek...And since then, O Kings and Ladies, I have been wandering to find him and my happiness is so great that it even weakens me like a wound. And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me Beloved, me who am but as a dog”

― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
Jesus, There is so much JOY found in these years of questions and pain... How we had to cling to one another, and to our faith in YOU!  We heard so loudly that we must trust in you, and that someday we will understand the reasons for those years of loss.  We do now see that we grew in our closeness as a family, and our faith in the True Church... as we shared our tears and faith within our domestic Church - our family!  This is reason enough for us to Trust in you no matter what!  We were reminded once again that you are in control of our lives with the shock of John's brain cancer!  "Mom, this is the storm, and Jesus is in control."  Yes, Lord we are every day placing our hope in you for the lives of our new grandchildren in the womb... trying not to allow our fears to enter our hearts and minds.  You show us the Way, the Truth and the LIFE!  WE follow you on that narrow path carrying our Most Cherished Cross!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Taken yesterday... Bless-bless, Barb
“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” (p.50, Mere Christianity) CS Lewis

“God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” (p.50) 
C S Lewis
Just felt like adding some John pictures/family pictures at the end of this emotional sharing today.  John and George, the fluffy cat that John hasn't gotten over...
John and cousin, Sam Cross, at Schoenstatt camp.

John and I in Michigan!

Easter pose in Colman in 1999

Nancy's confirmation day in 1999

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In the Beginning...

Me at 7 months...  This is hugely cropped and lightened, but fun to have. I see Simon, and Therese, and now Augustine mostly in my baby pictures.  It is kind super special to see the genes come down through the generations.  I am sure that this old lady is not one that they want to know that they will look like someday, but maybe they got only the good genes!  There is HOPE!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless

St Joseph listening...

My parents shared a special story with me lately involving St Joseph.  They have 2 statues in their home, and they had heard that if you leave a slip of paper under the statue that St Joseph will answer your petition.  Well, my parents moved back from Michigan to St Croix Falls almost 2 years ago now, to be closer to family.  My dad is a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church, and when he asked the Archdiocese to get his faculties there - they attend church just across the river in Taylors Falls, MN. They discovered that in his moving around from Taylors Falls in 1998 to Colman, SD, and then to the upper penninsula of Michigan 3 years later... that his faculties had not really moved with him properly as the Bishops really didn't pass them from one to the other quite right.  So it has been over a year now trying to get this all untangled, and many letters and some meetings with this person or that person, and my dad yearning to get his faculties to do what he is - a Deacon!  They had written to the Bishop of Superior months ago, and nothing, so one day a few weeks ago my dad took a slip of paper and put it under their amazing statue of St Joseph - it was gifted to them when they left Mannistique, Michigan after serving faithfully as a deacon there for 10 years! 
Here he is holding his son, Jesus! Well, my dad put his petition for something to break open this log jam of his getting his faculties back.  The next day the phone rang and it was the Chancellor of the Superior Diocese!  He asked to talk to my dad, and this is such a miracle - my dad was able to hear him on the phone and speak with him by taking out his hearing aide and talking on the booster phone!  Normally it is not possible to talk to dad on the phone due to his very poor hearing, so this is just crazy!  The Chancellor told him that he was going to take this project on and follow all the ins and outs of his travels over the last years and help him get his faculties back!  Such an answer to so many prayers, and phone calls and letters written, and just the next day after my dad had petitioned St Joseph!  Talk about an answer quickly!  I just googled this petitioing of St Joseph and there is much written about it on numerous sites..."St. Joseph obtains favors of any kind, but particularly in family problems, financial needs, purity, dangers, work, housing and a happy death. He is the universal patron---whatever our petition is, you can pray to St. Joseph with confidence. He was the foster father of Jesus Christ on earth, and Jesus still obeys his requests in heaven! God chose St. Joseph over all other men to represent the fatherhood of God Himself in the Holy Family. "

There is a site where people have shared their stories of St Joseph helping them -  I have a new respect for his listening ear to our needs here on earth!  For St Joseph definitely put his Trust in the Lord, and listened to HIM as He directed him in the Truth! "Those who trust in him shall understand the Truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love.  Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect."  Wisdom 3:9  And again... "The genuineness of your faith, more precious that gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
I Peter 1:7  Jesus, truly loved his earthly father, and God saw that he was worthy of raising his Son in the faith and the Truth!  So it only makes sense that we can look to St Joseph for those needs that weigh us down within our families and our lives!  St Joseph, hear our plea!
Yes, it has already begun - discing the field around our house getting ready the dry ground - St Joseph give us the rain that we need to get a crop this year!
Jesus, with your mother, Mary and foster father, Joseph at your side... we thank you and praise you for the example we can follow in the Holy Family.  Not only that but the help in our times of need, if we ask for your help!  Your words today in the Gospel - "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."  How true this was for your parents!  They were your first and foremost disciples as they had the priviledge of caring for you and raising you in the faith, as you came into this world as a helpless infant!  Joseph was asked to accept the Truth of your incarnation within Mary!  A man that truly knows and loves God, and all that He leads him to in his life!  May we each hear your Word of Truth and your call to follow after you carrying our Most Cherished Cross!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb
"We learn about St. Joseph’s power to provide and protect from the experience of others. Stories of St. Joseph’s intercession are told by saints, religious communities, and by people who could be your neighbors. The stories range from stories of the devotion that saints have had to this great intercessor to more “homespun” stories of people who have prayed for his intercession and attributed to him special favors. These stories certainly don’t carry the weight of stories from Scripture, but there is a place for such “family memories” in the large gathering of God’s family."
"The uniqueness of the Passion had to match the uniqueness of the Sufferer....
Majesty is mocked,
Virtue is ridiculed;
the Bestower of rain is drenched in spittle,
the One who has arrayed the heavens  is restrained by nails of iron...
the One who makes springs of water flow is given vinegar to drink."
St Peter Chrysologus - you can see why he is called the golden tongue!
Opening Prayer
"Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the Way of the Cross.
You felt every pain and every humiliation. You were unafraid of the
ridicule heaped upon you by the crowds. Your eyes were ever on Jesus
and His Pain. Is that the secret of your miraculous strength? How did your
loving heart bear such a burden and such a weight? As you watched Him
stumble and fall, were you tortured by the memory of all the yesterdays-
His birth, His hidden life and His ministry?

You were so desirous of everyone loving Him. What a heartache it was
to see so many hate Him - hate with a diabolical fury. Take my hand as I
make this Way of the Cross. Inspire me with those thoughts that will make
me realize how much He loves me. Give me light to apply each station to my
daily life and to remember my neighbor's needs in this Way of the Pain.

Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, the wisdom
and the Divine love as I go from scene to scene. Grant that my heart, like
yours, may be pierced through by the sight of His sorrow and the misery and
that I may determine never to offend Him again. What a price He paid to
cover my sins, to open the gates of heaven for me and to fill my soul with His
own Spirit . Sweet Mother, let us travel this way together and grant that the
love in my poor heart may give you some slight consolation.
Opening prayer to the Stations of the Cross with reflections by Mother Angelica -