Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sand in the seats - Michigan/family day dreams on a 22nd Sunday of ordinary time

Luke is so cute when he dances and claps his hands!  He is in the sugar sand for the first time in Michigan about 2 months ago already... smiling and clapping his hands.  Why am I going back there this morning?  I sit in the back seat of our minivan when we pick up Pat's mom to take to Church, and climbing in there today I could see sand in the seat, and it reminded me of the glorious 2 weeks I was blessed with.  All of my grandkids were there and only Hallel and Lt Joseph did not make it at all.  When you are talking about 31 people - that is pretty darn perfect. 
Luke and Patrick sharing sun and sand time... It was so precious to be together in this beautiful place.  There is some talk that we should find a place closer, but that would make it too easy to get back to all the distractions at home.  This way we get away from it all! 
It has been a Sunday with reminders of the Cross we are called to embrace - as it was the Gospel today.  So the visiting priest from he Philippines spoke about how we are called to the Cross.  In conversation the mess of the world came up...  I also just talked to my nephew, Sam, and he will be bringing his family through Kansas City and would like to stop in and spend some time with The Community of the Lamb - our daughter, Little Sister Hallel's order.  How blessed they will be to spend time with them in prayer and sharing prayer or meal or even spending the night with them or one of their families of the Lamb!  To have them with roots down - a Little Monastery in the heart of our country is so important and necessary for the Truth of The Word/Christ to be at work!
Luke and Rose looking cute - I would love to be on the beach looking out over the endless blue water as far as the eye can see.
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me."  Matt16
That pretty much says it all right there.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah.
Bless-bless, Barb
 Rose and Patrick enjoyed each other, yet they were also typical toddlers... Patrick had the red shovel.
 Rose took it.
 Patrick wants it back...
 Rose runs away with it and Patrick in pursuit.
Rose teases Patrick with the red shovel.
The classic toddler pose - "Mine!"  Yes, having 3 toddlers made it very interesting times, but I do miss all that special interaction.  We talked today about how the kids are distracted by TV and games on computers, etc.  We put the TV in the closet and have a lot of close family time for those two weeks!  So good, and yes hard at times too!  I am yearning for it today, but after the two weeks I was kind of overdone by the noise and all. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer final days 2014.. August is soon at an end.

I am not much of a gardener, but I do have luck by throwing zinnia seeds in the ground.  After the gloom moved out and the sun and pretty clouds came to call me out to take some pictures of  my zinnias with the cows and calves in the evening light in the pasture in the middle of our yard.  So special for this last official weekend of summer.
 It is hard to realize that summer is gone for 2014... We are heavy into canning with 150 quarts of applesauce, 60 quarts of spaghetti sauce, and 45 quarts of tomato soup, and lots of salsa... there is much more to do, but the canning closet is filling up!
 So it is time to get geared up for another trip to be with Maria and her family with the birth of their new son, Romeo.  The ticket is bought and I am leaving on the 18th and coming back on the 26th in time to work at the nursing home the next day. 
 Roger got into this one... a pretty end to the end of summer day.
The clouds were pretty on this one.  Happy end of summer everyone.  It has been nice to get some rain - more please, Lord.  Bless-bless, Barb

Our Lady-Krusties- 65years of marriage!

I know this is an unusual one to share on my parents' 65th wedding anniversary, but it is a precious one to me.  Not only because my newest grandson, Dominic, is just a few days old and meeting my parents for the first time.  But mostly because it is in photo form the lesson I learned so well at the feet of my parents... that LIFE is a most precious and beautiful reflection of God's LOVE in the world, and we are to be willing to be open to LIFE and to raise LIGHTS for the world!  On this feast of Our Lady - Saturdays are devoted to her- it just seems so right to ponder the way my parents modeled for us - accepting LIFE and forming a domestic Church filled with The Holy Spirit's direction down the narrow path.  I am forever grateful and changed by our conversion to the Catholic Church 42 years ago!  Here is the story!
Yes, that is a bowl of tea John is drinking while we were in France in August of 2009... just shortly after John's second chemo for brain cancer... he got better instead of sick from the chemo and within 24 hours we headed out to France where Susan was to take the habit and become Little Sister Hallel!  Whenever we are with the Community for breakfast - we have a bowl of coffee or tea!  Another funny story we have from this time was having Krusties pancakes each morning!  Susan had mentioned that they had pancakes one morning "and they weren't Krusties" in a letter, so I thought it would be fun to send one of those huge packages of Kristies to them for Easter - it only takes water to make them.  Well, it cost a lot of money to mail it, and then when we get there months later... the first morning they take me down the hall to a kitchen and hand me the exact unopened package, along with a frying pan and I make Krusties for us each morning we are there!  It felt strange at first, and I felt a bit foolish to have sent it in the first place, but it became a joke as the week went on, and now is a fond memory of our time in Saint Pierre.  It reminds us of our Hallel to share Krustie pancakes for breakfast, and combined with prayer this morning that she might possibly come to KC in a month, when they get their orders, and sent to where they are needed.... it just seemed appropriate!
 Nancy with Hallel just moments after the amazing mass/ceremony in which she took her habit and came out transformed before our eyes!  I have been praying for a "real hug" soon... and in a little over a week she will now have 3 new nephews to meet!  How I long for her to cross the ocean soon! 
 And Our Lady of Lourdes... how she blessed us and is definitely all tied into John's healing journey!  He has fallen head over heels for her!
 So beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 "I had them pour water on my head, because that is where I need the healing!"  John after coming out of the bathes at Lourdes with the droplets of water clinging to the hair that is now gone as is the cancer within!
 Nancy, Hallel and I just after we had been in the baths for the intention of John's healing!
 Our group - we all went into the baths for John's healing!
 Walking with the help of his sisters, and falling in love with his Spiritual Mother.  "It was a very good day, mom."
 This reminds me of Jesus carrying his Cross - so powerful for the humbled and broken John walking with the help of his two sisters. 
 The two sharing such powerful coming to Faith times in their lives - John finding Faith through the battle of his life against brain cancer, and Hallel answering her call to become a Bride of Christ in The Community of the Lamb!  So intertwined one with the other, and combining to make it too amazing and powerful for words!  Add to that the relationship of Nancy and Bill that was developing throughout and then their marriage and now 4 years later - 3 beautiful little ones! 
 Sharing a meal in France was always a special work of art!
 Sharing the clean up was part of sharing the meal together. 
 John at the beef show at the fair just days after his biopsy that gave him ataxia on his left side, and the answer to his question about what kind of cancer this was - PCNSL!  The page devoted to John's story.
Jesus, there is so much we are blessed with on this journey, and it is never a dull moment, if we only put you and Your Bride, The Church, first and foremost in our lives!  We know not when Hallel will be able to be close by and we can get a real hug, but it will be so amazing and such a gift after the wait!  The first time she meets her 3 new nephews will be the best!!!  It is certainly hard and a sacrifice to not have her in our day to day lives, yet what JOY will fill our hearts when we can see her and share with her closely once again.  As they say so truthfully - "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."  I am forever grateful that I still have my parents sharing my life, and for the wonderful example of looking to the Holy Spirit and following the call and direction He has given them in LIFE!  I am changed and filled with so much wonder and awe to have come into The Church with my family and now to share all of it's wisdom and Truth with my family/domestic Church!  It was so good to share Krusties this morning and prayer and thankfulness!  I will never cease to praise YOU, my Lord and my King!  From the amazing first reading today - I Corinthians 1- "It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord."  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke the crazy-Catholic thanks to my parents!  Happy 65th mom and dad... I hope there are more ahead to celebrate together!  
 Sharing a visit at the feet of their wisdom and LIGHT!  I am so blessed!
Together in a window frame - so precious to me!
Psalm 33 - from mass today
Our soul waits for the Lord,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust.
Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
My parents sharing the Rosary with family at Christmas camp!
 Family prayer asking Holy Mother of God, Mary, to intercede... the best and so powerful!
Hail Mary - hear and answer our heartfelt prayers. 
So amazing is LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT in picture form!
Holy Now - Peter Mayer
Matt Mayer - your grace is enough
Look who just stopped in for a quick visit... Zesty brown eyed curly haired Rosita!  She was helping her daddy and grandpa farm this morning.
 She takes me back to my own little girls - so blessed!
Keeping up to dad, or is it the other way around?
Online for Life's photo.
A parting prayer to Our Mother of Heaven and earth! 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Waking up in the afternoon...

After working overnight at the NH... my whole world was filled to the brim with goodness as I was suddenly awakened to RAIN and family!  How we have been longing for rain and Pat's constant prayers for "bountiful rains for our crops and cows and calves out on pasture, O Lord."  It was so crazy neat to stand out and visit in the rain with one of Pat's sisters, Grace, and her daughter, Kristen, along with Pat's mom!  Picking apples and then visiting in the light rain...Yes, we got wet, but a wet we have been hoping and praying for with rain from the heavens!  John arrived home from work and Paul arrived to help move the cows and calves to a different pasture, so it was a flash get-together. 
John and Kristen have a very powerful connection - both cancer survivors and sharing Lymphoma!
Apples off the ground are tossed over to the begging cows... 
So wonderful to look out at the mud puddles in the yard... thank you, Lord!
St. John the Baptist, greatest prophet born among women, pray for us!
John has a feast day today... the passion of St John the Baptist!  I always cringe to know that I have to read that Gospel - the beheading of John the Baptist!  But when I read it last night it just didn't seem quite as graphic and ugly to me...
Scott Hahn's photo.
I came across this in facebook just now - my friend Scott Hahn shared this today!  So true!  How I love to read the Gospel for each day starting reading it the night before after evening/night prayer!  It fills me with such anticipation and excitement to turn to the Gospel from mass readings the night before!  Yes, Pope Francis is right!  We do learn about LOVE and Mercy in the Gospel!  I guess that it what helped me get through the horror of the Gospel for today- the beheading of John the Baptist... The first reading - I Corinthians 1:7-25 speaks of the way the world is confounded by the contrary Truth of The Cross!!!
Corinthians 1:17-25English Standard Version (ESV)
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach[a] to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Maybe this is what justifies the senseless horrible death of John the Baptist - the fact that he was "the voice" who spoke the Word/Christ Jesus into the world!  He died a very humble and horrible death, but that in no way damaged or ended the LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT - Christ Jesus with His Bride, The Church, that came into our world!  "For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and weakness of God is stronger than human strength." 
Please take our apples!!!!  We have so many this year.
Jesus, we are filled with so much goodness and Truth by pondering your Word each day of our journey.  There is such a blessing to be found there, as we embrace the contrary Truth of embracing Our Most Cherished Cross/The Tree of LIFE to find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!  In dying to self we are filled with The Holy Spirit and go forth to show the LOVE and Mercy of Christ to all those around us most especially those in our domestic Church/family!  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Thank you, Lord, for rain and for family sharing healing and hope!
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke the crazy-Catholic.
"The whole life of the greatest man born of woman was a supreme miracle.  John was a prophet and much more than a prophet even before he was born; and not only did his entire life transcend all wonders, but do did everything concerning him, both long before his lifetime and afterwards.  The divine predictions of seers inspired by God described him as an angel rather than a man, as a lampstand for the light, a divinely radiant star bringing in the morning, for he went before the Sun of righteousness, and was 'the voice' of God's Word.  What could be closer or more akin to God the Word than God's voice?"  St Gregory Palamas (1359)
Family and Rain - unexpected but O so wonderful answer to prayers!
Tenth Avenue North - By your side