Saturday, February 28, 2015

Working on a card...









A family farm weekend - 3 calves overnight!

 Rose and Luke helping me clean - getting ready for my sister, her husband and granddaughter to come for an overnight visit to the farm.
 Bill sharing time by the woodstove with the boys.
 Ruth's farm fresh eggs are a hit for breakfast.  A house full...
 We had 3 more calves overnight, so we all headed out after breakfast.
The boys tried to corral the girls in the headgate!
 Luke pushing the fork in the snow
 Feeding time.
 Lots of white faces in the calves.  So cute in this cold weather.  Getting that warm mama's milk in their tummy is very important.
 Mom cow out to eat is anxious to get in to her calf...
 It has been 8 years since Paula was down, and probably over 25 since she stayed the night!  It is long overdue to have them come for some time on the farm.  It was a busy time for Pat - he has been up since 3:30a with 3 new calves. 
 A crazy one of Dave giving his Godfather 5!
 Mary goes out to say "hi" to Snowball as she eats...
 Mary and Mickay with a calf looking over their shoulder.
 The South wind was cold today...
Just like the newborn calves - we all came in to put warm food in our tummies after a morning outside with family on the farm.  Bless-bless, Barb

Friday, February 27, 2015

Love in action


"Thank you, Lord, for all you give to me, and take away from me." John Verly at morning prayer

I love this reflection picture of my mother-in-law with 2 of her daughters kneeling at her side yesterday... behind her are her parents, her wedding picture and her son, Don, who is gone about 22 years already.  On her dresser is Our Lady and Jesus with his merciful heart looks on from the side, and also the rosaries hanging on her mirror, with some beautiful roses that were brought to her by someone to show their love and care for this great woman of God and promoter of Family!  You need only walk into this room to recognize her values are Faith and Family - all that really matters in this world after all!
I traveled along with Pat yesterday as he went to Watertown, SD to pick up a gate and a calf shelter.  WE used our Cow TV on our phone and, of course, shared the rosary - praying a decade together for a dear friend, who is facing cancer surgery today.  A prayer John shared with us at breakfast just grabbed me and continues to echo in my head, heart, and soul over and over..."Thank you, Lord, for all you give to me and all you take away from me."  This speaks volumes of the journey John has been through with his brain cancer, and the left side which still has some residual ataxia from his biopsy, the jobs that he has gone through - gotten and then lost for one reason or another, a wonderful girl friend come and gone, and so many ups and downs along the way.  John even thanks God for his brain cancer which brought him to find Faith!  http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/johns-cancer-stories.html
Luke in his cute monkey jammie the other night when we were watching him as mom and dad taught Faith Formation.  We decided some years back that we needed to watch our grandkids so that Ruth and Paul can teach and share their message to the youth that we need to uphold the Sacrament of Marriage between one man and one woman, be open to LIFE within the bonds of marriage, and raise LIGHTS for this world of darkness, sin and death.  Yes, in doing this we allow God to take away from us our selfishness and freedom (?) to do all that pleases us... but isn't that something to rejoice at as it is what Jesus asks of us - to die to self and take up our cross and follow after Him?  Yes!!!
Mom eating her breakfast in her sun room yesterday.

Of course, the words from John's prayer brings to the surface much that I have gained and lost in my journey... foremost are my children - I am so blessed to have 5 wonderful faith-filled children that lead me ever deeper into my Faith in The Church, and I have 7 in heaven that are praying for me and awaiting our being reunited someday.  It was hard for me to thank God for those losses in the midst of the pain and loss, but now I can see that they keep my eyes on heaven and that is huge as I struggle with my weaknesses here on earth.  I am reminded of a most beautiful story that one of my sister-in-laws shared with her mother a few weeks ago.  "Mom, I have something to tell you.  When I had my 3rd miscarriage and the D and C was done - I would take a box of Kleenex, my Bible, and my phone into my bedroom the next day.  I would call people to let them know that I had lost the baby, and I would cry and work through my grief reading the Word of God.  When I called you, mom, you told me that I should get down on my knees and thank God for this.  Well, I said that I would, but hung up feeling that was a bit much and harsh to ask me to do.  The day went by and later on I just felt terrible and was not coming to any kind of a good place with my pain.  So I said to myself - 'Alright, I will do what mom suggested.  It can't hurt any worse than it already does.'  So I got down on my knees and thanked God for my loss, and it really did help me!  I have shared this story with many over the years, and feel that it was a most powerful lesson I have learned about thanking God for the good and the bad." 
A special moment shared... 

Lord, there is so much to learn as we are called to embrace our Most Cherished Cross and through our hurt, pain and suffering and dying to self we find LIFE everlasting, unconditional LOVE, and LIGHT to chase away the darkness and reveal the Truth to us.  From morning prayer this morning - see www.magnificat.com "From the depths of sin, of sorrow, of pain, we call with confidence upon the Lord, whose promise is life."  These words from 2 Peter also were very powerfully consoling to me this day - The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard "delay," be he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  This gives me so much to pray for and hope for when we witness so many that are lost and struggling in the midst of sin and darkness and believing the lies of the culture of death.  Show us how to serve you and may we come to a place of peace and forgiveness with our brothers and sisters.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen ( I normally say "Hallelujah" here, but it is now lent so I will stop till Easter.  Then the Hallelujah will be that much more!!!!)
Reflection of LOVE.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
 
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I agree totally yet I know that I will meet my children, too! 
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Reminding the words of Jesus that we need to be like a child!  Maybe that is why we see the face of Jesus in them - LIFE is a gift!
Lead me to the Cross - Francesca Battistelli
Danielle Rose - Give and Take
Saint of the Day! St. Gabriel Possenti
St. Gabriel Possenti (1838-1862), also known as St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, was born in Assisi, Italy, and one of 13 children. As a young man he enjoyed society and the worldly life of a teenager. He was known as a fancy dresser and a good dancer, he possessed good horsemanship and marksmanship, he frequented parties, and was even engaged to be married twice. After graduation he shocked everyone by announcing that he was going to... be a Passionist priest, having been inspired to his vocation by the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom his family had a great devotion. His life was then marked with prayer, sacrifice, and devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows, taking the religious name Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother. He was stricken with tuberculosis about a year before he was to be ordained, and died at the age of 24. Many miracles were attributed to him after his death, including the healing of St. Gemma Galgani. St. Gabriel Possenti is the patron saint of Catholic youth, seminarians, clerics, students, and Catholic Action.
'Saint of the Day! St. Gabriel Possenti
St. Gabriel Possenti (1838-1862), also known as St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, was born in Assisi, Italy, and one of 13 children. As a young man he enjoyed society and the worldly life of a teenager. He was known as a fancy dresser and a good dancer, he possessed good horsemanship and marksmanship, he frequented parties, and was even engaged to be married twice. After graduation he shocked everyone by announcing that he was going to be a Passionist priest, having been inspired to his vocation by the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom his family had a great devotion. His life was then marked with prayer, sacrifice, and devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows, taking the religious name Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother. He was stricken with tuberculosis about a year before he was to be ordained, and died at the age of 24. Many miracles were attributed to him after his death, including the healing of St. Gemma Galgani. St. Gabriel Possenti is the patron saint of Catholic youth, seminarians, clerics, students, and Catholic Action.'
Hope you can read this beautiful prayer by today's Saint!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jesus reminds us of this Truth - "Seek and you will find"


All of us except Hallel from Maria's camera at our Cross Christmas Camp... she just added her best pictures on her blog from December.  This one is pretty good, and so fun to see us all happily together!  I look at this picture and it is totally an answer to some pretty desperate prayers on my part!  Maria had called and told us that they would not be able to see us over Christmas with their move so close at hand.  This is "ask and it will be given to you" in picture form!  Not only were they able to drive straight to Christmas Camp and be with us there, but after spending Christmas and almost a week in Wisconsin with Joe's family they were able to spend an entire month here on the farm with us!  So amazing! Today's Gospel was shared with great JOY with my two men - Pat and son, John.  John reminded us that this Matthew 7:7-12 reading was one he used in his talk at the men's retreat last weekend, and he shared at breakfast in mini form what he said in regards to it...  "I shared my cancer journey to find Faith - "Seek and you will find."

Nancy made superhero capes for her son and his two cousins around his age...

A brotherhood/cousinhood of sharing the great adventure of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT... so special to see this! 

John's story is so much a part of him that it is impossible for him to leave it behind.  He feels that the Lord spared him to go forth and proclaim the Gospel far and wide.  For John the Gospel proclaimed today is the message he knows to be Truth - He sought Faith and the Lord answered it by allowing him to have brain cancer!  Now he is healed and continuing to ask the Lord what that means for him. He seems to receive the word clearly that he is called to work within The Church sharing his LIGHT and returning to others what he has received!  "When I spoke over the weekend - I shared that I continue to knock and wonder what doors will be opened to me.  I do have a job now, but I also am not sure about whether I will have a family or serve in the Church somehow.  Many doors will open and close before I am sure where I am headed."  There is some peace to now have a job, yet there still lies some searching and knocking on doors ahead.
John's ministering to his grandmother has been a beautiful sight to behold!  She has gained strength and some good time from the many ways our Church ministers to those in need!  Truly all the words of the Gospel today come to life - "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened... Do onto others as you would have them do to you.  This is the law and the prophets."  Matt 7  Mom continues to humbly acclaim how much love and service she is receiving from her children!  And they all remind her over and over that they are merely giving back to her for her lifetime of service and great LOVE to them!
 How many little ones has this hand fed with love and care?  Hundreds of times for sure!!!

Jesus, we are filled with JOY as the words of the Gospel today come to LIFE for us!  All the times we have asked, sought, and knocked at the doors of life... the answer might not be what we wanted or expected or selfishly hoped for, but they were what we needed to find LIFE eternal and to die to self so that you may live in us!  Jesus, we ask and ask and ask some more and trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
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Another hero!!!
Michael W Smith - Open the eyes of my heart, Lord

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Family makes the world go round!

This amazing photo from our live nativity at Christmas time is such a powerful portrayal of LOVE for LIFE!  There is so such a strong sense of love for all life and we cherish and protect it no matter the cost!

 This quote from my hero really reminds me of how much he has touched my life and marriage.  My husband set the foundation of our marriage/family with his motto we live by as do our children - "We are open to LIFE and to raising LIGHTS."  And our hugest support was Our Church - The Holy Catholic Church led by Saint Pope John Paul II from 2 months after our marriage for the first 27 years.  He has brought so much healing and Truth into our domestic Church/family!


My parents modeled openness to life and raising LIGHTS for me as the oldest of 11 children.  Our journey into the Catholic Church - all 13 of us plus my sister's husband and children. 
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/the-amazing-story-of-13-becoming.html  The fingerprint of God is upon my life and I cannot ever thank him enough for all he gives me in my life.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb
 Our family - the famous Easter Hat/John falling down picture taken about 23 years ago.
 The 11 kids shortly after we went from 7 to 11!
 John on a walker after brain cancer and we made it to France to see Hallel take her habit!
 Nancy's family last summer..
The military family now in North Carolina! 
Ruth and Paul's family recognized for all they do to promote agriculture!