Monday, November 30, 2015

Evangelize our Faith - St Andrew showed us how!

 It was so great to greet JeriAnn with her 4 1/2 month old daughter, Edith, when they arrived to meet family from Seattle.  We had to grab a 4 generation picture in short order, and little Edith is the glowing centerpiece! 
 A delightful precious baby girl!  Great grandma Anna's youngest great grandchild seems to love meeting her.  Pat's mother adores all little ones, and they can sense her love for them and respond to her so sweetly! 

I have been waiting for this official picture of Thanksgiving off of Ruth's wonderful camera!

Two semi- good ones to record our wonderful family time with great-grandma as the centerpiece!
 The world is gray outside and preparing to give us our first big snowfall.  It was so special to light the darkness with our first Advent candle as John and I were given the gift of praying the Office together before he headed into Urgent Care with a sinus infection.

 It is a most special feast day today of St Andrew!  He is special in many ways to us, and I know that if Maria had stayed in the Poor Clares that she would have taken Sr Mary Andrew for her name.  She described that his embracing a Cross in the shape of an X rather than being the same as Christ's as he was not worthy of the same.  I discovered this today - Andrew was an evangelist to the end.  Bound by ropes to a cross, he addressed the gathered crowds for two days until death took him.  Thousands hearkened to his words.  Andrew is the patron of Greece, Scotland, and Russia.  see
John and I marveled at how diverse and separate his countries are...Both Greece and Russia are hugely in need of his intercession!
We are reminded that from the first Andrew was an evangelist as he ran to tell his brother - Simon Peter, that he had found The Christ!  May we in turn share our Faith with great JOY and always embrace the Truth with no reservations - what is the Truth?  It is all the Church holds out to us - the dogmas- they are there to help us get to Heaven!
 Dominic and Pat greet his mom in the morning...
 Sharing Eucharist and The Word - Christ in our midst and within us!

St Andrew is giving me much to celebrate this day and much to take in.  My measly evangelization here is shown up by how much these amazing apostles gave and gave and spoke, even on the cross, of Christ's message of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT in the midst of the darkness.  I do see that foremost we are called to share our faith with JOY in our homes/domestic Church and raise LIGHTS for the world.  That is the most important job of all and is how the Truth is passed on.  But I also see that I am called to without hesitation in the face of all persecutions and pray without ceasing for all the needs and to share The Truth without hesitation and when necessary use words!
 We had to chuckle as Dominic and Great-grandma shared an orange one with the other...

Today in the Gospel we had a chuckle at if Jesus had called a farmer or a herder... a shepherd works... "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."  See what I mean?  Farmers of men or herders of men doesn't quite seem as powerful, but shepherds - yes! 

Jesus, we thank you for St Andrew and how he continues to evangelize to this day!  We are filled with Your Spirit of Truth and long to go forward into our homes/domestic Church and the world around us with your message of Mercy and LOVE!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
In the door and into her arms!  LIFE is a precious gift to be cherished and protected no matter the cost.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Such a sweet baby - holding hands in a bond of family - separated by 96 years yet united in family!
Maria's 3 boys with their Thanksgiving haircuts.  It is obviously much warmer there!
Words of hope and encouragement for many we pray for each day!
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
The voice has gone forth to all the ends of the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
From the first reading in mass today - Romans 10
So true, but when we are weak is when we turn to Jesus!
Danielle Rose - The Saint that is just me
One of my favorites of Danielle - she will be in concert in Ghent on Dec 5th!
I can't wait!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

rise above "the anxieties of daily life." Advent 2015

Lately the anxieties of daily life have become hard and often for me, so when I read in the Gospel that we are to beware... that these anxieties can distract us and take our focus away from being ready at all times for the coming of Christ...Well, that really spoke to me, and reminded me that I need to find peace and forgiveness and not allow these anxieties to be so all consuming for me in my life.
Here are the words from the Gospel today - Luke21
Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
 Revisiting some pictures from Thanksgiving as we are at Pat's mom's house for the day - sharing family time, and a communion service as we share the Eucharist with her.

How do I alleviate the constant flow of anxious thoughts that overwhelm me on a constant basis?  Huge for me is my rosary and the ability to pray at all  times.  I was pondering on the trip in this morning that my blood pressure has settled down without medication and I feel that a lot of it is due to my praying the rosary throughout my day.  I am not always able to follow the advise my mother-in-law gave me when I was first married - "Take a nap every day."  I do love to put my feet up with my rosary in hand in the early afternoon, and yes many times I doze off as I pray.  Talk about the epitome of PEACE!
 Such a loving woman is Pat's mom!

I also find much encouragement and peace in reading the readings for each day and pondering how the Lord is speaking to me.  There is so much power and might in Christ in His Word in the fact that all Catholic Churches the world over are all reading, preaching, and teaching on those same words.  I also find huge help for my journey through the help of the Saints!  The Church gives us more than we can ever fathom - the length, the breadth, the height, the bottom... infinite is His Wisdom and glory!
It is so fun to see my girl's homes decorated with their amazing pictures.  I see my influence and it makes me smile!  I hope that they do not become as obsessed as I have nor weighed down by the enormity of all the pictures I have taken over our 37 years of marriage!  To think that the baggage I added to each kid with a scrapbook for every year they were alive is heavy to say the least!  With moving on the horizon and all my scrapbooks, Hallel's as she cannot take them with her- it would be hard to fit 20 scrapbooks in her small backpack, and John's as a single guy doesn't seem to desire dragging 20 scrapbooks from dorm rooms to rectories.  Sigh!  This hobby/obsession is coming back to weigh me down with anxieties.  It got out of hand and now I am paying the price.  I think the Lord is taking me to task this Advent.  I have so much work to do on myself!  Dying to my selfishness and anxieties so that The Holy Spirit may take over and humble me!
 I am so excited about the article in National Geographic about Mary!  I have to believe that this will bring some into the True Church as there is no other place to be if you love Mary.  I should know this from my entry into The Catholic Church with my entire family 43 years ago... my mother loved Mary and it brought us into The Church!
Fun on the farm with sibs and cousins!

Jesus, I am less than comfortable with the mess I am right now.  I ask that I can continue to cling to all you and your Bride, The Church, give me to become more and more yours.  I am rejoicing that we have Advent to give us time to pause and take notice of all the "anxieties of daily life"  which pull us away from the narrow path and cause us to wander lost in the darkness.  May your LIGHT shine to chase away the distractions of the darkness.  I am weak and sick and sinful and I need you, my Jesus!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Dominic has been very good with my Advent wreath for the last 4 days.  I am so surprised and happy that it is still there in one piece and now we welcome in Advent with gratitude, thanksgiving, and joy!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
 This is a picture of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT for me!
 This little boy loves to be by his grandpa!
"Doggy has Christmas on her back!"  says Bernadette about the snow falling.
The Best!!!!!

Did I mention that Mary calms the storms/anxieties in life in how she takes our needs to her Son, Jesus Christ? 
Danielle Rose - the 3rd joyful - the Nativity - the Star of Bethlehem
She wrote a song from very mystery of the rosary!
the Second joyful!  The Visitation!
Danielle Rose writes all her music in front of the Blessed Sacrament - I am so excited to go to her concert here next Saturday!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Beginning the Advent Journey!

With the 3 grandkids here we lit all 4 Advent candles tonight for family prayer.  Dad, Billy, is reminding Bernadette that she is 3 years old now so she needs to sit up and fold her hands when she prays.

 It is so exciting to be starting Advent.. my prayer to come closer to giving my all so that Jesus may rule my life now and always. He is my KING!   Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb

BVM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She arrived in the mailbox - Most powerful woman in the world!

 Just back from a wonderful family breakfast at Ruth's - checked the mailbox and found the long awaited Nat Geo and true to what we have heard it pronounces Mary - the most powerful woman in the world.  John is engrossed and keeps sharing things he is learning and we are amazed that they are keeping to the Truth about our Blessed Virgin Mary!  Today is Saturday at they are devoted to BVM!  I am longing to get my chance to read every last word!
 Our Lady looking over his shoulder - one time John and I counted how many images of Mary and Jesus we have in our living space... over 40 of both!  I think it is obvious that we love Jesus and the Spiritual Mother he gifted to us to bring into our homes at the foot of the Cross!
 An exciting day on the farm - we have a new pickup that many can ride in with grandpa!
 Coloring, building, playing with tractors - a big fun breakfast!
 Mary and Rose share a bedroom now.
 A watercolor I did of Mary some years back, and is on her bedroom wall.
 The two toddlers having breakfast side by side.

 Luke brought this book of trucks and tractors to grandpa and put his hand on his head to make him look at this truck or tractor. 
 I wasn't the only taking pictures of this precious scene... Ruth had her wonderful camera and Nancy took some with her phone! 

 Many different angles to capture the magic!

Jesus, I am so hopeful that this great sharing of The Truth about Our Lady will bring many into your True Church!  Where else can we go if we love Our Spiritual Mother of God?  The Church is where we appreciate the Mother we have been given to bring into our home.  Jesus we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb
My heart is filled with love for my champion of LIFE- open to LIFE and raising LIGHTS for the world to chase away the sin and darkness!


Danielle Rose - Memorare

Friday, November 27, 2015

Tractor time and bubble sink

 the shed is full of many tractors... all red!  We do have some green tractors, but none in our shop.  Dominic was in tractor heaven!
 That serious look he gets when he is in the tractor with grandpa.  They have called him "the judge."  To me it is how intensely he is taking all of it in.
 Bernadette got him to smile though... especially when he found the garage door opener and put it up and down from the tractor!
Dimples and smiles on the loader.

 On the old loader... taking it all in!  He was on and in every tractor.  Grandma was tired!
 Gus spent time checking out the quad track!
 Supper and a bubble sink - grandma's specialty with the little ones over the years.  They are contained and bathing while they play! 
Dominic and grandma got acquainted after a month apart.  Bless-bless, Barb