Sunday, January 31, 2016

We share Jesus by our LOVE!

Little Sister Sarah introduces a young neighborhood boy to the Archbishop of KC!  We were blessed with a glorious Sunday mass shared with a packed chapel - Lumen Christi/ Light of Christ - this morning.  Many gathered to spend time with the foundress, Little Sister Marie, and to share mass with the Archbishop. 
"Bill, welcome to Kansas City, and you are wearing Little Sister and brother blue!"  "Yes, I am aren't I?"  How it warms my heart for Bill and Nancy to have family/ Community of the Lamb in their new town - Kansas City!
A wonderful homily by Archbishop... "In our families we become very close and it can be hard to be loving and forgiving, but we are called to help each other become better people.  We are asked to become Jesus in that LOVE outlined in I Corinthians 13.  That is how we bring Jesus to the world around us...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Family together accomplished!

In our cozy temp house in KC - Nancy and Bill with the kids were having a Saturday movie night together...  grandma had to grab a quick family photo or 3!  All are so happy to be together on a relaxing Saturday sharing family time after weeks of being apart.
Dominic saying "enough already, grandma, we want to start our movie!" 
Gus and grandma painted side by side after lunch.  So wonderful to share these times together, and to share the paints and the water and brushes.  I have another sketch to paint tomorrow of using a children's book to help me make them pictures of my farmer and our life on the prairie.
Outlining really helps it, but I messed up grandpa's face.  Oh well.
I am sure that more are coming, and I have one in the works for tomorrow.  It is so interesting to me that watercolors and children's books for inspiration are so important to me and bring me peace and happiness when I have time away from home.  Michigan beach has been where I have painted many year after year inspired by the little ones and the beauty of the blue waters of the inland sea - Lake Michigan.  This children's book has many seasons in it, but not winter and I am loving the summer and spring and fall pictures.  It helps to be able to be outside on the deck, and...
The second story deck off of my bedroom... yes, there is white noise of the traffic, but the warm sun makes you put that in the background.
Such an inviting and special retreat in the middle of Kansas City!
Rosary and watercolors on the rooftop - a small slice of heaven.  I miss you my farmer Pat!  Bless-bless, Barb
Jesus, I trust in you.  Tomorrow we will spend time with our dear little Sisters of the Lamb! 
#3  - cute Dominic eyes!

Missing my farmer - always in my heart

Nancy wanted more books for her kids, so we went to a thrift store and amongst the books was a book about a lonely farmer, Red, and a pet lamb.  There were sheep in the book, but with my many years of making cows out in the pasture they turned into cows and calves for me, and the sheep which was his constant companion became the grandkids - always helping and sharing the farm with grandpa!  There happens to be a red barn in the background, which very much looks like Ruth and Paul's red barn... soon to be ours!  It has letters and you can make signs on it, so.... I claimed it as our new home/farm.  This is very therapeutic for me now 2 weeks away from Pat and our life on the farm complete with our daughter, her husband and their 5 wonderful farm kids!
I would say this looks like Simon, but is more than likely David working side by side with grandpa. I have a new drawing ready for the watercolors this afternoon.  The grandkids here love to sit and paint with me, and it is great for all of us.  The kids are so happy today as their dad arrived last night and they are having some special family time outside after our great breakfast!
Dad getting out the croquet mallets and balls for some fun with the kids.  The sun is now out and it should reach about 60 today here.  Back home Pat tells me that they are having a melt and are hauling manure today, too.  So it looks like I will have another week away from home, and they will have to put up with me here in KC.  I am trying to allow them family time, and watch the kids so that they can get away, too.
Dirt to dig in is almost like sand on the beach after months of winter.

The Gospel today.. how can I not go there?  It is Jesus calming the storm - Mark 4:35-41
A wonderful quote which is so true for us..."Why do you fear? You are carried by Jesus! Jesus guides you, Jesus takes you in his arms, Jesus bears you in his heart."  Wow!  That certainly shows us that all our petty fears and anxieties should vanish in the LIGHT of Jesus' unconditional love and forgiveness, and not only that but after we are cleansed he will guide our ship through the waters and storms of life.  It seems that my life is in the midst of a huge storm now with all my roots pulled out longing for the traveling soil to place them in.
My farmer, my rock in the face of a new life for me as I was a city girl come to the farm...  How he was the wind beneath my wings as we longed for a large family, as both of us had grown up in big families - I the oldest of 11 and Pat the 6th of 10! 
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/my-most-cherished-cross-patrick-gerard.html
Here is the page I devoted to this story - All I will share here is "Open to LIFE and raising LIGHTS for the world, which is the motto we live by and now that of our kids and their families!
In the hutch here is this 1970 calendar plate, which was such a huge year for me... foremost was starting college at the U of M and meeting Marge, Pat's sister, and the rest is a long history of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT/The Church with Jesus and Mary forever!  My entire family was to convert to The Catholic Church the following year, and every day since has been a small slice of heaven. 
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/the-amazing-story-of-13-becoming.html
I put my grandpa Pat pictures in the window in my sweet bedroom away from home.  Bill is seeing what a nice temporary home we have here in Kansas City.  Now to paint another one this afternoon.  Maria is counting on them going into her scrap book, but they sure are helping me as I am away from Pat far too long.  The mess of construction at home, however, is not missed.

Jesus, how can we question and whine about our upheaval when you are in the boat with us and are ministering to our weaknesses and needs?  "Jesus, takes you in his arms and bears you in his heart."  I am calmed and find peace within.  The sun is warming my shoulder as I sit on the deck this moment in time, and I am so grateful for beautiful weather and a chance to be outside.  We are reminded often that we should dwell on all our blessings and not the negative and just as the clouds part - the sun will come through and fill us with LIGHT/Truth!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
So happy to have dad here!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke



Friday, January 29, 2016

Traveling dirt

Time spent on this glorious KC day playing on their new playground.  Berna shows how strong she is.

With all of us in a state of upheaval these days, and kind of messed up in how we are dealing with it all... the thought of the mustard seed taking root in our dirt kind of seemed like we needed to face the fact that we are traveling dirt these days.  Just through the car wash and getting Ruth's gravel road washed off Nancy's car, and hearing from Pat that we will soon have to deal with living on a gravel road... Well, that dirt certainly can take hold and travel with you all the way to Kansas City!
Our dirt travels with us, an in many ways it is a symbol of our humility we are called to embrace as we die to self so that The Holy Spirit can dwell and work in us and so that the tiniest seed planted in us can bear much fruit and be a plant large enough it to become a home for others that need shelter from the world of sin and darkness.   Allowing our domestic Church/home to be a small slice of heaven here on earth from time to time.

Jesus, may we cling to you and your Truth which shows the path to follow.  All of this change is hard and challenging.  Give us the strength to go forth.  We bask in the sunlight of your love and forgiveness.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb


Tomorrow is Jesus calming the storm - Jesus is in control!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I have regretted that I forgot to bring my watercolors...

I mentioned to Nancy that I am missing my watercolors and would like to pick some up... my wish was quickly granted, and it was surprising how it brightened my day and the kids really got into it, too! 
It's a bit of a story, but Nancy handed me a scrapbook I had started for her at her graduation.  Her challenge was that I needed some thing to keep me busy, so I should add to her book.  Now with a new children's book from the thrift store and substituting a grandchild on the tractor with Pat... it was fun to share watercolors with Gus and paint together!

I still need to outline it... it was a lot of fun and I am sure more are on the horizon.
Gus making a beautiful work of art for his sister... she would pick out the next color for Gus to add- so special and it made both of them happy, and that is the name of the game around here. 
The sun was streaming in the front door - it was close to 60 today, and will be 60 tomorrow!
Reflecting in the warm sunny window.
A sunny snuggle...
Dominic's new haircut - so cute!
Blogging outside on the patio and watercoloring with grandkids and the help of a great children's book.  It doesn't get much better.  Did I mention 60 degrees?  Jesus, we trust in you. Bless-bless, Barb
Such a beautiful witness to Jesus continuing to minister to us today!