Thursday, March 31, 2016

First supper in the dining room with John!

John surprised me by stopping in to let me cook for him before play practice.  I thought to have our first meal in the dining room as a kind of house warming meal.  So fun!
No nice glasses, so we used our jelly canning jars to have with our steak supper.  Thanks John for stopping in and making a special celebratory meal in my new home.  Yes, the smoke detector went off, but then we had the patio door open and the fresh warm air while we ate.  Bless-bless, Barb
The big cottonwood tree has buds on it and the cute red barn is looking more and more like our new home.

"We have 7 dishwashers in our house." not bragging rather a humble statement of fact

Ruth put in a wonderful farm sink in her new kitchen, and while the counter tops are waiting the dishwasher is on hold and we are washing them by hand.  Last night, Wednesday, we watch the kids so that Ruth and Paul can teach Faith Formation... I started to fill up the sink to do the dishes and Rose started washing them all!  "I am getting big!"  So many times a day we see how much Rose is growing and maturing in such a special way. 
Luke loves to help her, too!  Ruth went without cupboards over her sink and cupboards facing the yard so that she could watch the farm work going on outside at all times.  So important with her young kids and all that goes on out there.  She is out helping her dad now, and Luke and I are hanging out in the house.
This is what greeted me today - Luke in the sink more playing than doing the dishes.   Ruth recalls working a retreat with her friend, who also had 5 kids in the family and her comment - "we have 7 dishwashers in our house."  This could come across as a bragging statement, but in reality it is saying that all the members take turns in washing the dishes by hand, and therefore it is a humble statement.  This is prime family time - sharing the dishes at the sink together.  Yes, Luke is now shirtless due to wet sleeves...
That is a happy face, and sweet too! 

Two wonderful readings, once again, today!  Acts 3 continues with Peter speaking filled with conviction and The Holy Spirit - how it stirs the soul to hear his eloquent and convincing words to all those drawn to them due to seeing the cripple healed!  Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration...  For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from the evil ways.  St Peter to us...
Cow TV - two calves overnight...

The Gospel today - Luke 24 - The risen Jesus comes into their midst showing them his humanity in the flesh - dead and now resurrected - filled with new life yet still bearing the wounds of crucifixion and scourging.  Why?  To remind us that our wounds though healed remain to remind us that we are human and weak and need to place all our hearts, minds, souls, bodies, work, play, breathing, praying, each beat of our heart into his hands... Jesus is in control!
Luke hard at work and having fun at the same time!

How often in a day do we need to hear the words of Jesus to us- "Peace, be with you."?  For me it is a constant mantra in my heart and mind as I fret about this or that and feel frustration that my life is not my own!  To take a deep breath and keep busy and find my rosary beads or just repeat in my heart and soul - "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death."  What peace floods me as my Mother walks with me and I am reminded that she also bears his wounds inside her mother's heart and soul... and cares for all my needs so personally and lovingly!
At home and happy to be farmkids!

Jesus, both yesterday and today you opened the scriptures to your people!  This is so powerful for me on my journey... to grow in my knowledge of your Path for me as I carry/drag my Most Cherished Cross and find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!  Yes, I have wounds and scars to remind me that I am less than perfect and rely on You, Jesus, to heal me and help me to love and serve you in those around me - most especially in my domestic Church/family.  May we give LOVE - the healing and mercy and unconditional love and forgiveness we have been given...  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
My new yard this morning - the heart rock welcomes me and the red barn - birds find the puddle to take a morning bath... peaceful, right?  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Truth - New LIFE comes to the farm and each of our lives

Rose and Luke on this rainy Wednesday in their new home.  Rose keeps telling all that she loves her new home on the farm, and when she walks by cow TV she stops and looks for baby calves.  I had some fun here this morning using Ruth's wonderful camera as well as borrowing some she took over Easter.  Ruth is out helping with bedding and treating calves, so grandma gets to be here helping with the two preschool kids.  What does grandma do?  Do a photo shoot by the big picture window with Mary in the garden and stenciled angel there now looking over the new farm family living here.
One of their mom's beautiful afghans on the back of the couch and the rain soaked driveway behind... Rose and Luke are the new farmkids on the farm. 

Two amazing readings from mass today as well as a grand Hallel Psalm in the middle filled with the highest and tallest of Praise for God!  Soooo much to share and sooo much to lift us up and guide us by Christ in The Word - The Truth that will set us free!  The first reading from Acts 3... the cripple healed by Peter and John- Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to you... In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk... He went walking and leaping and praising God!   There is a praise and worship song with these words dancing in my heart now.  The beauty of this early proof of the Spirit at work gives us all the HOPE we need for us to go forward evangelizing and sharing the LOVE and Mercy we have been given.
Sunny Easter ...How we are longing for warm dryer weather for our many calves on the ground - we are up to 125 now.  Rose is aglow and continually tells grandpa that she likes her new farm home! 
I realized that this was my first breakfast in our new home!  That just goes to show how with Easter and all - it has been kind of nuts in our lives.  I was able to read one of my favorites - MaryAnn Kurharski in The Catholic Servant - "Ta Da!  A new grandbaby- I wish I could blow a blaring trumpet!"  She shared that her latest grandchild was prayed here when they were told that she could be born dead due to some conditions.  They named her Kateri!  She wrote this - I can't help but ask: "What do nonbelievers  do when faced with challenges, crisis, or uncertainty?"  If there is no belief in God, in prayer, in asking others - including "friends in high places" (the saints) - to pray with them, what do they do?  I can't imagine.  We are given so much if only we humbly ask through prayer - yes, I love love love The Saints, and My Mother Mary is with me each moment of each day!
In the move this picture emerged from Easter 1989 - John's baptism day with his 4 loving sisters around him!  So much JOY in sharing our faith as a family, which continues to this day with the extended family - growing more and more and with each addition LOVE grows greater and is not stretched more thin!
So much fun for grandma this rainy spring morning on the farm!

The Gospel has to be addressed as it is the wonderful Road to Emmaus - Luke 24:13- 35 today.  So much today in reminding us over and over that Jesus has risen and overcome sin and death, and The Holy Spirit is at work in our world as well as that of Jesus. 
Jesus, we are filled with HOPE at all you give us when we are in need.  May we return the LOVE and Mercy we have been shown on this journey down the narrow path following you.  We are given more than we can ever need each day with You in your Word, The Church, which is guiding us and helping us reach forever in Heaven with you, Your Mother Mary Most Holy, The Saints and Angels.... we are taken by the hand and although crippled our feet and ankles are made strong and we rise - walking and jumping and praising God!  We are called to show the world the Truth that Jesus walks among us today!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Ruth's picture of the 5 after the candy hunt.
Luke is one happy farm boy!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Mother Angelica quotes here we come!

Did I mention Jesus in the Eucharist? 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"I sought HIM whom my heart loves-" Song of Songs 3:1

Maria's bunch before the Easter Vigil... not perfect, but to me the imperfections of family life is a beautiful sight to behold!  Nancy, too complained how hard it is to get a nice family picture, but her sweet family looked wonderful to me!

If all were picture perfect I feel that it would be less wonderful than the kids being kids.
I know that these are repeats, but I am just loving to gaze upon my family together of sorts. Together in pictures lined up on my blog. 
John and Dave...
Hallel and Simon at the Vigil a year ago...
Getting her Easter Basket from David and Bernadette and Mary - Hallel loves her peeps!
Easter feast at breakfast!
With Ruth's family a year ago!
The first bunch of family - dad came later to see her and get a real hug!

It is already mid afternoon... a day at the farm helping out.  The miracle of Easter continues in the readings today with the reality that Jesus has overcome death and raised to newness of life is sinking in to Mary Magdelene and the Disciples.  How I love these words from Song of Songs - "I sought HIM whom my heart loves... I found HIM whom my heart loves, I took hold of him and would not let him go."  This so reminds me of my Susan/Little Sister Hallel and the small piece of paper with these words on it left behind in her bedroom by a small crucifix as she had gone to France to become a nun and a bride of Christ!  These words also ring true for my love for Jesus... I never want to let him go!
Rose teasing Aunt Hallel with peeps!  Since the Easter Vigil this year Rose has been known to say, "Jesus Rose"...her new and improved name. 

Putting us all together is making me happy and smile today!
OOOps... I just about forgot her dad and I with Hallel a year ago.  Our prayer is for a real hug soon and we are still remembering the hugs from a year ago. 

Also in morning prayers this morning was the reminder that the tree of death/the cross has become the tree of LIFE! 
Last night I set aside an hour to listen to this.  Mother Angelica on Journey home!  It is so wonderful and what really stuck with me was how she speaks with love of the hardships and crosses in our lives and how that is Christ nudging us and allowing us to turn to him and find LOVE!  If you didn't watch it yesterday - I would encourage you to take some quiet time today to listen with your heart to this special lady, who loved Christ and said "yes" over and over.
Hallel and the two Dominics.
Lord, I love you with all that I am and all that I have and all that I live and all that I breath and all that I work and all that I play and all that I sleep and all that I do and all that I love and all that I give without counting the cost and all that I do not cease to love even when I am wounded, and all that you ask of me and hopefully I say "yes."  Yes, when I am hurt and crushed and wounded and life is against me and I am attacked and weak and sinful and crippled and sick... thank you, for when I am small and humble is when I know that without you I am nothing and I need you and you are all my heart loves and seeks forever and ever.  May I follow after you carrying/dragging my most Cherished Cross and finding LIFE eternal/LOVE unending/LIGHT everlasting!  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Through Hallel's yes to her spouse, Jesus Christ, our family has grown!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

St John Paul II... my hero and the first 28 years of my marriage is filled with Truth and LIGHT thanks to his being my Pope since the first month we were married!
I love the Hallelujah - Look familiar?  This is what Hallel's name derives from - giving the highest of praise to God every time you say her name!
Danielle Rose - True love
Danielle Rose - the Saint that is just me

Monday, March 28, 2016

"Greetings, do not be afriad..." Matthew 28

What joy to find this picture of Nancy and family in Kansas City.  We are feeling the pangs of sadness that they have moved twice as far away from us, and their frequent extended times with us on the farm will slow down considerably.  We do know that there is a visit we will be making down there to meet our new granddaughter in May, and that fills us with a lot of excitement.  Grandma will be there for the time of arrival, hopefully, and then we have a fake plan in the works that Ruth and the kids will come out in early June, after school is out and meet their new niece/cousin, see Nancy and Maria's homes and have the Baptism of our new member - welcoming her into The Church and our growing family - the LOVE just grows and grows with each new LIFE!  So much LIGHT fills our world!
I checked Maria's blog this morning... hoping that she too had put a family Easter picture, but not yet.  Here is the new farm family in their new farmhouse filled with LIGHT/LIFE/LOVE!  There have been quite a few challenges over the last week with the weather and all, but they are calm and accepting and hard working no matter what.  I see this attitude in both Ruth and Paul... "We can do it."  The greeting from the risen Jesus - as Rose says "Jesus Rose" - "do not be afraid" Matthew 28... we can face all that comes at us with confidence and strength given us by The Holy Spirit and personal hard work and perseverance. 
I am so glad that I grabbed this special one of John with his David.  How John will smile from ear to ear with his Godson at his side!  John is in that good place that we have prayed for for so long!  He is serving in The Church as Director of Religious Ed in 3 churches near by, he is co-speech coach at the high school there, and giving numerous talks around the state!  He is single and seems to be accepting and at peace with that right now.  We have prayed long and hard for John to have the right doors open and they have!  We are so thankful after many hard humbling knocks this certainly fills his life with a lot of peace and joy and assurance that he need not be afraid of the new John after brain cancer!  How he burns to share his story of finding faith as he faced death due to brain cancer, and he is being given the chance over and over and his story is ever growing and developing into a ministry of sharing the LOVE he has been given!
A year ago Simon and I got up in the middle of the night and went to join Hallel and her Community of The Lamb in KC for the all night Easter Vigil!  We all know that she celebrated similarly in Rome!  I am remiss in getting her a card or package, but Easter continues on for weeks so I plan to get on that soon.  It would have been wonderful to hear from her yesterday, but it didn't happen.  We will probably get a call soon, and we can give her all the latest news!  Our prayer yesterday was that we can hope to get a real hug from our Little Sister Hallel in the next year, and not miss her too much.  The wonderful postcards we were blessed with lately were so wonderful and precious!

It is so fun to see how much our little Dominic and Gus are growing!  Yet, we also know that Dom will be a big brother soon!  Those chocolate eyes melt me!  How I loved my time with the two youngest boys - Romeo and Dominic were so loving and interested in their old feeble grandma!

Spending the night and morning with Pat's mom today.  She is sleeping peacefully so I am blessed with this island of peace to share from my heart!  I am looking forward to some time at my new home to start to get it settled.  I know Ruth is doing likewise at the farm. Her dad asks her to be his assistance outside, too, so she is really juggling it all!  I know that she takes it head on and is hardly ever afraid to look a situation in the eye and take it on and do it!  I have so much to learn from all my kids!  They teach me and take me deeper into Trust and going forward in Faith!

As I continue to wait for Maria's family picture... I will borrow Nancy's one of our zesty Bernadette.  Her hair is hiding her dimples, and grandma would have loved to fix her hair pretty for Easter.  I did have the joy of doing Rose and Mary's hair into Bernadette/French braids, and that was wonderful for this old grandma, who did 4 girls' hair each day. 
The Easter bunny cake seems to be admiring pretty Mary with her Bernadette braids!

Jesus, my heart is on fire filled with all the LIFE you have given to me in your Resurrection from death into LIFE eternal!  I yearn to be forever with you and to leave behind my selfishness and sinfulness.  May I give, as you did, without counting the cost!  May I not hesitate to go forward down the narrow path carrying/dragging my Most Cherished Cross and come to LIFE eternal forever with you!  My Mother Mary I am so blessed to have you always with me each day.  We go forward together to your Son, Jesus Christ with the help of His Bride, The Church!  Jesus, we trust in you. Amen and Hallelujah!
The table has turned.. in our old dining room is went in the other direction and took up the entire room!  So happy to have the farm filled with family once again.  Jesus, watch out for them and guardian angels keep them all safe!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Many wonderful weeks of Easter lie ahead!
Since it has been a long time - a year since a hug - just needed to share this from a year ago in KC!

This is food for thought on this bright Easter Monday!

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!!!!

A bright LIGHT has gone to eternal reward.  She truly allowed Jesus to work through her and change the world!

My sister, Mary's grave, decorated for Easter by my other sister, Carol!  Always in my heart.
Casting Crowns - Glorious Day
Newsboys - Narnia - God's not dead
Mother Angelica - Lifelong Catholic - Journey Home

Maria's family to round it out covering all our families this Easter.  Romeo was active and blurred him and mom a bit, but still great for my eyes to feast upon!

Patrick got cut out of the selfie... but he is so cute in the one above that we can imagine his squinty eyes and smile.  Happy Easter weeks ahead.
Here is studley Patrick hanging out with the Incarnate Jesus at Christmas, to make up for missing out of the family selfie for Easter.  Love you and miss you like crazy my sweet Patchy!