Wednesday, March 9, 2016

"I cannot do anything on my own... I do not seek my will." John 5:30

Our two oldest with a dairy calf back in our milking days - they are true farm girls through and through... always having cows and calves in their lives.  It has been so special to have Nancy home for weeks on the farm while her husband traveled with his work internationally.  It was hard for them to be apart, but that time reconnecting on the farm and sharing that life with her little ones was a gift.  We will miss that now that they have just moved to Kansas City, KN.
Susan and John showing a cow-calf pair at the County Fair...  Susan/Hallel loves cows so much and really enjoys catching up on our farming news when we talk to her time to time while she is now living in Rome for the last 2 years.  Pat and I are sleeping in her bedroom from years past - her stamp on it is a cow-calf border around the top of the wall.  It always makes me smile and brings those warm feelings of missing her and love to mind and heart.
 
Today in the Gospel Jesus in the Gospel of John 5 sets out for us the formula for living our lives as we are put here to live them.  "I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me."  How often do we need to be reminded that we are not in control of our lives?  Too often to count!   Every time I try to take it back I fall and Jesus is there to help me get back up and on the track that is the narrow path leading to eternal life!
Susan/Hallel has discovered that she continues to love working with her hands for The Community of the Lamb doing woodworking and building all their furniture.  She is wearing her work habit...
Which she brought home to wear while she helped on the farm with her dad and brother.  We had a bottle calf that year, too, and mom got to watch with my camera in hand while she fed the calf.
We had a huge snow in April that year - 2013 - which made a lot of work for her dad, and Hallel was excited to go out and work with the cows and calves! 

For our ongoing tally of calving this year.  We had 8 calves yesterday, and now 2 first thing this morning.  We are nearing our halfway point with 68 on the ground! 
In her good habit at mass at the beautiful Ghent Church with all the nieces and nephews 3 years ago - we have 3 more grandsons and a granddaughter on the way since then.  Hallel has yet to meet the youngest grandson, Romeo!  Such is the sacrifice she is called upon to embrace in her call to be a sister.  "I can truly say that I thank the Lord for having called me (even if that means sacrifices for me and for you) and I ask that I may be faithful.  God is so great that it is worth giving all your life!"  Hallel in a recent post card she wrote to us on Feb 2 while sitting in St Peter's Square waiting for The Mass of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple/Feast of Consecrated LIFE with Pope Francis!  In a way, I found some comfort in knowing that she misses us, too.  It sure makes those times we are blessed with a "real hug" so wonderful and precious!
Hallel eating an icy while the 3 youngest - now 3 - roll around on the floor together...

I will not speak too much about the pivotal point where we learned deep and powerfully that we have no control was the battle for John's life against brain cancer 6 years ago.  http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/johns-cancer-stories.html  Here lies the story in it's semi-entirety if you are interested.  Hallel reminded us that Father's day Sunday - The Gospel was Jesus calming the storm - Mark 4:35-40. "Mom, this is the storm and Jesus is in control."  Giving it all over to him over and over... we realized that we were helpless on our own and surrounded by an army of prayer warriors we sought the will of God and discovered that it was that John would find Faith and the new John would burn to share his story with all that will listen to him!
They now are 3 and the best of cousin friends!
When they are all happy that is...
 
Jesus, we learn at a young age that we cannot control our lives, but we still cry and fight it.  It is a hard thing to get past our selfish desires and centeredness of me.  When we pridefully think that we can dictate our lives, we are heading down the wide road to Hell.  Sure there is the allurement of prestige, owning the perfect car and house and stuff, the thought that we can pick and choose our children - using artificial birth control and abortion to have the few perfect kids we want, spend our time pursuing power and money rather than putting our Faith foremost in our lives.  Put Jesus and His Bride, The Church first in our lives and the rest will fall into place.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen
An armload of boys.. who would have thought this would ever be the picture after 4 girls and one boy - once again the Lord had the plan for us as we wanted a large family and we have that only we have 7 in heaven and 5 here with us!  http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/my-most-cherished-cross-patrick-gerard.html
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
I must need a lot of help from heaven and lots of prayers for this journey!
Only missing Hallel... picture almost perfect.
Married and than consecrated life
the Word gives us direction to follow!

Love this... one thing we do know is that we are called to be small/humble and die to self.
Casting Crowns - Praise you in this storm

He writes much better than I - The Truth which sets us free!
http://aleteia.org/2016/03/04/how-the-commandant-of-auschwitz-found-gods-mercy/  An amazing story of Mercy in this jubilee year of Mercy in our amazing Church. No, we do not deserve mercy, yet we are given it no matter what sins we commit!  May we return that mercy in our domestic Church/family.  May PEACE reign!

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