Friday, December 30, 2016

6th day of Christmas - "Make all our families holy as you are HOLY FAMILY!"

Pat is talking about what is to happen next...
A kiss for me... and I am just now seeing the reaction of the rest of the family, because not only was our faces not visible, but I had no idea of this move nor of their reaction.... I just kind of overlooked it and now with the feast of the Holy Family and much filling me to overflowing of how FAMILY is my all in all! 

Sharing morning prayer with Pat in the dark this morning before Pat headed out for a day of hauling manure/cleaning out the barn and bedding the animals all comfortable, and then doing the office with John filled with powerful and beautiful prayers to the Holy Family... Suddenly my talk for this upcoming TEC took form in my mind, heart and soul...  My message to the world is FAMILY!
I think you can see where my heart is today - pondering the gift we have with a small slice of heaven here on earth in our domestic Church/family!  This was when we had spent some days all together in Nancy and Bill's home for Labor Day weekend.  I later added my Little Sister Hallel, as she is always with us in spirit, and I love to see her in the midst of our gatherings.  Since then we have added Evangeline, who is in our Christmas picture making it even more complete!
How I long for a real visit from Hallel, but we are blessed with nice long phone calls from time to time.  We talked to her lately about the passing and celebration of her grandma Ann's life!
I couldn't add Hallel for our Christmas cards done in an hour, but before this is done... I think it could happen just for me!

John prayed beautifully this morning for all the families in our lives to become more holy!  He mentioned our Family of the Lamb/Hallel's Community of the Lamb filled with over a hundred Little Sisters, Little brothers and families of the Lamb!  We also are praying long and hard for our TEC family, which has been so important to all of our family over the last almost 20 years!  We have our first retreat ever in Marshall coming up in a few weeks and we are so hopeful and prayerful that many will answer with a "yes" to a closer relationship to Jesus and his Bride, The Church! 
About 2/3rds of our family gathered the weekend before Christmas - we are approaching 120 strong with the arrival of almost a dozen new great-grands in the last year!  With this gathering so close and our sharing so recent, as well as the gathering around Pat's mom and her celebration of LIFE we had just the day before CCC this year.  Of course, the prayers for our families to become HOLY carry over to our huge amazing families and all those we can call FAMILY! 
I have been checking on my parents almost every other day since CCC, as they have been having some struggles with illness.  It looks like they are coming out on the other side finally with the help of some antibiotics now.  Mom was just saying today how miraculous it is for her and dad to be together and "managing" together in their own home.  "Most of our friends our age are in nursing homes now.  You know your dad will be 92 in a couple months, and we are just so lucky to be as good as we are and managing together with our little household tasks we share."  Yes!  I am forever grateful to have them still with me and all the ways The Holy Spirit has used them to bring me to where I am today - filled with LOVE, love, love for Jesus, His Bride The Church and the value of The Domestic Church/The family!
My camera isn't near as good...
I wish that we could see our precious Evangeline better...
I have been working on scrap books and have discovered what I already knew that she looks like my girls looked, and that is so special to have!

A work of art is a family open to life and raising LIGHTS!
I have shared both pages I have on my blog which describe two of the most dramatic times that The Holy Spirit took hold of my life and changed me forever!  Through my father bringing our entire family of 13 into The Church, and my fiancĂ©'s/husbands response to me about being open to LIFE in this crazy world - "The world needs LIGHTS!"
If you want to know more deeply where this all comes from and where it has led me... read it and believe!
These 5 will be welcoming a new sister in March!  Yes, when we all gather together with soon to be 15 little ones, and all the ups and downs they contain... it is a crazy zoo, but one filled with a lot of JOY and happiness in sharing our Faith with JOY!  We all know and see The Truth that our homes is the most important place to share our faith and to find True LOVE as we do "life-giving" things and say "life-giving" words and deeds one to the other.  This is lived out with Ruth and Paul and is something that I need to learn at their feet!
Yes, Nancy and Bill are a model of having 4 little ones 5 and under... This picture captures some of that busyness and happiness and teamwork they embrace in their making it work and filling it with the love they have which grows more with each new life!  Gathering for prayer with their family each night is so precious and is building a strong base - built on the rock!

Jesus, how we love to see The Family lived out in love and made holy by sharing our Faith with JOY.  Growing deeper in love as we embrace our Most Cherished Cross and finding LOVE/LIFE/LIGHT!  The family is a necessary good for peoples, and indispensable foundation for society, and a great and lifelong treasure for couples.  It is a unique good for children, who are meant to be the fruit of the love, of the total and generous self-giving of their parents... The Family is also a school that enables men and women to grow to the full measure of their humanity... O God, who in the Holy Family left us a perfect model of family life lived in faith and obedience to your will, help us to be examples of faith and love for your commandments."  Pope Benedict XVI
St Paul to us from Colossians 3
Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.  And over all these put on love, that is the bond of perfection.  And let the peace of Christ control your hearts , the peace into which you were also called in one body.  And be  thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...
So much to take into our hearts, O Lord!  May we grow in knowledge and love of you as we die to self!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Singing around the manger...  singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Come Holy Family and fill us with LOVE!
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Nancy's Josie is soon to be 8 months!
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Those nest years are so wonderful - we love the snuggles and closeness to the little ones!
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Talk about family!  A year ago with Pat's mom, who just left this world.  Very fresh is our loss and after spending so much time with her through our entire marriage - this is huge for us to no longer have her here!
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Nothing more beautiful is there!

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