Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Unclean to clean... Jesus is the answer!

 So much hard stuff going on with many friends and family with the change of the administration.. so disheartening to hear the hateful comments when from my perspective it appears that some of the morals and values that were attacked are being reinstated slowly!   How I long for this peace to fill us and bring some sanity to what appears to be a crazy messed up world at this moment in time.  Those that value the Truths of Faith in Christ Jesus and His Bride, the Church, have had to be on our knees constantly in the face of the culture of death taking over our world, and now with some hope in changes for the better we have to face family and friends, who cannot see the good in the changes.  Jesus, how deeply do we need your peace to be left with us through your Word, The Sacraments, the Saints including St John Bosco today, Our Mother, Mary the Mother of God, and my rosary prayer to her throughout each day!
Little sweet Evangeline will be 3 months tomorrow!  Maria calls her a little Barb, as she does look so much like my baby pictures and like her mom and sister, Therese.  It is very special to have our time with her, and her cooing and smiles when we spend time with her cannot be beat!

The readings this day are so wonderful that it is hard to pick what to focus on... but my day is escaping with our other bathroom being dismantled and put back together.  I am thinking that it will be a month again, but the end is in sight!

I must speak about the woman with the 12 year hemorrhage which made her unclean, and for her to touch Jesus would make him unclean... yet, that touch did the opposite... she was healed!  The answer to this world drifting into more and more darkness of sin and death is Jesus!  We are unclean and come to him and he heals us and makes our bleeding stop.  How do we bleed?  When we spread hatred and leave our morals and values behind.  Maybe we aren't even aware that we are adopting the thinking of the world!  Satan is very tricky in making us think that we are being kind and loving, yet we are lowering God's standards of goodness and purity and opening the way for sin to become the norm and what is thought to be the right way.  How did abortion, homosexuality lived out, divorce at the drop of a hat become what we fight to uphold as right?  And how did it be that we who uphold the Truth become those that are wrong and misinformed and bad people?
 Our Lady watches over Romeo as he picks up branches for grandma... he is wearing a hat I wore when I was pregnant with his mom about 35 years ago. 

What is the answer to our mess?  Jesus, and lots of time throughout our crazy days in prayer for our loved ones and the lies of Satan that are so misleading to many.  It seems that we are being loving to accept all and anything goes.  But instead we are allowing them to go down the wide path away from heaven forever with Jesus! 
The crew at work...
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Nancy shared this from KC yesterday... 60 degrees and beautiful mud kept them outside playing happily together for the entire afternoon!  Nancy was in heaven and didn't mind the immediate baths as they came in for supper!  Nancy always did love her mud!  Talk about unclean to clean... this is a photo story for sure of that concept!
A selfie with our happy little one before bed last night.  So fun to hear that she is a little Barb.

Lord, this is disjointed and a little here and there make up what it is today.  We reach out to touch you, Lord, in The Eucharist and in The Word each day... we are unclean and bleeding.  We turn to you for healing and touch the hem of your garment with Faith and Trust in so that we might die to self and become your hands and feet.  We love you and thank you.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb
Tummy time.. she is one strong little girl
Patrick with his new haircut and likes to come and say goodmorning to us. 
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"Hail Marys" get me through each day!
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Me and Jesus!
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Danielle Rose - if I touch him

He worked with homeless boys and obviously brought them to their most amazing mother of all!  As John tells me... "There is a mother above you."  "Yes, I agree and not offended!"  I feel that same way!
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Such a beautiful reminder for us today. 

Joe's JAG award ceremony before they parted ways.  Maria is now living with us approx. for 5 months while Joe does his training!

Such a beautiful tribute to Pat's mom by Maria - worth another share!
My Grandma Anna. Farm wife. Mother of 10. Grandmother to... too many for me to count right now. Wonderful hugger. She had a powerful and meaningful grip when she held your hand. She was unwilling to take an indirect answer. She wanted to know what you REALLY were thinking and feeling. She cared. Always had a cookie or candy for the little ones. You could easily find a Rosary laying around her home. She was magnetic. She could always be found out and around the community... having coffee with the ladies, playing cards at the Center, volunteering at the hospital, closing down the Church's pancake breakfast... until she broke her hip in a fall. Then life got quieter and slower, which wasn't easy on her. However, she embraced it and clung to the time she had with family in her home. A little over a year ago she started to weaken and was placed on Hospice. She wanted more than anything to not be a burden to others, and to simply go see Jesus. God had other plans, though. She had to give up this one last desire... and be served by the children and loved ones whom she had loved on for so many years. In the end, she was completely dependent on those who had depended on her for everything. At the age of 97, she was given the gift of a peaceful, quiet death surrounded by family and prayer, without even the ability to grasp at life. Everything else had been taken away. We love you, Grandma, and we are so glad that you are finally with Him whom you have desired for so long. We miss you.

Monday, January 30, 2017

"they went about in skins of sheep or goats, needy, afflicted, tormented..." Hebrews 11

The boys came home with haircuts thanks to Aunt Ruth!  They look not like the way that I feel with all the craziness that makes up my life these days.  I must admit that I am a bit frazzled today after a huge Sunday filled with work on the house and preparation for our next bathroom to be gutted and on we go on this cycle again of remodel the last bathroom.  Scanning the scriptures for today... I wasn't going to name this tizzy I am in similar to "Legion" being cast into the herd of 2,000 swine as we see in the Gospel today, but I did find something that kind of spoke to my inner and outward state... they went about in skins of sheep and goats, needy, afflicted, tormented.  The world was not worthy of them. 
 A place of peace and memory... Colman, SD church where my dad was a permanent deacon/parish administrator for 3 years from 95-98.  We passed right through it on the way back from our cattle sale on Saturday, and stopped in just as they were preparing for mass.  "Such a beautiful church!"

I just had to run to a neighboring town to get some vaccines for the cattle, and no radio on just the beads passing through the fingers of this "needy, afflicted, tormented" person facing so many decisions and very shaky in my abilities.  I feel the peace settle over and around me in my chapel on wheels.  I ask the Lord to give me what I need to get through this rough patch of house full of little ones all day and endless remodeling of bathrooms!
A sweet portrait of Jesus cradling and new little one in the Baptismal chapel, and Father in the confessional to be there to provide the Sacrament of Reconciliation for those in need of His unconditional LOVE and forgiveness and healing. 

When we shared morning prayer this morning John mentioned that it was good to hear Jesus tell this man, of whom he had cast out "Legion/there are many of us" to announce to his family and all what had happened to him... "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you."  Yes, I need to take a deep breath and throw off my skins and get presentable and get into my right mind and share with my family all that the Lord has done for me in his pity.   I need to take one step at a time and realize that I can learn and do this.
A place of beauty and prayer as we shared travel, and visiting, and finding the realization that on the most important things in life we look at it together with eyes of Faith and love of The Church and all the Church asks of us as She helps us get to heaven forever with Jesus, Mary, All the Saints and Angels!  These small glitches and times of stress over the remodel is minor and should be dealt with a smile and understanding.... Lord, hear our prayer. 

Jesus, I am a mess and I know that this will pass and that I need only to look to you and Trust.  Jesus, I do trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb

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About 4 decades on the road and now for the 6 more!
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Too busy to blog yesterday... something is wrong about Sundays being that way, but this too will pass!
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Yes!!!  On our trip I was able to share with Pat the revelation of the words of the Gospel suddenly making so much sense... "To those who have more, more will be given them..."  The more children we have the more love we are given.  It grows more and more and not stretched more and more thin!  Yes, how can we say there are too many children?  They are the most beautiful bed of flowers in our homes!  This would have been a better topic today to write about, right?
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I think Facebook is telling me something I already know!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

7 years later Christ in our boat after the "storm"

Today the Gospel is Jesus in the storm... the reading on the Father's Day 2009 when we discovered that John had brain cancer. It is kind of out of this world, because 7 years ago yesterday he received his own stem cells after having the bomb dropped on him through chemo... then the seeds were planted in the fertile and wiped clean soil! 

7 years later John is the new John and he is having the time of his life at the Speech meet here in Marshall with his Tracy Speech team!  He is here at home and I feel myself fill with happiness as I watch him and Maria having sibling talks and sharing.  Such a dream come true!  John has always loved having his siblings around him, and so I sense his enjoying this rare opportunity to have time with his sister, Maria and her family.  So great!  Thank you, Lord!  Am heading to a cattle sale with my husband now.  Bless-bless, Barb

The family is back after the remodeled bathroom - thanks Pat for all of it! 

Friday, January 27, 2017

"Though he falls he shall not lie prostrate, for the hand of the Lord sustains him." Psalm 37

My heart is pounding, my feet and legs are hurting, my head and heart are heavy with anxiety and sadness at how inept I am when it comes to home remodeling.  My knowledge is minimal and shaky and I made wrong decisions almost equal to my right.  I scanned the readings for today to find something that speaks to my mess of a self I am at this point.  I have been back to the hardware store 3 times today... and twice with a husband, who let me know that I am a poor excuse for putting any time or thought into all the small things that have to be thought about.  He is right as I really have minimal interest and want to get it done quickly.  I have apologized numerous times, and the litany of my faults seems to just grow and grow...

I found the Psalm for today to reflect fairly well the state I am in due to my weaknesses and faults and the promise that I will not stay down!
Though he fall, he does not lie prostrate, for the hand of the Lord sustains him... and the Lord helps them and delivers them... because they take refuge in him.  The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.  Psalm 37
I feel that I am a poor helper to my hard working husband...

I do take heart in the verses from the Psalm today as I do look to the Lord to forgive and raise me up to love and to serve without counting the cost.  I don't do it well but I do try awful hard!  The Lord will help me through this and soon I will be enjoying the fruit of our labor!
Finding a peaceful island in the middle of our crazy life.

Many thoughts today drifting to the March for LIFE going on, as well as the different camps among my friends for and against our new president and how can we all look at things so differently?  I am looking to some quiet (?) time in prayer soon to keep my on he narrow path no matter how close I am to be lying prostrate on the ground!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Evangelization and Encouragement...

Maria is helping me daily go through a room full of stuff that I had just shut the door and wanted to forget about since our move almost a year ago now... in the mix was this lifesize picture of Therese at between 6 months to a year, and it was super fun to see the resemblance.  They certainly are sisters and resemble my daughters very much, too!  I also went through the scrapbook with pictures of babies Nancy and Maria, who were just 16 months apart and they look a lot like these girls, too!  The dark patch of hair is a very familiar trademark for my girls and now the granddaughters minus Nancy's 2 girls. 

Getting out to daily mass on some questionable roads this morning on this feast of St Titus and Timothy, who were sent out by The Apostle, St Paul, to evangelize.  His letter of "encouragement" to Timothy in the first reading today... Father encouraged us to send it out or one similar to it to those that are needing some support or call back to the Truth/The Church!  I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.  This is a true statement from me to my kids and their families and they depend upon those prayers!

She has the small pug nose that we call the "Cross pug" so that is going back another generation...All in all it is a very familiar face and such a delight to celebrate a new life!

I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother and in your mother and that I am confident also lives in you.
I am the woman of tears and my kids are never surprised that happy or sad... I melt into tears!  And in this domestic Church/family we are determined to do the work of raising LIGHTS and passing on our Faith with great JOY!  The Gospel for today is about the lamp put on the lampstand for all the house to be filled with LIGHT... "nothing is secret except to come to light."  We do not keep secrets around here... Why?  Secret to me signifies a dark hidden place - all is out in the open and dealt with or prayed for or taken to Jesus in confession as he surrounds us with his unconditional LOVE and forgiveness!
Thursdays has adoration following mass, and boy did I need my hour and a half I spent in there today!  So many graces and blessing flow around and through me!  Able to partake of Jesus in His Body and Blood at mass, and then sit at his feet in the chapel and lift up Family with The Rosary, our dead with The Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and then the litany of our families in which I put each member... around 200 with both of our families... including the ones in the womb!  I think that my parents are expecting 5 new grandchildren, and Pat's parents in heaven are expecting 2 more.  Growing with more love to go around with each new one!
Another dark and gloomy day outside, but Jesus' LIGHT bright in the Adoration chapel... the Lamp/Lamb sent upon the lampstand to give LIGHT to all... "Jesus and Mary, I love you. Save souls!"  I repeat this 3 times after I complete the litany of our families.

The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you.  Mark 4  The Gospel today!   I see lived out in all the prayer that fills my life... John came home after dark from working with his speech kids about half an hour away in a neighboring town..."Mom, I know why you pray to my guardian angel.  I just missed having an accident on these icy roads.  There was a car sideways in the middle of the road and I thought that I could not miss it, but I managed to miss it by inches and then I saw another one in the ditch!"

How grandpa loves having our house full with little ones!

Of course, when evangelization is spoken about much these days... I ponder how much good this daily pouring out is.  I get a few telling me that it is helpful and appreciated, but sometimes I wonder if I am just preaching to the choir?!?  I would love to think that I am evangelizing even in a small way.  I so admire my girls hard work.. especially Nancy with her many followers and sharing The Faith in small and sweet and special ways.  Ruth and Paul also share Faith and Farm and Family in many ways!
Some of those pictures of my first 3 dark haired sweet babies!  Yes, dark hair and eyes all around!

Jesus, how I long to share the deep love and devotion I have with each day of this journey in The Church!  It is so glorious to come to you in my inner temple each day with the rosary beads in hand, and now able to be filled with Jesus more days at daily mass and sometimes with my daughter and her growing family - 5 kids between 8 and 3 months!  There is nothing better in this world/a small slice of heaven to share Faith as a family generation after generation and to share that LIGHT/LOVE/LIGHT that only grows more and more with each new member - not stretched more thin!  Yes, it is so true that "to the one who has, more will be given!"  It is one of those amazing mysteries that fills our lives with wonder and awe.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Now to scan hundreds of pictures into my computer... Faith/Family/Farm is what makes my world go round!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." – Jeremiah 1:5
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Conversions in my life! St Paul shows the way, and has profoundly touched us with The Truth!

The scene outside this morning is so pretty for our military family, who came from Missouri's, in between weather, with snow that leaves in a matter of half a day.  With the January thaw they have their outside time has been kind of wet and muddy as they find snow to dig in with their cousins.  The washer and dryer are getting a work out with load after another. 

With the snow this morning John had a two hour late start, so our morning was later, and we were given the opportunity to share the Office/morning prayer on this glorious inspiring feast day - The Conversion of St Paul!  His conversion was out of the blue - "blindsiding" him with a total reversal of his heart and passion from hating the Christians to leading the Gentiles to Christ! 
Taking in the beauty of nature on this January day...

The conversion of John and I was one of gradual and half-hearted changing of our hearts - when John half-heartedly asked for Faith and a week later was diagnosed with brain cancer.
I guess you would say that was quite drastic and he was also knocked down, but he knew that he felt nothing for his faith and his Church and that this was not a good place for him to be. 
In my own life the coming into The Church after my father and mother led us there through The Holy Spirit was such a profound turning point in my life that affects me deeply with each new day in The Church!
My father went from being a Protestant minister to being a Permanent Deacon in The Catholic Church!  Such a journey led by The Holy Spirit!  The Gospel that speaks to my father - Isaiah 55:1-2, which is very Eucharistic, and "I am the Way, The Truth and The LIFE." John 14:6  How greatly I am thankful for his direction in my life, and the way the Holy Spirit directed me through him, and then my husband!  I was going the way of the world especially my first year of college, and he converted my heart through a Charismatic prayer group at a convent with my first ever Sisters!  He then called my heart to The Church while living in a Christian Commune in Bolder, Colorado as I considered The Call to be a nun!  "I want to be a nun, so yes I want to be Catholic!"  was my answer to my dad when he gave me the option to follow him and mom and my 8 younger siblings into The Church!  The LIGHT was all around me not quite as drastically as St Paul, but the conversion was total and complete with a daily following of Jesus as my heart turned to The Truth - total acceptance of Jesus and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE without reservations for His Bride, The Church! 
My dad baptizing Nancy with her Godparents, my sister Mary and Pat's sister Marge, looking on...

How have I also been an apostle like St Paul in sharing The Truth and converting those to you, O Lord?  In my domestic Church/family the Faith has been shared with JOY and enthusiasm and total LOVE and acceptance without reservation!  The Lord has blessed us with a family united and sharing our Faith and living the Truth which The Holy Spirit instilled in us from the beginning of our married life - "We are called to be open to LIFE and to raise our children as LIGHTS!"  It is so powerful to be together with my girls, their spouses, and children and "see" for all to see the beauty of Family lived out without using words.
New Catholics about the time that my dad started the Deaonate... the famous weeds coming out of mom's head picture... probably thanks to me picking them at "the farm."

How I love to pour out my heart here with words and pictures... my fingers race across the keys of my computer with a gush of passion to share The Truth with the few that share with me how they gain from my sharing each day, and with hopes that others might accidentally be led here, too...  I love The Church so much and without reservation... every single bit of it's teachings and dogmas!  All of it!!!!  Hook, line and sinker... I pray to die to self each and every day so that Christ may live and work through me!
Out of my comfort zone with this remodel we are in the midst of with a house full of daughter, Maria and her family!  A true lesson in dying to self!  Lord, give me the strength, and may I serve without counting the cost!
Beautiful inside and out...

Jesus, I am so grateful for the story of St Paul to inspire us with our own conversion stories, and the promise that we too can be instruments of touching the lives of all those around us, most especially those in our domestic Church/family!  Use me this day to be your hands and feet and to give without counting the cost.  "Wounded, I will not cease to LOVE."  the motto of The Community of the Lamb as we embrace our Most Cherished Cross to find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Jesus to us today in the Gospel - Mark 16
Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Therese is the big helper with sorting and putting away clothes...
Home schooling going on in the kitchen. 
Psalm 117 from mass today - "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News."
"I choose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord."  Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
So interesting that the majority of Millennials feel that abortion is wrong!  To me it is so clear that this is a horrible wrong in taking the life of the innocent!
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Words of St Paul!!!
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A daily sacrament is Sacred Matrimony to assist us on this most difficult path we are called to!
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May we see the souls of others more clearly with your LOVE, O Lord.
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My daily life-line!
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So True!
If we are The Body- Casting Crowns
Casting Crowns - the Saint that is just me
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