Monday, February 27, 2017

"How great is the mercy of the Lord..." Sirach 17

Christmas day with the little Sisters in KC and with little Josephine on grandpa's lap during mass in the sun filled chapel.  So many of my thoughts and prayers as we are just 2 days away from the beginning of Lent is what lies at the end of our 40 days... our time with our Little Sister Hallel here for Easter in KC and a few weeks later a home visit!  This should be a incentive for me to fill those 40 days with real growth through what I do and what I give up, so that I may rise on Easter with my Jesus and find so much JOY with this intense family time ahead!
Another happening in just 30 days is welcoming Rose's new little sister!  So much excitement in our family and so many prayers needed for travel for Hallel here to the U.S., Ruth and her baby to be safe and healthy, for Maria and family as they are separated for these months, and for travel for Maria and the baby as they go to see Joe in a few weeks, for the cows and calves health and safety as we are entering calving season, and for peace and joy and love to reign in this big family experience we are in the midst of!  How we experience the "great mercy of the Lord" as he answers our humble prayers and needs and watches over us on this journey of Faith/Family/Farm!

Much of the morning discussion of Maria with her kids has been around what they will do for Lent as a family.  They have talked about doing a crown of thorns this year with acts of penance leading to taking out a thorn/toothpick rather than good deeds adding a bean to a jar which would convert to jelly beans on Easter.  There is also talk of no TV and giving up sweets.  I long to have some good old turn off the TV and gather around the Word and Lives of the Saints with family prayer time at night.  One family would turn off the TV and have some games out for the kids to play together when they wanted to enjoy themselves.  They would look forward to Lent to share the game time!
Soon there will be 5 instead... with the two in KC that means the girls have almost caught up to the boys.  7 granddaughters and 8 grandsons!  Life is the best!  It is one way that we give our all for Jesus, by dying to self in loving and serving our families and being open to LIFE and raising them as LIGHTS.  How I love that Lent is almost here, and another opportunity of grow in my love of Jesus and give every last bit of myself to him by loving those without counting the cost in my domestic Church/family! 

Jesus asks the rich young man that he loves to give up his wealth and follow after him.  Many of us have wealth of this or that including material wealth and it is hard to give it up.  How I long to come to a place where I am unattached and give freely to all that ask of me - giving more than they ask of me.  I know Lord that I am a poor servant and must give til it hurts and even then I will hope to live by this..."Wounded, I will not cease to love!" 
KC when Hallel was here for Easter 2 years ago... now Rose will be almost 5, and will probably celebrate her birthday with her Aunt little Sister Hallel, and Bernadette will be 4 1/2. 
Hallel's home visit 4 years ago... there will be 6 more and Hallel has yet to meet 4 of them!  What JOY and excitement and pictures fill my heart, mind and soul!

Jesus, all I want is to be forever with you in eternity.  May this Lent allow me to leave my attachments behind, and come to you with no ties that pull me away from you.  May I die to self totally and allow the Holy Spirit to work through me.  May the fruits of the Spirit pour forth upon our huge wild and crazy family filled with so much LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!  May I say "yes" to all you ask of me.  Jesus, I am yours and I trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
(only one more day for my Hallelujah, and then it will be retired until Easter JOY!)
4 years ago was another huge family event... the traumatic birth of Patrick, followed a month later by the birth of Bernadette, and 10 days later Nancy brought her to KC to see Hallel as she came back for Thanksgiving in KC... the tidal waves of Faith/Family/Farm make life a true wild and crazy adventure and makes us give it all to Jesus as He is in control!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Having Hallel as an Aunt this is what the girls are looking at a real possibility!  So wonderful!
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