Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"You let your emotions rule" "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you." Matthew 7


I was so happy last night!  I had a bag with matching outfits for Ruth's 3 girls in my closet for weeks now... awaiting a chance to have my first photo shoot with baby Joy!  Well, I finally had them at my house for supper while Ruth was doing an intro session for her natural/Creighton Model.


 I had little Joy and she is so sweet and good and I got found a long sleeve top with lots of pink and ruffles in my drawer and put it on her under another frilly top with the matching coral color of the theme.  Then the hat!  Looking at her now... I can see why the girls including her mom thought I had done beautiful little Joy a great disservice to say the least!  Talking to Maria a bit ago... she pointed out to me that I was carried away with the emotions of it, and didn't really take time to look at the result.  I am sure with all my photos... I have hurt many with my emotions on my sleeve!
Another crazy attempt... Joy was not very happy with being on her tummy and with the crazy hat I found digging in my baby headband drawer. 


The Gospel came strongly back to me this morning thinking about how I really do not like to see myself in pictures these days and when others put a picture of me... I tend to cringe at the shocking sight.  Look what I did to baby Joy and I was so excited and happy... carried away with the emotions of it!  Baby Joy got her first taste of her crazy grandma, and my obsession with pictures...  Just ask Mary, who did not want to take the ones I wanted by Mary when I saw that the color of the geraniums matched their outfits...
Joy can be very smiley and happy, and she seems a bit shocked at this crazy grandma in her face.  Her older sisters are putting up with me barely.  My excitement and happiness of last night is now hitting me in the face like a cold glass of water...  I would not be nearly as sweet and agreeable as these 3 if asked to go through this for someone like me.  Why would I do to them what I would hate to have happen to me? 
The hat came off and she looked hugely relieved, but still the crazy outfit, grandma!


After Hallel being here and my kids were very kind in allowing me to take picture after picture of us together, knowing that she only gets home every 3-4 years.  I do cherish them, but I also know that I am a bug about them, and it would be hugely good for me to let go!  Lord, thank you for a dose of reality and eyes opened to my faults and weaknesses.  May I consider the feelings of others and honor them with respect and not purely emotions.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb
"Grandma, I forgive you.  Just please don't dress me up like a frilly clown again, OK?  Now we have this as a picture to remember always!" 
This will pass the test... we had a fun night with supper, picking mulberries for sundaes, and a bath in the Jacuzzi.  Joy was such a good baby girl for grandma and Godfather, Uncle John.
Purple feet from picking mulberries... and mosquito bites while picking.
Mulberry ice cream Sundae!
Washing purple hands and feet in the bubbles - they bring their swimsuits and pajamas to grandma's house... a great new tradition has begun!  So happy with my wonderful new bathrooms now that all the work and mess is done! 
Beautiful baby Joy loves her home and her family! 
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A familiar image from our church here in Marshall.  I was reading today that the loose sandal is because when the angels showed him how he would die... he became so scared that he ran so hard and fast and jumped into his mother's arms, and there next to her Immaculate heart,  "His own heart was strengthened" to look upon them.  May we find that hope and strength as we are close to the Immaculate Heart of our Mother of heaven and earth!

Joe in training in Virginia... now a lawyer/JAG in Fort Lewis, WA!
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Love it!!! She is my best girlfriend!














Monday, June 26, 2017

"journeyed on by stages..." Genesis 12

Ruth's two youngest today.  Joy is such a good little girl, and slept all night til 7a this morning.  It is so wonderful for her mom to get a good night's sleep with her busy household to care for and all that goes on with the farm and family each day.  Thank you, Joy Jean, for being such a little angel.  Grandma sure enjoyed your sweet smiles this morning. 
Yes, we got hail to start our day early Thursday morning, and today about 30 farmers gathered in out shop to get all the information they need to figure out what they should do about it.  Farmers certainly know that they have no control about the weather, and you pick yourself off and dust yourself off and then figure out what you can do with what you are given each year. 


Today the readings were a good reminder of how we are being called to go forward according to the plan Jesus has for us.  Looking back at my life and how I continually asked the Lord to show me my path, and there were definitely twists and turns along the way... considering religious life was part of what brought me into The Church with my family of 13, then being told that the sister giving me direction was leaving the order and getting married seemed to make my desire evaporate, then meeting my farmer, but now I have a daughter, who is a nun, a lot due to my call and encouraging all of my children to consider this amazing option of priesthood or religious life!  Yes, Hallel also heard the call and answered with the "yes" of her entire life for her LOVE, Jesus Christ, her spouse!
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/the-amazing-story-of-13-becoming.html
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/my-most-cherished-cross-patrick-gerard.html
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/susan-angela-agneslittle-sister-hallel.html
Rose in her Sunday dress biking up the driveway on a cool Sunday!


These words about Abram "journeyed on by stages" from Genesis today after the Lord led him to the promised land and to make of him a great nation.  Yes, we certainly journey down the narrow  path by stages set by our station in life, or our age and point of family life.  I was sharing with someone this morning  how great it is to have the young family here now, and that it is a special gift to us that we can experience it over again.  Yet, I still can come home to my quiet home, and do not have the responsibility of it 24/7.  Yes, there have been stages of my nest years and now my being put out to pasture and allowing the younger ones to help out on the farm.
It is fun to see Ruth getting her kids to help put the clothes on the line and off...COL!  I was telling the kids at lunch that I washed my diapers for 5 kids and put them on the line every day!  They gave me some crazy looks, because their vision of diapers would be a very bad mess in the washer.  "They were cloth and nice and white, and your mom put many on the line for your Uncle Johnny."  I always had a good feeling to have a baby in the house and to see that diapers blowing in the wind on the clothes line every day.  I would have at least 2 loads of wash a day with the whites or light load and the farm clothes load.  Now I am down to about one a day.  But I still enjoy my clothesline time.  I will never be totally out of that stage, but no more diapers for sure!
What a delight to watch the stages of life with a new little one in our midst.  Each day she engages with us more with her sweet smiles and looking into our eyes! 


My day has escaped me and my rosary is calling me along with the lawnmower and garden full of weeds. I cling to my prayer time each day, and withstand some judgment and criticism over it.  I know that the plank in my eye is huge and causing me to not see clearly most especially with those the closest to me in my domestic church/family.  Lord, I need you and cling to you as I blindly go forth from this stage of my life on to the next.  I lay my burdens at your feet in the confessional and then I pray that I will return the Mercy that I have been shown by you.  Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
What stage of the journey is this one?  Old and grey and gimpy reminding me of how weak I am, O Lord.  A bouquet of radishes is pretty indeed.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Cute to watch them playing so nicely and kindly together.
Suddenly Rose was whispering in Luke's ear... "What did she tell you?"  "She has to go to the bathroom."  Some things are private, I guess...

Joy is used to a noisy house... 3 brothers wrestling right behind her don't get her too upset at all.  "She is the best baby in the world!" says her mom. 
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Yes!!!
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BEATIFICATION DATE SET!

The Michigan Catholic reports Father Solanus Casey will be beatified on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit, Michigan.

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Happy Feast Day
Saint Josemaría Escrivá
1902-1975
Feast day: June 26

José María Mariano Escriva Albás was a Roman Catholic priest from Spain who founded Opus Dei, an organization of laypeople and priests dedicated to the teaching that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. He was canonized in 2002 by Pope John Paul II, who declared Saint Josemaría should be "counted among the great witnesses of Christianity."
https://www.portraitsofsaints.com/collections/all/all-images-st-josemaria
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The Little Mermaid is done and John won the leg wrestling competition! 
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The original Wonder Woman
I am smiling ear to ear!  John and I so agree with this... "She is the best mom, right mom?"  Yes!!!







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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Soon to be Blessed Solanus Casey on November 18,2017 in Detriot!!! 12th Sunday Ordinary Time

Breakfast in the bright sun on this cool morning on the farm after sharing 8a mass as a family on this 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time!  Spread the Good News - Jesus is alive and well in us thanks to His Word and Sacraments!


Just received the amazing news of the date for the Beatification of our dear Venerable/Soon to be Blessed Solanus Casey!  It will be November 18th in Downtown Detroit!  I have a feeling that John and I will be looking seriously at a road trip or flight to be there for that occasion.  Solanus became very close to us on our journey 8 years ago... just about that time of year when my parents brought a relic to pray over John with during the morning mass
Our 2 mother's looking at the relic of Venerable Solanus 8 years ago... It was in November of 2009, and I am overjoyed that almost 8 years later he will become Blessed!  The 8a mass was filled that day with many praying for John as he was brought out into the center aisle to be anointed and prayed over with the relic!  http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/johns-cancer-stories.html
No John did not have a miraculous healing that day, but Blessed Solanus is hugely a part of the healing of John as he found Faith through brain cancer.
A very special shrine to our man at St Michael's in Stillwater as he lived his life in Wisconsin and other places locally.   There with my parents on Father's Day last weekend was pretty powerful as that we the day 8 years ago that we first realized that John had brain cancer!  He was such a humble man, who touched many with his listening ear as they would come to the door of the monastery.
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Yes, his designs are mysterious and hard to understand, but he reminds us in the Gospel today... that we do not need to be afraid... no matter what we face!
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My new motto in my journey, because it is a struggle a lot of the time!
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Yes!!!  Life would be a lot more pleasant this way!
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A whole lot of appreciation for what He is doing in our lives to help us get to heaven forever!
"Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father."  Matthew 10... the Gospel today!
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so beautiful and how I would love to be that humble and patient!  Blessed Solanus intercede for me and teach me!
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I am really enjoying sitting at the feet of Solanus Casey and allowing him to share these pearls today. 

Lord, how I love you and thank you ahead of time for all that is ahead as I carry/drag my Most Cherished Cross down the narrow path to reach heaven forever with you, Mary and all the Saints along with our dear humble patient Solanus Casey.  May this Ordinary time be filled with your plan for our lives as we go forth to share all that you have done in our lives!  Most especially with those in our domestic Church/family.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless- Bless, Barb
Inside the remodeled farm house after breakfast - admiring the huge windows and the glorious sky filled with white puffy clouds on this clear cool day!
Luke and Rose sharing a secret while they play in the living room with the huge picture window as a backdrop!
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An amazing picture of a crucifix in a field not far from our house!  Such a symbol of His LOVE!
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Saturday, June 24, 2017

The hard things in life bring us to deep LOVE ... through the Cross we find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!

Our family complete after I added Captain Joseph... my family knows that you will be added later as I love to see the complete picture that dwells in my heart of us all being together.  It was quite miraculous that we could all be together, only missing one, for the days that Hallel was here for her first home visit in 4 years! 


The emotions are welling up today and very powerful after a wonderful morning prayer and sharing the readings for today with my husband. along with the memory of 8 years ago sharing the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist at the bedside of my 20 year old son, John, in Sioux Falls and hearing the horrifying word that they wanted to do brain surgery on him.  NO!!!!
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/johns-cancer-stories.html
Just sharing today about our 4 1/2 months with Maria and her 5 kids... grandpa sure got some baby time with his little Evangeline!   He misses her a lot!

I just checked Maria's blog and found some wonderful pictures of her family since they left and moved to Fort Lewis, WA... sure do miss these two girls and am so glad that they have each other.  Therese is so devoted to her new baby sister and so happy to have her.  She is such a fabulous older sister to all of her siblings, and the two losses that her mom has had have been very hard and painful to Therese.  This is so familiar to me as we had many losses in the midst of our family and the kids shared the pain with us, and as a result they are have a deep love for LIFE and for each other.  Pat and I were sharing at breakfast this morning that having hard things in a family combined with Faith brings us to a place of closeness and binds us in LOVE!
http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/p/my-most-cherished-cross-patrick-gerard.html

Patrick with a cousin that now lives just a few hours away by Seattle! 

Help unpacking their shipping crate with all their earthly possessions into their new home...

 A surprise when unpacking...


John and I were able to share the office today, and reflect upon how the Lord answered his prayers for Faith through his brain cancer.  How he longs to share that with all now that he has come through cancer and been healed - the new John!  Jesus tells us that we will find LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT through the Cross in our lives, and we see it and know it as The Holy Spirit fills us with all we need to go forth and be LIGHTS to the world!

The military is a challenging way to live out a marriage, with separations and worries about the welfare of your spouse.  How sweet it feels for them to be united as a family getting settled in their new home now.  A small slice of heaven for sure!


I just shared a bit with my sweet sister-in-law, Angela, who went through open heart by-pass surgery 2 days ago... she shared that sitting up in the chair today she felt like a "rock star."  All the prayers and support pouring in and showering her!  Yesterday was not so much that way due to the pain, hopefully each new day will be so much better than the last!  The thing about the Cross in our lives is that it makes the good times that much more wonderful!!!  Life would be boring and dull if all of it was good and happy and sunshine and lolly pops... ever get too much candy?  Yuck!  Or ever taste how wonderful sweets taste after the 40 days of Lent?  Heaven!

It sure was wonderful having them in our big wonderful home...especially when the bathrooms were done.  I hope that they are using their rubber boots a lot out in Washington! 


Lord, St John the Baptist, a feastday for our son, John, and such a powerful reminder of the plan you had to use this humble forerunner of you entering the world, and now our John - humbled and longing only to share The Truth he discovered through his brain cancer.  "You saved me to share how we need to come to you and come to believe in Jesus and His Bride, The Church!  Also your amazing Mother, Mary the Mother of God, whom I love love love!!!"  the new John.  What JOY I have to share prayer with my new son, and ask each day for you to show him the amazing path you have in your heart for him to follow carrying/dragging his cross!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah

Some pictures I have been wanting to borrow from Maria since they had some private time with Hallel over Easter!  Susan/Hallel just had met Romeo and Evangeline for the first time and...

Joe flew in to see her and spend some time for the first time in many years!  There is no price tag to put on family time supreme!  LOVE!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

So happy to have this crazy family pic!!!

Deep sharing and JOY!

Yes, they are both kind of silly too!  That's part of their tie that binds!



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Come to drink of the living water!
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Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
The Afters - Broken Hallelujah
Danielle Rose - True Love/the cross

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“I want to show you a sun that shone more brightly than all these, a soul that was truly free and detached, cleaving only to the will of God. I have often wondered who is the most mortified of the saints I know, and after some reflection I have come to the conclusion that it was  Saint John the Baptist. He went into the desert when he was five years old and knew that our Savior and his came on earth in a place quite close by, one or two days' journey perhaps. How his heart, touched with love of his Savior from the time He was in His Mother's womb, must have longed to enjoy His presence! Yet he spends twenty-five years in the desert without coming to see our Lord even once; and leaving the desert he stays to catechize without visiting Him but waiting till our Lord comes to seek him out. Then when he has baptized Him he does not follow Him but stays behind to do his appointed task. How truly mortified was his spirit! To be so near his Savior and not see Him, to have Him so close and not enjoy His presence! Is this not a completely detached spirit, detached even from God Himself so as to do His will and serve Him, to leave God for God, and not to love God in order to love Him better? The example of this great saint overwhelms me with its grandeur.”  ~  St Francis de Sales