Monday, June 12, 2017

A huge shot of encouragement! Now I need to pass it on...

After mass we had the wonderful blessing of taking Communion over to share with Pat's mother and lots of times we would include breakfast on mom's porch with Ruth and Paul and family.  Since she has been gone for 6 months now... we find that we want to continue with the tradition by sharing breakfast at our farm.  Ruth and Paul now live there and recently added a wonderful new porch off of the kitchen/dining/living/family space in their new home.  We gathered there yesterday morning and 12 of us enjoyed one of many meals to celebrate our Sunday on the farm.  Soon a porch and a railing will be added.
Ruth wanted to get her floors clean and grandma was looking for a hand on weeding my garden, so the crew came over to help me out.  I told Dave and Simon that there is something wrong with the fact that when you get older and you need more help that your kids are all grow and gone.  So it sure gave me a huge boost to be able to have John here to help with the chickens and put my tomato fences out, and go and get the grandkids and recycle and get more bedding for the chickens... it filled me with encouragement to have a hand from a big strapping helpful man!
Rose pulled a couple weeds for me!

It was pretty exciting to see that the first reading for mass was from the beginning of 2 Corinthians today.  And it was a great reading reminding us of how we take the blessings we receive from our Savior and then we take it and return that to those the closest to us in our domestic church/family and beyond! 
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in our every affliction,
so that we may be able to encourage
those who are in any affliction
with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God."
Is it not true that we have been helped in our darkest and most challenging moments and that then we have that deep understanding in our deepest self and can give that same compassion and mercy to others/LOVE in the face of all that comes our way.  The Beatitudes in the Gospel today give us the courage we need/the encouragement to go forward no matter what we face!
Today is this sweet boy's 3rd birthday!  We love you Dominic!  We wish we could be with you to give you lots of hugs and kisses! 
Dominic is now a big brother for the past 13 months thanks to his baby sister, Josephine Francis, they have a wonderful pool to cool off in each day just a block from their house.  That is a very good thing since they live in hot and humid KC now.  We miss their visits for a week at a time when their dad would travel for work and they could come from Minneapolis to the farm for a week at a time. 

Life is full of changes, and we now have our daughters spread out across the country.  Nancy in KC, Maria in the Pacific Northwest, and Hallel in Rome.  We even that out with Ruth 3 miles away holding down the farm, and John living with us. 
From a strawberry swim suit on baby Josephine to a big strawberry on her shirt for our youngest granddaughter, Joy Jean... it looks like it was a good thing that we did our big strawberry job on Saturday as there is a thunderstorm overhead now again.  My crew helped me weed and it sure feels good to have my garden clean as more rain waters a few less weeds along with the plants! 
Adorable strawberry girls in my life!
Another big day with lots of willing and hard working helpers made for a fun afternoon making our 54 pints of wonderful strawberry jam for our 6 families!  It just feels so good and encouraging to me to have lots of great help from the kids and their wonderful example from Ruth.  It is such a powerful reminder to me that we help each other out and a cheerful and willing attitude means a lot and is the wind beneath our wings so that we may give in return. 
All 5 kids helping out at the big farm sink.  Little baby Joy was so good, and just laid in her infant seat and watched all the activity!

 Family time and sharing jobs as a family was the motivation for Ruth's new kitchen remodel.  Canning and big wonderful projects we have as we make food for 6 families!  Some of my most treasured memories when my kids were young, and it is wonderful to see how much Ruth valued those times in how she planned out her kitchen and living area.  She has the life she grew up with and that shows me that she thought it was pretty great!  And now I have the gift of having it again now with Ruth's kids! 
The beautiful sight of all our combined hard work... lots of yumminess!

Lord, it is wonderful to find the encouragement we need to face all the challenges that come with each new day.  May we go forward armed with all we need to share your Truth no matter the persecution we face or that we are to return the mercy we have been shown as we stagger down the narrow path.  May we give without counting the cost as we find the encouragement we need no matter the afflictions of life.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb
Each day I thank the Lord that we share our Faith as a family... that is how we get the most encouragement to love and serve without counting the cost! 
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Nancy's sharing for today;
Grains of sands on grubby baby feet.

Thank you Lord for the wonder of these small things.

Help me to always be small enough to see them and marvel at them.

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