Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time in Wauwatosa, a land not so far away, there lived a stay at home mom named Joan. Joan and her Prince Charming decided that it was time for her to quit her job and stay home with their three offspring. Joan’s kingdom got much smaller as did her brain some days. Adjusting to this new role was taxing and unsettling. What pray tell, is a full-time mom? There is no job description, no performance goals, no paycheck and certainly no employee of the month parking space.

Joan found herself in need of help. She decided to spend her days outside in the front yard as much as possible with the little ones in hopes that another mom would happen to walk by looking for help too. Alas, many days went by like this to no avail. Then that glorious day! Joan couldn’t believe her eyes. Coming down the street was another mom with an offspring on a bike. The child looked to be the same age as one of hers. As they got closer Joan’s heart was racing! “Please let her be confused, lonely and in need of help too.” As fate would have it, or more correctly, God would have it, this mom was all those things. Her name was Sally.

Joan and Sally became good buddies. Joan often would just walk over to Sally’s unannounced and knock on the back door. Sally always answered with a smile and Joan would say “What’s for lunch?” The kids would play and Joan and Sally would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and wile away the hours visiting. It was exactly what they both needed to be ok.

Truly does sound like a fairy tale in our world today. I feel guilty if I call someone without first texting them now to see if it’s an ok time to talk, let alone show up at their backdoor. If the doorbell rings or I hear a knock at the door in the middle of the day you can be sure it’s the UPS driver or the neighbor kids selling Girl Scout cookies. Gone are the days of casual visits. And I think that is very sad.

Call me old-fashioned. Tell me I have my head buried in the sand. But I believe there is nothing as powerful and life-giving as a visit, in person, with a friend. In the Bible story of the Visitation in the book of Luke, we hear that the first thing Mary did after receiving the life-changing news of her pregnancy was to visit the house of her cousin Elizabeth. It says she went “in haste.” She hightailed it there. They both needed each other to be ok. We need Elizabeths in our lives. Other godly women to share the challenges and the joys of life with.

The Elizabeth Ministry headquarters are in Kaukauna, WI. My daughter-in-law is from Kaukauna so I have had the chance to visit their place. If ever you are in that area I would recommend you stop in. On the wall when you walk in is a mural of Mary and Elizabeth and the quote “Never underestimate the power of a visit.”

Online communities, Facebook, Instagram, etc… are fine. They are here to stay.
But I encourage you to save some time and energy to cultivate real-life relationships. It takes effort to nurture friendships. Make the effort. Make time for a visit.

Come visit us at Firstfruits next time you feel confused, lonely, or in need of help. Who knows, you just might find a few Elizabeths there, or at least a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

And you might just live more happily ever after!

Joan

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Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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