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.

He’s Home

Every party my parents ever had was a luau. Whether it was their anniversary, a neighborhood block party, or just a small group of friends over, there were always plastic leis and pineapple cups. Now just store that information away for a minute, it's important later on. My dad died of cancer about ten years ago. I asked him as things were progressing if he would let me know when he got to Heaven; when he made it home. He said he didn't think you were allowed to do that. I told him to try anyway. At his funeral luncheon I told Fr. Maher that I hadn't heard from my dad yet. Father smiled and whispered, "Be patient." Life went on and I kind of forgot about it. Then one year to the day my dad died, we were looking at a prospective new house. The last room to see was the basement. I walked down the stairs and got the chills. There before me was a basement that had been transformed into a Hawaiian paradise - thatched grass ceiling, bamboo paneling, and a palm tree mural covering the whole wall. Hmm...

Abiding

Thank goodness for my four-legged friend, Rudy. On any given day he is the difference between the love I need and the love I receive. No offense to my husband and kids, but you moms know what I'm talking about. My dog Rudy loves me no matter what. He adores me. He has to be in the same room with me when possible. That's what I mean about husband and kids. You don't get that kind of love from either, past the age of ten for the kids, and maybe after the fifth anniversary for the husband. If I'm behind a closed door, Rudy waits, head resting on paws, looking up with his brown eyes, waiting for the door to open. He can't stand to be separated from me. Because when we are together, life is good, and he can rest in that. Hmm...

Coincidences

For the most part I don't think there are many real coincidences. Yeah, I suppose when you show up at a dinner with the same dress as the woman sitting next to you, that might be a coincidence - and an embarrassment I might add! But to me, things happen for a reason. Take, for instance, the time I was at eight o'clock daily mass, a little anxious because I was going back for a repeat mammogram later that morning. There was a density. I got on my knees and prayed for the Blessed Mother's intercession. Just as I finished my prayer, a gentleman came up to me and handed me a bag and said, "I want you to have this." I opened the bag and in it was an 8x10 picture of the Blessed Mother that he had gotten on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Coincidence? I think not. What comfort that brought me...

A Mom to the End

I was blessed to be with my mom when she died. It was just the two of us, or so it seemed. I had been at the nursing home most of the day. I called my husband to join me and bring something to eat. After I hung up the phone, it became clear that mom wasn't going to last much longer. But being a mom to the end, she didn't want me to be alone when her time came, so she patiently waited for my husband to get there. The minute he opened the door to her room, her heart stopped. Her last act was an act of deep and caring love for me. I'll never forget that. Whenever I'm feeling particularly blue and missing her, all I need to do is remind myself of that love that was so evident in that final moment of her life. Hmm...

Seagulls in the Parking Lot

Every time I pull into the parking lot at my local Target store, I am amazed at the number of seagulls flying around. It strikes me as so odd that such beautiful birds, normally associated with pristine beaches of Florida or "The Shore" (as my east coast friends have taught me to say) would be content spending their lives in the parking lot of a Target store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Instead of being fed crusts of half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the vacationing kids in Ft. Meyers, they are scrounging for stale french fries from the nearby McDonald's. Instead of soaring over the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico they are soaring over the nearby Office Max and Pick N Save! What are they thinking? Do they know what they're missing? How sad it makes me feel. Hmm...

God in the Grocery Store

I hate grocery shopping. I hate planning meals, shopping, loading, unloading, and cooking! Get the picture? I eat to live, not live to eat. And to be honest with you, I don't know how I managed to keep my three kids alive on the meals I made. But one thing that makes the grocery shopping experience much more palatable is that it seems that I encounter God quite often in the grocery store. Often times, strangers will start talking to me or ask me if I know where something is. And before you know it, we are talking about their sick parent or their abusive husband. I am able to encourage them and offer to pray for them, and then we are off down the aisle. Hmm...

If I Had the Courage

My uncle Lee was one of those people who talked about God as if he were sitting right next to him. God was his constant companion. This seemed a little strange to me at first. My idea of God was that he was up in heaven somewhere, busy with the really important stuff. But my uncle Lee helped me see that wasn't the case. I admired him for doing that. It left a lasting impression on me, probably helped me cultivate the deep faith I have now. It took a lot of courage on his part. He risked sounding foolish because of his love for his God. Hmm...

Chocolate Milk or White

One of my weirdest memories from grade school was right before lunch when John the janitor would wheel in a cart with precisely counted cartons of chocolate and white milk. The chocolate ones far outnumbered the white ones. In fact, the white ones were only for those unfortunate few classmates who were allergic to chocolate. My heart always ached for them. Because who in their right mind would want white milk when they could have chocolate? Hmm...

The Captain of Our Boat

Barb and her daughter, Lindsey, were on a mother-daughter bonding trip over Spring Break. They went on a dolphin watching excursion. It started out lovely as they took off in the bay near Padre Island. But as the boat entered the Gulf of Mexico, things got a little rough. At the first sign that this was going to be a two Dramamine excursion, Barb thought, "I can handle this." But after 10 minutes of constant slamming and white knuckle gripping of the nearest rail, fear began to creep into her thoughts. After a few more minutes of this ordeal, the fear turned into panic with the feeling that she wasn't sure she could handle it anymore. The minute that thought entered her mind, a voice came over the loudspeaker. The captain of the boat said, "Looks like you've had enough. I'll take you to where it is calm." Hmm...