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.

Given

This week at Well Time at Firstfruits we finished up our discussion of what it means to live the life of the Beloved. In Henri Nouwen’s book, Life of the Beloved, he talks about how there are four movements of the Holy Spirit that define the life of the Beloved. These truths are that we are Chosen, Blessed, Broken, and finally, Given.

In fact we are chosen, blessed, and broken so we can ultimately be given to others. It’s in living for others that our lives find their true significance. Nouwen says, “True joy, happiness, and inner peace come from giving of ourselves to others.”

I don’t know about you, but there are days when giving of myself to others brings me the opposite of joy, happiness, and inner peace, it brings me resentment, anger, and a headache. Can I get an amen?

I realized of late, that it’s when our “giving” revolves around what we can do for someone rather than what we can be for someone, that we can experience burn out.

The giving in the life of the Beloved is a giving of ourselves; our joy in living, our sense of well-being, our inner peace, and our grateful heart. It’s through this giving that we can be for each other. We can be the encourager, we can be the calm, we can be the truth, we can be the hope for each other.

But you can’t give that which you do not have. I repeat, you can’t give that which you do not have.

Our exhaustion comes when we try to give what we do not have. We have to let God fill us with all he has for us so it just overflows into the lives of those around us, the lives of those he puts in our path. Giving becomes a way of life rather than a check mark on a “TO DO” list.

That overflow happens naturally the more we believe in and claim our chosenness, blessedness and brokenness.

We will be able to give to others our joy in living and inner peace once we truly believe and understand the truth that we are chosen and precious in God’s eyes and nothing the world says can change that.

We will able to give to others our grateful heart as we become more aware of the blessings that bombard us every day.

We will be able to give to others our sense of well-being as we befriend our brokenness and trust God to restore and heal us.

Chosen, Blessed, Broken, and Given=Life of the Beloved.  Start living!

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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