Joan's Blog

Whimsical weekly inspiration

Be inspired, encouraged, and entertained by Joan Carey’s weekly blogs.

  • What I KNOW – We are Human Beings, Not Human Doings

    I was born a human being, not a human doing. I know that in God’s master plan for us humans, he intended there to be more time being than doing. Doing is nece

  • What I KNOW – Things Complicate Life

    Maybe it’s just me, but online shopping complicates my life more than it simplifies it. I guess I’m just not good at it. More times than not, I end up retur

  • What I KNOW – The Formula for Forgiveness

    Math is not one of my strong suits. Just ask my sister, the accountant. I manage to calculate the tip at a restaurant, balance my checkbook, and add up my golf

  • What I KNOW – Humans Disappoint, God Doesn’t

    For as long as I can remember, one of the main driving forces in my life has been the desire to not disappoint. My parents’ form of discipline wasn’t “spa

  • I KNOW – Where God Hides Out

    A couple weeks ago I told you that the focus of my blogs, going forward, would be telling you what I know. It was a directive from God years ago when I found my

  • What I Know

    Years ago, I helped develop a scripture study called “Simply the WORD.” My part in it was to give a short talk each week about how the particular scripture

  • Easy Loving

    Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I knew God.” Have you ever tried to know God by praying more, reading more, or maybe hanging around others who you t

  • Growing Up

    A few days of significant rainfall and the world around me is coming to life. The lawn is getting greener, the bushes are budding, and the garden is fully awake

  • Nellie

    It feels good to be back at my desk sharing my thoughts with you in a blog. It’s been too long since I have done that. If you remember, I decided to take a pa

  • A Pause

    In an effort to honor my Lenten hibernation, I won’t be blogging regularly for these next forty days. If you are like me, you have far too many little Lenten

  • Lenten Hibernation

    I found myself fascinated by an article in the National Wildlife Federation magazine this week. It was an article about how animals, birds, and insects adapt to

  • My Soapbox

    The gospel at mass this weekend was Mark 1:21-28. In Mark 1:21 it says, “And they went into Capernaum and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue

  • Silence

    I’m writing this blog as I look out my window at a winter wonderland. The last two days I have been on a “Save the Trees” campaign in our front and back y

  • Epiphanies

    Today is the feast of the Epiphany. The three wisemen, who have slowly been making their way over shelves, couches, and sofa tables, have finally arrived at the

  • Blissful Confusion

    Some moments in life are just funny. They stand out. They don’t follow the usual pattern. These moments catch us off guard and command our attention. They for

  • Simply Amazing

    Are you willing to be amazed? That was the title of a reflection I read last week and it really had me pondering. When was the last time you let yourself simply

  • Advent Resolutions

    Today is the first day of Advent. Just as New Year’s Day is the start of a new calendar year, Advent is the start of a new church year. Which makes it the per

  • Cheese Ball Generosity

    The gravy boat and the carving knife are laid to rest for another year. Simultaneously, the warm fuzzy feelings of gratitude for all my blessings that permeated

  • To You All

    Linda, the presenter at Well Time and More at Firstfruits on Wednesday, started her presentation asking us to express what feeling we were recognizing in oursel

  • Home Is Where the Heart Is

    How many times have you moved? I counted up the moves I have made since going away to college and it adds up to seven. That includes a move from Chicago to Milw

  • It’s Always Been There

    The spectacular fall colors were the perfect backdrop for our Forest Therapy walks at Firstfruits with our gifted guide Allison. (See pictures below.) We learne

  • The Old Maid

    Halloween is right around the corner. That time of year when a drive around the neighborhood sends chills down your spine. It seems like the appropriate time to

  • Our Powerful Wiring

    No doubt we’ve all been troubled by the news lately. Reports of such evil is almost too much for us to wrap our brains around. With the advances in communicat

  • The “E” Word

    My friend, Martha, who I have known since kindergarten, received the Vatican II award last night from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee along with 13 others. I atten

  • Always Be You

    Have you ever wondered what it was about Jesus that made him draw crowds of people around him wherever he went? He seemed to effortlessly form groups of followe

  • What Do You See?

    The picture above is the cover of my Ponder This book. Fourteen years ago, I put together a book of reflections, much like my blogs. Along with each story were

  • The Lunchroom Table of Life

    I was listening to a podcast recently and they were talking about the visceral response our body gives when we sense that we have been left out, not included. I

  • My Me-treat

    The term Staycation has become popular to describe when you vacation, at home. You stay where you are but take a break. I’ve coined a new term for when you ar

  • Holy Fun

    I have written a few blogs in the past about faces I have seen in my food. There was the banana slice that was smiling at me and the slice of pizza staring at m

  • The Teacher

    I’m back. And it feels so good. I have missed my desk and computer. Sort of. What I have missed more than anything is the feeling of connection I had with all

  • Strangely Inspired

    Yes, I am still alive. Have you missed the weekly blogs? I know I have. I think the Holy Spirit is giving me a break from any inspirations that would cause me t

  • Too Much Holy Spirit

    Today, I am suffering from Holy Spirit hangover. Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday and I guess I overdid it. I dressed in red, which I rarely do. I subscribe to a

  • An Endless Love

    When you read this blog, we will have had the last event of the 2022-23 Firstfruits season. We are gathering moms of young children for a special edition of our

  • It’s Mother’s Day

    Whether you are a mother of a biological child, adopted child, a classroom of children, or a treasured niece or nephew, caring about and loving another life to

  • My List

    For the past two weeks I have had blogger’s block. No amount of fiber in my diet can cure this blockage. It’s happened before so I have learned to not force

  • Healing Hope

    Mother Nature seems to be going rogue these days. She’s off script. Last week it was warmer in Wisconsin than it was in Florida. Temperatures have been in the

  • Alleluia!

    Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. John

  • The Dumbfounded Outlet

    People often ask me how I come up with the topics for my blogs. I don’t “come up with them;” they seem to come up to me. Like the topic of last week’s b

  • The Cross Plant

    As my parents were aging, I remember my mom encouraging me when I would go home to visit to put my name on anything I wanted that was in the house. I thought it

  • You Don’t Know Him

    Friday Fish Fry anyone? My Fridays are open now that the high school basketball season is over. My son is the head coach of the boys’ varsity basketball team

  • Plumbing the Depths

    BLOG WARNING: If the thought of needles and blood make you queasy skip to paragraph two. Before I became a full time Jesus lover, I was a part time Medical Tech

  • The Promise of a Sunrise

    I took this picture outside our front door the other day. A beautiful sunrise in the east peeking through the starkness of the bare trees and hardness of the sn

  • Heartily Sorry

    I’ve decided to give up blogging for Lent. Just kidding. I could never go that long without sharing the spiritual musings that take up residence in my mind co

  • A Big Feeling

    Feelings are messy things. They complicate our lives. They enhance our lives. They run our lives. Take an inventory of the feelings you experienced yesterday. H

  • A Thirsting Love

    Here we are again, that time of year when chocolate truffles, red roses, and candy hearts are a hot commodity. We celebrate Valentine’s Day this week and like

  • Want It That Way?

    As part of Catholic Schools Week, the grade school that our ten-year-old grandson James attends had a Talent Show. The gym was full of teachers, grandparents, f

  • A Face in the Crowd

    Do you ever feel like you need a break from trying so hard to be good and do good? Has your life become a marathon race of trying to be good and do good. Do you

  • An Opportunity

    We celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. this past week. Or did we? That day comes and goes every year and each time I feel a twinge of guilt.  I never really feel

  • The Secret

    I was reading a reflection from Richard Rohr recently and in it he said, “Saints are those who wake up while in this world, instead of waiting for the next on

  • A Christmas Miracle

    I believe that miracles happen all around us, every day. Especially last Wednesday. In the afterglow of our two-day pseudo-Hallmark Christmas with our kids, the

  • Down TIme

    Well, it found me. I thought I was flying under the Covid radar. Two years, two vaccines, and three boosters later and I was killing it.  Sneaking in and out o

  • Joy

    There is that saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. That is exactly what I do with

  • The Power of An Invitation

    I can’t seem to stop thinking about that invitation we received last week. If you don’t know what I’m talking about check out last week’s blog. That’s

  • RSVP

    Happy New Year! We begin a new liturgical year today as we begin Advent. The next four weeks we have the opportunity to prepare, with great anticipation, for th

  • Holy Botox

    As these first real bursts of winter weather have descended upon us so rapidly, I noticed my body going into its hibernation mode. My skin and nails are dry as


    One of my grandkids’ favorite silly songs is the one that goes: If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. If you’re happy and you know it, clap yo

  • Time To Move

    In the Old Testament book of Exodus God sent a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide the Israelites as they fled their bondage in Egypt.

  • Bins

    In preparation for our move in three weeks, I am spending a lot of time among the bins in our basement. There is the holiday-decorations bin, the dress-up-cloth

  • Sing a New Song

    It’s a big day for me. I’m a little distracted with the excitement of it all. If you recall, in The Bicycle Dress blog of a couple weeks ago, I ended with a

  • Surprise!

    Life is full of surprises. There are the fun ones, like a surprise birthday party or when your college age child comes home for an unexpected visit. Then there

  • For Better, For Worse

    I have an anniversary this week. My husband and I will be married forty-two years in a couple days. I’ve been reminiscing about past anniversaries. There was

  • An Answered Prayer

    Do you ever think about your first day in heaven? What your room in the mansion looks like? Do you get to settle in before the orientation begins? I hope we get

  • Come Alive

    I’ve been spending a lot of time with our four-month-old granddaughter, June, lately. It’s amazing how fast newborns come alive. She already has two teeth,

  • Goodbyes

    I can feel it. It’s coming. There’s a cool hint of it in the air. From the first pencil case I spotted at Target to the fact that last evening I had sweatpa

  • Fun Club

    The bicycle dress made its debut at Fun Club last night. Here I am in this picture after scaling the wall in my friend Deb’s neighbor’s backyard to grab wha

  • My Bicycle Dress

    I took a fun summer road trip to a part of Wisconsin I had never been to before. It’s called The Driftless Area. This area comprises southwestern Wisconsin, s

  • The Unscripted Moments

    I just got back from a family vacation in Door County. Like most vacations, a lot of planning and organizing went into this get-away. With eight adults and seve

  • It’s My Birthday For Heaven Sake

    It’s a rainy, gloomy day today as I sit down to write. The kind of day that strikes terror in the hearts of moms with kids off school for the summer. Boredom

  • Just Enjoy It

    I have been so encouraged lately by your responses to my blogs. There was Geri who almost choked on the banana she was eating as she began reading the last blog

  • Keep Your Eyes Peeled

    If you are reading one of my blogs for the first time, I promise they aren’t all this strange. I apologize in advance if you were hoping for inspiration or wo

  • Carefree

    This morning I woke to the sound of birds chirping, the sun peeking through the blinds, and a mild breeze through the window. That combination triggers a brain

  • The Horizon

    “We stay on the positive path by shifting our gaze a little at a time, until all we see is the horizon.” That is a quote from ABC’s Good Morning America a

  • Life Goes On?

    Life goes on, they say. I’m having a hard time adopting that motto these days. I’m finding it hard to go on with my usual daily routine in light of the trag

  • Just Rest

    These two regal gentlemen were strutting around in the parking lot behind our condo last week. Their lady friends were focused and hard at work in the woods, fo

  • The Secret Conversation

    It’s June in May! No, I haven’t lost my mind. Grandbaby number seven arrived safe and sound this week. June Barbara introduced herself with much fanfare and

  • The Roller Coaster

    Do you ever max out your worry bank? It’s like a credit card account; you get a worry limit and at times life throws you so much to worry about that you max o

  • Is It Too Much To Ask?

    We are about to enter Holy Week, the culmination of our Lenten journey. The time when we should look back on our Lenten resolves and see how we have done. How a

  • Buds of Hope

    Spring is in the air and none too soon. The sight of my tulip and daffodil bulbs breaking ground is just what the doctor ordered. I love flowers. A friend gave

  • Let It Begin With Me

    My husband and I got married in 1980. Sorry to say, as most brides and grooms, we were focused on the reception so I can’t say I remember a lot of the details

  • A Mom and Her Baby

    I have been in a bit of a funk lately. I cry very easily and I just feel a heaviness on my heart. The daily snapshots from the tragedy in the Ukraine have a lot

  • My Lenten Report Card

    I’ve already had a setback in my Lenten resolve to “love and let God do the rest.” That didn’t take long. I was tested during an encounter with someone

  • Answers in the Night

    Turn the calendar page tomorrow and surprise, it’s March already. I can’t believe it. And what’s even harder to believe is that Lent starts on Wednesday.

  • Hidden In Trees

    Three years ago, my husband talked me into downsizing from our house of 20 years to a condo. It made a lot of sense intellectually. There were quite a few large

  • The Heart of the Matter

    My cholesterol levels tend to run borderline high regardless of how much flax seed I sprinkle in my daily oatmeal or hot fudge sundaes I deprive myself of. At m

  • Love Never Fails

    Our son is the head of a boys’ basketball program at a local high school. He’s a little short staffed so he has “hired” my trusted Firstfruits partner M

  • A Buckle in the Rug

    In Well Time this week we were talking about spiritual practices or disciplines and how they   can become so rote that they no longer provide our spiritual mu

  • Seeing With Your Heart

    I learned something new this week from my friend Jane. I love it when I am made aware of something I never knew anything about. Especially when that thing has t

  • Sideways Santa

    Happy New Year! Here’s to hoping this new year really is happy and free of anything that resembles a mask, a needle, or my husband. Just kidding. Actually, ou

  • Let the Light In

    __________ Christmas! Go ahead, fill in the blank. What adjective would you use to describe Christmas this year? Merry, scary, wary, contrary? Sad, mired, troub

  • Tiny Hand of God

    Our daughter and her husband are expecting their first baby, and our seventh grandbaby, in early May. She went for her twenty-week ultrasound yesterday and brou

  • The Thrill of Hope

    There has been a lot of talk about hope at Firstfruits this week. Being Advent, the scriptures we discussed in Weekly Word centered around hope. The topic at We

  • Surrender to the Babe

    The war is over. You lost. Be glad. Wave the white flag and SURRENDER. These were the parting words from the priest who led the retreat that I was on a couple o

  • Our Loud Lives

    I went on a silent retreat last weekend up in Oshkosh at the Jesuit Retreat House. I highly recommend it, especially if you are like my oldest granddaughter, Em

  • The Roller Coaster

    God never ceases to amaze me. I had decided not to write a blog this week. I felt I needed a break. Emotions have been running on high lately for myself and so

  • Give Yourself a Booster

    I’m feeling a bit like a pincushion. In the last eight months I have had a Shingles shot and booster, two Covid shots, one flu shot, and today, I received a C

  • What’s Next

    So, let’s talk about Heaven. It’s been on my mind lately since our family has experienced the loss of a loved one as did a very close friend of mine. Where

  • Get Out of the Street

    I was on a walk with a friend last week and she reminded me of the classic grade school fall art project we all did where we dipped small sponges in gold, red,

  • Lamenting

    Every time I sat down to write a blog this week and last week I stopped. I couldn’t do it because I always write about what is real and ripe in my daily exper

  • Real Family

    I’m not sure what a dream analysis would reveal of the dream I had last night. I’m afraid to think about it. I was at a family wedding with all our kids whi

  • Muchness

    It’s three o’clock in the afternoon and I have been meaning to sit down and write this blog since 10:30 this morning. I just kept getting distracted, on pur