Joan's Blog

Whimsical weekly inspiration

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

  • 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

  • Something Good

    Do you ever have moments in life when you feel like you’ve just gotten a big hug from God? When your worries, whether justifiable or the product of your own u

  • Me and My Bike

    I found this gal at TJ Maxx this week and had to bring her home. She reminded me that I need to be resting and so I am. No blog this week, I’m resting with Hi

  • Just Enjoy the Rest

    I don’t know what it is about summer, but suddenly God seems very far away. I’m asking, seeking, and knocking, but it appears nobody is home. I know they al

  • Where Do I Belong

    I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. Niles, Illinois to be exact. Home of the Leaning Tower of Pisa YMCA. (See picture above) I’m not kidding you. Why and how, I

  • I’m Speechless

    What more can I say? It happened again. See the picture above, that is my slice of pizza at my granddaughter’s birthday party last week. If you don’t know w

  • What Do You Need?

    A strange phenomenon has been occurring at mealtime lately. No, my husband hasn’t given up his meat and potato diet for kale and quinoa. My food has come aliv

  • Room For All

    Let’s face it, the pandemic has affected all aspects of life including our spiritual life. Scientists and medical professionals worry about the long-term effe

  • S.O.S.

    I need your help. I am finding it harder and harder to write blogs each week now that summer is here. I don’t want to stop though. God doesn’t take a break

  • The Invitation

    Since my last blog, I’ve met the Holy Spirit. The irony of it was that this encounter was on Pentecost Sunday. I was supposed to golf that afternoon with

  • What’s in a Name?

    Our grandson, James, turned nine this week. He’s a typical nine-year-old boy with a sports minded dad, grandpa, and uncles so for his birthday we got him a Mi

  • Holy Hot Dog

    In Fr. Gregory Boyle’s book, Barking to the Choir, he gives us many images of God from his time spent ministering to gang members through Homeboy Industries i

  • Mother Nature

    This week we celebrated Earth Day. In keeping with that theme, we started a six-week series at Firstfruits called Gift, Gratitude and Joy. It focuses on the Cat

  • Once Upon A Time

    So, what’s your story? We all have one. Some of us read more like a mystery, some a romance, and some an epic. For some, there are only a few chapters complet

  • A Strange New World

    I’m fully vaccinated and ready to reenter society. Or am I? This week I realized that we needed light bulbs. Seems that was a non-essential during this past y

  • Finish Strong

    Holy Week is upon us. I can’t believe how fast this Lenten season has come and gone. Maybe not giving up sweets this year helped. The weeks didn’t drag on a

  • An Abnormal Answer

    My friend Mary asked me a very normal question the other day and got a very abnormal answer. She said, “So, what do you have to do today?” Before I could th

  • A Power Filled Lent

    I have been mentioning the Holy Spirit a lot in my blogs this Lent. I am a big fan of the Holy Spirit. Often, I hear people say they can relate to God, the Fath

  • There’s No Place Like Home

    I received a bag of M&M’s this week from Kathy, a faithful blog reader! As you know if you read last week’s blog, I can eat chocolate guilt-free this Le

  • “Let Go” Lent-Part 2

    So how is your Lent going? If you read my blog last week you know that I have handed Lent over to the Holy Spirit and am allowing myself to be led to what it is

  • A “Let Go” Lent

    I can get overwhelmed in Lent trying to figure out what to do and not do to make it as meaningful as possible. We had Well Time on Zoom Wednesday morning at Fir

  • Respond in Love

    In the Gospel of Luke chapter 6, verse 12, it says, “In those days he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent all night in prayer to God.” Often time

  • Safe and Sound

    God wants nothing more than to be in a love relationship with us. How appropriate to talk about love relationships as we turn the calendar page to February. But

  • Follow Me Moment

    I have always considered myself a self-aware person. For the most part I have benefitted from this trait, but I have come to realize that to be self-aware is ve

  • Facts on Faith

    If you knew you didn’t have much more time on Earth and wanted to teach two or three life lessons to those you leave behind in order for them to be prepared f

  • Ponderings on Prayer in a Pandemic

    How is your prayer life these days? Does it feel predictable, pointless, powerful, or pitiful? Have the uncertainties and challenges of this unprecedented time

  • View from My Chaise Lounge Chair

    Last week I ended my blog suggesting that we thank God for the work and the healing He has done in us through this past year and its challenges. There was a ref

  • With Outstretched Arms

    The Christmas tree ornament in the picture above rates in my top three favorites, along with the plump sugar plum fairy with the dangling legs and the vintage p

  • Making Room

    I found a box in the basement as I was rummaging through my Christmas decorations, trying to decide just how decorated I wanted to get considering that no one b

  • Birthing

    After my mom died, the saddest day for me wasn’t the holidays, her birthday, or the anniversary of her passing, it was MY birthday. Every year on my birthday,

  • The Morning Moon

    I opened my eyes this morning and through the blinds there it was, a full moon peeking back at me through the bare tree branches. A full moon in the sky outside

  • Advent: Waiting and Wondering

    When I say the word “waiting,” what associations do you make? The DMV? Disney World? Apple Customer Service? An apology from your spouse!? Waiting isn’t f

  • Following God’s Will Through the Holy Spirit

    Discipleship isn’t for the faint of heart. Much is asked. We can’t do it on our own. Thankfully God knew that, and in His faithfulness and compassion provid

  • God’s Mercy

    As we become more intentional in our desire to grow in our discipleship, we open ourselves up to many blessings. We talked about the blessing of intimacy with G

  • Intimacy With God

    Saying YES to discipleship has its challenges but it also has many blessings. The blessings far outweigh the challenges. One such blessing is intimacy with God.

  • At What Cost?

    Last week we received the invitation to discipleship. As we see this week, if we respond “yes,” Jesus has laid out very detailed instructions on what we nee

  • Something New!

    In an effort to keep things exciting and new at Firstfruits, my blogs are going to look a bit different for the next five weeks. Included in a short blog will b

  • Courageous Joy

    I dare you to be joyful. I challenge you to express gratitude outwardly today. I’ll bet my last, secretly stashed bag of dark chocolate covered almond and sea

  • The Balm of Creation

    I’m writing this blog on October 4th, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. So, it only makes sense that I feel compelled to tell you about a Netflix’s docume

  • Believe It or Bologna

    Will wonders never cease? As you recall from last week’s blog, my husband and I just celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary. I mentioned how clueless I w

  • I Wasn’t Dreaming

    Forty years ago today, I woke up in the Point Hotel in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. My best friend, Mary, was in the bed next to me. A long white dress and veil hu

  • Zooming in on the Holy Spirit

    I came face to face with the Holy Spirit this week. It was the face of Julie, one of fifteen faces that joined me on Zoom for Well Time on Wednesday. I was in a