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.

My Deer Old Dad

In my last blog I talked about the importance of learning how to just be. I mentioned that Jesus invites us to sit at his feet and just be and often those invitations come through the simple moments of our everyday lives. Like when I saw three deer outside my bedroom window.

So if three deer outside my bedroom window are an invitation from Jesus, what is the birth of a baby fawn next to my deck? (See the above picture)

It was just one of the God gifts I received that day. Gifts from the Father through my father. You see, whenever I spot a deer, it reminds me of my dad. I grew up in a house with a screened-in porch that overlooked a forest preserve. My dad’s favorite thing to do was sit in the screened-in porch and watch the Cubs games. And he would get all excited when a deer would wander into the yard.

After my dad died we sold the house. My mom and I were in the backyard saying our last goodbyes when three deer showed up. They were spaced evenly across the width of the yard and looking right at us. Then, as if on cue, they all slowly moved on. My mom and I both felt the same thing, the presence of my dad and affirmation that it was time for us to do the same.

Over the years since my dad died, I have had numerous deer encounters. They often happen at times when I am emotionally teetering and could use a good reminder of the power of faith. My dad’s life was a reminder of the power of faith. He never missed a Sunday mass and we buried him with his well-worn rosary in his suit pocket, just where it always was. With few words he made it clear, there is nothing more important than your faith.

So this week, when my husband texted me that a newborn fawn was laying under our deck, I wasn’t all that surprised. Especially in light of what happened earlier that same day.

Our granddaughter and I were on a nature walk in our old neighborhood. We passed the spot where a beautiful bright pink crabapple tree was planted by my friends twenty-one years ago as a memorial to my dad. I glanced at the branches to see if by some slim chance the metal tag with his name embossed in it was still there. No luck. I knew it was a long shot, being it had to have weathered twenty-one winters. On our way back we passed the tree again and as I bent down to pick some dandelions there it was. (See the picture below.)

My dad’s still showing me the importance of faith. A double dose all in one day. The tree tag to remind us that with the precious gift of faith, we too can weather anything and the birth of the fawn to remind us that goodness and new life will always triumph when we put our trust in the Creators perfect plan.

Lessons from my deer old dad.

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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