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.

The Raining Tree

I saw the weirdest thing this week. I was stopped in my car at the end of my block waiting for traffic to clear so I could pull out when a tree in the front yard of a neighbor’s house caught my eye.
Leaves were falling like rain. You say, what is so weird about that? It’s fall, Joan.
But this was like nothing I had ever seen before. We’ve all seen leaves slowly floating off a tree or with a gust of wind there might be a whole bunch of leaves tumbling down but this was different. There was no wind. It was a very still day. Yet all of a sudden leaves just started raining down. It was as if the Alpha leaf sent out a command, “On the count of three we’re out of here….FALL! And they all started falling at once.
Since there was no one behind me I put my car in park and just stared at this strange, yet beautiful display of nature. Leaves pouring down from this tree until pretty soon the tree branches were completely bare. The ground around the tree was a thick blanket of newly fallen leaves.
I drove away feeling as if I had just witnessed something very special. I wondered if anyone else saw it, or was it just for me? Does that happen all the time but I have never noticed it before? Did I witness it because I was forced to stop and be still?
I knew there had to be a story in this experience but wasn’t sure just what. Then I attended the Mindfulness Workshop at Firstfruits on Saturday and the light bulb went on.
Mindfulness is objective awareness, paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose and in the present moment. As Cindy the presenter described it, it’s waking up to our life. Going from a life on autopilot to conscious living. It’s a way to reclaim the life that God wants for us and created us to have.
I know that I have been out of balance lately, living on autopilot rather than in the plan God has for me. I have been spending more time doing than being. Living my daily life more asleep than awake to the beauty and the blessings around me.
The raining tree was my wake up call.
Are you living life more asleep than awake? What are you missing by not being present to the present? With Thanksgiving around the corner, I challenge you as I challenge myself to wake up to the beauty and the blessings around you. Take some time each day to notice something new. The smell of the crisp fall air, the soft caress of the fleece throw blanket, the freckle on your child’s cheek, the raining tree in your neighbor’s yard!

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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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