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.

Where’s God

Sometimes my spiritual life reminds me of a Where’s Waldo book. Jesus promises to be with us always, “until the end of the age” as it says in Matthew 28:20. What age, six or maybe seven? Then life begins to get more and more complicated. The logical portion of our brain seems to wake up like a hibernating animal and steals the wonder, awe, and childlike trust we started out with. And the rest of our lives, we spend trying to get that back.

As a child we have no problem seeing and feeling the goodness of God. There is so much happiness, joy, laughter, and simplicity. But as we get older we lose that lightheartedness, that joy, because we have a harder and harder time finding God. He gets lost in our pursuits, in our disappointments, in our busyness, in our loses, and in our fears. His promise to be with us always is forgotten, doubted, or clouded by life.

But it’s precisely in that life that he can be found and found in a very intimate way if we look with the eyes of our old selves, our childlike selves.  We have to look amongst the fullness and the chaos for simple, small, quiet, peaceful, calm, and comforting proofs of God’s presence. That’s where we find him. And what a thrill when we do spot him! Among the daily grind, if we look small enough, we get glimpses of him.

Here are a few of mine since I wrote you last.

Spotted him in the smiles and energetic discussions of the one hundred plus women who came out on a cold Saturday morning to spend four hours with me at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton learning about their gifts and their God. What an inspiration.

Spotted him in the smile and the clinking of the glasses on my son’s 38th birthday that we celebrated together with a mom-son dinner out.

Spotted him in the joy of my daughter as she shared a new awareness of God’s intimate presence in her life at Well Time at Firstfruits.

Spotted him in the precious words of my three-year-old granddaughter as we were leaving Firstfruits and she said, “Wait, we didn’t say good bye to Jesus.”

Spotted him in the hopeful and holy words of two retired priests, who have been ordained for over 70 years, that I had lunch with at San Camillus.

Spotted him in the ugly face, deep belly laugh I shared with two dear friends at the Fruit of the Spirit Wine Tasting at Firstfruits last week. (No, it wasn’t the wine!)

Spotted him in the courage of a friend I visited yesterday who starts chemo in two weeks.

Spotted him just this morning as I opened a text telling me of the passing of one of Firstfruits biggest fans. Her giant smiles and hugs were a gift. She had been such an encouragement to me from the beginning of Firstfruits. She really got what we were trying to do. She and her husband visited me just a few weeks ago to see our new space. I walked them to the parking lot and we talked about her coming to some events in the future. I found God this morning as I realized the gift that visit was.

He’s there. Everyday, and in many ways. Waiting to be found.

Just keep looking.

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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