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.

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 Spirit stupor when I came home and proceeded to tell my husband all about it. He said “That sounds like blog material. You better write it down before you forget.”

But this isn’t something you soon forget. And I wasn’t the only one who felt it.

I noticed a name I didn’t recognize as we were beginning the Well Time Zoom last week. It turns out Julie was joining us for the first time. When it was her turn to share or pass on the topic for the day she shared a story that we all agreed afterward could only be the workings of the Holy Spirit.

Julie lives in Michigan. She attended a Firstfruits mini retreat day with her daughter five or six years ago when we were traveling to different venues. She participated in an art class facilitated by Sr. Karlyn Cauley. As Julie puts it, “that experience changed her life.” Through the encouragement of Sr. Karlyn, Julie began to express her spirituality through art. She showed us two of her watercolors in the series she called “The Woman at the Well” at Well Time. Coincidence…I think not.

They were beautiful works of art. She went on to express her gratitude for the experience she had that awakened her to her giftedness and the encouragement that she was given that gave her the courage to put her art out there. She emailed me later to say she doesn’t show her art work to many people but felt a strong pull to do that with us at Well Time. The best part was when she said she didn’t really remember what she signed up for when she received the Zoom invite but decided, for some reason, to join us that day.

Personally, I know why she joined us that day. God used her in a powerful way to encourage me to stay the course. As we begin this new season of Firstfruits in a challenging time for all of us, I have found myself at times a bit discouraged and doubtful. Wondering if any of it makes a difference. God hears our hearts and longs to rescue us. That day, He sent Julie to the rescue. And she said “yes!” It made all the difference for me.

What do you need today? Be honest with God. Let him know and then watch for the army He sends.

Who might God be nudging you to rescue? What small thing is He asking you to do? Even if it makes no sense, go ahead and do it. You never know.

That morning at Well Time is really just another day at Firstfruits. This kind of thing happens a lot when women gather with an open heart and a desire to grow in awareness and knowledge of God’s unbelievable love for them.

I pray that you will consider joining us if you haven’t before. If you have joined us at Firstfruits, please invite friends and family. I miss all of you who joined us in the early years of Firstfruits when we traveled to your parish. Now you can join us on Zoom without having to travel to Elm Grove. We’d love to see you again. Registration for our new season of Firstfruits has begun. Visit our website Firstfruits.info for details.

Please help me spread the word about the powerful way the Holy Spirit is working, rescuing, and loving women through Firstfruits, even in Michigan!

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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