Soft rustle at woodland’s edge
Shyly peering out at winter’s passing
Long slumbering beneath earth’s cold bite
Now reaching out a questing toe
Chill breezes steal day’s brief warmth
And residents shiver in protected nooks
Frost yet bites tender growth
Then yields to dawn’s new light
Nostrils raise to scent and tread
And life stirs within seed and soil
Rain-washed earth and ways are
Streaked with plants’ golden offerings
Stone and wood yield welcomed warmth
Hearken, hearken …
What ones have we to call their name,
Of high respect and great esteem?
Ones standing strong for honesty,
Upholding fairness and integrity.
We honor those of thoughtful nature,
That strive for clarity, and are without deceit.
Of strong beliefs and moral support,
Unafraid to speak the Truth.
What do we see? What good repute?
Not built on worldly wealth or power.
Living the values of selfless service
Courage, duty, … and loyalty.
In daily living they make their mark
In what they value and all they do.
Giving selflessly is not always convenient.
When done in love, this is no loss!
Offered in laughter, pain, or sweat,
The greatest sacrifice is self.
Look then at our world around us,
At those who give in sacrifice,
Parent’s heart or family’s bond
Friendships dear or stranger’s face.
Giving brings the greatest gains,
Healing, helping, lifting spirits.
True sacrifice… It takes more effort
And it comes from deep within.
Love’s celebration. Glad thanksgiving
Greatest sacrifice … Savior’s touch
A puff of wind upon my skin
And sun’s rays transform the day
Memories of morning’s dreary sky fade
As time’s settled dust is chased and lifted
Earth’s voices call
Splash of water, clean and pure
Songs and rhythms now renew!
Darting fish in coolest depths
Shading trees unfurl green buds
Dusty feet and weary minds
Shed discontent… stretch and rouse
Quickening hearts claim moment’s peace
Restore, revive … and freshen
Giving hope and encouragement
Caring and true
Unswayed by those of ill intent
Never abandoning you
Upholding goodness and truth
Determined and steady
Speaking up for the oppressed
Working and willing
To give our mite
Generous in all sincerity
Whatever that may be
Life’s greatest joy
Love’s cherished gift
Guarding things closely
Greed or fright overrule us
Do we cling distressed
Comparing uncertain? …
Shall we consider our offering?
What we have to give
Is unique to each one
Greater than wealth can buy
What good do we crave?
Now give of it freely!
Just look around you and offer.
A smile a touch a friendly word
Says you’re valued and not alone
A penny a need a lift a deed
Given with humble helping hands
Times of plenty and great celebration
Or a world of chaos loss or suffering
Making days brighter lifting spirits higher
Let’s give our mite to show we care
… and make an offering
A comfortable chair beside a fire
A jacket drawn tightly against day’s chill
The smiles bestowed on gloomy days
Sun-soaked sand upon bare feet
Soft fur of pets beneath chilled fingers
A baby cradled in one’s arms
Bright rays shining through window panes
Snuggled beneath covers on a winter day
A friendly touch and welcoming greeting
Hot cup of drink held between our hands
Homemade soup to sip and savor
Thoughts and remembrances bring to mind
Warm arms and warm hearts to warm one’s soul
Ah, blessed warmth inside and out
Standing at the threshold
What lies ahead
Pointing the way
Listen to silence
Or the singing of birds
Peaceful and warm
Drawing breath deeply
Fragrances from life
Bring back memories
Poignant or comforting
Searching eyes seeking
Cool shadowed woodland
Bright lawns or gardens
Faces and homes
Reaching out a hand
Taking the first step
New year’s dawn brings
Anticipation and prayers
The journey was long
And the way was hard
Over steep rocky places
And mountainous trails
… Now he’s here!
Tired out and hungry
We patiently went
Trying not to be anxious
Though thirsty and hot
… He’s here!
In uncertain times
Will there be a home
What about my loved ones
How will we survive
… But he’s here!
Missing my family
So far far away
How I long to be near them
And share the good news
… That he’s here!
Home safe and sheltered
Though not what I thought
Only a few visitors
To brighten the hours
… And welcome him here!
Look to the future
One day at a time
Be strong there’s tomorrow
Hear Mary’s good news
… for Jesus is here!
What’s that I hear
Loudly scolding “intruder intruder”
Leaping now up grand oak tree
Peering out from high above
An interruption of day’s work
Those wily robbers of bird feeders
And gatherers of nature’s bounty
Ready against winter’s chill
With flip of bushy tail
Now return to busy preparation
Planting storing, hop and poke
Now where did I leave that
Home sweet home in arching bowers
A comfy den or nest just right
To snugly curl within
Awaiting spring’s first touch