parson walking near cafe during winter

I have a favorite Christmas carol, how about you?

Mine is definitely, In the Bleak Midwinter.

And lately? This song has got me to thinking.

First, about the lines:

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Earth stood hard as iron…
Midwinter Kindness

We have just had our first snow here in our northern mountains and everything is beautiful; draped in a fresh mantle of white.

But while the view out my windows is breathtaking?

I don’t want midwinter’s hardness to enter my heart…

So our Christmas carol continues,

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and Seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

We have all been working on spreading HOPE these past few weeks, fueled by the words from Emilie Barnes’ wonderful book, A Cup of Hope, and also our hope-FULL promises from God’s Word.

God’s promises: Encourage us to love and good deeds!
  • But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless. Galatians 5: 22-23 TPT
  • Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes! 1 Peter 4 9-11 MSG
Random Acts of Kindness
Midwinter Kindness

Now, as the Christmas Season is in full swing, it is easy to get swallowed up by the busy hustle and bustle all around us.

But let’s not forget to spread a little HOPE out there–even though our “To Do” list feels like it is growing longer–not shorter!

Christina Rossetti’s wonderful poem asks us:

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Giving our hearts away

We all decided to meet at your house this week, for a little spree of cookie baking, along with our tea.

(Thanks for the hospitality by the way!)

Everyone is having so much fun, laughing and chattering, as the sugar and flour fly everywhere!

As we begin to wrap our respective cookie “offerings,” so we can pass them out among our neighbors…

Emilie reminds us:

… it is the very process of sharing hope–of loving each other, encouraging each other, building up each other, helping each other in practical ways–that produces more and more hope in all of us… it grows and grows as we transfuse it and transplant it and pass it from heart to heart.

This week’s fourth cup assignment…
Midwinter Kindness

Is really very simple.

Please write a note of encouragement and take a plate of cookies to a neighbor.

Yes, even the neighbor that never has a kind word for anyone!

(They need it most of all!)

And after all, that is what Jesus would do, right?


Father,

Help us to not forget our neighbors this Christmas Season.

Midwinter Kindness

Even though we may be experiencing the frozen midwinter, do not let midwinter’s hardness enter into our own hearts. May we remember to be kind to all of those around us.

Father, show us simple ways to give and share the gift of kindness this Christmas.

We want to be women who honor our King precisely because He has shown us such kindness!

And so, we ask that kind words and deeds would season our gifts this Christmas, in Jesus Name, amen.


In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

By Christina Rossetti, in the Public Domain



* Emilie’s “gems” are shared with the permission of Harvest House Publishers. They are: Taken from: A CUP OF HOPE by Emilie Barnes, Copyright © 2000, Published by Harvest House Publishers

Photos courtesy of: Unsplash

This weeks photo credits and “My Thanks!” go to photographers: Beverage Candy Candy Cane, Craig Whitehead, Aricka Lewis, Advent Bake, Bruna Branco, Loli Clement, and Ana Azevedo.

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