Christmas of Grace
Part 1 – Keeping Perspective
While Christmas is a time for most people to focus on gathering with family, snagging the best Black Friday deals, wrapping gifts, and cooking up a storm, the ladies in the Charis House continue through their daily schedules of classes, work therapy and counseling. It can be a difficult time of year to stay focused on goals, especially when you are separated from loved ones and feel like you are missing out on family traditions.
Knowing the stress that the holiday season can cause for so many, the leaders of the Charis House work diligently to protect the hearts of the women in their care and ensure they feel loved and cherished throughout the holidays. “Our ladies are very, very blessed during the holiday season,” says Debbe Jefcoat, Director of Ladies Recovery Ministries for Ministry Village at Olive. “Our community of supporters reach out faithfully each year to invite the women to special events, welcome them into their homes, and make sure they feel loved and not forgotten.”
Karen Cox, the Charis House Therapist, also finds ways to teach the women how to keep their perspective during the holidays when feelings of sadness or family separation begin to surface. “We recently did a lesson on 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, about how there are unseen things going on that we can’t even yet recognize. We have to surrender and trust the Lord when it gets hard.” To help illustrate the point, Karen gave the ladies some 3D holographic Christmas glasses. “If you put them on and look at the tree lights, you see reindeer, for instance. Those glasses can change your perspective and allow you to see things that you can’t see with just your naked eye.” It’s a visual reminder of the shift in perspective God can provide during the holidays and all year long.
The ladies also encourage and support each other through any difficult days. “Church members donate gift cards for the children of our Charis House ladies, and this year some of the women were able to shop for Christmas gifts for their own kids.” Such a simple activity – but one that lifts the spirits of women separated from their children. “It makes them feel like they are a part of Christmas and connected to their families in a special way. The busyness of the holiday season actually serves to keep the ladies minds occupied. They have opportunities to serve others, and they enjoy all the holiday activities so much and feel so loved that it shifts their perspectives away from the sorrows and burdens that brought them to the Charis House.”
Next week, we’ll learn about some of the special activities the ladies have enjoyed this season and their plans for the rest of 2019.