Gifts wrapped. Cards in the mail. House decorated. Schedule planned. Check!
We trust you and your family will have a wonderful Christmas season, celebrating the birth of our King, Savior Jesus.
When my children were young, I worked tirelessly to set the stage for a “Norman Rockwell Christmas.” I wanted our four to have wonderful memories of time with family and friends, with a focus on Jesus’ birth.
I worked, stayed up all night at times, so all the finishing touches were in place. Then, reality.
Reality set in
As the hype increased the week before Christmas, my fatigue would be reflected in my responses to the kids . . . when they acted up, I was shocked they weren’t being grateful. I missed my lack of logic – they didn’t know what to be grateful for and they were being inundated with sugar at every turn. It took time, but I began to simplify to focus on them and what was really important (not my need to impress every friend and neighbor with another baked good).
But it was wonderful – we were together and loved one another, despite the occasional, “don’t touch my new toy!”
While we can now laugh about those mis-steps, it was still a happy time. Not the case for everyone. . .
There are so many fractured families heading into this Christmas season. “I’d rather just sleep through till January 2 than to face my children with our divorce pending,” said one young mom recently.
“The picture of the perfect Christmas” we’ve bought into has some frayed edges or it can be just ripped down the center.
If your family is healthy this Christmas, I’m so thankful. But I ask you to stop a minute to remember those families who only dream of a healthy mom and dad.
In the past, I’ve tried to understand why this is such a busy season for The Ravines. One wife recently said to me, “I want us to be better by Christmas – for the kids.” Last January was our busiest month ever, serving nine couples. And they were all couples who had tried to get here before Christmas. I’ve found the reason for the seasonal increase in calls.
Our scholarship fund has been stretched this year – the needs have been extreme. Our vision is that no couple should be denied the help they need because of a lack of finances. Your gifts have allowed many couples to be helped. Many couples have scheduled payment plans for the remaining balance, and some have been unable to pay off their balance.
If God nudges you, your year-end gift to The Ravines will make a difference. As couples find the healing they are seeking, generational legacies of walking away are being broken. As much as the hope and healing they find at The Ravines is for mom and dad, it has a huge impact on the children as they are now influenced by a heathy marriage.
You can give directly on The Ravines secure website (www.TheRavines.org) to make a difference which will be felt for generations.
Merry Christmas from The Ravines Staff