By Pat Ball
Director of Residential Programs
Pat Ball joined Bethel in May of 1993 with strong experience in the Human Services and Children’s Services Field, including case management and direct care. Pat became Bethel Team Leader for Residential programs in 2008 and Director of Residential Programs in 2012. Pat holds an AS in Prelaw, a BS in Sociology and Certification in Early Childhood Development. She has worked with many community services agencies, including NABSW, NACFA, NCADV, TCCY, TCSW and TACFA.
The Great Feast
Food is very special to people and it has been used for centuries to show caring, respect, sensitivity and love. In the Bible, the Lord equated heaven to a great feast with a table of fellowship and a table to celebrate milestones. And when we celebrate together over a holiday meal, we are following the example Jesus set for us when He was on earth.
For most families, Christmas and Thanksgiving are the biggest holiday meals and they are filled with special traditions.These usually begin with a list of great dishes made by wonderful cooks and lots of love to keep the traditions alive. Many people look forward to those special dishes that are prepared “just for them!”
More Than a Meal
Most importantly, when we gather together at the holidays we look forward to seeing people we may not have seen since the last holiday meal. Strong families build strong bonds during these times. They build shared memories, share laughter and pass on family history through “do you remember when stories.”
Sharing the Joy
Not everyone is blessed with a family feast over the holidays. Sometimes the distance is too great to travel. Those who serve in the military and first responders often serve while others enjoy family dinners. And serious illness and broken relationships can make the holidays a painful time.
As your family gathers to celebrate this Christmas, be sure to look beyond the dressing and pie. Is there a neighbor who needs a comforting word? A family friend with no relatives nearby who will be eating dinner alone?
When we look for ways to extend the blessing of our traditional feast with others, we are most like Jesus.
More Stressful than Festive
It’s also true that not every family feast goes off without a hitch, especially when relationships are strained. Challenges in family relationships can make holidays more tense and over time, creating serious issues that affect every day family life. Parents who have to play referee 24/7 can become burned out and there can be a complete breakdown in family communication.
If your family is dealing with relational challenges, Bethel offers a special weekend retreat that can help families find the root causes that are disrupting relationships and create a Christ-centered strategy for resolving them.
FIND OUT MORE
Please let us know if we can help your family work toward a more blessed and joyous Christmas.