Putting the “Fun” Back into Dysfunction

Normally by this time of year I’d be up to my ears in Christmas cheer, volunteering, filling bags of gifts for kids of felons, and helping to clothe and feed the homeless. But this December, due to a demanding writing schedule I’ve been a bit lax in my elvish duties. I’ve watched instead of engaged.

So in a guilt ridden effort to do at least one noble deed for the greater good, I want to acknowledge those that have stepped up to the plate.

Take my ex-husband “Uncle Brent” for instance. (For more details of this twisted relationship see the Dysfunctional Family, and “NO” I am not from Arkansas or Appalachia or mountainous communities where we marry our brothers).

A few weeks ago Uncle Brent mentioned he and his wife “Auntie Lauren” wanted to serve the homeless. I just happened to have a flier from church with a list of all the “do good” activities I planned to do but put off (no judgment please).

But Brent actually followed through and took my two older kids (Kyle and Faith) last Saturday to serve in downtown Santa Ana. My son Kyle filled me in on their adventure. He told me the leader of the group –Randy, asked Brent if he knew how to pray. Brent replied “yes.” So Randy informed Brent that he was now in charge of praying for the whole group before they tended to the poor. (No pressure!)

Now this might not sound like a big deal to most of you –but it’s kind of a big deal to my son, to me and maybe to Brent too. He hasn’t been super involved in church in a long time –since our divorce, actually (eight years ago), and in a roundabout twisted way, it felt sort of redemptive.

I never wanted to be the reason someone turned away from God but in all the mess of the divorce, I clung to the church in my (victim mentality) righteousness and Brent moved away in his (bad-guy) shame.

The truth is there should be room for both of us and God makes no distinction between the prodigal son and the older brother who played by all the rules.

It took me a long time to embrace forgiveness and understand true mercy, to let go of my anger, move towards healing and learn to love my ex-husband like a real brother. Fortunately the benefits of extending grace have far outweighed the excruciating refinement of my crusty character.

I can honestly say I enjoy co-parenting my son and daughter with Uncle Brent and Aunt Lauren. I know all of you divorced parents out there are like, “Really?” Yes! Really. I pinky swear.

I love watching my husband and ex-husband hang Christmas lights together and bumble around on the boom, seeing little Kolby squeal with delight when Auntie Lauren comes over, and I am overwhelmed with emotion when I hear my boy telling me about his dad leading a group of humble servants in prayer and service to the poor and needy.

And to me…this is what it’s all about.

To seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

(Oh yeah…and TO FORGIVE. Even when it’s hard)

From the Keller’s to Uncle Brent and Aunt Lauren…we love you and Merry Christmas.

Samantha, Tim, Kyle Adams, Faith Adams, and Kolby Keller

If you would like to jump on board this Christmas and help out the poor in the South Orange County area, here is a list of service opportunities through Mariners Mission Viejo Church.

Spread the Love by serving this year! And if you sign up, let me know and I’ll join you.

Comments

  1. Brent Adams says:

    Lauren and I, love co-parenting with you and Tim. Life is much richer and joy filled having chosen to do what is right by our children. Lifes choices truly do have consequences…good and bad. We love you guys and Kolby!

  2. Lauren Visser Adams says:

    You guys are the best! Love comes in different ways, but most apparent for you guys, for my step off springs, and my favorite, Kolby! Merry Christmas!!!

  3. Diane Calcaterra says:

    Very nice blog, Samantha! Keep writing!

  4. Hi Samantha,

    Love the blogpost. What a story that every one should know about God’s love reaches in many different ways.

    Thank you for sharing it.

    By the way, I found your blog from the Blogfrog community. 🙂

    • Thanks Helen,
      I so agree! I think we always think loving like our father should be easy and the truth is its hard. But God and only God can give us the strength.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Sam

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: