All posts by katina04brown

I am a mama of three beautiful babies, a wife, and a teacher who currently stays at home to fully enjoy the adventures of motherhood.

Happy Teacher Appreciation, To All My Teacher Friends 

Oh teachers! I truly appreciate you mama to teacher! You mold & shape young minds etc… But, for reals, after a particularly hectic weekend, I look forward to Monday…because it’s your turn to get my little heathens. Right now though, on this last day of teacher appreciation & state testing, I appreciate you teacher to teacher.

 When I was nineteen I had my first teaching job as an afternoon worker at a daycare. Y’all, daycare work is tough & gross, but I have some awfully hilarious memories from those years! I have teacher friends from that job who still hold very dear pieces of my heart. 

My second teaching job, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing! My poor teacher friend at that school had to walk me through that entire year! 

Then there was the school where I spent some of the most difficult years of my life; I will never ever forget the love those ladies gave me! I miss you all!

Now here I am ten (cough cough) or so years past that first job, at a relatively new teaching job with ladies I already consider close friends! 

We teachers go through all parts of life together don’t we? Babies, losing babies, adoptions, divorces, losing parents…I’ve experienced and watched as a group of teachers flocked together to surround our own wounded. But…sadly, my dear ladies (sorry fellas, I haven’t been privileged to work with a male elementary teacher) we have also flocked together to attack. 

So, this teacher appreciation week, I’ve been thinking about all the teachers I have known….

The strict ones whose quiet lines rival that of the North Korean military (except for that weird long stride…you would never put up with those shenanigans), whose mere glance strikes fear into the hearts of children and sometimes other teachers, whose test papers are never late, and their classroom works like a well oiled machine, I love you ladies! You keep us grounded. Without you schools would be all kinds of crazy! 

The free spirits whose classrooms are full of festivities, whose super creative bulletin boards are the envy of pinteresters everywhere, pesky paperwork is lost in your sea of fun, and the cafeteria is a party when you arrive, I love you girls! You make the heavy light. You bring joy into our hallways. 

I love you all! Teacher to teacher, I love you! Your gift from me…a teacher…is to stop judging! I will not scoff at the strict one as she firmly corrects a straggling line walker, I refuse to jealously roll my eyes at the free spirit when she plays silly string, whip cream, glitter tag with the kids… I appreciate you all. 

Just yesterday I was standing with a group of about 7 teachers, all different teaching styles, all different personalities. We were watching our classes on the playground. My own sweet daughter came to me with a friend and wanted to show me the new hand clap game she had learned. You know… like… “Ms. Sue (clap, clap, clap) Ms. Sue (clap, clap, clap) Ms. Sue from Alabama…” Or “Lemonade (clap, clap, clap) crunchy ice..,” Those cutie little sing song chants we all learned as girls. I indulged her and smiled and watched. I’m not sure how the entire thing went, but when I heard, “Hey girls let’s have some fun, here comes Tommy with his pants undone…” I died. I slowly turned, jaw dropped to look at my teacher team behind me. My friend whose daughter is younger than mine was equally shocked. We stared at each other like we had just witnessed the murder of a fluffy bunny. My daughter & her friend skipped away oblivious to their super inappropriate little chant.

 I looked pleadingly at my army of teachers. One teacher/mama laughed & told a similar story of overhearing her daughter say something along the lines of, “do it like a donkey…” Another teacher gave me sound advice about helping the girls understand what their words meant. The other teachers chimed in and assisted me in forming a coherent response that didn’t involve weird silence or insane shouting.

See…I had my own little team of professionals. Good mamas & friends! Ladies I trust whether they are the strict one or the free one, they all helped. I marched over to my daughter & her friends with renewed confidence and appropriately explained why “Tommy with his pants undone” is not the best chant to sing. 

So… thanks ladies, mamas, friends, teachers! I love y’all! You make me better! I’m sorry for being ‘judgey’! I need you all! I appreciate every single one of you! 


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Oh crap, sister can spell.

I’m annoyed at my child’s education. Not the lack of education, but the speed at which she is becoming educated. It is really messing up my life. For example, I used to tell my kids to go to bed, and it was inevitable that one of them would say, “But it’s not bedtime.” To which I would respond, “Yes it is.”

That was it. They believed me. Mama said it’s bedtime, therefore it is bedtime.

Not anymore. I say, “Go to bed.”

Someone says, “But it’s not bedtime.”

I say, “Yes it is.”

“No mam, it is not. It is 7:28 and we read at 7:30. Then, we read for 30 minutes. THEN, we go to bed at 8:00!”

Well….thank you Sister Mathematician.

Like most mamas, I need my kids to go to bed early. This is my survival, my sanity. My time to eat all of their Valentine’s Day candy.

It took me forever to get my husband to realize that if he wanted to talk about doing anything even remotely fun without our kids he would have to spell the fun. He used to just say, “Hey you want to eat some candy or ice cream when they go to bed?” Of course, they would start crying, “I want ice cream! I want candy!”

This started many fights. I would storm off, angry because my candy eating was ruined & the kids would never go to sleep with thoughts of mama & daddy eating candy racing through their minds. So, like most men, he finally learned! He started spelling, “Hey, you want C-A-N-D-Y and P-O-P-C-O-R-N?”

This worked for a while. Until recently. Now we spell and suddenly sissy becomes an annoying episode of Seasme Street…

“What did y’all spell? I know. ‘c’ ‘a’ ‘n’ ‘d’ ‘y’…..’can’ ‘dy’…CANDY! Bubba, daddy is talking about candy! We get candy! Yay! Candy!!”

(I guess we will have to resort to Pig Latin, surely that will not be covered by Kindergarten Common Core Standards?)

I love teaching at Sissy’s school. I get to walk down the hallway and see her cute little artwork. All the other mama-teachers get to see the cute little artwork as well. Parents who walk their kids into school get to see the cute little artwork.  Actually, pretty much everyone I know sees the cute little artwork.

I recently walked down the kindergarten section of the hallway and saw that Sissy’s teacher had changed out the display. Their new assignment was to write about Valentine’s Day. Everyone wrote words like, “Love” and “Friend” all phonetically spelled and hilarious of course.

Sister Speller had to take it to the next level. Apparently she thought the assignment was to make your parents look like weirdos.

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I had to fight the urge to scribble at the bottom, “We really only barely kiss in front of the kids, I promise…We aren’t crazy making out….Really! Seriously!”

In all honesty, I am thrilled watching her spongy little brain soak up all of this knowledge! Her teacher is awesome, and Sissy is learning so much! She leaves little scraps of paper and notebooks all around the house with her sweet writing scrawled across them. I found this one yesterday:image

I’m assuming I left my Bible and a container of yogurt on the table. That or she was really confused during chapel this week.

 

Mary Katherine Gallagher & Her Ball Rodeoing Friend

I almost lost a friend once. We were very best friends. Like…do everything together, love you so much, thick and thin, tell it like it is friends. You know those kind of friendships that feel like forever; where you know that, no matter what, you will care where that person is  when they are eighty?

I have a few friends that I can say this about. Girls who I would run to even if I hadn’t seen them in years. The friend I am talking about holds a very special place in my heart, and it is hard to think how close we came to losing that.

A little history: (I could tell you a million stories, but they just seem too personal… too “ours.”  So, I will give you the ones I feel are shareable.)

Friendship example #1, 2002’ish…At a Halloween costume party, just before we decided to ‘perform.’ 

My friend: Katina, I don’t think you should smell your pits on stage!

Me: Call me Mary Katherine Gallagher.

My friend: OK. Mary Katherine, I don’t think you should smell your pits on stage! And don’t you try to do a back handspring either. Don’t you try to do it!

Me: (bounding onto the makeshift stage) Sometimes, when I get nervous…

My friend: (behind me, through gritted teeth) Don’t you do it, Don’t you tumble…

mary kath

 

 

 

 

Friendship example #2, Sometime after 2002 at our little old house with the giant ditch in the back. My husband & my friend’s husband had gotten angry at our ridiculous ability to telepathically give each other Taboo answers. My friend had an idea… 

My friend: Hey, I just had an idea for the best game…it’s gonna be called, Ball Rodeo! All you do is see who can balance on this yoga ball the longest.

My husband & friend’s husband: Yeah!

Me: I’m tired. I’m going to bed.

Friend: You’re going to miss out. It’s gonna be awesome.

Me: Goodnight, y’all better not break anything.

Crash sound coming from ‘game room’ (‘game room’ may be a bit of an over exaggeration…’tiny room with Scarface poster, futon, and play station’ is more accurate)

Me: What happened?

Friend: Don’t come in here. Katina, DO NOT come in here!

Me: (walking in & seeing husband’s upper torso plunged through the wall) Oh my GOSH!! What happened?!?

Friend: Two words, Ball… Rodeo

I can’t remember the exact moment, but at some point we kind of drifted apart. (I know, I know! How could Mary Katherine Gallagher & Ball Rodeo Queen ever drift apart?!?)

I had been married for a while, and I wanted a baby. She had not been married as long and wasn’t ready for that yet. When I started going through all my baby junk…surgeries, doctors, shots, my friend was in a different place. Looking back, I can see that I completely shut everybody out. I was hurt and I wanted to waller.   (I think the real word might be wallow… This is probably one of my Granny’s southernisms.)  Anyway, I wanted a pity party, and I guess I was mad when my friend didn’t throw it.

I also had a massive amount of strong hormones pumped into my body, so I may have been irrational. For example, we were both reading the Twilight series. She finished before me. As I was reading the honeymoon chapter, I became suspicious of stupid Bella’s stomach aches & throwing up… My heart rate sped, my world spun, was this vampire loving hussy about to be pregnant?? No!!!! Not Bella! Not this stupid, vapid, teenage cliche!! I quickly texted my friend:

Me: (in a very hostile tone)  Is Bella pregnant?

My Friend: Who is Bella?

Me: (shrilly) Don’t play dumb!! I can take it! Just tell me. Is… BELLA… PREGNANT?

Minutes pass…..

Friend: Yes.

Me: Noooooooooo! I’m burning these books!

Life went on, as it always does, and my husband and I moved on to adoption. This was a super lonely time in my life. I think it was because I was younger than most people who adopt, and I didn’t know anybody else who was in the same situation. I was really bitter and angry. I got pregnant and had a miscarriage. It’s been years ago, but it honestly still stings to write about. I was extremely hurt. I was so very sad.

It was about this same time, that my friend started trying to have a baby. I hardly remember what was going on with our friendship then, but I know it seemed strained. We hung out some, but I was probably weird & totally self absorbed. (I started doing a lot of yoga, quit eating meat, and obsessed over possible adoption situations. So, basically, I was a super fun person to be around. ;)) Also, I just knew that at any given moment that old heifer was going to get knocked up, and then I would have to hate her forever! (I’m sorry, I already admitted my bitterness & anger! The hormones, remember? Don’t judge!)

She didn’t get pregnant; and even though we had drifted apart, she was still the person I called when the miraculous happened…

I will never forget finding out our little girl had been born. My husband and I called our parents and brothers, but as soon as we hung up I immediately called my old friend. I could hear the true joy in her voice, the laughter, the tears… (I don’t know if you are crying reading this, but tears keep escaping my eyes as I am writing it!)

Life got crazy, I was crazy, she was crazy…

My friend found out she was pregnant. She miscarried.

I found out I was pregnant again. I miscarried.

You would think two old friends, like Mary Katherine & Ball Rodeo, would have bonded over these hard times. But we didn’t. Somehow, we had both hurt each other’s feelings. We fought on the phone, we yelled, we hung up, we unfriended each other, on Facebook & in real life.

I’m not making this up: I found out I was pregnant… I found out my friend was pregnant. (Goodness, doesn’t God have an interesting sense of humor! He knew we were two jealous, crazy ladies! His ways are so awesome & his timing perfect.)

This sounds unrealistic, but I can say with all honesty, I had just felt the first little gold fish flutters of Bubba moving in my tummy, when I heard my phone’s text alert, and saw a text message with my old friend’s name at the top. It said, “Congratulations.”

Y’all, it was like she knew…like she knew I had just felt this tiny little thing move…she knew this was real…Like when we used to kill it playing Taboo...(Seriously, one word & we knew exactly what each other meant.) She knew.

I cried so hard. I ugly cried… for myself…for her… for our lost babies… for Mary Katherine… for Ball Rodeo… for the dumb girls we were… & the grown mamas we were becoming. I cried for the last few tatters of our friendship.

So, here we are, some years & some babies later. Is it the same friendship as when we were twenty? Of course not! We were idiots! Do we still love each other? Yes! Can we read each other’s minds? I’m not 100% sure, but I have gotten some perfectly timed text messages.

I’ve been thinking about how God looks at us like I look at my babies. He loves us more than that. It’s incomprehensible. I think about my kids fighting, and how much I hate it. I can’t stand seeing them being mean to each other. I think about how happy I am when they love each other. If they randomly hold hands, my heart swells. How much more must God feel…

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

This is me randomly holding my old friend’s hand. Love u, Ball Rodeo… Yee-Yee…

 

 

 

Forgotten Prayers

This has been such a sad week for me.  It was as though someone pried my eyelids opened, without my consent, and forced me to look on the horrors of the world. Like a Law and Order SVU episode swirling around me. So weird, I know.
I started the week with a heaviness, a burden in my heart, but still hope in my soul. I received a call that I had gotten my 1st CASA case and I needed to pick up the file.
I put on a Katina saves the world smile and lightly stepped into my CASA supervisor’s office. She told me things and handed me the file. As I left the office, my steps felt heavier. My eyes sadder.
I got home and put my own children to bed thanking God for their safety, their clean clothes, their happiness.
I sat down at the kitchen table and opened the CASA file. I read it. I shut it. I cried. I thought, What am I doing? I can’t do this.
I stood up and felt like I couldn’t even take the steps needed to flop myself into my bed.
The next day brought more disturbing news that hit a little closer to home. And a cloud of sorrow began to follow me around.
I floated through the week, my cloud over me, crying in every stolen private moment.
My Granny’s birthday came, and although she lives in heaven, I couldn’t help but spend the day split. One piece of me going about my day while the other piece lived in the past, in the country, hanging onto my Granny’s every word.

I thought of the prayers she prayed. I was flooded with memories of her kneeling at her own altar, bed, couch, kitchen table…whatever was near when she decided it was necessary to pray. And PRAY she did! Shamelessly. Crying, hands raised, wailing… she meant business.
One person in particular was often the subject of my Granny’s prayers. She had a difficult life and Granny knew that. When this person would come home, Granny would welcome her with open arms. She would love her, talk to her, feed her, but as soon as her wandering feet hit the front porch, Granny’s knees hit the carpet. And she would PRAY! She begged God to save this person, to heal her, to touch her life.
I sat at my kitchen table, on Granny’s birthday, thinking about this person. Thinking about the things she is going through even today. Things aren’t great for her, but let me tell you… she is very much healed in so many ways! She is alive, which in itself is a miracle.  And, those prayers my Granny prayed are still working.

This brings me some peace. It lifts my ‘sad cloud’ a little. The prayers that have been prayed for you don’t die even when the person who prayed them does.

His Favorite Hooker

My son loves hookers. There, I said it.

It started couple of years ago, when he asked Santa for a hooker. (I guess I should clarify, in case you weren’t one of the 10 people who read that post, hooker=clothes’ hanger)

He pulls all the hookers from his closet and plays with them. With his hookers, he can be Captain Hook, an armed ninja, or a giant crane! He can pick things up, hook his siblings, and drag trucks. The hooker possibilities are endless!

I feel you judging! Stop!

We think that four years old is a little too young for a ‘sit down’ about the true dangers of hookers, so we just enjoy the laughs. The two other kids also call these lovely plastic devices by Bubba’s inappropriate name.

I recently walked in on a truly memorable conversation. Sissy was teaching Baby Boy how to clean up. This is the hilariousness I was so blessed to overhear:

Sissy (speaking baby talk): Ok baby, I am going to cover the floor with hookers and teach you how to clean them all up!

Baby Boy: Hookers!

Sissy (full of pride for having taught him a new word): Yes! Yay! Hookers! Now, we are going to pick them up and take them to Bubba’s room because Bubba LOVES hookers!

Baby Boy: Hookers!

Sissy (throws hangers all over her floor): There. The hookers are everywhere! What do we do, baby?

Baby Boy: Hookers!

Sissy: Yes, we pick them up! Sissy doesn’t like hookers all over her room! So, pick up the black hooker.

Baby Boy: Black Hooker

Sissy: Yes! You are learning your colors! That’s the black hooker! Pick it up!

Baby Boy: Pick up hooker…

Sissy: Very good! Now take the hooker to Bubba’s room.

A few minutes later the hookers were all returned to their rightful owner. (My thoughts, “Oh my gosh! Am I raising a pimp?”)

Sissy found me in the kitchen and smiled brightly as she asked for a piece of tape. When I asked why, she told me she was making a surprise for Bubba.

I finished loading the dishwasher then walked to Bubba’s room to see the surprise…

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Bubba walked in behind me and said, “Thank you, Sissy! How did you know that is my favorite hooker?”

Sissy beamed, “I just knew!”

Is it weird that this totally touched my heart? Gah, I love these unique little humans!😃

 

Treasure These Things

Little boys can be frustrating! They do really weird things like… take their clothes off when they walk in the house, pour their milk in the car cup holder without telling anybody, stick foreign objects up their little noses. (I’ve only heard of these things. My boys are angels.) But, oh my goodness, can’t they just melt your heart? Even when they are acting like wild animals, there is something sweet in their mischief.
The other day, the boys were in the bath tub, & I accidentally splashed Bubba with water. He cocked his head, smiled a crooked smile, & said, “Hey, watch it you crazy girl!” Now, a part of me stopped & thought… child, you have lost your mind; but an even bigger part of me thought it was just too adorably irresistible. I couldn’t get mad. It seemed so sweet & funny him calling me girl.

I wonder if Mary experienced those same moments with Jesus? I wonder if she placed her hand on his chest at night to make sure he was breathing? Did she worry about him making friends in carpentry school? Did she get frustrated when he spilled his grape juice and ruined his lovely white tunic? Did she lose her patience when Jesus and James used sticks as swords?

We know she and Joseph worried about Jesus. When Jesus stayed behind at the temple, Mary and Joseph “anxiously searched” for Jesus & finally found him, 3 days later! Yes, THREE days! Can you imagine? If you have ever lost a child, even for one minute, you know that terror. And then, when you find them doing something like playing in the clothes racks… Well, relief, love, and anger make for a fantastic scene in Target. (Again, just a story I’ve heard…not a personal experience.)

Surely, when Mary walked into the temple and saw Jesus teaching away with an audience, she felt all of those same feelings. She actually said, “Son, why have you treated us like this?” Jesus kind of did what Ryder did to me…”Hey crazy girl, I’m about my father’s business!(Not exactly in those words.)
The bible says they didn’t understand, but Mary “treasured these things in her heart.” I love that. Mary didn’t fully realize what was happening, but she knew something was up. Losing Jesus couldn’t have been pleasant. She was horrified! She didn’t mean treasure like a gold coin, but she treasured them… treasure as a verb. She locked it up in her heart to think and pray about.
We can do this. We can be like Mary. All the things we have to watch our children, our friends, & our family go through, all the changes we see in them, the good times and the bad, maybe…we should treasure these things in our hearts.

If they are little happy moments we can savor them and thank God for his blessings. If they are not so happy, and you are in a time of trouble, or you are just confused about life, treasure these things. Stop, capture the moment, hold it in your heart. Change is coming, and when it does, like Mary, you can pull out this moment, look at it closely, and see your savior was in the middle all along.

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We Gonna Party Like It’s Your Birthday

Happy Birthday! I’m throwing you a huge party! Everyone will give each other lots & lots of gifts. You’ll love it!

The only bad thing… is that a bunch of your friends will not be happy. They won’t be satisfied. Their expectations won’t be met. They will feel let down. That’s just some people though…like 1.5 million or so…the rest will be fine.

Well…except for the other  people who will try so hard to please everyone else at the party that they totally forget it’s your party. Oh, and some friends will feel pressured to keep up, and will find themselves in a ‘tiny bit of trouble’ after your party.

Also, people will crash your party. Sorry. Dang Santa…& stupid Elves… Mamas will be tired. Daddys will be grumpy.

One more thing, answer if you get a call; and you WILL get calls. Lots & lots of calls. Your friends will need your help to get through your party. They will need money, sanity, patience… Not the whole time. Just like 22 hours. They will sleep the other two. You can rest then.

Aside from those things, and a million others, you are really gonna love this party, truly. Get ready for fun. It’s your big day…kinda.

I apologize in advance, I’m the worst of all! I love you so much though. Happy early birthday from my crazy family & me. We will really celebrate you this year & try super hard not to get too ridiculously consumed…Well, next year for sure!! Next year, we won’t lose our minds. Or least when the kids get bigger…Yes, when they grow up a little, we will tone it down! Only three presents each when they turn ten. We will really have it all together then…

Blog = Diarrhea

  • Blog: a Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, experiences, and activities (AKA: online diary)

Sissy: What do I do on the blank pages of my new book?

Me: Well, it’s a diary. Do you know what that is?

Sissy: Yes mam, it’s when you poop a lot? But that’s weird?

Me: What? Ohhhhhh! Hahaha, you are thinking of diarrhea!

So, sissy has uncovered the true definition of a blog. It’s not pretty, but it’s often the truth:

  • blog: where you poop a lot

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You Go, Beaux!

I recently googled, “Can I make my elf go away if my kids are bad?” I didn’t find the answers I sought. What I hoped to see,  was an article explaining the value of lessons learned when kids’ mythical creatures discipline them. I found no such information.

Oh well! I don’t need Internet psychologists to tell me how to raise my kids! Bribery, threats, & the occasional shout aren’t beyond the scope of my parenting style. I’m sorry Yahoo Parenting, it doesn’t matter what your ‘experts’ say, when my child goes crazy in Walmart, I can’t calmly watch because it’s ‘normal.’ It’s not normal to lick the buggy or to throw punches while I’m browsing the shower gel aisle. I’m done!

So, after my useless online research, I marched straight into sissy’s room where Beaux the Elf sat. I yelled to him about all the ridiculous behaviors I had observed, while my children looked at me as if I were crazy. Sissy laughed and started telling Beaux to come back anyway. Bubba & Baby Boy didn’t seem to care.

Now, I’m sitting here on the couch fuming! I am truly tired of the wildness! Tomorrow, Beaux will be gone along with the presents! Here is Beaux’s obligatory explanation. (It rhymes of course.)

Your whining, crying, & meaness too, make me oh so mad at you.

 

You took off your diaper and pooped on the floor, is that chocolate or dirt? I don’t know anymore.

 

You’ve literally started climbing the walls. You don’t need three beds, you need three stalls.

 

“Give me, give me, give me… presents,” you say. So I can look at them for a second, then throw them away.

 

You’re driving me crazy so I must declare, LOOK under your tree…POOF,  it’s bare.

So, that’s the plan. Elf goes away & takes the presents with him. I’m just losing my mind! Are everyone else’s kids crazy? Are y’all thinking of running away? Do you buckle them in the car, shut the door, then stand outside taking deep breaths?

I fully intended to be prepared this year. I planned to keep the Christmas consumerism craziness away from my home. I was going to teach them the true meaning of Christmas. I’ve failed, I have failed miserably. Here are some pictures to prove it.

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Climbing the walls
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This child! The jumping, climbing, running…
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I don’t even know? (Oh, I’m hoping, with a onesie snapped over his pants, he can’t take his diaper off!)
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What?
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Unidentified substance
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vaseline bandit
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Crying because she wanted the Pink Playdoh from the goodie bags we made for her FRIENDS!! 😡😡

They are pretty cute though! And, SO much fun! 😊

 

 

Destroy Delilah, aka Meth, Cocaine, Klonopin, Codeine…

 

This Thursday, I will attend my last CASA class. CASA stands for court appointed special advocate. It is a program that the courts use to assign advocates to children who have been placed in foster care. Throughout my last three classes, we have discussed the issues that are causing so many children in our area to be taken from their homes. The number one reason is drugs. Specifically meth, but also other drugs. It makes me sad. I think of all of my friends and family members who have been and are being ruined by drugs. It is kind of becoming an obsession for me. What can we do? How do we stop this senseless loss of life?

I know what the research says, and it isn’t encouraging. I have googled, ‘the bible on addiction,’ ‘sermons on addiction,’ ‘helping someone deal with their addiction,’ and I can’t find anything other than the usual, “You just gotta lay it down.” And I can’t help but think, What if they can’t lay it down.

This morning, I was reading my bible and asking the Lord to show me something, to give me wisdom, and to help me see what his word says about addiction. I felt like I should read the story of Samson and Delilah.

I never liked this story. It seemed so dark depressing to me. But, I read it….it was still dark and depressing. I read it again and thought, Why am I reading this? What does this have to do with addiction? Samson loved women, especially bad ones, it led to his destruction….Oh…Delilah = drugs/addiction. (Sorry Delilah, I’m sure you had your own awful story.)

I reread Judges 16 with ‘Delilah = drug addiction’ in mind. Judges 16 starts with Samson spending the night with a prostitute. He was trapped by the people of Gaza, but woke in the middle of the night and tore down the city gates. He then moved on from the prostitute to ‘falling in love’ with Delilah. (It’s a progression, y’all. You don’t plan to be addicted to Delilah.)  She asks him to reveal his source of strength, and he plays along, innocently enough, but lies to her. She tests him by yelling, “The Philistines are upon you!” Samson then displays his strength, proving that he has fooled her. This pattern takes place three times. Samson must’ve known it was a trap. He wasn’t an idiot, he was an addict.

Delilah, like all drugs, was a wonderful temptress and a talented liar. Judges 16:15- 16 shows the turning point where Samson fully gives in. I can’t help but read this and think about drugs and their addict…the conversations that take place.

“Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.”  With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death.”  

If you know someone who is on drugs, has been on drugs, or has relapsed, can’t you just see this taking place in their mind? Being prodded ‘day after day’ is miserable. Verse 17 says it all:

So he told her everything.

Oh, so sad. He gave in. I read those words over and over. I thought, How could this story end differently? Of course, God’s will was accomplished, but did it have to end with Samson’s demise? Could Samson have destroyed the Philistines without destroying himself? Even though God’s will is accomplished, man still has a free will, right?

What could Samson have done? He could’ve left. He could’ve run home and screamed for help. That is what we want drug addicts to do. Let them hit rock bottom and they will beg for help. But what if they don’t? What if Delilah is too strong? What if she calls her friends, the Philistines, and they bind him? What if his eyes are gouged out so that he can’t even see clearly?

If Samson was too bound by Delilah how could his story have changed?

His friends, his family, his community…where were they?

Now, I know many parents who have fought to the very end for their addicted son or daughter, begging and pleading, living in torture. So, maybe Samson’s parents wouldn’t have been enough, maybe his family wouldn’t have been enough, maybe he needed an army of believers to help him. An army stronger and bigger than Delilah’s friends to break down the door, and yell to Samson, “It’s a trap! Get out! We will hold your hand! You can beat this!”

Isn’t that God’s love? Aren’t we supposed to show God’s love to the lost? God’s love is relentless.

Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.”

You have been chosen to bear fruit that will last. You have been commanded to love! He doesn’t say, love those easy to love, love other Christians only, show love to good people.

See, the hard thing is that Samson probably didn’t want his family or friends around. He left them for Delilah, and I’m sure Delilah loved that. If you show love to Samson, Delilah will yell at you. Those drugs are powerful and they will fight back. Delilah will tell Samson to cut you off, not to listen to you, not to respond. Delilah will scare you, embarrass you, make you uncomfortable. But do you still love? Are you trying to live like Christ commanded? Can you show God’s relentless love to someone?

The drug addict ignores us and we go away. They yell at us and we wash our hands. The experts say, “Let them fall.” Jesus says, “Love them.” He doesn’t tell us to enable them, because enabling isn’t love. But you don’t have to give someone money to love them.

Where is the church when their addict is dying? Have people left your church? Where are they? Are they living in addiction? Have you contacted them? Don’t be scared! Break down the door! It takes more than the family, folks! The addict expects their family to be there, but what if you show that kind of unconditional love? Unexpected, fight to the end, I’m here for you, LOVE.

Do you know someone who is struggling with addiction? If you live in Northeast Louisiana, you do. It is rampant. Can I challenge you to call that person? Tell them you are thinking about them. Invite them to lunch. Ask them to come to church with you. Pray with them. Send them messages. Send them letters. Let’s bombard these people with Christ’s love. Let’s pull them out of Delilah’s house kicking and screaming. Don’t give up. Harass Samson, attack Delilah. Stop making excuses.

I am not being mean, I just know what it feels like to have done nothing. With tears in my eyes, I can think of many Samsons I should’ve been there for. I wasn’t. I’m sorry.