I recently sat down with Donnie Mote on a beautiful Fall Friday afternoon for coffee and a visit. Donnie helps with the children’s ministry at Maywood. He sings with them and is a big friend with the kids at recreation on Wednesday nights. He also helps Maywood provide services to a very vibrant group of Hispanic families that meet twice a month.
Bob: Donnie, when did we first get acquainted?
Donnie: I came to Maywood in February 2015.
Bob: What brought you to Maywood?
Donnie: I am separated from my two children’s mother. I came to church, because I knew I could see them there.
Bob: What has kept you coming back to Maywood?
Donnie: I sense there is a family at Maywood. I have changed my life and I have changed for real. I have friendships with people who are like me at Maywood. They don’t judge my past. When I finally did what I had to do to get my life together, I found a home at Maywood.
Bob: I know you like sports and music. Tell me about it.
Donnie: I have been singing since I was twelve. My father had a band and I got to sing with them. When I left home at 14, music was very important to me. When I was in jail or prison, I created music in my cell. Music has always allowed me to get out my feelings.
Bob: What about sports?
Donnie: I was a pitcher and a catcher on the baseball team. If I hadn’t gotten so involved with drugs, I would have had a good future with baseball. Now, I play softball for an AA team. I play the outfield. I also play a great game of T-Ball with children at church.
Bob: You recently sent me a text with the words to one of your songs. Would you tell them to me.
Donnie: Sure. This is the song.
When I met you I was broke
From self will for thirty years
I was begging for peace
No more tears
I swore that drugs were
A part of who I’d always be
And incarceration was the only way
To get me clean
I was hateful, bitter
A freaking pessimist
I never smiled or laughed
My life was over but just
Wasn’t ending quick enough
I tried suicide but didn’t die
Because of your love
You lifted the obsession to use meth
And now I live in acceptance
I know that you’re here
And in control of what happens
Because I have faith
And every day I surrender in
Your Spirit’s alive, inside me
Like a hurricane
To go back would be crazy
I would be insane
Thank you Jesus
From all of that pain
Thank you Lord
Bob: You will soon have one year of sobriety. How did you get sober?
Donnie: I was sick. I thought that the only way I could get sober was to get locked up. I tried to get my probation officer to lock me up, so I could get sober. My officer told me that I would have to get sober on my own. I surrendered completely, went to detox, and began working with the people at Maple Street House. I did cut off contact with some people could tempt me to use.
Bob: How do you stay sober?
Donnie: Besides complete dependence on God, I do two things. I think of how stupid it would be to use drugs again. I also “play the tape.” I think about how using drugs will completely ruin my life.
Bob: What does a friendship with Jesus mean to you?
Donnie: I know that Jesus loves me and helps me do the right thing. I stay in constant communication with Jesus. He is in the process of helping me quit cussing. Every time I say a curse word, I apologize to Jesus. That is helping. I also realize that I am not in control. I surrender what happens in my life to Jesus.
Bob: You help with children at Maywood. What does that do for you?
Donnie: They are fun. They keep me young. They need someone who has fun. They don’t want to be around a grumpy old man, so I have fun with them. I tease them and play lots of fun games with them.
Bob: You have two beautiful girls. What are your desires for them?
Donnie: I want them to be happy, to have a stable home. I want them to have the comfort of having two stable parents. I also want them to be grateful for all of the opportunities they have.
Bob: You plan to start a career in heating and air conditioning. What does the idea of a career mean to you?
Donnie: This is real. I want a trade and to be able to do something important with my life.
Bob: In what way has a twelfth-step program helped you in your life?
Donnie: I live by the morning meditation about acceptance. I read the meditation and I pray about it every day. This is how meditation #9 goes: “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”
Donnie is one of my spiritual friends. He and I spend time together talking about God, children, and life in general. He tells me that I am an important component to his new life. Recently, Donnie took up a contribution for me to give me an Alexander Ovechkin autographed hockey jersey. I will wear the jersey to Mavericks Hockey games this year with gratitude to my friends.
Donnie is a great example of a spiritual friend. He chairs a recovery meeting each week. He connects with several men who have a similar background to his. They truly provoke each other to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10.24).
He is a success story in many ways. He credits a relationship with Jesus for much of the success in his life. The morning meditation of acceptance is done in a friendship-relationship with Jesus.
Constant conversations with Jesus, key principles from a recovery program, and life-giving friends are the ingredients to the new life that Donnie is experiencing. What about you? What is working for you? What do you need in your life? I am very happy to answer questions you may have. Please leave a message in the “reply” section and I will get back with you.