“Oh My, Here We Go”

​I want to tell you a story.  When I met myKevin and fell head over heels in love, I didn’t know he was an alcoholic.  Over the course of our 5 year relationship, he descended into alcoholism and I descended into depression.  It broke us.  He went to jail and then Rehab. God intervened.  Healing and forgiveness happened.   The short story is, he is actively recovering and our goal is to help others.  #307TheStruggleIsReal

This…is the long story, told in #Shinedown lyrics.  🤣#ShinedownWritesHeartSongs
“Oh my, here we go…”

Act I – prologue

“My eyes are open wide and by the way, I made it through the day.  I watched the world outside By the way I’m leaving out today…I’m not angry, I’m just saying…sometimes goodbye is a second chance.”

Act II – the mushy stuff/promises made

“They say it’s never too late to stop being afraid And there is no one else here so why should I wait? Put your hands in the air if you hear me out there I’ve been looking for you day and night.  Shine a light in dark Let me see where you are ‘cause I’m not gonna leave you behind. If I told you that you’re not alone And I show you this is where you belong, Put your hands in the air one more time.”

“The first step is the one you believe in The second one might be profound.  I’ll follow you down through the eye of the storm, don’t worry, I’ll keep you warm”

Act III – his descent

“Whatever happened to the young man’s heart, swallowed by pain, as he slowly fell apart.”

“Two packs of cigarettes a day, the strongest whiskey Kentucky can make, that’s a recipe to put a vagabond on his hands and knees.  I watched it all up close, I knew him more than most.  I saw a side of him he never showed.  That’s the man he was, have you heard enough?”

“Speak of the devil, look who just walked into the room.  The guilted and faded notion of someone I once knew.  All the perfect moments are wrong, All the precious pieces are gone, everything that mattered is just a city of dust covering both of us.  Did you hide yourself away? I can’t see you anymore.  Did you eclipse another day?  I used to wake up to the color of your soul.”

Act IV – my descent into the rabbit hole

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.  Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t.

I invite you to a world where there is no such thing as time, and every creature lends themselves to change your state of mind.  And the girl that chased the rabbit, drank the wine, and took the pill has locked herself in limbo to see how it truly feels.”
Act V – the really fucking hard times

“Another loose cannon gone bi-polar, slipped down couldn’t get much lower. 

Quicksand’s got no sense of humor, I’m still laughing like hell!

You think that by crying to me looking so sorry, that I’m gonna believe you’ve been affected by a social disease well, then take your medicine.

I created the sound of Madness, wrote the book on pain

Somehow I’m still here to explain…”

“Here’s the weight of the world on my shoulders…all alone I pierce the chain, and on and on the sting remains, and drying eyes consume me now, the voice inside screams out loud.

I am focused on what I am after, the key to the next open chapter.

Every day a new deception, pick your scene and take direction. And on and on I search to connect But I don’t wear a mask and I have no regrets.”
Act VI – breaking up is hard to do

“It’s cold outside.  I’m sensing fear.  My self control has disappeared.  I’m spinning out at each end, could you be kind and let me in. Despite the writing on the wall My future’s bleak and rather small.  That’s all you could ever take from me.  I’ve got nothing to lose so let me be.” 

“Well I sized you up you’re not that strong.  You’re weak inside I knew all along.  This made up army you fight in your head Destroyed your worth and pronounced you dead.  There’s no more love.”

“Just like a crow chasing a butterfly dandelions lost in the summer sky.  When you and I were getting high as outer space I never thought you’d slip away.”

“I’m gonna make it rain, so ring the bell. I know it all too well.  Switchblade on the edge of your wrist.  Can I get a witness?  Cause agony brings no reward for one more hit and one last score.  Don’t be a casualty Cut the cord.  You gotta feel courage, embrace possession.  If it was easier to shatter everything that ever mattered, but it’s not because it’s your obsession.  Be a fighter, backbone, desire.  Complicated and it stings but we both know what it means…”

“I can hardly remember the look of my own eyes.  How can I love this a life so dishonest it made me compromise…the hardest question to answer is why.  Someone save me.  Please don’t erase me.”

“Some of the ugliest things took the longest time to make.  And some of the easiest habits are the hardest ones to break. And I’m not asking for value, nor the pain, but I am asking for a way out of this lie.  Because I can’t wait for you to catch up with me, and I can’t live in the past and drown myself in memories.

Welcome to nowhere and finding out where it is.  And fixing your problems and starting over again.  You’re feeding your ego with what you can see outside.  And you’re killing yourself for not speaking your mind.  

I wonder why you make believe you live your life straight through me.  I cannot understand why you question me and then you lie.  I will not justify your ways.  I cannot show you an escape.  I do not know you anymore.  I never knew you anyway.”

“Wait, wait a minute, take a step back.  You gotta think twice before you react.  So stay, stay a little while Because a promise not kept is the road to exile.

We watch with wounded eyes so I hope you recognize…”

Act VII – healing

“…I’m on the front line, don’t worry, I’ll be fine.  The story is just beginning.  I say goodbye to my weakness so long to the regret, and now I see the world through Diamond Eyes.”

“Hello, let me introduce you to the characters in the show.  One says yes, one says no.  Decide – which voice in your head you can keep alive.”

“I dare you to tell me to walk through fire, wear my soul & call me a liar.”

“I like to stare at the sun and think about what I’ve done.  I lie awake in my great escape.  I like crossing the line and slowly losing my mind.  Are you ok, cuz I feel fine.  Maybe it’s me I’m just crazy.  Maybe I like that I’m not alright.  All messed up and slightly twisted.  Am I sick or am I gifted.”
Act VIII – learning how to talk to each other again & making a decision to have another go

“Wrap me in a bolt of lightning, send me on my way still smiling.  Maybe that’s the way I should go.  Straight into the mouth of the unknown.  I left the spare key on the table.  Never really thought I’d be able to say I’d merely visit on the weekends.  I lost my whole life and a dear friend.”
“I’ve said it so many times, I would change my ways, no, never mind.  God knows I’ve tried.  Call me a sinner, call me a saint.  Tell me it’s over, I’ll still love you the same.  Call me your favorite, call me the worst.  Tell me it’s over, I don’t want you to hurt.  It’s all that I can say, so I’ll be on my way.”

“I don’t want to live to waste another day underneath the shadows of mistakes I made.  Cause I feel like I’m breaking inside.  I don’t want to fall and say I lost it all.  Cause baby there’s part of me that hit the wall.  Leaving pieces of me behind.”

“Don’t tell me I’m the last one in line.  Don’t tell me I’m too late this time.”

“Say it once, tell me twice.  Are you certain I’m alright?  Just a sign, to remind me that tomorrow’s worth the fight.  Ever changing the storyline that keeps me alive.  So make a wish and say…

Give me life give me love, scarlet angel from above…My Mona Lisa’s making me smile right before my eyes.  Take another look.  Take a look around.  It’s you and me.  It’s here and now.  As you sparkle in the sky, I’ll catch you while I can.  Cause all we are is all I am.  I just want you to see what I’ve always believed.  You are….the miracle in me.  

Show me faith, like you do.  I’m amazed at how you move.  Side to side, front to back.  You know how to make it last.  These are the moments you can’t pass back.  Let’s turn the water into wine one more time!”

“If you only knew, I’d sacrifice my beating heart before I’d lose you.  You returned.  You help me live and learn.  I still believe in you.”
Act IX – final act to date OR we have a dream
“It’s been a long bumpy ride sittin back in the saddle.  Its time to get down, dirty up our knees in the battle…”

“I got a mind full of inspiration and I ain’t livin in the past no more.”

“I’m not speakin under my breath, cause the harder you push, the rougher I get.  Cause I’m not shaking when the earth starts quaking Got my own foundation with no hesitation.  That’s the state of my, state of my, state of my head.”

“I could stand behind my barricade, Do what I’m told and be afraid to change.  While isolated by the mainstream.  With the current up against me.  Well maybe if my arms were ten feet tall I could finally reach that crystal ball.”

“ Cause I still find inside there’s something braver.  And I, I won’t be, I won’t be the silent damnation.  I will never be voiceless.  My weapon of choice is, I’d rather be dangerous.”

“Everybody is somebody and anybody is you.  I own my story.  I won’t say sorry.  And neither should you.”
Act X – here and right fucking now

“You can be an angel of Mercy or give in to hate.  You can try to buy it just like every other careless mistake.  How do you justify, I’m mystified by the ways of your heart.  With a million lies, the truth will rise, to tear you apart.  Wooaahh!

No one gets out alive.  Everyday is do or die.  The one thing you leave behind, is how did you love, how did you love?

It’s not what you believe, those prayers will make you bleed.  But while you’re on your knees, how did you love?

Nothing ever feels quite the same when you are what you dreamed.  And you will never look at anything the same, when you see what I see.  How we forget ourselves, lose our way, from the cradle to the grave.

You can’t replicate or duplicate, you gotta find your own way!  Yeaaahhh!!”
*courtesy of A- Z lyrics and of course, #Shinedown, Baby


Love Yourself, Know Yourself

“Character is what you are in the dark.” D.L. Moody

Love Yourself.  You are an important part of your journey.  Loving other people gets complicated in practical applications, so does loving yourself.  

It can run the gamut from basic self-care to self-defense; setting healthy boundaries to setting your life goals and expectations; knowing your talents and accepting your failures.

Look.  I want you to be Happy.  I want you to have real, loving connections with people, I want you to find meaning in your life.

That’s why I’m here.  We can work on this together.  

Let’s get down to it.  Let’s start Pre-K level.  The first thing we learn about as a child, is ourself in our immediate environment.  By the time we get to First Grade, we’re ready to explore the neighborhood.  But, for now….

Know Thyself.  What’s to know?  Or….How??????   Whichever your response, do this anyway.  

Write down your Lifespan.  From birth until your eventual death, capture each milestone, your most treasured memories, the good the bad the embarrassing,  yes the hard stuff too but only for the sake of the lessons from it (I’m not saying wallow around in it), write down what is important to you in your past, present, and future – put your dreams and goals in writing.  (If you’re as old as me, it may take more than a couple of sittings).

Take a look at it from The End.  It’s done, what does the rest of your life look like?  Throughout, Do you see patterns, themes, traditions?  

If you’ve done this before, what do you see differently now?  Learn anything new?  

I’ll share mine, if you’ll share yours…

Until then, 

Be The Best You, You Can Be

With Love, 

Billie Jo

Loving Others – Tell Your Dog “I Love You”

The following illustrates ‘Love’ as a verb. 
{Please feel free, if you do not have a dog, to replace ‘dog’ with cat, bird, fish, snake, gerbil, hamster, pet rock… Whichever, or whatever applies to you…}

You love your dog, right?  He’s a constant companion and the only one who gets So Freakin Excited Just To See You.  He listens to all your problems and is just…there for you.  Unconditionally.

Tell your dog, “I love you”.  (do it).
Don’t do anything else, though.  Don’t feed him or water him.  Don’t pet him on his head or rub his belly.  Don’t take him for a walk or throw the ball.  Don’t teach him to sit or stay or have any other interactions with him.
Does your dog know you love him?

I’ll illustrate further. 
Our human relationships are much more complex than those with our fur-babies.  The noun-love and the verb-love go hand in hand.  Human beings recognize the myriad of meanings behind the words, ” I love
you “.  For the people we love, they are important words. 

{Again….please use the appropriate term for your ‘loved-one’, be it husband, wife, child, parent, sister, brother, friend….whichever and whatever applies to them…}

Now, tell your loved-one, ” I love you”.  (do it). 
Don’t do anything else, though….

Who & Why?

My name is….Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die.  Just kidding.  My name is Billie Jo.  I borrowed that bit from “the princess bride”.  I couldn’t help myself.                                                              I spent months agonizing over the name and whether or not I could actually make my little voice speak out loud.  I don’t want to change the name.     Frankly, newbie that I am….I have no clue how to, if I wanted to.  I am here to write (here=WordPress blog).  I am Here to love God & to love others (Here = Earth).    I am here to work out the practical applications of being Here.

Loving Others~ Christmas Holiday Edition: Bell-ringers Aren’t Afraid Of Rejection

Fear… If it were a man, it would be a bad, bad man.  And UGLY.  And Hateful. Cruel.  He’d be a liar, a manipulator, and a cheat. 
He’d tell you things to keep you from acting with love toward others.  He would always give you the worst case scenario.  He would perpetuate hatred and misunderstanding instead of encouraging trust and communication.  He would tell you there could be no positive outcome.  He would instigate arguments and do anything to remove hope.  He would tell you that anytime you open yourself up and give love, of any kind, you will only be hurt as a reward.
He could never be a Bell Ringer.  He couldn’t sit and sing songs of praise and wish blessings on those who give. He could not appreciate acts of charity. He could never say “Merry Christmas” to a stranger.

Loving yourself ~ Christmas Holiday Edition: I got my Bake on…

I bake.  It’s therapeutic.   I spent 6 1/2 hours yesterday making dozen after dozen.  Again today.  My back hurts and there is a dangerous amount of fudge in my possession.  But I love it. 


At Christmas, I have an array of traditional cookies & sweets.  The people I live with think I’m crazy… But they don’t bake….they don’t even like sweets.  Still, it’s one of my favorite ways to keep Christmas.  There are traditions I hold dear, and gifting goodies is one of them.
Over the years I’ve observed many other holiday traditions.  This year, I am in a new place….a stranger in a strange land.  I’m at a transition in my life – no kids at home and a new beginning.
Over the years, I’ve spent too much money, too much time, and too much energy.  I don’t do those any more.  I no longer have a child to read “The Night Before Christmas” to on Christmas Eve.  Santa doesn’t come. 
Over the years, I struggled , to find the elusive “true meaning of Christmas.”  My intention was to create a perfect and magical time for the ones I loved. Once I finally understood…celebrating the birth of Christ is best done with Him present…the magic started to re-emerge. 
When I bake…I bake alone.  It’s a solitary act, best performed with music.  It’s a time for reflection, contemplation, and quiet conversation with God.  (I have done baking with children.  That is a different process).  I like to imagine that if I could see Jesus, here with me, He would be enjoying Himself.
In this season of my life, it’s a tradition I insist on carrying with me.  It makes me happy.  It feeds my need to………….feed.  I made it with love.