Live, Love, Learn, Grow, and Give

The odds are rare to be in such a snare.
 Yet, here you are, caught, seemingly without a thought.
 How then did you arrive in such a peculiar place? You must tell me of your unusual case!
For I’ve had a few of my own and have learned from others and grown.
 I would have started doing this much earlier if, in life, if I had realized, I could avoid so much strife.
But, “live and learn” as they say. Do this and find out the hard way.
 That I did, and through some very narrow windows have slid.
By the grace of God, I have made it here. Lesson after lesson; year after year.
 I am not yet totally in the clear, but I feel like my chances grow increasingly near.
 I must continue to learn and let live, for some decisions, judgments, and choices are not always mine to give.
 What I can give, I will. Every minute, every ounce, every skill.
This I will do by not mine, but by His will.
 Seeking it day after day and always remembering that this is the way.
Yes, this is the way I must live: love, learn, grow, and give.

(Live, Love, Learn, Grow and Give is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash)

Steps of Life

Once I was two years old, playing at the bottom of the stairs.  Doing what I was told.
Then I was five years old.  Halfway up the stairs.  Observing things unfold.
A few steps later, and I was twelve years old.  Two steps from the top, man, I was bold.
Now I have made it to the top and am eighteen.  What a scene!
But wait!  More steps have appeared and with them so many fears!
I am brave, though.  So up and up, I will go!
Now I have made it up the second set.  I am so tired, but can’t quit yet.
I am one step from the top, all that remains is just a little hop.
I am now twenty-eight and am about to jump to the top.  But I can’t.  I feel as heavy as a rock.
I consider going back down.  I quickly look for the steps, but they cannot be found.
Now I am stuck.  What unfortunate luck!
So I begin to wallow.  Immersed in my feelings of pain, pity, and sorrow.
Another two years have now gone by.  I suddenly look down.  I am not sure why.
I see three kids, and my heart jumps in bliss.
I am reminded of times of old, and again I am bold. 
I have now made it up the second set, but I can see I am not done climbing yet. 
This time my heart is not weary, however, and I am determined to make it to the top.  Even if I must continue climbing forever!

(Steps of Life is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Photo by Kenneth Borg)

Tired and Tried

So today, I’m feeling a bit tried; it’s as if a part of my heart has died. 
The part that feels for those in need, it bothers me indeed. 
But those who beg, I guess differ, for them my heart grows even stiffer. 
I know it sounds wrong, but the feeling is so strong! 
If those that begged, wined and cried only tried.  
Their lives would grow so much more, and my heart would not be as sore!
For I don’t like to say no, and the hurt continues to grow. 
If I say yes, it creates a mess. 
It’s like planting a seed, one that takes money to feed. 
How big can it grow?  Only God can know! 
So many questions arise!  Will this person be my demise?
  Will they ever stop?  Is there no line they won’t cross? 
Are their stories true?  Is there really nothing else they can do? 
I think if only they would try harder, my heart might grow larger, but all they do is make excuses…  What?  Are they useless? 
No, I don’t think so, all they need to do is give it a go. 
At first, it might be slow, but that’s how it is for most!  In life, you cannot just coast! 
I worked hard to get what’s mine, every penny every dime. 
So should they too, and after that, I’ll see what I can do.

(Tired and Tried is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Vicky Sim on Unsplash)

Sadness Endured

I hurt sure, but I’ve seen people hurt without a cure.
I try, but I’ve seen people’s try that makes me cry.
Yeah, I want, but some people need and still are distraught.
I am discouraged, but others aren’t even granted the capability ever to have any courage.
In retrospect, I still have distress, but in comparison know to others, it is far less.
So, I will try… And yes, sometimes cry.
But I will know that in every effort I show, I will grow.
Someday I will not want. Someday I will not be distraught.
I will find what is mine and be assured it is one of a kind.
Until then, I will not worry and will try not to be in a hurry.
I will remember to laugh at the past and have my future in grasp.
I will continue to be me and someday be free…
Because I know someone out there wants to be mine. I know I haven’t found her yet because she is one of a kind.

(Sadness Endured is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash)

My Prayer

Father, help me to get through this day, for this, I pray!
  Help me to do what’s right and not live only by sight. 
Father, show me the path you would have me walk and help me to remember you are my foundation- more solid than a rock! 
Please forgive me when I do wrong and help me to stay strong.
  Help me to show respect and never neglect. 
Help me to forgive those who wrong me and show them the Christian way to be!
  Help me to show them why we are here and that you are the only GOD to fear. 
Father, help me to always make the right decision and to wisdom always listen. 
Give me the guidance I seek and help me from becoming weak! 
Help me to remember you’re the reason I’m alive, and for goodness, I should strive. 
Now, Father, I would like to thank you for all that you do!  Thank you for this day and allowing me to live this way, thank you for my wonderful family, without them I don’t know where I would be. 
Thank you for giving me opportunity even though I sometimes live stupidly. 
I want to thank you, especially for sending Jesus to the cross, I know because of that my sins are lost! 
Now Father, please be with me until we talk again…  Amen

(My Prayer is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash)

Right Things Wrong

Right things wrong and wrong things right; just two more things to add to my thoughts at night! 
What about the right things I did do, though?!  Don’t those ever show?
  Not as brightly, it doesn’t seem.  Toward the negatives, it feels that people lean. 
My wrong things right at least shine bright! 
Who cares about the right things wrong?!  No one notices them, at least not for long. 
There is a lesson to be learned here, I cannot see it, although I feel it is near. 
If I try to do right and no one is within sight, do my good deeds shine?  Or do people still judge me for every little crime?
If I do things wrong and my bad ways don’t last very long, is this the way I will be viewed?  Every person’s thoughts of me skewed? 
I guess it doesn’t really matter, no matter what people will always chatter.
  I’ll keep doing what I do; hopefully, the right things shine through! 
People can judge all they want, one day in their weaving web; they’ll be caught!
Only one can truly judge me…  And that’s the lesson. I finally see!

(Right Things Wrong is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash)


I wonder how many hands have crossed paths?  How many soles saved?
  How many soles lost?  How many tears shed?  What about laughs shared? 
I wonder what of inspiration?  What of dedication? 
Days saved?  Days lost?  What about sunrise and sunset?  Eyes moved, and eyes met? 
I wonder about motivation and even confrontation?  One person’s muse…  Another person’s fuse. 
Now I wonder about the words you hear.  Are you confused?  Or are my words clear?

(Guitar is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Anni Gupta)

Intrigued by Integrity

Do you want it?  Go get it!  I’m not finished!  Still, things left to prove, and not to you! 
I didn’t leave it all out there, now I will; no matter what, I don’t care! 
After all the hard work I put in, not to try would be a sin!
  Many think I will not succeed, and to my anguish, it will lead.
  To them, I say this:  I will never quit, no matter what the obstacle, I will push through it! 
I’ve faced ambiguity before, through that, I soar! 
I thrive on people’s doubt of me, any other way I would not have it be! 
I know the odds are against me, but I don’t care, can’t you see?! 
If not, then you will, in me there lingers a destiny to fill! 
I won’t let myself down; not this time…  Just wait, victory will be mine!

(Intrigued by Integrity is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Jay Wennington)

Patience in Love

Patience is a virtue, so we are told, but hearing that often gets old. 
There is one area in particular in which I seem to have the most trouble.  That is in the area of being deemed “loveable.” 
Will, I ever find “the one”?  Or is my heart’s fate to be continuously on the run?
  Is my love worthwhile?  Or is it estimated to be unworthy or vile? 
Should I stop trying?  Is that part of my personality dying? 
I hope that this is not the case.  Simply thinking about it makes my heart race.
  It is something I want so badly.  Something I wish could stop eluding me, and I often think of sadly.
  I have been close, I feel, but in the end, the feelings fail to be one hundred percent real.
  My relationships have always fallen short on some domain.  I know it has typically been my fault, however, so for that, I cannot complain. 
It still hurts, though, and at this point in my thinking, regret will always show.
  Moving on, I know, is the answer.  I feel like I am past that, though, and loneliness still looms like a cancer.
  So it’s back to being patient…  “Just wait,” they’ll say, as my heart grows more vacant. 
“The right person will find you when you least expect it.”  I had a hard time with that bit, but now I see it as a paradox and will wait; hopefully, love is never too late.

(Patience in Love is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Nick Fewings)

Don’t Tread on Me

Tread on me?!  That’s not a good idea, can’t you see? 
I’ve been to the bottom, I know every pain, I’ve got ’em.
Your shallow ways will get you nowhere!  I know how it feels to walk through a room and have people stare. The best thing about that is I don’t care! 
I thrive on it!  At first, it was hard, I will admit.
  But now I see it does not matter what people like you think!  Your worthless glare will not make me shrink!
It means nothing to me! It’s actually starting to make me happy.
  I love that for some reason; you think you’re better!?  What’s your biggest accomplishment this month?  Reading this letter?! 
  If you think I’m wrong, prove it then!  I guarantee I will remain strong!
If you’re not willing to do this, then the purpose of my letter, I guess you miss! 
I will have to be blunt!  Stay out of my life; it’s going to lead for you great strife!
  If you don’t, I’m not sure what will happen, I guess we will see… if you’re ever able to stand up to me!

(Don’t Tread on Me is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel)