Don’t give up. Go forward.

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Ache

Why do I ache deep
And love weakly?
Why do I carry the rain
Like drooping petals
Where are my hands;
lassoed to my chest.
God is right here.
And there
And here.
Yet, I see only my mind.
a child on the teeter toter of
Guilt and Hope
Trusting in Him, sandpaper,
my soul a rusty maple.

-nJb

 

Check out my book “Pouring Echoes” on Amazon!

 

Sunday

I was born a Sunday man

with a Church bell in my soul

and a steeple coming from my chest

a journey to God’s house in each step

my voice drowned by angel’s choir

I remember the way I used to be

before taking part in His Supper

before allowing myself

to rest easy in the pew

I was a shaky man

a child tossed by the tide

a kite thrashed by the wind

It took time for the ink of the Book

to tattoo itself within my mind

to bury itself into the marrow of my actions

Sometimes I find myself hit by the tide

with my face dragging along the shore

shrapnel of shells causing me to bleed out

a bit of the Sunday man

But I am unafraid

I am not timid anymore

Because I was told not to be

And all humility rests in obedience

So as the people flood in

to praise God for all that is

I give God who I am

For He will make me a Sunday man.

-nJb

Don’t Beat Yourself Up, Bring Yourself Up

It’s easy.

Looking at all the little things in your life that drag you down.

The procrastination.

The slipped words of anger.

The anxiety of life.

It’s easy.

To hold these insecurities, sins, fears, in your palm.

And clutch onto them like your life depends on it.

It’s easy.

To bring these vices up to eye level and stare at them all. day. long.

Today, I went to confession.

The priest talked to me about refocusing.

He mentioned that focusing on the sins is not going to lead me to holiness.

“Focus on the bigger picture,” he said as he pointed to the crucifix in the confessional.

“He died for you.”

These words were very simple, but moved my heart.

It is true that focusing on our faults is quite easy. It is like an artist focused on that one tiny crack in his or her sculpture and forgetting the masterpiece already created.

Friends, don’t beat yourself up, bring yourself up.

Focus on God. His mercy. His everlasting love for you.

The only way to grow in holiness is letting go of the perfectionism.

“God knows your heart.” said the priest.

He truly does.

So it is time we start living like it.

With hearts not focused on our faults, but aimed at loving God and others.

Don’t Drop the Key

I went on a run today. When I run, I usually have to hold onto my key. My pockets are usually not deep enough, and quite frankly they would definitely fall out.

So I clench my key in my sweaty hand.

We, humans, hold onto a lot of things tightly in our hands.

A lot of things that don’t really matter…

Such as anxiety, fear, mistrust, doubt. We clench onto all this stuff.

We need to let it all go and open our hands.

However, while running and holding my key for dear life, I was reminded of the fact that there is one thing we need to hold onto.

The Key that opens up Home.

When we are born we are all given a key. Through Baptism and our choices we decide if we want to hold onto this gift.

One day we are gonna have to hand over our key to God and He will open the gates and call us Home.

This key is the ability to enter into the Kingdom of God.

We must never forget that when life gets tough and we feel like we cannot go forward anymore.

Our purpose is to make it Home and enter through the gates.

We were given a key in our hearts.

So keep running, and don’t drop the key.

 

 

I hope you see this.

To someone who feels alone.

I hope you see this.

To someone who feels afraid.

I hope you see this.

To someone who feels rejected.

I hope you see this.

To someone who feels angry.

I hope you see this.

To someone who feels sad.

I hope you see this.

To someone who feels anxious.

I hope you see this.

 

I want you to know that you were made for this moment. You were made to use this struggle as a catalyst for growth. You were made to move not to stay stagnant. You were made for opportunity. I get it. You feel stuck. You feel unsure. You feel afraid. But that is just telling me now is the time for you to pick up your heavy limbs and make a move towards progress. Now is the time where change is visible. Now is the time to lead the life God wills for you.

I hope you see this, and know that you can do all through Him who created you.

You were born to live not to remain paralyzed in fear.

You were born for this very moment.

Ants in Your Pants

A couple months ago.

I was walking around my apartment when I saw it.

An ant.

The tiniest little guy squirming around on my floor.

So I got rid of him and went on my way.

A few moments later I look at the floor and see another one.

Then another one.

Then another one…

I can feel my blood pressure start to elevate.

Where are they coming from?

What are they doing in my apartment?

Why now?

Long story short, I had a lot planned for that day but I wasted it.

Those pesky ants effected me so much physiologically that I could not concentrate.

I slept thinking I felt something crawling on my legs.

I went out and bought traps.

When I studied in my apartment, I would see one, and that would be it.

The other day I realized something about my ant experience. It is very much like how I am effected by the small annoyances.

You see the big things don’t bother me. Medical emergencies, I envision myself pretty cool, calm, and collected. Speaking in front of a giant crowd? What a rush. Getting lost in a city, not a problem.

But a few ants, and I can’t think straight. Missing one question I should have gotten on a test and I feel like a failure. Saying the wrong thing to someone, and it spins around in my head all day. Thinking negatively about someone and I beat myself up with the guilt. Needing to get gas on a busy day, and I get really stressed.¬†It’s the little things…the little ants, that can drive many of us away from peace.

So, what is one to do about it?

Recognize that the ant is there and move forward.

Put it into perspective.

It is just a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of life.

You have work that needs to be done.

If we start allowing the ants of daily life to grab our attention we will live our lives staring at the floor.

We have to make a choice. To choose our purpose rather than our distraction.

Recognize the power that you have; given to you by God.

You have a mission friend, don’t let the ants in your pants prevent you from living it boldly.

 

 

Move On

Do you remember playing sports as a kid?

Let’s just say backyard football in honor of Super Bowl ¬†Weekend.

I sure do. I remember playing with my friends in my backyard. I like playing tackle football. Especially in the winter time because you could tackle someone right into the snow.

I can clearly remember getting hit pretty hard a few times. But the game was not over and we were making it down the backyard to our end zone.

So, in those moments after the big hits I had a choice.

To sit and dwell on the pain and discomfort or use the hit to fuel my run to the end zone.

Kids seem to be able to move on much quicker than adults.

A kid will be crying one minute because they dropped their ice pop and two seconds later they are laughing at something on TV.

I get it. Adult problems are much bigger than dropping a favorite food onto the floor. However, I think we have something to learn from kids.

They are present. They do not dwell on the past. They put all their trust in parents and adult figures.

Christ tells us to be like little children. St. Therese’s spirituality was centered on remaining “little” in her walk through the world, which is what drove her to reach sainthood.

I want to encourage you all this week to recognize what you need to do after getting hit. Maybe life tackled you? Maybe a memory tackled you? Maybe a recent failure hit you? Maybe a financial trouble tackled you?

Whatever it may be we have a choice. To face it like a little kid playing backyard football or someone on the sidelines too afraid to play.

Don’t move on just to move on. Move on so that you can make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you.

Move on so that you can build enough strength to take the hits and keep on going.

Move on so that you can get to end zone and look out and see how proud our Heavenly Coach is of you.

When you hug God

You walk towards Him.

He reaches out His arms to embrace you.

You lunge forward and hug Him with every ounce of your being.

Your fears melt. You are eternally safe.

Yet, you feel a sharp pinch on the side of your head.

You notice a thorn from His crown is hitting you.

You feel a pain in your side.

You feel just a bit of the lance which pierced Him.

Your feet resting on top of His, begin to sting.

At the touch of the nails driven into His feet.

Your hands holding His become red.

The burn of the nails in His hands, melts into yours.

The tighter you hug the more of His pain you feel.

You begin to know God and His love.

Yet, you call it suffering?

My friend, this is a gift.

To walk the way of the cross with God.