Refine Me

31 10 2006

by Jennifer Knapp (going a little bit Old school…)

I come into this place
Burning to receive your peace
I come with my own chains
From wars I’ve fought for my own selfish gain
You’re my God and my Father
I’ve accepted your Son
But my soul feels so empty now
What have I become?

Lord, come with your fire,
Burn my desires; refine me
Lord, my will has deceived me
Please come and free me
Refine me

My heart can’t see
When I only look at me
My soul can’t hear
When I only think of my own fears
They are gone in a moment
You’re forever the same
Why did I look away from You
How can I speak Your name?

Lord, come with Your fire,
burn my desires; refine me
Lord, my will has deceived me
Please come and free me
Come rescue this child
For I long to be reconciled to You

It’s all I can do
To give my heart and soul to You
And pray, and pray, oh I will pray

Lord, come with Your fire,
burn my desires; refine me
Lord, my will has deceived me
Please come and free me
Come rescue this child
For I long to be reconciled to You

Refine me, refine me
Refine me, refine me



30 10 2006

had a pretty nice weekend myself, hung out with Sean’s mom a bit, shopped a bit, worked on the house, cleaned, drank some wine, had some laughs, I guess that’s what the weekend is for. 

Heading to the gym today for a 5:45 class, will be around before that.  Picture day today, always a nightmare.  Awesome.  If it’s not one thing it’s another, right? 

needing a moment like this

27 10 2006

So I ran across this poem, that I love, however, I hate at the moment because it represents all that my class is not this year, all that I have not been able to accomplish.  They continue to fight, bicker, they’re horridly disrespectful, not just to me, but to each other.  It’s amazing to me the tension that stays thick in this classroom of distrust and ignorance.  The kids aren’t mature enough to handle in the mannor that I like to handle them.  I don’t know what to do.   

Tony Steinberg: Brave Seventh Grade Viking Warrior
by Taylor Mali

Have you ever seen a Viking ship made out of popsicle sticks
And balsa wood? With tiny coils of brown thread for ropes,
Sixteen oars made out of chopsticks, and a red and yellow sail
made from a baby’s footie pajamas?

I have.

He died with his sword in his hand and so went straight to heaven.

The Vikings sometimes buried their bravest warriors in ships.
Or set them adrift and on fire, a floating island of flames.
The soul of the brave warrior rising slowly with the smoke.
To understand life in Scandinavia in the Middle Ages,
You must understand the Viking ship.

So here is the assignment:
The class must build me a miniature Viking ship.
You have a month. And you must all work together.
Like warriors.

These projects are what I’m known for as a teacher.
Like the Egyptian Pyramid Project.
Have you ever seen a family of four standing around a card table after dinner,
each one holding one triangular side of a miniature pyramid until the glue dried?
I haven’t either, but Mrs. Steinberg said it took 90 minutes,
and even with the little brother on one side saying,
This is dumb! This is a stupid pyramid, Tony!
You’re going to fail this project.
If I get Mr. Mali next year, my pyramid is going to be much better than this!
And Tony on the other side saying,
Shut up! Shut up! You little %#@!
No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Keep holding your side
or I swear I’ll kill you after the glue dries!
It was the best family time they’d spent together since Christmas.

He died with his sword in his hand and so went straight to heaven,
which the Vikings called Valhalla.

Mr. Mali, if that’s true, that you would go straight to Valhalla
if you died with your sword in your hand,
then if you were an old Viking
and you were about to die of old age,
could you could keep your sword right by your bed
so if you felt like you were going to die
you could reach out and grab it?

I don’t know if their gods would fall for that,
but it sounds like a good idea to me.

Tony was out for a month before we heard what was wrong.
And the 12 boys left whispered the name of the disease
as if you could catch it from saying it too loud.

We’d been warned. The Middle School Head had come to class
And said Tony was coming to school on Friday.
But he’s had a rough time.
The medication he’s taking has made all his hair fall out,
and he’s a little shy about it.
So don’t stare, don’t point, don’t laugh.

I always said I liked teaching in a private school
Because I could talk about God
And not be breaking the law.
And for an Episcopalian kid who only went to church
On Christmas and Easter, I sure talked about God a lot.
In history of course, that’s easy,
Even the Egyptian Pyramid Project is essentially a spiritual exercise.
But how can you study geometry and not believe in a God?

A God of perfect points and planes,
Surrounded by angels and angles of all different degrees.
Such a God wouldn’t give cancer to seventh grade boy.
Wouldn’t make his hair fall out from the chemo.
Totally bald in a jacket and tie on Friday morning.
And I don’t mean Tony. Not one single boy in my class had hair;
the other 12 had shaved their heads in solidarity.
Have you ever seen 13 bald-headed seventh grade boys,
all pointing at each other, all staring, all laughing?

I have.

It’s a beautiful sight. And almost as striking as 12 boys
six weeks later, now with crew cuts on a Saturday morning,
outside the synagogue with heads bowed,
holding hands and standing in a circle
around the smoldering remains
of a miniature Viking ship,
the soul of the brave warrior
rising slowly with the smoke.

something to believe in

25 10 2006

And these are only some of the things I believe

by Staceyann Chin-

Imagination is the bridge between

the things we know for sure

and the things we need to believe

when our world becomes unbearable

…..I believe in Monsters lurking under the bed

because they give our children something

to conquer, before the world begins to

conquer them….

I believe in believing everyday-

in fists and friendships

and final words….

I believe our lives are often shorter

than we expect

so for as long as we can, I believe

we should believe in some things

we don’t know for sure

Acknowledge the range

of possibilities not limited by what we see

move reality with imagination

we decide what our destinies will be

a good day, finally

25 10 2006

by Ina Coolbrith

…There the truth sifting! A soul, here, uplifting! Patient, prevailing, With purpose unfailing, Till at life’s portal, Through love immortal, Supremely she stands, The World in her hands…


23 10 2006

what a weekend. Sean is slowly killing me lately.  He’s dreadfully unhappy at work, which of course, carries over into the other aspects of our life.  He comes home critical and defensive, not an awesome combination.  It’s as though I can do nothing right lately.  not at school, not at home, I really hope that he just doesn’t realize how horridly he speaks to me lately.  I mean, just constantly critical.  And for someone who’s primary love languages are touch and words of affirmation, this is not working out well for me.  I barely felt as though he liked me this weekend, much less was in love with me. 

How have our parents done it?  How do people last, going through these times where things are hard and everyone is unhappy?  Is it realistic to expect one person to be able to fill our needs for the rest of our lives?  I just don’t know anymore. 

I can’t talk about this to anyone here, Marjie is gone, not coming back until February now.  I don’t know what I’ll do.  And it seems so damn disrespectful to air these thoughts outloud to anyone.  Disrespectful of him, of our marriage, of the things I’m holding tightly to for no apparent reason.  Wow, a little much this morning, huh? 

words from a friend

21 10 2006

that match my own thoughts so precisely that I must post them here:
Is there even a chance that heaven opens up these doors that life has slammed in our faces?

Will we be free to live our dreams?

Will the changes that come with our last breath here be changes in reality or merely changes in perception?

And will perception be reality?

Once again I find myself caught up in wondering why.