Wednesday, March 30

Tuesday Quote on Wednesday

"Our life is full of brokenness - broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God's faithful presence in our lives."

- Henri Nouwen

I'd add that God's faithfulness is shown by his eternal and unchanging promises and characteristics. Therefore, "returning to God's faithful presence" doesn't simply mean thinking that God is with us so that we have a shallow acceptance of his walking with us as would a buddy (i.e. "God is my co-pilot, Footprints in the sand") But rather as we would dig down into the dirt and ground of faith, we find a granite rock, mountainous in nature, able to withstand any buffetting storm.

It's Tuesd- I mean, Wednesday

It's Wednesday. I've completely forgotten the days of the week, because of our lovely 4 day weekend. So, it feels like a Tuesday, and thereby requires me to find a quote. So, today I'll think of a quote and post it. Can't have a week without a quote and a picture. Although the picture was very close to not happening last week! God provides all things. :D Even when you roll out of bed, walk up the stairs, say Hi to Divine Miss M, sit there for a while feeling just a tad bit guilty that she's blogging, and you're just sitting, go back to your room, get your phone, take a picture you're sure will pret-ty.much.suck and then post it. I'm a cheap blogger. None the less, God provides all things! :)

A few things I've noticed as I read my blogs
~Everyone, myself included, seems to not really know what to blog about. Except for Dooce, who makes the mundane seem interesting and funny.
~3 out of 10 blogs I read have writers on hiatus. This KILLS me.

Ok, so it was two. two things I noticed.

And finally, today was the last day I got to do this. I'm hoping that my 10 weeks of Wednesday coffees (ok, so it feels like a Tuesday, but I still got my Wednesday coffee? I guess that shows you seperation from my coffee knows no excuses based on screwed-up-week feelings) won't cause a withdrawal requiring the extra cash each week. I think I'm enough of a Presbyterian skin-flint to not walk down that road of coffee destruction, but I will still very much miss my Wednesday Coffees.

If the temptation is just too much to bear, I'll simply remind myself that the more I drink coffee, the longer it will be before I can buy a house. Perspective, baby.


Sunday, March 27

Strange things about me

On a 45 minute drive to my aunt's house, I took two Bibles, three books (two non-, one fiction) and a legal pad, because I wans't sure if I wanted to read a book, the Bible or write a blog on the way up to Easter dinner.

I stared out the window on the way up, and drove on the way back. I'm really glad I took so much.

Friday, March 25

What a Beautiful Day

Well, it's four days off from both jobs - Sleeping in, long showers, Lazy mornings. Divine Miss M has a trademark on these days. I'm not sure there's anyone in the world who does a better job at enjoying these, so I call them "M mornings." She's presently home, so we're heading out to lunch today.

As I looked outside at the quickly fading snow, I thought, "What a great Day! Sunshine and beautiful!" Then I thought about what day it is. I have today off because it's Good Friday. Today is our rememberance of the day that Christ suffered.

And last night, I had a hit-close-to-home opportunity to see just WHY he suffered. In my own pride and "must have it this way" I began a diatribe to myself of "Oh, what I just wouldn't say if...!" I planned my sin.

I planned my own sin. What a horrible thing to do, and yet it struck me how easy it was. Likely the only reason it struck me was that I was sitting there sinning and planning sin 30 SECONDS before I went to God to spend time with him (I do devotions at night.)

And so it came home: What a great God we have. What an amazing Savior. Because those things I was letting spill out of my heart and mouth, those were the very things that sent and kept Christ on that cross. I can't assuage my guilt by saying "he was dying for a lot of people." No, he was there for me. And that is a humbling, wonderful and terrifying thing to think about.

But his suffering and death is the very thing that allows me to look out on this day and think, "I'm going to lunch with one of the best friends a girl could have, enjoying the wet, bright day, looking forward to the time I can thank God for sending Jesus, along with my brothers, sisters and family tonight."

What a Beautiful Day.

Friday Photo

Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 24

Save Toby

THIS is:
Pure Genius! Wish I would have thought it up!
WHAT? that is just Evil!
There's no way he'll do that! I mean, CUTE. BUNNY! Who would do that?
I bought something to help Toby (or seriously thinking about it)
Other (post in comments)

(You can vote for more than one answer)

Free polls from

Toby background Info

The Washington Post reports on our fav little bunny wabbit. (Sorry if you have to register. I didn't, so hopefully you don't either.)

This is not the first send-money-or-Fluffy-gets-it scheme in history. What's certain is that a) whoever runs this site owns a very cute bunny, b) the site is selling more than 90 Toby-related products and c) thanks to some careful planning, the identity of the bunny's keepers is a well-kept secret.

Oh, and d) some animal-rights people are really really peeved.

Wednesday, March 23

Different Stars and memories

Last night, my mom and I watched the first session of John Piper teaching/exhorting the teens at Bethlehem. I worked with the high schoolers for a year when I was in Mpls, and in my present job I work with that church quite often. So, I was the glad recipiant of this DVD - it makes me thankful that there are christians that remember their sisters/brothers and send 'em stuff.

Pastor John was telling the kids that when he opens up the first Bible he owned, which he had with him, he can see his room - the bunkbed, the light, the color of the bedcover, etc. As he held the book to his face and closed his eyes, you knew he was transported to a different time.

For me, it's a song. Well, the songs on "Different Stars" by a group called Trespassers William. When I hear the haunting melodies they create so well, I'm instantly brought back to my apartment in Minneapolis. The glow of the candles off the light hardwood floor, the coolness of the plants all around, the shine of the 14 windows. The feeling of peace, aloneness, time passing, and of clean - I'd always sit and stare for hours, in my turn-of-the-century apartment, listening to the cd, after cleaning. Shutting off all the lights, sitting askew on my small couch.

Just thinking and being.

Tuesday, March 22

Tuesday's Quote

A celebrity is anyone who looks like he spends more than two hours working on his hair.
Steve Martin

Monday, March 21

Thanks, Anne

{Sincere thanks to Anne (Palm Tree Pundit) for keeping this on my radar.}

Something I generally haven't really expressed on this blog is legitimate outrage. This post doesn't count, because I tend to use "outrage" or venting as a way to humor.

In the following case, I am not being funny.

What is going on with Terri Schiavo's situation is absolutely horrifying. To have someone loved, but to have one person in the world be able to treat her with neglect and literally call for her death (with very sketchy reasons other than "She didn't want to live this way, but never really said it to anyone but me") and have some in the public and judges agree -

ugh. Consider me shuddering.

The bottom line in my thinking is this: No, this woman will not contribute anything to society. But we as a society will be judged according to how we treat the very weakest among us.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

We are called to higher standard. We're called to act as compassionate followers of the King.

Reaching a whole new low

Ains: See that's no good. Now he has to pay for all those vowels.
Madre: No, you only pay once for all of the letters that come up.
Ains: Oh, so that's not so bad.
Madre: {watches TV} See, that's why you shouldn't even really try on the long ones.
Ains: Why?
Madre: Well, you have to get so many letters, then you've got bankrupts, lose-a-turn. It's more likely that you'll spend all the time getting all the letters, but not get a chance to solve it.
Ains:...Mom. We're analyzing Wheel of Fortune. This is a whole new low.
Madre: You're not going to blog this, are you?

Thursday, March 17

Little Shoe Girl comes through

Part of the end of a very helpful email:

For this is our God for ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
Psalm 48:14

Wednesday, March 16

Why can't I find any sad songs??

I'm sad.

It's pretty rare that I'm sad, actually. Usually I feel other emotions, other than pure, unadulterated sadness. Actually, to be completely honest, I'm usually angry, not sad. I get irritated, irrational. In the past, when I've broken up with boyfriends I either look down apon them and are relieved we're over or I'm just. miserable. The shaking, heaving kind of crying. Usually I cry.

So today's experience is almost a new emotion for me. I'm somber, morose.

I believe it's the hope that God is in this too, that he is all powerful to work his will that keeps me from dispairing. Paired with the knowledge that we haven't experienced the final ax to our relationship.

The sadness isn't absent, though. I think of the last few weeks and really, I've enjoyed a person so much. I just know that if we part, it's best that we not continue even a friendship, because ...doing that usually results in confusion or false hope on one side or the other. That's what really saddens me. Makes my heart ache a little.

Monday, March 14

Tuesday Quote

My eighth grade year, I helped my mom teach pre-school Sunday School (4 and 5 year olds). Madre and I'll still think on this moment every now and again with amazement.

Madre: (Teaching on praise) "Why do we worship God?"


5 year old girl: "Because if we don't, the rocks will."

Remember what I said about always linking? Yeah, I'm doing it again

Somehow Christian got RIGHT into my head.

My Addiction.

uh oh.

Palm Tree Pundit just grouped me with witty women. Gosh, the pressure!

No, really -Thanks PTP! :)

To be fair, I was just thinking that I see my blog changing by the influences of those blogs I read. Truly an iron sharpens iron thing. I read Divine Miss M's blog every day and every now and again I'm inspired to write more serious posts, reflective of our conversations. Then I read Banty Rooster and realize I have nothing on this guy that I've know for practically all of my life (He's actually one of two people that I remember from my first church memory). Also, his passion for politics reminds me of that person I was - unwavering republican girl in MN. I read PTP and think I need to read more. Because the quotes are Just. So. Good! I go over to See Life Differently and....get made fun of. :) No, I stretch my mind, realizing that the beauty of their blog is that the very depth of Christianity is made practical and applicable and challenging.

And no comments on Dooce. ;) She's an talented (if moderately crude) writer and humor is the most difficult medium.

Everyone on my blog roll is chosen specifically. (In true reformed tradition!) They all are influencing and challenging me - to make my true heart - my soul's expression - be truer to God's heart.

Except Dooce ;)

All the world needs is.....Love?

Pretty soon, all I'll be doing is linking to See Life Differently or Banty Rooster. Both are so good.

What's wrong with the World?

Sunday, March 13

oh, so tired

Good night guys. I thought I would blog quickly, mostly to give you something to read :)

Tomorrow our pastor is speaking on tongues (as opposed as "in." :) We are Presbyterian, after all!) I'm looking forward to it, because I know what I believe, but I need a bit more fleshing out and scripture cross reference, which he is always so excellent at giving.

Ghetto Phone Boy is a bummed, and our family along with him - the high school boys basketball team came in second in the state. In other words, we lost the championship game. And there were some terrible calls, but for the most part, the guys just lost their shot. So very disappointing. GPB is one of the assistant coaches.

I'm listening to Amazon's clips of Cinderella. I don't own the movie or the soundtrack, but my parents do. To be honest, I probably haven't watched it as much as other little girls, but it's amazing how the soundtrack can bring the images right up.

I'm toast. I'm heading to bed. Blessings to you all.

Friday, March 11

here it is ;) Posted by Hello

Which song should I sing?

I now look 'like' Mandy Moore.

No, really. See, my friend iTones used to say that I looked like Natalie Portman (and with the light brown hair with blondish highlights, which I’ve sported off and on for a long time, I guess I could see it. I always looked at Natalie’s smile and thought, “naaawww.”) Now iTones? She looks EXACTLY like Minnie Driver and hears that all the time.

Anyway, I always do a last ditch, “hmmm, should I do something that is REALLY different” before I get my hair done/cut. Usually I’m a wuss and so I come up empty and do something that isn’t very drastic. The Eternal Hairstylist was usually able to do something a bit different with my hair each cut when we lived in the same city, but since moving back to the hometown, she doesn’t get to mess with my hair anymore.

My current Hairstylist (wow. It’s scarily similar to talking about boyfriends.) is a friend from high school who has just enough funkiness in her own life to make mine pretty interesting. But she also is conscientious of me and my style so she usually is more conservative than T.E.H.

Well, my undoing was an ad from…oh, who knows. Some hair-dye producer – specifically for highlights.

Ains: What do you think of That? {points to hairmodel}
B: I like it.
Ains: Well, I have this, pretty much {Points to other model in ad}, and I don’t want to go this blond until summer {third model gets poked in the eye}, so what do you think?
B: We should do it.
Ains: {Evil Laugh} mweh heh. He did tell me not to let you screw with my hair.
B: Is he here? No. And he has that kind of authority after 2 weeks, huh? {both laugh evilly}
Ains: Not until he gets me some really old sparkly carbon.

And then, we dissolved into hysterical laughter.

Actually, I don’t think we’ve ever laughed so much or so hard during a haircut. It was a blast.

But this morning, I shocked myself when I looked in the mirror. I’ve got a medicine cabinet that is hinged in three places, so the mirror can be a little off kilter if I leave one of the doors a bit open. I kept on glancing in the mirror and going, “Who do I LOOK like?” it was weird, because I’ve never glimpsed myself and gone, “that looks like SOMEBODY” (besides me, of course).

So this is as "close" as some of you get to finding out what I look like (I look at it, and look at the actual 'color' photo above, and I don't look like her. But anyway...) I’ll post a picture of Natalie Portman when I go back to light brown/blonde. (Cause, ya know, Natalie Portman looks JUST like Mandy Moore.)Posted by Hello

Friday Photo

Getting my car clean - the colors were much more diverse, but I guess my little camera phone didn't have the ability to pick it all up. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 10

oh....good stuff!

From Jeff Foxworthy:

If you've got a complete set of salad bowls that all say "Cooool Whip" on the side.....

....You might be a redneck.

ETA: Don't you love it when you spell something wrong, and then Blogger basically crashes, so for hours people think you're an idiot? Yeah, I do too.

Confucius say:

Clunky boots, long skirt and very full coffee cup makest not for clean walking.

Your lucky dates this month are 4, 7, and 32.

Fitting In

Divine Miss M comments on “The Swan” at See Life Differently. She told me a while back about the show and her disgust (which I shared, after hearing the story). She takes a different approach in her post, but I thought I’d comment on the same subject.

The Madre and I were talking last Sunday about something - most likely it was about our church. We love our local church. Literally love the people in it so much. One of the things that we love (and laugh a bit) about is that everyone there is crazy. Crazy in a good way, but I sometimes think that the 350 of most creatively quirky people on earth go to our church.

I raise my hand in complete knowledge and am proud to say that I, too, am part of that crowd, and as such, can be described along with them.

And it’s the quirks and strangeness of my brothers and sisters that we have grown to love. A good word to use would be their “uniqueness” (which, in fact, IS a word, according to

In visiting other churches as of late, what really has struck home is how our church is SO not the “popular crowd” of Christianity. I feel like we are the ones that are on the outside of the crowd with our face in a huge book, looking up every now and again at the “good kid crowd” who don’t drink or smoke or do drugs, but are fairly bland. And the fairly bland look at us with consternation, thinking that if we’d only do a bit of this or try to fit in “we could win so many for Christ!” If they’re the popular crowd, we’re the Misfits in Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer (ha! And are we EVER! and being just fine with it, too.)

But what they miss is the ministry to the little kid in the corner, suffering so palpably that it shows on his face and in every action.

Ok, so how does this tie together with “The Swan”? Well, I’m not sure it exactly does, but it kinda does. The final thing Madre and I discussed is that The Swan is so emblematic of the world and it’s theology: “Hey! You’re unhappy? Well, we’ll make you LOOK better and then you’ll FEEL better. If you only have popularity, you’ll be fine. And you can be unique, too. As long as by unique you mean, “Look exactly the same.”

Isn’t it interesting that in trying to fit in, be well-thought-of, even “win others for Christ,” we assume the philosophy that we have to look exactly the same?

And isn’t it more interesting how God within his good plan made us so thoroughly unique, down to our very fingertips?

Wednesday, March 9

Whoh! (I literally said that out loud)

Banty Rooster shows once again that he's one of the best writers I know.

The punchline (and it packs a punch) likely isn't as good if you don't read the entire post, but it's short. And worthwhile.

And for the heck of it, I'm going to post the punchline, anyway. But read his post!

(re: Social Security)

If real wealth invested at a fair rate of return isn't better than phantom wealth based on a government promise, then you must be a liberal.

~Banty Rooster

Tuesday, March 8

Tuesday's Quote

I just realized that the last 4 days flew by WAY too fast, and that it being Tuesday, it means that it is time for a quote.

So here we go -

The conception of two people living together for twenty-five years without having a cross word suggests a lack of spirit only to be admired in sheep.

~Alan Patrick Herbert

Comments on that are welcome - I'm interested to see what you think!

Busy, Busy, Life is Busy

I stole that title from Divine Miss M. Or at least a modified version of it.

Life IS busy. Last week, Little Shoe Girl was at college, and my "landlords" were in town. This week, I'm housesitting, spending time with the family because Little Shoe Girl is home.

I feel bad that I haven't blogged for a while, but I'm not especially funny or interesting, because I'm just too tired. And I'm fighting a bad mood.

I don't know how many people in America actually FIGHT a bad mood. Mine come on predictably, which is why I'm fighting it. I know from whence it came. But there it is, a sour note right under the surface, coloring all that occurs around me for the worse. I have to look for little things to get me a bit up - the fact that I got into work early, or that LSG is home (she give great hugs) or that we made Cheesebuttons last night, which in our family is almost as big a deal as Christmas. (It should be noted that, unlike those in that link, we don't serve sausage with them because my grandparents are Catholic and would make these as a meal for Lent. In addition to boiling them, we fry them. Because we're American ;) )

So anyway, off I go to work. I'll just have to pray about my attitude.

Thursday, March 3

Crazy like a Fox.

I drive me crazy. Cross-eyed crazy.

I’m so a compulsive doodler. And yet, I’m so type-A-need-things-neat-or-so-I-say-to-myself-to-live-up-to-some-unattainable-standard. (Unattainable because I’m not even sure what I’m talking about.)

Anyway, in planning events I have to call a lot of hotels. And I tend to write and doodle all over the page that also contains information and notes that I need about each event.

This particular page is incredibly bad. You can tell how long it took me to book a good hotel by the amount of “AINSLEYainsleyainsleyAinsleys” all over the page. Part of my doodling is because of a BAD, BAD habit I picked up in 6th grade Math Class – practicing my signature. Back then I used to pair it with the last name of whomever I had a crush on. I’ve since stopped THAT particular part of the doodling practice, because in my whole-hearted submission to reformed theology, I feel like I’m jinxing things when I practice his name along with mine. Yup. Calvinist at heart. That’s me. I’m also REALLY good at math.

Anyway, I’ve had to spend the last 2 days staring at a page full of doodles and scribbles, notes and blacking our logo over and over and OVER AND OVER again.

It makes me dizzy.

New...Something. There's something new! On the Side Bar!

I added a post of mine to the sidebar – “Who ARE these people?” I thought that my reason for nicknames was probably obvious, but I do have some regular readers who may not know the people of whom I speak. And it was fun.

If you’re wondering why you didn’t read the post on the 26th, when it says I posted, it’s because the 26th was when I wrote it. It’s long, and I suppose most people wouldn’t have made it through had it been posted as is.

Also, I figured out a long time ago how to get those little bullet things to disappear. I don’t like the one that is presently there, but this weekend I’ll try to go line by line on my template and get it removed. If you’re a computer genius and want to do that FOR me, and tell me how to delete it, the template I’m using is Mr. Moto (obviously manipulated a bit).

Added: Hey, I changed some stuff. You'll likely not care that much, but I thought I'd let you know, all the same.


Ok, It's a little early. Like, she won't be home until Thursday at about 10 pm, but we are SO looking forward to it.

Mostly I'm selfishly looking forward to her meeting The-Artist-Formerly-Known-as-New-Guy and giving me her take on him, us, everything.

(Being as she just mentioned that she's happy I'm dating him because now she and Ghetto Phone Boy have less pressure on them, I'm sure she'll like him. For who he is, of course!)

By the way, I saw someone on some program (The Apprentice?) that had a shirt "Will work for Shoes." I really should just buy it for her, and not blog about it. Eh. Oh well. Now you know, LSG. ;) It's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, March 2

You should read this

You know it's good when I stop halfway through to post the link on my blog.

"Celebrating" our weaknesses is not wallowing in our misery; it's knowing that this is a gracious way that God is pointing us back to himself. It's how God empties us of our selfish delusions and points us to his plans for our life. Like the quote that I posted about suffering last week, if we didn't have these weaknesses, we would quickly become conceited and forget that we are eternal beings.

~Divine Miss M

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, March 1

Tuesday Quotes (Back to Coffee)

"I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee."
~Flash Rosenberg

"If it weren't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever."
~David Letterman

Sunshine and Spring

Our Boss (the president) has an assistant who does EVERYTHING well. Here is her cheer donation for the ladies at work. Posted by Hello
With octaves of a mystic depth and height