Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordsmith Wednesday

"One of these things is not like the other, one of these things does not belong." 

Can you accurately guess which one?  

1a.  equanimity
1b.  aplomb
1c.  sangfroid
1d.  quintessence

2a.  obdurate
2b.  intractable
2c.  objectionable
2d.  unyielding

3a.  compel
3b.  reproach
3c.  objurgate
3d.  upbraid

4a.  penurious
4b.  grandiloquent
4c.  parsimonious
4d.  niggardly

5a.  recalcitrant
5b.  dispassionate
5c.  apathetic
5d.  disinterested

6a.  disputatious
6b.  petulant
6c.  illicit
6d.  belligerant

7a.  solicitous
7b.  laudatory
7c.  conciliatory
7d.  complaisant

8a.  beset
8b.  besiege
8c.  beleaguer
8d.  bequeath

9a.  appropriate
9b.  ascertain
9c.  usurp
9d.  commandeer

10a.  dubious
10b.  tractable
10c.  amenable
10d.  acquiescent

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The "Other" Roosevelt

Before reading The Forgotten Man, which outlines the major events and personalities surrounding the Great Depression, I  had no idea how pervasive, sweeping, and all-encompassing (is that emphatic enough?) were the changes brought about by FDR's New Deal. 

Author, Amity Shlaes, presents Roosevelt as a man willing to do most anything to manipulate economic recovery, even if it required constant vascillation in his positions and even when it meant subjecting millions to his social experimentation!  Apparently, his charming disposition and ability to establish a sense of rapport with his peers as well as with "The People," propelled him into a very powerful situation.  He added power upon power by circumventing the normal processes and extending the Executive hand.

The proliferation of governmental departments, employees, programs, personal and corporate taxes, and litigation can be traced to this time, as can government's invasive intrusion into labor, commerce, big business, class warfare, and wealth redistribution.  I was wrong in my previous assumption that all this social engineering we experience today came about over the course of many, many decades, when, in reality, it is nearly all a continuation of the leaps taken by Roosevelt and his men.  

One striking example of government's exponential growth:  in a 12-month period, a single (newly-created) department - the National Recovery Administration - created 10,000 pages of new law.  That represented more than a 300% increase over ALL accumulated federal legislative output SINCE 1789!!!  Fewer than 2800 pages of federal statutes existed prior to 1934!  

Many of FDR's proposals came to fruition through a combination of political expediency, a perceived need to address the "emergency" created by The Depression, and the prevailing zeitgeist of the day, which was an ideological love affair with the Communist "Ideal."  

Unfortunately, emergency measures, once allotted, tend to become permanent institutions which we pay for in perpetuity and which continue to expand year after year after year.  We continue to implement the same philosophies today so that we are "always recovering, but never recovered!" 

This was a long, and occasionally tedious read, but I came away enriched in my understanding.  Ms. Shlaes is never preachy or negative but remains quite neutral in her presentation of the facts of history.  Thanks to my friend, Meha, for making me read it!  

Monday, March 29, 2010

Leisurely Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...a large yellow imposter has invaded our sky.  It vaguely reminds me of that star we used to call the Sun which abandoned us months ago...

From the kitchen...rare filet mignon for breakfast.  Thank you, Dr. Atkins!

Around the house...why do the kitchen ceiling fans get SO dirty SO quickly?!  Ugh.  Time to overhaul the a cleaning sense, not a remodeling sense.

A favorite thing...Cardinal baseball...only 7 days away. 

I am thinking...that listening to Elder A and Elder B debate the virtues of capitalism vs. distributism (Reagan vs. Chesterton/Belloc) until 1AM, though entertaining and provocative, is also anti-soporific.  But big deal...sleep is highly overrated anyway.

I am wearing...a favorite pair of danglers with black Swarovski crystals.

I am hearing...Alan Jackson.  I know!  I know!  I can't help it.

I am reading...The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a' Kempis. 

I am creating...a playlist for a first time "father-to-be."

I am thankful for...Sundays.  Worship, fellowship, food, wine, laughter, rest, more food, more wine, more laughter.

Plans for my week...lunch at Laumeier with my "young" friends...swap out seasonal clothes for Riesa Kay and about something serious for a change...answer half a dozen previously-ignored with my CIB friend...lunch with Paul...waste a perfectly good Saturday night hanging out in DeSoto MO.

A photo/video I am sharing:  none...because my system won't let me upload photos to the blog today.  Whatever.

Friday, March 26, 2010

For Want of Wit: 12

It's hard not to notice the increasing frequency of posts with this title.  Such is my life.

I have this tendency, which I don't quite understand, to carry 5 times as many things as I am safely capable of carrying in order to make fewer trips.  I'd rather risk blowing out my biceps by carrying 19 bags of groceries into the house at once, than to make 3 trips.  WHY???  It certainly isn't a time-saver!  As long as it takes to gather all 19, I probably could have completed all 3 trips already.  I've broken a few eggs in my time because I have to utilize a swinging/heaving motion to raise my 60-pound load to counter height and I don't always successfully  slow the momentum before the bags land. 

Today, I did a similar thing.  I tried to stack 9 glasses from the dishwasher to avoid walking to the glass cabinet multiple times.  I probably saved myself at least 8 steps total...well, actually, in the end I ADDED steps because THIS is what happened:

I managed to drop and shatter several of the glasses...all for the sake of 8 steps.  Hm. 


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shaffer vs. Shaffer

You would be hard-pressed to find two larger egos dwelling in the same household than Steve and Grant Shaffer.  Especially when you're talkin' basketball.

When the church 2-on-2 tourney was announced, they couldn't wait!  Let the smack-talking commence!  Of course they whined a little along the way about not getting to pick their own teammates, but they eventually accepted the risk.  And it worked out pretty well for them both.

As it turns out, they faced each other 3 times that day.  I can't exactly say I was torn about which one to cheer for.  I cheered for Shaf not to hurt himself, but  I cheered for Grant to win.  It's just not in a mother's heart to root against her own flesh and blood.

Grant & teammate, Ryan, were undefeated...until the "Finals" when they went up against Shaf and Boeve whose only previous loss was to Grant & Ryan.  The old guys  pulled that one out, necessitating a FINAL Final game. 

The Young Men walked away with the victory, but the Old Guys managed to stay upright (mostly) and avoid serious injury.  That's no small task.

Shaf demanded that I include this stat:  Shaf & Boeve combined for 98 years to Grant & Ryan's 46.  Apparently youth trumps experience.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordsmith Wednesday

I was amused to find the following words as MAIN ENTRIES in my thesaurus.  These aren't from the old-fashioned, intelligent version but from a popular version of Roget's.  I mean...if you know THESE words, do you really NEED a thesaurus in the first place??  And are you REALLY going to look up these words to find a more appropriate synonym?  Hm. 

agglutinate - join, attach

boffo - successful, record-breaking

callow - inexperienced, immature

dilatory - procrastinating, delaying

extrude - expel, eject

fatuous - stupid, foolish

gormandize - devour, gorge

histrionic - theatrical, dramatic

ignominy - shame, dishonor

jocund - cheerful, lighthearted

knurled - bumpy, knotty

legerdemain - sleight of hand, deceit

mendacious - dishonest, misleading

nefarious - villainous, detestable

officious - meddlesome, intrusive

proclivity - inclination, tendency

querulous - fault-finding, critical

redolent - fragrant, aromatic

sobriquet - nickname, alias

troglodyte - recluse, hermit

urbane - suave, refined

vestigial - obsolete, atrophied

wan - pale, colorless

yammer - whine, complain

zephyr - gentle breeze, light wind

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Full of Love

Riesa brings a lot of joy into our home.  Yes...her presence brings some trials and some lifestyle shifts for our family, but she makes us laugh and that laughter is more valuable than the other "costs" of caring for her.

Here are some of her common sayings that crack us up! 

"I didn't do nuttin' anything!" (usually follows a poke in the ribs or some other "prank")

"NOW look what you did!" (when we drop or spill something)

"Not's YOU!"  (after she burps or...something like that)

"You better not...I'll cut your fat head off!"  (said good-naturedly when someone plays a joke on her)

"I'm so sweet!" (which actually means:  I'm so happy)

"Now what's your problem?"  (when I try to get her to focus on me so I can ask her a question)

"May I?  Shut-up please?!" (usually said as an aside - and in a very polite voice - when I ask her to do something she doesn't want to do)

"Don't say 'shut-up' anybody anymore!"  (as an emphatic admonition to herself after she has told me to shut-up!)

"You ate too much!" (said to anybody she wants to say it to after a meal)

My recent favorite which I hadn't heard before:  "Your hips are too fat behind your back!" 

Believe it or not, she gets by with all this stuff! 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Leisurely Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...the boy is shootin' hoops...AGAIN!

From the kitchen...chicken thighs fried in bacon grease and butter...oh, yes!

Around the house...I hid all but one of Riesa's purses today.  Mean, I know.  But she gathers all her necklaces, bracelets, brooches, barretts, pens, pencils and markers, and distributes them among her 6 purses, so that I can never find what I'm looking for!  So...I consolidated them into one purse and hid the rest.   

A favorite Robert Graves dust mop...indispensable.

I am thinking...that passing Spring Break in St. Louis is just fine with me.

I am wearing...Courduroy birkenstocks with socks, running shorts and a sweatshirt.  Definitely a fashion statement.

I am hearing...Slavic Soul Party

I am reading...The Liturgy Trap by James B. Jordan.

I am creating...oh, blah.

I am thankful...for friends who broaden my cultural horizons...i.e. Slavic Soul Party!  Thanks, Pitts!

Plans for my, clean, read, laundry, read, sun, read, garden, read...and maybe write a sentence or two.  It's Spring Break!  I'm supposed to take it easy, right?  Right.

A photo/video I am sharing:  I'd love to see this scene recreated in 2010, how 'bout you?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

For Want of Wit: 11

I consistently provide myself with material that qualifies for these "Stupid Things I've Done" posts.

It was about 10am on a Wednesday last March when I suddenly realized that it was Riesa's birthday.  How in the world had it slipped up on me so quickly??  I knew it was coming up and had made mental plans, but had failed to execute any of them.  I went into a panic, knowing that I HAD to celebrate her birthday ON her birthday because even if Riesa didn't realize, Grandma would!

So...I frantically ran out to get her presents, cake, ice cream, balloons, cards, candles, food for a favorite meal, etc.  We celebrated alright.  No one would have even known that I had neglected my duties.  

Later that evening, I was at the local pub with some girlfriends from church and was explaining to them how I had forgotten but was able to pull it all together.  I was rather satisfied with myself...UNTIL one of my friends - who is a walking calendar - spoke up.  "Wait!  Isn't Riesa's birthday March 18th?"  "Yes,"  I replied, wondering what her point was.  " is March 11th!  Her birthday isn't until NEXT Wednesday!!" 


So THIS YEAR...I actually got it right!  Riesa celebrated her day - TODAY - by going to lunch with "all the girls" as she calls them.  And of course we enjoyed the mandatory "BIG chocolate cake" that she asks for every year!  She is spoiled rotten, that girl! 

She looked beautiful all dolled up in one of her new outfits in celebration of 52 years:

Happy Birthday, Riesa Kay Waggoner!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordsmith Wednesday

I married a somnambulist.

Depending on my frame of mind, this can be a source of immense frustration or divertissement.  Last night, after 2 hours of laboring to quiet my mind and fall asleep, I finally entered a hypnogogic state only to be awakened by the sudden illumination of the room.  The Husband was rummaging about the room in search of his computer...which was at his office...where he leaves it every day.

My first experience with Mr. Shaffer's bizarre behavior, occurred very soon after embarking on this journey we call "wedded bliss."  One morning, I walked out the front door to head to work and found Granny Gertrude's crocheted afghan lying on the porch.  Upon inquiry, I learned that it had been "infested with spiders" during the night, so he had, very logically, thrown it out the front door.

On several occasions, I found him on his knees searching frantically under the bed for Baby Grant, who happened to be safely and soundly sleeping in his crib.  I only rarely put the children to sleep under our bed...but it required a great deal of coaxing to assure him the little guy was fine.

My all-time favorite incident was the time I awakened to him standing on the bed examining the ceiling fan guessed it...SPIDERS!  Apparently his latent arachnophobia produces an anti-soporific effect on him.

My least favorite experience was the night I found him picking at my face and head at 3am!  More spiders?  He really couldn't explain what he was looking for that time, but that was the day I declared that absolutely NO FIREARMS were to be stored in our domicile, especially under our bed!  Afterall, these "episodes" could simply be part of an elaborate, skulduggerous plot to gain a verdict of "not-guilty-by-reason-of-somnambulation."

But hey.  It could be worse, right?  At least his issue isn't enuresis!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett was in her late 30's and somewhat sickly when she began corresponding with Mr. Robert Browning.  For some time, they admired each other from afar through their mutual interest in writing and poetry, and their thoughts did "twine and bud" about each other "as wild vines about a tree." (Sonnet XXIX)  Each found in the other his soul's mate.  When they finally met in person, they were deeply in love, but Elizabeth thought herself unworthy of Robert's place, his mind and his love because of her age and physical infirmities.  This led her to initially brush aside his overtures.  He remained constant in his love despite her objections. 

Ms. Browning's Sonnets From the Portuguese are among my all-time favorite poems.  Robert's pet name for Elizabeth was "my little Portuguese" because of her dark coloring.  These poems were her expression of love for him during their courtship and were published anonymously under this title so as to disguise their origin from the public. 

Although I cannot find confirmation for the following assumption, it seems to me that the following poem, A Denial, was likely written to Robert in their early days together when he was attempting to persuade Elizabeth that he truly loved her but she still found it incredulous. 

A Denial
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

We have met late---it is too late to meet,
O friend, not more than friend!
Death's forecome shroud is tangled round my feet,
And if I step or stir, I touch the end.
In this last jeopardy
Can I approach thee, I, who cannot move?
How shall I answer thy request for love?
Look in my face and see.

I love thee not, I dare not love thee! go
In silence; drop my hand.
If thou seek roses, seek them where they blow
In garden-alleys, not in desert-sand.
Can life and death agree,
That thou shouldst stoop thy song to my complaint?
I cannot love thee. If the word is faint,
Look in my face and see.

I might have loved thee in some former days.
Oh, then, my spirits had leapt
As now they sink, at hearing thy love-praise!
Before these faded cheeks were overwept,
Had this been asked of me,
To love thee with my whole strong heart and head,---
I should have said still . . . yes, but smiled and said,
"Look in my face and see!"

But now . . . God sees me, God, who took my heart
And drowned it in life's surge.
In all your wide warm earth I have no part---
A light song o'ercomes me like a dirge.
Could Love's great harmony
The saints keep step to when their bonds are loose,
Not weigh me down? am I a wife to choose?
Look in my face and see---

While I behold, as plain as one who dreams,
Some woman of full worth,
Whose voice, as cadenced as a silver stream's,
Shall prove the fountain-soul which sends it forth;
One younger, more thought-free
And fair and gay, than I, thou must forget,
With brighter eyes than these . . . which are not wet,
Look in my face and see!

So farewell thou, whom I have known too late
To let thee come so near.
 Be counted happy while men call thee great,
And one belov├Ęd woman feels thee dear!---
Not I!---that cannot be.
I am lost, I am changed,---I must go farther, where
The change shall take me worse, and no one dare
Look in my face and see.

Meantime I bless thee. By these thoughts of mine
I bless thee from all such!
I bless thy lamp to oil, thy cup to wine,
Thy hearth to joy, thy hand to an equal touch
Of loyal troth. For me, I love thee not,
I love thee not!---away!
Here's no more courage in my soul to say
"Look in my face and see."

"I'm practically dead!" she argues, "Go find someone younger, more beautiful and more full of life who is worthy of your love!  Go!"  Fortunately for them both, he persisted unto persuasion and they enjoyed 15 years of prosperous marriage until her death at age 55. 

If you  get a chance, read her work and read this brief biography.  You will be the richer for having done so!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Leisurely Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...All evidence of last week's yard work has been erased.  For some reason, I thought it would be more satisfactory than cleaning indoors where my work is quickly undone.  I was wrong.  Oh well.  At least I can't claim boredom, right?

From the kitchen...Pi pizza.  It's not from MY kitchen, but this gourmet, "Chicago-style" pizza is now closer to home and is by far the best I've had in St. Louis! 

Around the house...After having drywall work done, all 1,975 books have been dusted, one-by-one.  Not doin' THAT again if I can help it!  There's a leak behind the wall?  Oops...too bad...leave it for the next family!

A favorite thing...Classic books, fairytales and fables illustrated by Gustave Dore.  I know I've "plugged" his work before, but it's beautiful and his work is expansive.  Check him out. 

I am thinking...that it's time for spring to come and take up residence in St. Louis.

I am "octopus" clip in my mangy mop of hair...which the Shaffer males have declared that I shall not cut off!

I am hearing..."I Run to You" by Lady Antebellum - I generally don't admit my affinity for country music because it betrays the redneck side of me that I try to keep hidden.  But I am a "sophisticated redneck" and that kind of makes it OK, doesn't it?

I am reading...The Forgotten Man - a story of the depression era and FDR's presidency.

I am boxes.  Rhonda-the-Librarian's mom handmade a gift box for me from pretty paper, so I used hers as a pattern to create some of my own. 

I am thankful friend, April, who visited STL this weekend.  She's an intelligent and entertaining writer...check her out over at Coal Creek Farm.

Plans for my week...End-of-season wrestling "banquet"...dessert & drinks with girlfriends at Cyrano's...end-of-season basketball "banquet"...Irish car bombs and green glitter at Helen's...Riesa's birthday.

A photo/video I'm sharing...Remember this building I dreamt about a few months back?  It is STILL for a mere $350,000!!  If only I had a wealthy, childless uncle who adored me...I have firmly decided that this would become a Library/Literary Institute.  If only...
I no longer drop by and look in the windows, but I still renovate this place in my head, purchase thousands of books to fill the rooms, strategically design furniture & lighting for its various uses, plan courses & meals, and recruit teachers.  Ahhh...a girl can dream big...for a long time, can't she?  I wish someone would hurry up and BUY IT ALREADY so I can set that dream aside!  Who knows, maybe the price will come down to $100,000, then I can afford the $3,000,000 for renovations and start-up.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

For Want of Wit: 10

It was my first real gift from a boy.  And it was beautiful. 

I was in the Eighth Grade and was serious enough about Mr. Richard Eric Killingsworth to sit with him in church and to attend all his wrestling matches.  When you're 13, protected and innocent, that's about as serious as a gal can get!  Well...besides writing his initials all over my binders...and writing my name as "Lori Ann Killingsworth" over and over just because I loved the sound of it.  OK...I admit it...I had planned our wedding too.

But that plan got sidetracked. 

For Valentine's Day, Richard had given me a gold necklace with an amethyst in it!  Now you have to understand...I was from a family of 6 daddy worked in the steel mills at the time and was putting all of us through private school.  We didn't buy new clothes.  We didn't buy stylish shoes.  We felt lucky to get a new bottle of Cover Girl foundation or a pair of Sheer Energy pantyhose!!  There was no extra cash floating around and we lived a very simple and very frugal life. 

To be given a piece of gold jewelry was nothing short of intoxicating. day sitting in church, I was going through Richard's wallet...because apparently that is the way an eighth grade girl expresses her love...?  Or avoids listening to the sermon.  I happened upon a receipt for the gift I had been given and found that this young man had spent $42 on me!!  Whoa.  It might as well have been $500...because to ME, that was a huge sum of money!

I was simultaneously giddy and frightened!  This necklace was actually VALUABLE and I better guard it with my LIFE!! 

Unfortunately, I had brought with me into adolescence a propensity for losing things.  I was much too consistent and before I knew it, I had lost the treasured piece.  So, yeah, that was stupid...but not the epitome of my stupidity!

I was so afraid for Richard to find out I had lost the necklace - now that I knew how much he had PAID for it! - so I broke up with the poor fella.  I dumped the guy I was ga-ga for just to avoid the embarassment!  Sheesh.  Why not just tell him?  Well, I did...about 15 years later!


NOTE:  I have renamed my "Stupid Things I've Done" series to "For Want of Wit"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Death is a Comma

Wit, a beautifully profound movie produced by HBO, is based on the play of the same name, written by Margaret Edson.

Vivian Bearing, played brilliantly by Emma Thompson, is an intelligent and demanding professor of literature who is diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic ovarian cancer.  As Vivian says, "There is no Stage 5."  The story chronicles her journey through the most advanced and aggressive treatments and the changes brought about in her soul as her suffering advances and death approaches.

This is one of the most touching movies I have ever seen.  Have a tissue or two handy...even if you're a tough guy.  It raises ethical questions about the way professionals within the medical community handle the issues of research and experimentation, but without becoming overly preachy, and it allows the transformation of Miss Bearing's soul to remain front and it should.

Enough said.  If my little blurb doesn't entice you, then watch this snippet and see if you don't want to see the rest: 


For an excellent and detailed review, visit Culturazzi.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Leisurely Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...about a week's worth of yard work awaits.  Trimming back winter's death, raking leaves from our perpetually shedding pin-oaks, cleaning the brick patio and walkway.

From the kitchen...corn and potato chowder. 

Around the house...Spring cleaning has begun.  Again.  One room down, 13 to go.

A favorite laminator.  One of my best investments ever.  I didn't realize how often I would use it!

I am thinking...that 2-weeks alone in a beach house should become an annual tradition for me.  Actually, I'd take 4 weeks.  That way, I could maybe write one of those books I've been dreaming about for years!

I am wearing...same ol' thing:  gray running pants, long-sleeved Under Armour shirt and jacket, along with my new comfy Ryka running shoes.

I am hearing...three phenomenal women vocalists performing together acapella:  Gillian Welch, Allsion Krauss and EmmyLou Harris.

I am creating...a crocheted baby afghan.

I am thankful for...generous friends.

A photo/video I am sharing...those of you who are on FB already saw this.  This is the condition in which I found the dryer vent when I returned from 2 weeks away!   At least the laundry was all finished when I got home, right?!?  Those boys...

Monday, March 1, 2010

What?! Manna...AGAIN??!!

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Ba"manna" Pancakes
Lunch: "Manna" Burgers
Dinner: "Manna"cotti

I belie my age and former associations with those references to Keith Green's "So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt" album, don't I?

After their deliverance from Egypt, it didn't take the Israelites long to begin complaining.  In fact, they had no sooner been delivered from Pharoah's heavy hand than they began with what would become their persistent whine:  "What have you done to us bringing us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?!"

That snake, Moses!  What was he thinking...rescuing them from the house of slavery?  How soon they forgot how heavy were the burdens which the Egyptians laid on them!  They had groaned under the weight of their labor.  They had been beaten and oppressed.  In fact, they had cried out for deliverance!  Not only that...they had just witnessed Yahweh's miraculous plagues on Egypt and had seen themselves spared!

The echo of their first complaint had barely faded before their next arose:  "What shall we drink?"  A few days later, "What shall we eat?  It had been better for us if we had died in Egypt with full bellies than to have you bring us out here to kill us!"  And this after they had just walked through the Red Sea on dry ground for crying out loud!!

This same cry, "Why have you brought us into the die?" becomes Israel's constant refrain.  They continually forget the mighty works they have witnessed and received and they grumble...not only against Moses but against Yahweh Himself.

From where we sit, we scoff at those Israelites, wondering at their foolish and faithless audacity.  It's only with some difficulty that we recognize the same folly in our own hearts.  But...if we try, we probably don't have to look very far.

How easily discontented we are with God's provisions for us!  So much so that they seem like no provisions at all.  In this attitude, we deride what He has purposefully and graciously given.

Sometimes our whines arise simply because we are spoiled brats who think we deserve better than what He has provided.  Afterall, this is NOT what we bargained for.

Other times our complaint arises from fear...fear that the meager portion we have been alloted won't allow us to thrive, and in fact, might even lead to our death!

Yet other times our discontent stems from longing for the seemingly "better" provision of former days.  We have tasted the onions and leeks and garlic and that taste lingers on our palate.  We crave them because we know what we are missing. 

Or do we?  How quickly we forget the burdens that often accompanied days of plenty.  How foolishly we chafe to go back under the yoke of slavery in order to indulge in a luxury or two!

Though the remembrance of and longing for those good things may not in themselves be sin (afterall, there is nothing sinful about loving leeks and garlic!), but accusing God of unfaithfulness in withholding them from us most certainly IS sinful!

What do we do with our fear, our restlessness and our dissatisfaction?

First of all, we must repent of the unbelief that led to our angry accusations of God.  We must remember that our Lord's eyes are on us, His ears open to our voice, and His intentions toward us are favorable! 

Even in the scarcity of the wilderness, we must remember that He is bringing us to a land of plenty...a land flowing with milk and honey.  He has promised and therefore we must believe!

Then we must shore up our hearts in faith. Remember and meditate on the mighty works which He has already performed on our behalf and the behalf of His people for all generations past!

And then we must trust.  In the words of Psalm 37, we must "Trust in the Lord...feed on faithfulness...commit your ways to Him and He will act...delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of your still and wait patiently for Him...keep His way and He will exalt you to inherit the land!"  Those are no small duties, but they are no small promises either.

We must feed our desires, our longings, our hunger, with His faithfulness, knowing that we have not been - and will NOT be - forsaken or left begging.  The desires of our hearts will one day be met with an abundance beyond what we can ask or imagine.  Granted, it may not be in this lifetime, but the lack we experience now is not worthy to be compared to the fullness which will be ours in the presence of Christ.

Quench the rebellion of murmuring discontent and don't go back to Egypt!  Trust me.  I've tried it and the enslavement was just as burdensome and unprofitable in subsequent visits as it was the first time around!

Repent.  Believe.  Remember.  Trust.

You won't regret it.