Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sacrifice and Gratitude

I'm leaving for Trek in 28 hours.  If I'm being honest, I'll have to tell you I'm not ready.  Even more honest: I probably won't be ready in 28 hours either.

As is pretty much always the case, some of my ideas were bigger than reality.  There's several about which I'll have to cross my fingers and hope they don't turn out lame.  But in every case, I've thought and pondered and prayed for months... and saved all the work until the last minute.

One such example is of the 240 flour pouches that needed to be filled.  A ward in our stake offered to make them, and - excited by a tangible example of trail rations - I was totally on board.  On board, that is, until I received 240 flour pouches that needed to be filled.

I sent out an email for help, but I must have chosen a bad day/time (probably too close to Trek), and no one was able to come help me.  I sat down and did the first 10 in ten minutes.  At that ratio, it was a daunting four-hour task.  I considered my options and came to the only possible conclusion:

Child labor camp.

I expected resistance.  Instead, what I got was a living example of the types of sacrifice I'm hoping the teenagers will think of while they're on Trek.  I mean, what are we really asked to sacrifice these days?  Our time.  Our talents.   

I had four little boys who happily donated two hours of their afternoon to the floury cause.  Dylan handed the baggies to Ryan, who methodically measured and poured in 1/4 c. flour.  Did I mention Ryan is seven?  For two hours, he measured and poured, measured and poured.

I twisted the baggies and taped.  That station took a little more dexterity.  Adam cut off the excess baggie then passed the product to Alex who wrapped it in a handmade flour pouch.

The song says, "Pioneer children sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked."  Well, these children requested music while they worked.  Alex said, "Mom, I think I could work faster if I had a beat."  Thanks to Pandora, we quickly had a good working groove.

I could have had a terrible, lonely afternoon.  Instead I got to hear their imaginations invent a much more glamorous activity.  Did you know that we were really putting gold into coin pouches and giving them to kids with no money?  Somehow that story + the kids' favorite artist (Katy Perry) made me feel much less picked on.

I have all these Trek activities planned.  I've spent countless hours scouring the internet for touching stories and historically accurate research.  But today I think I learned more about sacrifice and felt more gratitude than in all the research hours combined.

Thanks to my boys (and Ry) for giving me their afternoon.  It made my day.


Sarah said...

Love this!
Good luck on trek.

Kris said...

You have some awesome little helpers there! Glad they were willing to help you out and it looks like you all had a grand time!