Saturday, May 28, 2011

"I swear I had never done anything like that before..."

One day I was sitting in church and heard somebody say, "pray for trials... they make you stronger". I actually gave that some thought. Like... I thought about it all day! I thought about Lady Nie and all the trial she has faced with her accident. She has been a wowzer of inspiration to the world! I thought about Joseph and Emma Smith who lived an entire life of trial for the restoration of the gospel. I thought about the founding fathers of this nation and the soldiers who gave their lives for land of liberty! Trial! I thought about the countless prophets and wives who faced lives without children, persecution for their beliefs, hiding from those who would kill them, destruction of their homes and friends in the masses, calls to give up every worldly possession they had and the losses of children to the adversary from some of the most notable and righteous women to ever live... The trials of Eve, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Sariah, and the mother's of the stripling warriors. The trials of Adam, Joseph, John, Abraham and Lehi, Nephi and ultimately, the Son of God. In a nutshell, I did a lot of thinking that day. A lot. And I realized that these people were all real and they were all loved. But they had something I didn't have. They had trial and opportunity to overcome it. They were stronger people because they depended upon Heavenly Father through their trial. Then I asked myself a funny question: Why would these people who were a bajillion times better than me have to go through all of this to receive glory and I should not have to do anything of the kind? Then I got worried... What about the pioneers? There is a trail! I had not allowed myself to get stronger... but I was ready. I must have been in a good spot that day because that night I did the most "off the wall" thing I had ever done. I prayed for trial. Now let me tell you... I swear I had never done anything like this before. But I was serious as a heart attack! And HOLY MOLY... talk about a prayer granted! Now please let me preface that this seems like a mite sized trial compared to the heroic people above mentioned... but non the less, it has been... hard!

Over the next few months the foundation for the perfect trial was laid. And then on January 12 Mr. Mecham found himself jobless. In a world where so many people know what this feels like I should not, perhaps, consider this a trial at all. But for the Mechams, it was. And it was perfect! We look back on the last few months with fondness! We consider that at that moment on January 12 we would elevate it to one of the greatest events that ever happened to our little family. All of the things we had prayed for were solved by this minuscule event. Our children learned more gratitude! They fasted and prayed like I've never heard children pray. That alone was a tender mercy. The sad fact, is that their mighty faith was what elevated that of their parents. Each of us became more solid in the law of the tithe. We lay giddy in bed each night thankful to have lived that law perfectly... if we never did another thing perfectly we are blessed to have done that! We knew that it was the best insurance out there! And it has proven to be! We can't wait to pay our tithing when Sunday rolls around! Our chickens laid more eggs. Our food stayed fresh longer. Our car got better gas mileage. Our children stayed healthy in midst of flu season. We were able to afford surgery for Nate and physical therapy for McKay. The list is lengthy. It is miraculous. It doesn't add up on paper. I personally learned something critical for my progression... something about my judgement upon those who financially struggle: though it is difficult to admit, I didn't ever see myself in that place and so I didn't have an understanding of what the poor and needy really go through. Because of that, my judgement was seriously off. I am soooo thankful to have been enlightened! So very thankful. The hardest day for me through the entire 4 months of this newt sized ordeal was when the sweetest little man pulled up in front of my house and I watched him from the window reach into his back seat and pull forward a big box overflowing with food. I nearly wept before he got to the door. We had a lot of food in our house. But this man and his wife wanted to help and they did more than feed us food. Bags of Cosco chicken, lasagna, treats for the kids, turkeys, roast and pork. I swear paycheck worth of luxurious provisions. From their goodness I felt the love that Heavenly Father has for us. I know that we were not only watched over but that EVERYTHING!!! would be okay. From that day forward, I did not worry. I knew all was well. Another sister offered her food storage to us. Somebody else dropped off his car for Nate to drive while I took the other one. Dear friends, knowing we wouldn't use our money to spend going out, made us dinner and invited us for fun at home instead. We took more temple trips. Our relationships got better! And Better! And Better! We learned a new work ethic. We believed more in ourselves. In fact, if you have a self image problem... loose a job! Then you will realize that Heavenly Father is taking care of you! That sounds funny, i know, but lets be honest, if the God of Heaven and Earth has enough interest in you to work miracles on your behalf doesn't that give you self esteem? Above all else, we learned that there is a little secret to trial that we don't get to hear much about... when some will ditch you because they mis-judge you for trial others will rise to the rescue. While some would say trial is punishment I would say it is a profound way for Heavenly Father to show His love for us. While some will wallow in their trial, I believe whole heatedly that it is to be overcome. And I will die fighting to overcome. While there are those who claim that trial is brought upon the weak I believe that only the strong can take it on. From this day forward, I will stand firm in my belief that Heavenly Father knows what trial to give to who. He is mindful of each of us. And I will accept what comes my way with a cheerful heart knowing that the person who said, "pray for trials... they make you stronger" not only spoke from experience, but he was absolutely right!
mark your calendar: January 12... the best day for the Mechams. WE (as in all of the Mechams) consider this little trial a mighty opportunity for growth in every way... to prepare us for what ever there is to come to us. And with confidence I invite all who need a lift in life to not only pray for a trial, but to be willing to find each and every blessing that comes with it. There are more than can be counted.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lunch Lady

McKay has this little soft spot in my heart, as all my children do... And, like any other mother would, I did something this year that I didn't want to just for him. Actually, it all started years ago. Here is the story:
McKay is a home body. He has always enjoyed playing with his friends at home but rarely does he go to their house. When it was time to go to school we tried like crazy to convince him that it was cool! We took him to Mrs Billings pre-school; the funnest preschool EVER! and he still wasn't excited about school. When kindergarten started he was less enthused. Finally in second grade McKay got Mother goose for a teacher. Bless her! That woman is going to Heaven! School that year was beautiful and I was certain that we were over the hardship of public school. The following year was AWFUL! Mother Goose was gone (she stayed teaching 2nd grade even though we offered to pay her an additional salary to move through 12th grade with McKay) and McKay had a male teacher. Mr. Moore. Now I have to tell you, I thought Mr. Moore was one of the best teachers in all of public school! But he was a definite far cry from mother goose... he didn't hug. he didn't shyly giggle when the kids were being naughty, and he didn't talk to Mckay like he was a tulip. His was an institute of learning and he expected everyone to "just do what they were told" and when they didn't he wasn't messing around. He never got mad, but he followed through on consequence every. single. time! Mckay hated school. In spite of me going to the class room and grading every paper ever done that year, McKay still hated school. And so I put together all my brain power and came up with an idea to apply to be a playground aid at school. Why not? If McKay had to go to school then perhaps he would like it more if his mother went with him! YIKES! And just to keep the making fun down, I shall have a job there! The kids never wonder about that!!! Problem: no playground aid jobs open at his school... which meant to me that other kids also hate school and their mums got a job to help them out! Well we made it through 3rd grade. And we LOVED that summer! But is sure went by quickly. 4th grade arrived as did another amazing teacher but all the kids who were friends in 3rd grade were in another class... and Ms. Sims didn't need help grading papers. It was going to be a terrible horrible no good very bad year! I could tell. Making all new friends? WOW! I could go sit in the class and observe but how weird is that everyday? And who has time for that? And would that really help? And so it was that we just accepted a year of wo is me from McKay... LOTS of prayers and trying to invite kids over was a treat. Then came the year of a life time (I will write about later... I promise) and one day, in the midst of serious trial at the Mecham home, the lunch lady called to offer me a job. She found my resume from last year and thought she would have me go apply at the district offices. And so I did. And that day I got the job and I started the next. Lunch lady is a far cry from playground aid. And just in case you don't love your neighborhood lunch lady, you need to. In fact, there should be lunch lady appreciation week! Those ladies are working their buns off! (no pun intended.)
Day 1 as a lunch lady: I had to change my clothes because I had on earrings, a blouse and ballet shoes. Better apparel choice would have been scrubs and a pony tail. Best choice was t-shirt and jeans, tennis shoes or orthopedics and NO JEWELRY! hair in pony tail or pinned back somehow. BOY HOWDY! Day 2- 5: I did everything... EVERYTHING... wrong! And on day 5 I came home with tears in my eyes telling Nate "I hate school!" I hate it and we should home school McKay. The fact is, I had decided to quit on Monday. And then Ms. Sims called and said, "You fixed the problem! McKay is a whole new kid since you started working this week. He raises his hand! He is playing with all the kids on the playground. He is HAPPY all the time! I think you solved the problem!" I was stunned! STUNNED!!! He saw me for less then 10 seconds while he zipped through the line deciding if he would have a corn dog or meatloaf... How did that change everything? And from that phone call I realized... I had to stay as a lunch lady. I had to! It had changed the whole game for McKay. But I hated it! Then I gave myself the little pep talk that I gave mcKay every other day before I was a lunch lady... the one about attitude and optimism. And then I put on my tennis shoes and t-shirt, pulled my hair into a pony tail and found a smile and went to work. What a year!

10 things I learned from being a lunch lady:

10: I was cut out to be a mom. I don't like to work under somebody Else's jurisdiction.
9: people don't think lunch ladies are smart.
8: the local lunch lady does NOT NOT NOT get paid for the work she does... She works like a slave and gets paid next to nothin'. Don't work for the money there... if you need money get a different job.
7: I live in a bubble. I like my bubble.
6: the school that the kids go to is an amazing institution and I am now a major lover of Franklin schools. WOW! The children are well behaved and the teachers are incredible. I wish each parent would go and observe just to see what it is really about.
5: Religion is an interesting topic. I worked with 5 of the most wonderful lunch ladies ever! 1 Catholic, 1 Lutheran, 1 J.W., 1 Latter Day Saint. Religion was my favorite topic to bring up! :)
4: Ketchup and Ranch dressing really make me want to gag.
3: School Children are vulnerable. I am soooo glad I am done with that!
2: You can easily pick out children who's parents are involved in their life by their appearance, actions, and confidence... GET INVOLVED IN YOUR KIDS!!!
1: The number one thing I learned as a lunch lady is that I would literally do ANYTHING... i mean ANYTHING... to get my little people through life. Your reason "why" in life, should make you try (or cry)... and my reason why I went to work as a lunch lady made me do both.

I have never... NOT EVER... looked forward to summer break so much!