Falling more and more in love...
When a big milestone approaches in one of my children's lives, it seems like the most tender feelings of my heart force their way to the surface and I'm engulfed with an even deeper and stronger love for the goodness that they are.
As we anticipated our oldest reaching that special age of 12, Brett and I discussed how we wanted Jarom to know just how important it was to be worthy of receiving the priesthood. How we wanted him to honor his responsibility of holding the priesthood. We wanted that testimony to BURN deep inside him. I brought home the book "Honoring the Priesthood: As a Deacon, a Teacher, a Priest" by John Bytheway one night and it became part of our little nightly routine - we would tuck the younger children in bed with their tickles and snuggles and giggles and endless requests of Primary songs and then sneak into Jarom's room to curl up together and read a chapter of the book. Brett and Jarom and I would talk about what we had read and discuss our thoughts with each other. As we came to the end of the book, before school let out for the summer, I wished we had spread the book out a little bit longer...because I wasn't ready for that time together to end. But soon summer was there and we left for Utah.
Jarom wanted to be ordained as a deacon to the Aaronic Priesthood while at our family reunion in Colorado. So on Sunday, we attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Pagosa Springs. There happened to be two family reunions in town that weekend and between our two families, we more than doubled their small branch. I love that no matter where we travel, there is a church to attend where we can be welcomed with open arms, warm handshakes, big smiles, and be taught the exact same things we would be taught at home. It always FEELS like home! After church, we headed back to the cabin and gathered together in the family room. As Brett ordained Jarom, the room just filled with the Spirit. My parents both took the opportunity to share their testimonies with Jarom. My heart was SO full of love for this dear boy who is so thoughtful and tender and helpful and responsible. I fell even more in love with him that day.
Jarom could not wait to get home and start participating in his quorum, fulfilling his responsibilities. He looked forward to getting to church early (7:30 in the morning) to help set up chairs and to participate in passing the sacrament. On our first weekend at home, I went to tuck him in bed on Saturday night (yes, he still lets me do that and I'll do it as long as he'll let me). I noticed his church clothes all laid out - white shirt, tie, pants, belt, jacket, socks, and shoes. He told me how he was a little bit nervous about passing the sacrament and that he hoped he didn't mess up. The next morning, as sleep was still tugging at my eyes, I heard noises coming from the kitchen. Confused, I rolled over and stretched my arms out, patting the bed, searching for Brett, wondering why he would be up already. But he was there. Even more confused, I stumbled downstairs and found my sweet Jarom there. He was all dressed for church, looking as handsome as ever, making some breakfast. "Bud, it's not even 6:00 yet. Whatcha doing?"
"Well, I didn't want to be late, so I thought I'd get an early start. I'm just going to make a little breakfast." I could tell he was nervous. But my heart grew a little bit bigger that day. As we all sat together on our bench at church, I watched as the younger children's eyes followed Jarom that day. Their eyes were full of admiration and love....just as mine were. And he did a great job....just as I KNEW he would!