As I was folding up some of my favorite pink outfits and little princess dresses, I felt a tug at my heart. That sentimental nudge to hold on to this moment and never let them grow, to squish her little body back into the puffy tutu with polka-dot tights and leave the tub empty, waiting for another day to pack it all up. I think I may have even gotten a little misty! Over clothes!!!!
Now of course I know it wasn't really the clothes...it was the reality those clothes represented: my baby is growing up, not even a toddler, but a little girl. (Fortunately there is another close behind so I get to see those sweet outfits again soon.) I instructed myself to straighten up and get the job done, but the internal battle wasn't going so well and sure enough real tears did fall.
Then, I heard a quiet whisper, a gentle plea . . . it was my God. He reminded me, in that moment, that these precious babes are not my own, but His. His blessings, granted to us for a time, with a responsibility far greater than I will every truly understand. His gifts.
"Leave them in My hands," I heard the soft Voice say.
So I began to pray for my girls as I folded and packed clothes now too small and lined the drawers with the beautiful things passed on to us.
I prayed over each little shirt as it found it's new home on a small pink hanger, that the day it is worn she would seek to obey.
I prayed over each zip-up-footie pajama (my favorite), that the night she sleeps snug inside it would bring her peaceful rest.
I prayed over the darling dresses with matching stockings, that the Sunday it enters our church doors on her growing frame her heart would be soft to hear the Word.
Yes, it took a little longer to switch out wardrobes this year . . . but I am so grateful for the reminder of my gentle Father. He stilled my heart and holds my children close to His own . . . a safer place than I could ever provide.
Now , for the laundry . . . (and the boys)