Monday night I took Hannah shopping for much needed clothing. We found everything we needed (and a few wants) at Kohl’s and Target. The clothing choices for girls this spring is fantastic! Longer hemlines on everything. Lots of really feminine, sweet, innocent and charming styles. We just have shoes left on our list – but that can wait until this weekend or next week sometime.

But that’s not the point. The point is what happened to me when I was in Kohl’s.

I was SO overwhelmed. There really are too many choices! The hardest part was sizing the girls. Hannah is a 4 yr old child. She doesn’t look like a baby anymore. She looks like a little girl. She looks adorable in the size 4/5 clothes. She looks a little babyish in the 4T styles. There was a difference in the styles. The 4/5 clothes are all too big in the waistline and necklines because Hannah is so petite. I ended up buying everything in the 4T/5T sizes – but I just kept thinking how she really is a little girl now and not a baby anymore. I was already feeling my heart strings being tugged.

Then I go to the toddler section. On my left are all the 12-24m clothes. On my right are all the 2T-5t clothes. Claire wasn’t with me. I couldn’t size the clothes on her. I had no idea if I needed to get a 24m or a 2T. I felt an anxiety attack coming on. I was unable to stop the tears that started falling. How could Claire already be wearing 2T clothes?? How did 2 years already go by? She’ll have her birthday in May. She will be 2. I can’t stop thinking about it. What happened? She was just a nursling yesterday.

I was able to pull myself together, put all the 24m and 2T clothes back on the racks, and march myself out of Kohls with only 1 little dress for Claire….in a size 2T. It didn’t come in a size 24m. *sniff*

This experience has lingered in my spirit for several days. Why did I have a breakdown in Kohl’s over clothing sizes? 24m and 2T are almost the same sizes anyway. I have noticed a SLIGHT difference – but not much. What was the message I was supposed to have walked away with? Was God trying to tell me something? Why is He sometimes SO CRYPTIC? Like, really, God, I’m under a lot of stress right now…can You just send me an email or something? Or call my cell? I’ve got practically unlimited minutes….

Well it finally came to me last night. On the way to HEB I had another breakdown. This time I didn’t hold back. It was me, and me alone in the car, save the music playing, and I just let the tears come. Claire is going to be TWO. Why is this so hard for me? Someone said (and I paraphrase): “It’s God’s way of nudging you to want more babies.” No. It isn’t. God doesn’t manipulate us into convictions…or use manipulation to produce more children. Manipulation is totally humanistic thinking.

Anyway – hard as it was to hear the message – I heard it loud and clear. “Claire will be TWO. Tomorrow….she will be 20. You will wonder where all the time has gone. You will wonder – did you do your best?. The answer will be NO. You are not the mother to these children that I know you should be. I know. And you know that I know. It is a blessing to be a young mother – do not waste your youth, and theirs…what kind of fruit do you really want to bring forth?

Do I know what He’s talking about? Yes. Do I know how to change it? Maybe. Do I want to? The honest truth: no. I feel overwhelmed. There is so much on my plate. It’s easier to just brush the kids off and think, “I’ll do this or that tomorrow.”

Some say I am a good mother. I know in my heart of hearts – I know I’m not evil – but I also know I don’t invest in my children the way I should.

I can’t even remember the last time I read a book outloud to them.

Yes, I made gloop for them – but I didn’t play in it WITH them.
Yes, I did a backyard scavenger hunt for them – but I didn’t do it WITH them.
Yes, I take them on lots of field trips – but it’s not like it’s just me WITH them.

That’s what I really heard God say. Be WITH your children – not just about them. Do not be about the business of motherhood. Be IN the business of motherhood. There is a huge difference. I’ve known it for a long time – I’ve known that I’ve not really been investing in the lives of my children like I should be. I guess I just needed a little nudging. Thank you, God, for loving me and my children enough to keep me on the right track.