There it was.
Gracie’s glorious puppy markings in the “potty spot.”
The day before I had caught Gracie eating crayons in the boys’ room. And you know what? She had rainbow poop. I actually saw light blue and purple and orange wax remnants. Yes, I know, too much detail. You get the picture! I’m a mom, so these things just don’t gross me out anymore.
It’s striking to me how, now that I am blogging, EVERYTHING becomes a potential post idea. And right away, as I walked back in the house after this special viewing, I knew there was purpose and meaning to come out of rainbow poop.
Isn’t it so true that what we pour into our kids often gets reflected in what comes out of them? Certainly not identically, perfectly, or precisely–but the rainbow colors are there.
As a mother, I am the instiller and in-filler of thoughts, ideas, and hopefully some good wisdom and old-fashioned common sense. I teach and I explain and I model and I answer all day long. I look for teachable moments to share about things of faith and purpose and making good choices. The topics are endless and vary in seriousness or simplicity.
Between my three kids, I could be asked anything from “where do babies come out?” to “why do I have to share?” to “is this a healthy dinner?” to “is it going to be sunny today and why?” to “what’s a condom machine?” (gulp!)
It’s my job to pour into them. What goes in, comes out, or will come out as I raise them up. In different ways. And sometimes I feel so proud and puffed up inside, in a good mommy-proud-moment-way. Like when I shared with Luke how another mom-friend at school was full of compliments towards him, (about his attitude, disposition and manners) after observing him on a field trip. I told him that it I was proud of him and his choices and behavior and most importantly, his heart. Then he said to me, “Well, Mom, you should be proud of yourself, cuz you did that.” Sniffle, sniffle. Kleenex, please.
The pendulum swings the other way, though, too. One time Kate got in trouble and was sent to her room. She was about 5 years old at the time. As she stomped down the hall, I heard her whisper under her breath, “Damn.” I was equally horrified and mortified. Ok, and maybe I laughed a little, too, out of my shock. Quietly, of course.
Was I modeling that? Did she hear me in the car when these words come out (to myself I thought!) in an almost-accident? Or when I kluzt-ily stub my toe? I was so humbled and convicted in my heart about it. I had to stop and pray that although my kids may hear THAT, may they please hear all the RIGHT STUFF I am desperately trying to model and teach and impart to their hearts.
If its true that “what people take in and treasure determines what will emerge in their lives,” then we are back to the Rainbow Poop. So to speak.
However WIERD this may seem, it did make me think about WHAT GOES IN, GOES OUT. There is a bible verse that both inspires and challenges me all the time: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. ” (Luke 6:45) Another version goes like this: “What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
As I heard recently, in an insightful and inspiring seminar on discipling children, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” Meaning, it is of utmost importance what I put inside MY HEART, MIND AND SPIRIT, in order to pour what is true, noble, pure, good, wise, (the list goes on…) into my children. Kind of makes me think about when you are on an airplane and the flight attendant goes through the usual emergency procedures. How parents are to put the oxygen mask on THEMSELVES FIRST, and then on their kids’ mouths. I cannot save or protect my child if I am not breathing!
The longer I am a mother, the more and more I realize how INTENTIONAL I must be about everything. That could be a blog post all its own. I know there are hours and days I cannot bring back that were not intentional, fruitful, or productive. Time blitzes by so incredibly fast. My firstborn just came out of my tummy yesterday and tomorrow he is graduating from 5th grade. I hope I have used my time well and wisely and joyfully with him as he is only home in my nest a few more short years.
Thankfully he doesn’t eat crayons anymore, but sometimes I do wish he were still little and did.