What Goes In Must Come Out
by Nikevia Lebron
Wife, praise maker, cinnamon roll baker, and super mommy of 3.
My name is Nikevia Lebron and I am a wife, mother, and minister. Thinking back to early childhood I used to tell my mom that I couldn’t wait to grow up and be a grandmother. She’d laugh and say, “You have to be a mother first,” but in my mind my grandmother was the best! She had lots of grandchildren and that’s what I wanted—to have lots of children around me and to love on them, just like my grandmother. As I grew older and began to think about my life and career journey, all I ever could pinpoint as a desire of my heart was to do ministry and be a wife and mother. So here I am on this journey of parenthood just like the rest of you. I pray that you are blessed by what Holy Spirit shares and reveals to me in my daily walk of life as a parent.
Love and goldfish crackers,
What Goes In Must Come Out
I had quite the funny experience with my three-year-old yesterday and I thought surely there is a blog for this moment. This morning when I woke up, I asked Holy Spirit what the title of the article should be, and I immediately heard, “what goes in must come out!” I burst into laughter thinking “very funny Jesus,” as the experience that I am about to share with you has to do with potty training.
With 18-month-old twins and a baby on the way, I have been quite determined to make sure our oldest, Judah—who just turned 3—is fully potty trained before our little princess gets here. (Because let’s be honest FOUR children in diapers at once is A LOT!!!) Judah has done a great job in his learning process and has really been receptive to the reward system that we have used as a motivator. However, we have been facing the hurdle of getting him to go “big potty” (number two) on the toilet.
Yesterday, Judah had an accident in his undies. I do my best to not get frustrated even though in my head I am thinking, “if you ask to go peepee why can’t you ask to go poopoo?!” AND this mama is tired of washing all these Thomas Train and PJ Mask undies. LOL! So, I took a deep breath, got him situated to be changed, and tried to spend some time encouraging him and letting him know that he does such a good job going peepee and I know he can do the same thing when he needs to go big potty. We talked about how mommy and daddy go potty and his older cousins go potty now and how that’s a part of growing up and becoming a big boy. Well this child of mine decided to tell me that he was not a big boy and still a baby. I told him he was my baby, but he was a big boy now because he is THREE! With a sharp mind and quick response, my toddler responded in song singing, “I’M FREE! I’M FREE! I’M FREE TO DANCE AND SING!!!” Little boy I said THREE not FREE!!!! LOL. Don’t you just love those parenting moments where you’re trying to give a serious lesson and then your child catches you off guard with something like that and all you can do is laugh!!! Yep, that was me!
Later into the evening after putting all the boys down, I began to reflect on this comical moment. I thought about how Judah is always worshipping and how often in his “challenging” toddler moments he will begin to sing or ask me to sing a song with him to help him feel better. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” As parents, until our child is able to take that responsibility of guarding their own heart, it is our job. As we guard their hearts from evil, it is also our job to fill their hearts with the love of God and to take every opportunity to fill it with good seed that will bear good fruit. As parents, we have the awesome opportunity to demonstrate the love of God to our children in how we love on them and show affection, in how we teach and train them, and in the words we speak into their lives.
Perhaps you are like me and sometimes look at the behavior of your children and think, goodness this isn’t a reflection of what I have been pouring into them, but have confidence that His word does not return to Him void and that if you are faithful to the Word by training up your child in the ways of the Lord, that what you are placing inside of them has to come out. I probably give my boys fifty kisses a day and tell them over and over that I love them. While I may think oh its nothing, I am just being a normal mommy, it’s in those moments when my toddler can tell that he’s made a poor choice and from his own conviction comes to give me a hug and says, “I am sorry Mommy” or hurts himself and asks me to pray with him, that I see that fruit coming out.
It breaks my heart when I see young children singing songs referencing sex, violence, or that use profanity or even videos that pop up on social media of children dancing in an inappropriate manner and the comments of parents/adults saying it’s funny or cute. How often do we see those same parents hurt, ashamed, and confused when that child becomes a teen and is promiscuous, violent, or disrespectful? I’ve been called “over the top” when it comes to parenting choices made by my husband and I, but we must take seriously what we allow to come into the eye and ear gate of our children.
I do my best to keep our home filled with worship throughout the day and take breaks away from my many chores to turn on some praise music and dance before the Lord with my boys. I ask the Holy Spirit multiple times a day to help me to remain joyful and at peace even in the chaotic moments of parenting three toddlers so that I don’t speak to my children out of anger and frustration. I look for opportunities to share the Word with them as I teach them simple lessons for everyday life. I don’t share this to boast in my parenting, because believe me this momma is on her knees daily asking Holy Spirit to teach me how to be the mommy these precious gifts need me to be. I make lots of mistakes, I apologize and ask my children for their forgiveness when I mess up, and I cry when I disappoint myself. But I pray this blog encourages you to be intentional about what you pour into your children and what you allow others and their environments to fill them with, because it WILL come out. Also, as you are mindful of what is going into your child, allow Holy Spirit to show you what you are allowing to come into you and what you are filling yourself with because it majorly impacts what comes out to your children in your parenting.
Love & Goldfish,
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