A few nights ago we were relaxing in our living room and Benny fell asleep on my lap, completely exhausted from our busy day. It seems to me that it is becoming quite the habit for him to fall asleep early in the evening. Maybe it is because we are back to early mornings now with school, and maybe it is because he is not napping in the afternoons anymore. Those two put together makes for one tired little guy.
Anyway, as I laid him into his bed and pulled the covers up around his small body, his eyes popped open and he looked around a bit surprised.
"Mommy," he said, "Can I have..." he stopped in mid sentence.
"What do you want?" I asked him.
"That." He pointed to the bottom of the bunk overhead.
"What is that?" I asked, looking carefully at the wood thinking maybe he had put something in the slats. A sticker or toy maybe?
"It's a waddle."
"A waddle? What's a waddle?" I was beginning to think he was sleep talking now.
"It's a little thing..." again he trailed off and I glanced down to see his eyes were closed and he was a out again.
I had to chuckle as I kissed his forehead. I have to admit I love listening to him talk because I never know what he is going to say. His brain is constanly turning, making plans, taking in every little detail. It is amazing how much these little ones take in during the day, watching, listening, learning, as we go about our lives, taking for granted that what we do will not affect those around us. Our words, our actions, our body language all speak loudly to the people in our lives. What we love they will love. What we hate they will hate. What we say they will say. They notice every little 'waddle' in life.
I had to go tell Joe about Ben's sleepy comment and now the word has taken on a life of its own. It has become the new phrase around our home. It's the waddles in life, the little things, that really matter. It's the few moments of cuddle time with my little boy, or the time spent with my nine year old daughter cutting cookies out for the women's conference. It's even in the frustrating moments of working math problems out with my eighth grader. How we handle each situation, either leaning to the flesh or trusting the Lord to get us through the little circumstances in life, that will make an impression on the children. I admit that I fail. Many times...every day, in fact. Yet, the Lord is gracious to show me my failures, and forgives me when I ask. I try to fix them, make things better with the child or person I failed, and move on, praying I will not make the same mistakes again.
I have had my challenges these last few weeks, sometimes wondering if I really heard God's voice about our decision to homeschool. Usually it is at my weak moments when I am wishing I was anywhere but here, yet that peace still remains deep inside. I know I am in the Lord's will and we are doing what He wants us to do right now. He did not promise it would be easy. He did not promise there would not be any bumps in the road. Schedule adjustments have to be made, law and order has to be determined, and the switch from mommy to teacher has to be understood by all. Yet it's the waddles of the day that make it all worth my time. My days are full, my time with my children is sweet, and my heart is filled to overflowing. I love my family, and I am so glad the Lord has brought us to where we are now. He has blessed me far above anything I could ever have imagined. It's the waddles that count.