As the mother of a newborn, I spend roughly sixteen hours a day on the couch. Just sitting there. My hands are held hostage, because I’m holding someone whose life depends on my ability to hold him to my chest for sixteen hours a day.
In some ways, this is the toughest part of having a baby. While the breast and the baby may be working, the rest of me is idle.
Sure, there are ways to work around this. For instance, I am starting to be an expert at one-handed internet surfing. For the second and third week of my son’s life, I read my way through the War of the Roses, thanks to Philippa Gregory.
But once I polished off The White Princess for the second time, I was all read out.
And while I love the kid, there´s only so long I can stare at him in wonder. More often than not, I found myself thinking about all the other things I could have been doing, things I would have been doing if my hands were free.
As I kept ruminating on all those things that needed to be done, I was reminded of Philippians 4:6.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Instead of worrying about those things that I couldn’t do anything about, I could pray about those things. This reminded me to pray for my baby, for my older children, and for the rest of my family. Yes, I love them, but how often to I set time aside to pray for them?
With so much time almost literally on my hands, I have been reminded to pray for all kinds of people and situations I would have otherwise overlooked during my regularly-scheduled busy life.
Perhaps the hardest thing about having a new baby is that abrupt halt of all the activities and routines that dominated our days up to the moment of the baby’s birth. Then — BAM — life comes to a halt. We’re forced to slow down dramatically. We’re stuck on the couch for sixteen hours a day, feeding this new little person.
Stepping back and reflecting, this is a huge job. It’s an awesome responsibility — both the small person whose survival is dependent on my holding him steady, and the fact that I can simultaneously lift up numerous people, situations, needs, joys, and hurts and intercede on behalf of those people and situations directly to the God who has control over it all.
Up until recently, I haven´t been much of a “pray-er.” I like doing better.
But maybe prayer is just another form of doing. Even though it may not feel like I’m doing anything, I have faith that those prayers are doing someone, somewhere, some good. After all, that’s what faith is all about — the belief that prayers do work, even when there is no physical evidence to support that belief.
So while the baby gets busy eating, I’ll get busy, too. How can I pray for you today?
Even if you don’t have an infant to feed at home, we all wash dishes, fold laundry, cut the grass, iron clothes. These are all great opportunities to “present our requests to God” rather than ruminating on situations we have no control over.
What seemingly mundane activities could be transformed by making them an opportunity for prayer?
Copyright 2018 Jill Michelle Douglas