I was thrilled to be a new mother again. Allen was one of those happy, mellow little guys. I would put him in his bouncer, and he would be happy to sit there, awake or asleep, while I rocked the bouncer with one foot and sat in my chair and worked on my laptop. I had a desk job and worked part-time at home, so I was happy for the opportunity to continue my work. I took pride in being able to multitask so well, and others commended me. Even when Allen grew older and was awake for longer spells, he still loved to be in his bouncer.
Then one day it seemed to rest closer to the ground. I thought Allen’s older sister, Jessica, who was a toddler at the time, might have sat in it and bent it. I tried to return the heavy wire frame to its original shape, but it wouldn’t comply. I asked my husband to look at it, and his conclusion was that it would need to be re-welded. It would be easier to get a new one.
Then came Allen’s naptime. I was used to bouncing him to sleep as I continued my work, but now I had to rock him in my arms until he fell asleep. I first tried rocking him while I walked back and forth across the room, and then while I sat in a rocking chair. When he finally went to sleep, I didn’t want to put him in his crib for fear that he would wake up. So there I sat, feeling useless. I thought about everything I needed to get done and got even more frustrated.
Then a different thought came to mind. Pray. I remembered reading a book once titled Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something.1 So I did. I prayed for my baby, for my husband’s work, for my daughter, for my responsibilities, for friends and family members. By the time the baby woke up, I felt surprisingly refreshed and upbeat. I actually felt as though I had accomplished more than if I had been sitting at my computer typing away. And I probably had.
Jesus said that we “always ought to pray.”2 Okay, so I’m not even close to that level of prayerfulness, but maybe if I spend my son’s naptimes upholding others in prayer, I might come closer to that ideal. Through this interruption in my accomplishment-driven routine, God was able to get through to me about something of much more lasting value.