This one thing I’ve learned, in case you were hoping for some practical advice, has nothing to do with breastfeeding itself. Breastfeeding is just the means by which God has taught me something; or, rather, is teaching me.
This one thing is: how to be still and not do anything.
I’m a multitasker by nature. I have a long list in my head of things that I need to or want to do and I will use every available opportunity to get things ticked off that list. And typically, I add things to the list much faster than I tick things off.
However, now that I have a new baby, I’m trying to get things done in between feeding her, changing her nappies, and carrying her around. If I can’t get them done in these inbetween times, then I do them while I’m feeding her. While feeding I can:
Write blog posts,
Read and reply to emails,
Post photos into Instagram,
And even sew!
And if I can’t do something useful, there’s always scrolling through social media or reading online comics (I have a weakness for a special few).
But at night I feed my daughter in the dark. What am I supposed to do then?
The answer comes: “Be still and know that I Am God.”
Easier said than done.
At night I have no choice: I can’t fill my head with a constant stream of information because I can’t look at screens in the dark (for many reasons – they give me a headache to name one). So instead I pray.
Some would see this as still multitasking, but I see it as meditating.
Ah, meditation. Something that has become very popular in the West lately. Suddenly it’s cool to meditate, whereas before it was for “weird New Agers” or “Eastern people.”
Instead of smoke-breaks, people are now taking meditation-breaks. Which is brilliant!…in many ways…
I’ve been an advocate for daily siestas for many years now (for some reason parliament won’t listen to me and make it national), and in my house we have a strict naptime routine every day…unless we are at work, where it is unfortunately frowned upon. But that’s where the current popularity of meditation is a positive thing: it’s teaching busy people to take a break and CALM DOWN.
The difference between my prayer-filled, God-focused meditation and this popular meditation is that instead of emptying my mind of all things, I’m filling it up with God: the Best Thing.
The praying I am doing is not complicated, organised prayer. I’m literally just chatting to God. I chat to Him to about the mistakes I made that day, the things I need help with, my family, all my worries, and the things I learned, especially the things I’ve learned about Him. I lay it all before Him and relax, because they’re all in His hands, and I can be still, because He is God.
I have found that my relationship with Him has improved (what a surprise) and it’s getting much easier to recall scripture and to relax and empty my mind of all the hustle and bustle, worries and guilt that have accrued during the day. And that list! The Neverending To Do list is relegated to some dark corner of my mind where I can forget about it until I need it again.
“On [Your Word I] meditate day and night.” (Palm 1:2)
Well, I’ve got the night thing down. Now I just have to work on the day part. I think I’m going to have to start leaving my technological devices on the other side of the living room…