I finished up my second semester of doctoral work in the Doctor of Ministry program at Candler School of Theology a few weeks ago. I jokingly made a Facebook posting that I wondered what I would do with all my free time and noted— “oh right, I’ll have a baby in a few weeks.”
It’s true that these few interim weeks between finishing school and welcoming our second daughter into the world offer brief glimpses into restful, quieter summer days. I’m savoring them because I know they do not come all too often.
The pace continues at work and I’m still chasing around a very busy almost-two-year-old, but without school thrown in the mix, I’ve had a few mornings where I can breathe deeper, a few afternoons where I can linger on my afternoon walk and even a few evenings, where I’ve (gasp!) read for pleasure without the impending deadline of a paper or a book to read for class hanging over my head.
It’s odd to consider not being in the pulpit again until the beginning of October. When my mind would normally be swirling with thoughts of Pentecost and summer lectionary texts, I instead find myself remembering, “oh yes, we need to put together that crib” and “where DID I put all of my older daughter’s clothes?”
The slowing down that comes for some ministers in the summer is like a breath of fresh air. (I know if you work with youth or children or have a busy summer schedule, then summer is not a slowing down, but a ramping up). I’m considering as I slow down, both intentionally and because I’m starting to waddle, ever-so-gracefully, where God might be new to me these days.
Where might I see the holy in the ordinary once the Spirit rushes in on Pentecost? Where might the Incarnation be real and tangible and how might I live that out because I have a few extra moments to inhale?
I know the busyness we all encounter hits at different moments throughout the year for all of us and it will be real again for me in about eight weeks when we welcome another child and then again when I return to work and school six weeks after that.
But I think I’ll linger in this space until then and claim it for what it is—a surpising gift.
Rev. Leah Grundset Davis is the communications specialist at the Alliance of Baptists and a member at Ravensworth Baptist Church, Annandale, Va. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband John, daughter Lydia, Moses the dog and is looking forward to welcoming second daughter in mid-July.