Tag Archives: pregnancy and ministry

Heather Mustain: Ordinary Miracles: First Pregnancy

“Being pregnant is not for sissies,” a phrase my husband Chad has heard me say more than once over the last six months. As our baby girl continues to grow, and I with her, I find myself wanting to grumble and complain. Complaining seems a lot easier than being filled with gratitude for the healthy baby growing within me.


Instead of complaining I remind myself every day that growth, albeit painful, is a gift from God. Every ache, every pain, every tear, every jab, every stretch mark, every trip to the bathroom, every night spent tossing and turning trying to find the perfect sleeping position has been entrusted to me by a God that desires my participation in co-creating life.

Erin Robinson Hall introduced this holy idea during last month’s conference call hosted by Baptist Women in Ministry. As she discussed the privilege women enter into during the nine, but really ten, months of pregnancy, my eyes swelled with tears as I realized for the first time the opportunity set before me. Being pregnant is not just a means to an end; it’s a holy process that invites a messy and broken person, like myself, to participate in the creation of life.

Any woman who has endured the trying months of pregnancy, not to mention labor and delivery, knows that this privilege isn’t all roses. Each has her horror story and many willingly share these with starry-eyed first time mothers, bringing them back to the reality that pain will ultimately find you.

But if you listen long enough to the chorus of these brave and courageous women, the hearer will find each story concludes the same way: “but I would do it all over again, because [s]he is worth it.” Ultimately these stories remind me that I am not alone, that others have gone before me, and that it’s worth it.

So as I roll out of bed, literally, three times a night, I find myself thanking God. Participating in creating life requires growth and commitment and ultimately pain will accompany it. Some days are better than others, but on the really hard days I hear the chorus cheering me on, asking me to join them in remembering that although pain is inevitable, it’s worth it.

Although pregnancy has taught me this valuable lesson, each of our days are filled with “pregnant” opportunities to embark on the journey of co-creation. So as God invites you to participate in co-creating life here on earth, don’t forget that it’s not for sissies!


Heather Mustain serves as minister of missions at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. An advocate for global missions, Heather graduated from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Social Work.  This post originally appeared as an article in Wilshire Baptist Church’s newsletter.

Leah Grundset Davis: In the Interim

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.

leah grundset davis

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.