Tag Archives: slowing down

Out of the mouths of Babes: Two double preachers’ kids speak out

The Life and Times of Oliver Finn . . .

I’m a builder, a fighter, and a dancer.

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Each morning when I wake up, I immediately rush to finish breakfast and get dressed so that I can extend my building time.  You see, I have a lego city in my room that requires constant work.  There are cars to build, bad guy houses and good guy bases, airplanes and so much more!  It is a rather extensive project for a 5 year old to oversee.  Fortunately, I have consultants that I bring in from time to time to help contribute to my city’s architecture and help fight off (distract) my sister’s destructive curiosity.  My mom is especially good at building houses and banks for my bad guys to rob – but don’t worry, I’ve just created a fleet of police vehicles to track down the robbers!

Learning to be a fighter and a dancer are important things you learn in Kindergarten.  I got in a fight during the second week of school this year – one of my good friends punched me and I punched him back during P.E. class!  My friend just didn’t appreciate it when I knew the right answer to the coach’s question, but we worked out our differences.  I had to talk with Mr. Foster – the principal – but fortunately, this did not affect my daily smiley face behavior report.  Whew!

Oh well!  It’s just hard for people to get along sometimes.

Unless, of course, you teach them the magic of an evening dance party!  No matter how cranky, tired, or aggravated we are, there’s nothing like a dance party to clear away those bad feelings.  Every Friday at school, just before dismissal time, the kids who have had perfect attendance all week get to celebrate with a dance party in the hallway!  Its a great time to shake off the stress of the week, dance with your friends and learn some new moves.

We have dance parties at home too – especially when we need a “mood change.”  If you get the chance, wherever you are on a Friday afternoon – be sure to take time to grab your friends, your family – maybe even a coworker or two and dance!  Its a sure way to bring some light-hearted joy into your day!

212f872f-1f03-42ba-b637-4871dd72d070And Lyra Grace . . .

Rush, rush, rush…hurry, hurry, hurry.  That seems to be the way life is when you grow up.  It’s true, some things should be done quick and fast – like racing with your brother or biting him when mom’s back is turned.

But there are things in life that just cannot (and should not) be rushed!  My top two at the moment go hand-in-hand: prayer time and bedtime.  Allow me to explain.


Before we go to bed, we often tell God what we are thankful for.  This is my favorite part of the evening!  I like to walk around the room and thank God for the things that I see around me, touching each item as I pray.  I also want to be sure and mention the people I know and anyone that I’ve talked to that day, or anything I’ve seen that comes to mind.  You can see how to get all of this in, it just takes time!

My brother has begun rolling his eyes when its my turn to pray, or even forfeiting his own prayer time.  At least he’s given up on interrupting me – now he just grabs a book and waits.  That’s fine, Mommy says God will listen to my prayers all night long.  I’m glad because I have a lot to say!

Which brings me to another thing that simply should never be rushed: bedtime!  Personally, I try to stretch out our bedtime in increments that last all night.  First, I am always careful to check on Mommy and Daddy at least 4-5 times after they tuck me in.  Next, I try to pay them a visit or invite them to my room at least once or twice in the middle of the night.  After all, they could get lonely in the dark and I don’t want them to forget that I’m here!

Lately I’ve added one more helpful piece to my extended bedtime.  I like to call for them just before their alarms go off to make sure they remember to get up.  All I ask for this incredibly helpful service is that they keep me company for a few minutes until I fall back asleep – then they are free to begin their morning.

If you are feeling rushed in life, my suggestion to you is simply to stop.  Stop and just see what happens!  You might be surprised by how much you come to love taking things slowly.

Oliver and Lyra are the children of Nathan and Carrie Dean who serve with Edgewood Church in Atlanta, GA, http://edgewoodchurchatlanta.org. Oliver and Lyra like to keep life interesting for their parents and are learning to be the body of Christ with their church family.

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.