Where I live, “Fools Spring” is a real thing. The snow melts as the sun starts to warm. Ladders go up; holiday lights come down. Cars get washed by soap not salt. The grass gets a little greener and bulbs break through garden beds. Sports fields dry up enough for soccer and softball practice to resume. Then, just when the signs of spring start showing up, snow happens, and hopes are dashed.
As crazy as the “Will we ever escape winter?” cycle can be, there’s good news! “Fools Spring” always ends, signs of spring take root, and all of this sets the world of summer in motion. It’s how God created the seasons. And, what happens in winter actually prepares the world and human hearts for spring and summer. (By the way, if you're curious how to welcome winter for all it’s worth, read my post on that here.)
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19
As a dad, you can trust your Heavenly Father when He says the signs of spring are real. He’s not trying to trick you. He’s not dangling hope in front of you only to snatch it away. Will everything be easy or perfect for you? No. But that doesn’t mean God is not present or providing for you and your family. To encourage and equip you, here are three signs of spring that you can leverage today as you gear up for summer.
1. The Sun is Out
Can you feel it? Winter is pretty much in your rearview mirror now. Not only is the sun out, but the sky is remarkably blue, and the weather is way warmer than just a couple weeks ago. It may only be 55 degrees, but in this part of the world, families are out for bike rides, working in gardens, washing cars in shorts, and opening up every window in the house. When the sun’s out AND warm on your face, it’s a telltale sign of Spring! But if you’re like me, it’s going to take extra effort for you and your family to thaw out from the combo of last year’s quarantine plus your usual winter hibernation.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. – Psalm 113:3
This is a great verse to help you shift your perspective from “stuck in a rut” to “renewing your rhythm.” God wants you, your child(ren), and your family to experience life day in and day out with joy and gratitude. How can you let the sun being out (and warm!) remind you of God’s goodness this Spring?
2. The Birds are Back
I wake up every day to the sound of birds. We don’t have parakeets like when I was a kid, but I do have a pretty cool bank of alarm sounds on my phone. So how do I know the actual birds are actually back? A couple of weekends ago, when my alarm wasn’t set, I heard birds outside my bedroom window. It may seem ridiculously simple, but something in me perked up. “The birds are back!” I didn’t go running downstairs like Christmas morning or anything. I was just pleasantly surprised and more hopeful. Another sign of Spring in the air!
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” – Matthew 6:26
Humans worry. It’s a fact. And Jesus had plenty to say about the need to and how to counteract this innate issue. While a quick read of Matthew 6:25-34 can’t cure you from worrying, Christ says about putting your cares on the back burner can transform you over time. When is the last time you went bird watching? Turns out you don’t need a regional guidebook, binoculars, or any training. Consider going for a walk in the woods by yourself or with your child(ren). What birds do you encounter? What do you notice about how they’re cared for by God? Let the birds being back remind you and your family of the Lord’s presence, provision, and protection.
3. Dads Camp is Reopening
Last Summer, our Camp Paradise team tried something we’ve never done before >> Dads Camp at Home. It was good quarantine-friendly fun for about 100 dads/families, but it could never replace Dads Camp at camp! There’s something powerful about a father and child trekking to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to spend three full days one-on-one off the grid along the Tahquamenon River. This year, we’re thrilled to announce that Dads Camp is reopening for Summer 2021 and we’d love for you to join us. One of our favorite signs of Spring is when dads gear up for summer by getting their Dads Camp session(s) on the calendar!
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31b
Just before Jesus’ disciples got to miraculously feed 5000+ people, the Lord called them away from the hustle and bustle of work and life to refuel. They needed time to fill their physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational tanks. This is why we, through Dads Camp each summer, invite you to pursue the best connections—with your heavenly Father, your child, and other dads in community. One of the signs of Spring that does our heart good is when Dads Camp pre-registration goes live. We pray that knowing Dads Camp is reopening and reserving your spot is just around the corner helps restore your heart as well.
We’d love for you to request you and your child’s spot at Dads Camp 2021 during the pre-registration window between April 12-22. Click here to view this years’ Dads Camp dates!
Written by Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor