5 Lessons from Spring for our Kids

by Christine Bailey on March 22, 2017

"Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you!  Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead, He set before your eyes the things that He has made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?" 

~ St. Augustine

 

As I was writing this article, my two daughters were repeatedly vying for my attention although I had sent them outside to play by the creek in our yard.  As I felt my frustration rising, it occurred to me that these eager, insightful girls may have something to teach me, so I asked my 6-year-old daughter for help: “What’s something you learn about God from the changes that happen in spring time?” She was thoughtful for a moment and then replied,

 

“Flowers bloom at different times.”

 

My eyes widened, surprised by such a simple yet strong analogy. And I began typing...

 

So, today I’d like to share some lessons we can learn in spring so we and our children can know God more:

 

1) Children can be our teachers. Rachel Carson, an environmentalist and author who was born in the early 1900s said in her book, A Sense of Wonder, “A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.” Children, who still have their untainted sense of wonder, can often see the simple lessons of nature and seasons that are harder for us to see. Spend an hour with your children outside in spring time, and just listen, observe, and let them teach you. I bet you’ll learn something profound, and your child’s confidence will grow. I watched my daughter and her friend spend hours outside the other day, building a fort out of sticks, rocks, and pine tree mulch, industriously working through ideas and problems together. I wanted to interfere, but when I stood back, I saw them create their own little world through creativity and teamwork. Now they have a handmade haven they’ll enjoy all spring.

 

2) People {and flowers} bloom at different times. As my daughter suggested, God’s creativity and diversity is seen in creating flowers more intricate and unique than we could ever imagine. So how much more is His diverse creation seen in people? We’ve had a lot of discussions lately in our home about how we can notice and appreciate people who are different from us, that God created everyone uniquely and lovingly. Even educationally, children in the same grade can be at completely different learning levels. Let’s use this opportunity to talk to our children about diversity and differences and how we can love and support one another, instead of giving in to comparison that steals our joy.

 

3) There’s a time for work. Just as winter is the time to rest and recharge, spring is the time to get to work. Bees are a perfect object lesson: by spring, bees have used up all the honey from winter and must now collect more pollen and nectar to make more food (honey).  As spring’s greater sunlight and warmth triggers bees to start buzzing and working, their pollination is what allows plants to fruit. Foods we love like tomatoes, almonds, and oranges literally could not exist without pollination from bees. Bees are essential to all of life - what a miracle!

 

4) There’s always a chance to begin again. Spring teaches us that we get a fresh start every year. Even if the last season (or yesterday, or the last hour) was full of mistakes, trials, or conflicts, we can learn from past choices, get up, and try again. In our home, this is a daily thing!  Back in Dallas, we had a horrible drought one summer, and I thought our beloved fig tree was scorched beyond repair, that it would never bear fruit again. I’ll never forget my surprise when little green leaves began to sprout on what I had thought were dead branches. Especially after times of conflict, I’m so grateful we get to draw from God’s strength and begin again.

 

5) The earth’s aliveness points to Jesus. There’s a reason Resurrection Sunday is celebrated in spring! As we teach our children about Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, we can show in a tactile, sensory way - through new life springing up all around us - how God created life from death through our Savior. “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20, NIV) Just open your eyes, and you will see it.

 

Happy spring! May you and your family experience His goodness all the more this season.

 

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