When Spring and Life Falter

It’s not that they lied.

It’s just that we see the calendar’s blatant announcement of spring and then step curiously outside to shiver in a chilly thirteen degrees. Snow flurries fly diagonally to the right, falling softly for hours. Crystal diadems stack an inch high. An hour later, the snow stops. Blue skies and sunshine light up melting snow. Crystalline diadems dissipate.

At the kitchen table, my daughter and I solve second degree algebra equations, and turn pages in her physical science textbook. My preschooler wriggles excitedly on his stool at the computer desk, watching his character scroll through a two-dimensional world. And his world looks flat from here, but he knows the whole game. Dodging dangers, jumping cliffs, and traipsing into caverns, he locates the treasures. And when dangers or troubles overtake him, he confidently starts again.

We saw him this afternoon, the chubby fleece rabbit, hiding under the tall firs. He’d been scarce all winter. A robin flitted onto a bone bare branch today too, forerunner of a silent spring.

And Midwestern Americans everywhere peer optimistically out windows and hover at open doorways, light jackets in hand, wondering. New life lingers, latent below the surface, and winter melts away.

And your words, they come to my mind… “Lord, where else would we go? You hold the words of life!” And the world teems with it.

Can’t see the spring, the new life, in your world? Are you dodging dangers, jumping cliffs, and stumbling through dark caverns in a two-dimensional world? Our God knows this life game and confidently navigates it for us. “Lord, where else would we go? You hold the words of life.”

Hi friend. What have you been reading, learning, or thinking about this week?

(Those in email –of which there are nearly 400 of you!– can click here to join the conversation. Feel free to forward this.)

*Photo Credit: Evan Long, Creative Commons, cc license

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  1. Lisa notes... on March 26, 2014 at 12:37 am

    This is good, Jennifer, because I've been whining that winter will never end this year. But where will I go? πŸ™‚ I'm here; God is here; that's enough. Thanks for the attitude adjustment. (And also for reminding me that I no longer have to sit at the kitchen table and do algebra with my kids. ha)

  2. Floyd on March 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I get the longing heart and appreciate the perspective. The longing makes the season so much sweeter I think. This will be the most enjoyable one for you and your family yet! Come on out! The weather is fine!

  3. Bill (cycleguy) on March 26, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Our weather here in Indiana has certainly been characteristic of what you are saying Jennifer. Last week I rode my bike in short sleeves. Today I about froze my fingers and nose off. πŸ™‚ I tend to be one who sees the other side of the negative: I want to be the one who lives the adventure. But I only want to live it if He lives it with me.

  4. Sue on March 26, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I've been downhill skiing with two of my brothers. At 66, with a birthday next week (!) I'm not doing too bad. Every time I fly down the hill, I thank God for the beautiful snow, the sunshine and the ability to maneuver my body! With spring around the corner, we are trying to get in a few more days of skiing! Love it in Minnesota!!

  5. Dolly@Soulstops on March 27, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Oh, Jennifer, I imagine how you and all of my friends, still under snow, must long for spring…thanks for reminding me that God is always there πŸ™‚

  6. Cheryl Barker on March 28, 2014 at 4:32 am

    Jennifer, where else will we go indeed? I love that passage and am oh so thankful He holds the words of life we need. Blessings to you — and may spring come soon for us all!

  7. Jennifer Dougan on April 1, 2014 at 7:27 pm


    No more algebra? πŸ™‚ Grinning with you, and eager for spring to fully arrive. Thanks for stopping in,

  8. Jennifer Dougan on April 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Enjoying spring early in AZ, Floyd? I enjoy hearing my brother's phone updates from a temperate state out west too. Tulips there already. πŸ™‚

    Have a great week,

  9. Jennifer Dougan on April 1, 2014 at 7:38 pm


    Aren't these central states funny in their weather changes? πŸ™‚ We went from 60 degrees to thirty in a day or so this week. An adventure for sure, and that's a great way to look at it. Spring is coming.

    Have a nice week,

  10. Jennifer Dougan on April 1, 2014 at 7:43 pm


    Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping in here. Always nice to talk to a fellow MN. I'm impressed with your vitality and downhill skiing at 66 (happy birthday!). I hope to be that athletic at your age. I'm not there even now. πŸ™‚

    Jennifer Dougan

  11. Jennifer Dougan on April 1, 2014 at 7:43 pm


    Nice to have you stop into my Minnesota spring with me. πŸ™‚

    Have a wonderful week, friend,

  12. Jennifer Dougan on April 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm


    Those words grab me too each time "Where else would we go? You hold the words of life!"

    Nice to talk with you,

  13. Dontmissyoursunsetlady on April 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    We went from winter to summer, no Spring. sigh

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