Friday, August 18, 2006

EMPTY NEST: August 18, 2006.

Julie and I have four wonderful daughters (birth order): Leah, Elisha, Lori and Shamar.

The pictures above are Shamar, our youngest. The one whom, I would wager her sisters saying, had it the best at home. The first 3 were 2 years apart and 4 years later Shamar arrived.

Today Shamar moved out into her own apartment (picture standing in apartment door).

Shamar is a Hebrew verb which means "he watches over, he guards, he protects" (read Psalm 121 for multiple uses of the verb), often referring to God's care.

When Shamar was little, I made up "a-time-to-go-to sleep" song (sing with an Israeli tempo):

"Shamar, Shamar, our God watches over us;
Shamar, Shamar, He watches day and night.
Shamar, Shamar, our God watches over us,
Wwwiiiiiiitthhh His power and His might, cha, cha, cha!"

Now I am having mixed feelings as I let you know that she is an independent young lady. Julie and I sat and ate our home-grilled hamburger and cantaloupe tonight. Just the two of us at a simple meal that was transitioning us into a new phase of life.

Can you spell e-m-p-t-y n-e-s-t?

Shamar graduated in May this year from Grand Valley State University with a degree in "Hospitality Management" (blue cap and gown). In the top picture above she is in her hotel uniform, pretending like she's an airline stewardess letting us know where the exits are on the plane... because that's how she felt she looked in her outfit.

She's got a great guy hanging around her a lot named Evan (see the two above). He's a student at Cornerstone University and because we (Evan and I) like to talk theology and N.T. Wright and Scot McKnight and Jesus studies, Shamar accuses Evan of liking me more than her. Which I really doubt is the case!

Each of our daughters is a delightful, gifted person. From the same parents, but each one of them is a unique young woman in her own right. We love each one of them.

God bless you, Shamar. Know that all of us---Julie and I, Leah and her family, Elisha and her family, and Lori love you very, very much.

So, when are you coming home for dinner??


At 8/18/2006 7:59 PM, Blogger Ted Gossard said...

You (and Julie) made it through! Well maybe it wasn't half so bad.

Lovely daughter and sounds like she's doing just fine. It was great to meet one of your daughters at the pub that evening. I'll bet all four are young women of conviction, taking after their dad, but getting their looks and grace from their mom!

At 8/19/2006 6:45 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

You are right about their looks and grace. Julie is a beauty herself. We made it through, but like Julie's sister said, the empty nest is not all it's cracked up to be. But, hey, we're just in our second day!

At 8/19/2006 9:08 AM, Anonymous Susan said...

Thank you for sharing this -- the names of your daughters are beautiful!

So, when are you coming home for dinner?? Ha! I can sure relate to this one. My three daughters remain my best friends, and in fact, I'm waiting for my oldest to come pick me up to look for shoes she needs for her new office job (she has been a Starbucks barista and just got a 'real job' in an office! This requires a whole new wardrobe, dontcha know....) Mother-daughter shopping days, which used to be rather stressful as a single mom are now somehow much more enjoyable since the kids all have jobs! Haha.

I pray you and Julie quickly learn to enjoy this new phase of life. It is one of the most blessed things I know to watch as God blesses the children of those that love Him. He is so good.

At 8/19/2006 9:40 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

Thanks for the comments about the girls. They are good kids.

Julie is a Frenz Coffee House barista, working the early morning hours...just 6 am to 10 am. She loves it. And Julie has fun going shopping with the girls, too. It is better now that we don't have to pay for everything!

We appreciate your prayers as we adjust to the empty nest.

At 8/19/2006 9:51 AM, Anonymous Susan said...

My Jocelyn loved being a barista, and she was really good at it!But it didn't pay the bills : (
I am really happy for her that she has something full-time now. The only sad thing is I cannot just drop in on her and have a cup of coffee and visit a bit. Maybe she doesn't view that as a bad thing though...Tee hee.

At 8/19/2006 12:43 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

One of the perks of Julie being the morning barista is that I can go to Frenz and have a discounted cup of delicious coffee. It's a neat little homey place that is wi-fi.

At 8/20/2006 5:41 AM, Anonymous Nave said...

This Evan kid sounds like a real catch. I'd sure like to hear more about him ;)

At 8/20/2006 5:54 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

Is this the "Rev Nave" I've heard about? And, yes, this Evan guy is a cool dude. :-}

At 8/20/2006 1:07 PM, Anonymous julie said...

somehow i believe you are evan spelled backwards;)hmmmm?

At 8/20/2006 3:09 PM, Blogger Dr. D said...

Ah much blessings and Shalom to my friends in Denver- geez we miss the place even after 20 years! But Shamar now has completed a process which opens an incredible set of doors may her path always lead up and to peace and to prosperity in the will of the Father. -Amen

At 8/21/2006 5:44 AM, Blogger hebron said...

I liked your little poem. It was very touching. The fact that you wrote about this reflects your deep affection toward your daughter. In this day and age fathers who stick around are a rarity and fathers who focus on thier kids is even more scarce. "Behold, I will send you Eli'jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse." Malachi I believe that the Father-child relationship is the key to the majority of societal ills.

At 8/21/2006 7:14 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

Thanks for your kind words. Shamar and we live in Grand Rapids, MI. Do you know another Shamar?

At 8/21/2006 7:16 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

Wow! Thanks for the very kind words about the little song for Shamar and the insight from Malachi.

At 8/22/2006 6:05 AM, Blogger Kerry Doyal said...

John, congrats on seeking God as you & your beloved launched your ladies. May he give peace, comfort and time to catch up on at least half of those interrupted conversations ;-)

Sign me: With five - all still at home

At 8/22/2006 7:55 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

Whoa! Five at home yet! All the joy, and all the challenge. Thanks for your encouragement

At 8/23/2006 4:50 AM, Blogger Judy said...

Shamar IS lovely!

And, that boy she's with looks awfully familiar.

At 8/23/2006 8:34 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

I agree with you that Shamar is a lovely young lady. The guy in the picture with her, Nave,...hmmmmmm...I don't think you know him.

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