Happy Father's Day, Pa, Grandad, and Shane!
When I asked Shane to text an honoring description of the 2 men we're blessed to call our fathers, he replied:
'Hardworking men who set a tremendous example of industriousness and generosity,' and that's the bottom line. Our sons and daughters receive the trickle down effect of these generational blessings, and we don't take these strong character qualities in the men we each call 'Dad' for granted.
My dad, Tod Fridge, is pictured below at Christmas with Annemarie in red (she's changed so much in 6 mos.!). I honor him this Father's Day with a grateful heart, for choosing time with me on days he wasn't on the road with the intense job stress he embraced as an aviator (even pulling me out of school if need be, which made me feel so cherished), for opening up his home and pocketbook to my many children (when the timing is definitely not always convenient), and for praying faithfully with my mom over his children and grandchildren. My dad chose my mom and brother and I in spite of the permission that western culture gives us to bail on hard things, and having he and my mom still married and loving each other not only for the other's strengths, but in spite of the other's weaknesses, sets the pace for the Spirit-led grace we're learning to walk in, here in our home. You're a blessing to us, Dad.
My father in law, Joe Simmons (pictured with Annemarie in a sunflower bow, below) is the most generous human being I've ever met. He gives and gives and gives, like the Energizer bunny keeps going and going, like Jesus who never fails, nor turns his back on the needs of His children. He stays connected with my husband daily, and provides a consistent safe haven of grace and peace for Shane, regardless of how frightening the life storms his son is enduring at the time are (and his son has seen some SERIOUS collisions of life tornadoes in the recent past, and more times than he would've preferred to, before that, in only 2 decades of adult life). Thank you, Joe, for showing me what Christlike parenting of adult children looks like, and for modeling selflessness at levels most Christians will never see, much less be able to observe and learn from, in a family member.
I posted the following on Facebook tonight about Shane:
"This selfless father of ten is no 'run of the mill' American boy, like many men in our culture are, walking around in full grown men's bodies. He takes wise, well calculated risks in obedience to a God whose Kingdom is one of opposites, and trusts/obeys with a commitment to doing many, many hard things all at once, to be sure his wife and children have all they genuinely need...for life AND godliness.
My rock star man preached the folly of being too concerned about what people think to me (even those I'm supposed to care about their opinion, a little) from the Y the other night by phone (when he desperately wanted to work out, instead of listening to me wrestle with the praise and rejection of man). He's earned the right to speak firmly about such mature matters of the faith, as he lives out the balance of letting the right men speak into his life, while not violating the Scripturally pure principles that guide the doctrinally sound 'life GPS' he rests in: the wise Holy Spirit.
Thank you, sweet Jesus, on this Father's Day Eve, that Shane Simmons is the father and namesake of the little man inside me, and of our beloved 9 babies that aren't in the oven. We are blessed and highly favored to have been gifted with him as the patriarch of our estate."