December 11, 2023

Christmas Letter 2023


        Greetings from the Watts family! We hope you’ve had a wonderful 2023!

Adam will turn 16 next month and continues to be busy with his sophomore year of high school as well as church activities. He's taking his first Advanced Placement class - AP Seminar. Adam also joined a new gaming club at school where they alternate between video games and tabletop games. He is learning to be a Dungeons & Dragons dungeon master and has enjoyed playing against his friends in variations of chess. He’s still singing baritone in the youth choir at church and is excited about welcoming our new pastor early next year.

Patrick has settled into his role as Software Development Manager for the Product Domain, working on a complete rebuild of Lifeway’s site this past year. He still works from home with occasional in-person meetings at Lifeway’s new headquarters, which is only ten minutes from our house!

In June, Patrick was asked to help staff the Lifeway booth at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in New Orleans. It was a great time to connect with friends and meet Baptists from all over the country. If you saw Patrick in the booth there, he probably gave you a pair of Lifeway socks!

Less than two days after returning from New Orleans, Patrick and Adam left Nashville in the early morning hours to go on the church youth choir tour and mission trip to Hawaii! The action-packed week included volunteering at a food bank and school, singing at a church, singing at the Ala Moana mall, singing on the beach, and helping lead a Vacation Bible School. The group also managed to see the sights of Oahu such as the Pearl Harbor Memorial and Kualoa Ranch, which has been the filming location for many popular movies and television shows. There was also some time for one of Adam’s favorite things - the beach!

A special time for our family this year was Patrick’s participation in our church’s bi-annual Keyboards at Christmas performance, where twelve pianists play beautiful Christmas music on six grand pianos. The group consists of church members with various musical and professional backgrounds, and they practiced through the fall months to prepare for the concert on December 3. Patrick hopes to play again at the next concert in 2025. 

We are always grateful for our friends and family, especially this time of year. We love hearing from you! Please connect with us on Facebook or come by for a visit if you are in the area. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2024.

-Patrick, Lydia, and Adam Watts

December 5, 2022

Christmas Letter 2022

Greetings from Watts family! We hope you are well and enjoying the holiday season. 

Adam turned 14 in January and continues to enjoy playing video games and hanging out with the other boys in the neighborhood. He recently joined a Dungeons & Dragons group at the local library and looks forward to the meetings. 

Patrick’s big news this year was his new position at Lifeway. After being hired in 2006 to head up marketing, sales, and events for Lifeway Worship, he has spent the past few years on the resources team, primarily working with digital products. In April, he moved to the IT department to be a Software Development Manager for the Product Domain. He and the developers he supervises are responsible for making sure that all of the information about Lifeway’s products is accurate and dependable, and to provide governance and management over the quality of the product data wherever it goes, whether that be to Lifeway’s website, Amazon, Walmart, or any of the other outlets that sell Lifeway products.

Our busy spring continued in May when Adam wrapped up middle school. After spending his seventh grade year at home in distance learning, we were especially proud that he finished eighth grade so well and even earned a spot on the honor roll. 

In June, the Watts boys went coast to coast! Patrick and Adam went to California to visit DisneylandLegoland, and Huntington Beach, and to attend the Southern Baptist Convention Annual MeetingAdam was a first-time messenger!

Adam was a first-time messenger! They came back home for a couple of days before heading to Miami to participate in the Youth Choir Tour/Mission Trip. The group sang and served at several locations including the Miami Rescue Mission and Bayside Marketplace. They also sang the national anthem at a Miami Marlins game. They managed to squeeze in some Florida fun, too - snorkeling at Key Largo and spending a day at Universal Orlando.

Adam started high school in August, where he has adjusted well despite a few challenges. We’ve all had to adapt to new routines, teachers, and classes. He’s had some busy fall weekends going to TN Maker Fest, Brick Fest, and Pigeon Forge for the youth group fall retreat.

Lydia is able to participate in Sunday School and women’s Bible study at church via Zoom. Though chronic pain and autoimmune disease limits what she can do, she still enjoys cheering on the Vols and Predators from home. 

We love to hear from our friends and family! Connect with us on Facebook or come by for a visit if you are in the area. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed new year.

- Patrick, Lydia, and Adam

December 4, 2021

Christmas Letter 2021


“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”

2 Timothy 1:7 (CSB)

Greetings from the Watts family! We hope your 2021 has been happy, safe, and healthy. This year has been full of changes and adjustments for our family, as I’m sure it has been for yours.

Adam turned thirteen in January and celebrated with a Zoom birthday party so he could play video games with his friends. Also, he was selected as “Student of the Month” by his teachers for being the student who most embodied that month’s character quality which was “joy.” Students can only receive this honor once during their whole time at Valor Voyager Academy. We are particularly proud of Adam for receiving this honor during distance learning, which was filled with new challenges, for teachers, students, and parents. 

“We” finished the rest of seventh grade in distance learning. It was certainly a team effort. In many ways, it was a sweet time for our family. We had more time with each other, and we persevered through a difficult challenge together. Our mornings were more relaxed, and we didn’t have to spend time in the car going back and forth to school. I reflected on our experience on the one year anniversary of distance learning in March, and you can read that here. Adam was able to return to in-person learning for eighth grade in August.

Also in August, Patrick’s grandfather, Col. H. A. Waggener, Jr. (Ret.), passed away after complications following a fall. He was 101 years old. We have many treasured memories of Pop, and we rejoice that he is now with his Savior, whom he loved and served so faithfully throughout his life. Pop kept a piece of paper in his cockpit during World War II with 2 Timothy 1:7 written on it. Despite the many combat and health-related challenges that he faced, Pop lived a long, full life, and we thank God on every remembrance of him. Even when a loved one so dear lives over a century, it seems there is never enough time spent together.

Patrick was able to work from Ohio during several trips there this year before and after Pop’s passing. He continues working from home, as all of Lifeway’s employees do now, with a few in-person gatherings during the year. Lifeway’s online products have remained a top priority in 2021 as churches navigate life with COVID-19. He works on several projects including Ministry Grid, events registration, Lifeway Worship, and online Bible study curriculum. He also serves on a task force that is helping the entire organization migrate to Microsoft 365.

Following my diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis last year, I (Lydia) continue to work with my doctors to slow the progression of the disease and find relief for my other chronic pain conditions. Patrick and Adam are very patient caregivers. I enjoy doing small crafting and baking projects at home when I am able and try to rest when possible. 

We hope your year has been a good one, and we are grateful to have so many wonderful friends and family members. We wish you a very merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2022.

-Patrick, Lydia, and Adam Watts 

August 26, 2021

Remembering Pop

Col. Herman A. "Alf" Waggener

'“Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates, so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. '
Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (CSB)

Patrick and I started dating in late October 1999. He told me about his family, including his grandparents, who were still active and lived in Ohio. When Thanksgiving came around that year, he drove to Dayton to spend the holiday with them. Not every 29-year-old man drives six hours each way to see his grandparents for a two days, but I thought it meant either they were truly extraordinary or he was, or perhaps both. It turned out to be both.

I told Patrick that I wanted to spend Christmas with him in Texas and meet his family. He told me that his grandparents, Alf and Floss, or “Pop” and “Polly” to the grandchildren, wouldn’t be there. Pop and Polly found out that Patrick was bringing a young lady to Texas with him and suddenly, they had plane tickets to Texas for Christmas. 

Pop and Polly were every bit as wonderful as Patrick had described. I could tell immediately that they loved Patrick dearly and unconditionally. They loved and accepted me right away because Patrick loved me. 

Patrick and I married in November of 2000, and Pop and Polly were there to help with the wedding and to celebrate with us. They were so happy for their eldest grandchild. We were so fortunate to be able to visit them often and watch them enjoy our son, Adam.

Polly went to be with Jesus in February 2019 at the age of 97. Last week, Pop joined her in heaven at the age of 101. Pop’s home-going has hit me harder than I thought it would. He led a full, faith-filled life, and we know that he is enjoying his reward in heaven. However, I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling his loss so deeply until a couple of days ago. I realized that there is so much of Pop in the person I love the most, my husband and Pop’s grandson, Patrick. Knowing and loving Pop connected me to Patrick in a way I hadn’t understood fully until now.

I could spend hours talking about all the things that Pop and Patrick had in common. Their senses of humor and quick wits, their interests in all things high-tech, and their genuine love and care for others are just a few of the things that they shared in common during their nearly 51-year grandfather-grandson relationship. However, the most important thing that Pop modeled for his children and his grandchildren was his faith. I’ve heard it said that Christianity is caught as well as taught, and Patrick has been blessed with parents and grandparents who love God and seek to build His Kingdom. Their examples of faithfulness were undoubtedly what led him to join Nashville First Baptist Church not long after moving to the city, and it’s where Patrick and I would later meet and marry.

Alf Waggener blessed my life in many ways, and I count it a high honor and privilege to love the part of him who lives on in his grandson. Pop is with me every day in the form of the godly man he helped to shape. I pray that Patrick and I can continue to live out Pop’s legacy of faith and model it for his great-grandson. I look forward to the day in heaven when I see Pop again and hear him say, “Hey, lady Lydia!”

Pop's Celebration of Life Service

Pop's Obituary (written by Patrick and edited by me)

December 4, 2020

Christmas Letter 2020

 When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

- Johnson Oatman, Jr.

  Greetings from the Watts family! I (Lydia) have been thinking about the hymn, “Count Your Blessings” recently and how it applies to 2020. This year has had more than its share of discouragement, and we have been trying to counter that with gratitude for our many blessings.

  In February, Patrick was able to travel to Ohio to celebrate his grandfather’s 100th birthday. Pop wanted to go to his favorite Mexican restaurant and wear the birthday sombrero while the wait staff sang to him, so that’s what they did! Pop is still in his retirement community and has wonderful caregivers - people who also cared for Patrick’s grandmother before she passed away in 2019. Pop says he’s the only person he’s ever known who has lived to be 100! He has health issues that are to be expected with someone of his age, but he remains in good spirits. We are thankful.

  Not long after Patrick returned from Ohio, the case numbers of COVID-19 started to rise both here in Tennessee and around the country. On March 11, when Patrick picked Adam up on the last day of school before spring break, Adam told him that the teachers had all the kids clean out their cubbies. Patrick said, “I don’t think they’re going back.” He was right. Adam finished his sixth grade year in distance learning and has been home for all of seventh grade so far. His teachers have adapted amazingly well and have worked hard to deal with the numerous technological challenges of online learning. Adam is making good grades and likes his teachers. We are thankful.


That same week, on March 13, LifeWay did an “experiment” with all employees working remotely for a day. They had had a flexible “Work from Anywhere” policy in the past, but this was the first time no employees reported to the building. The experiment was a success, and Patrick has been working from home ever since. Overall, it has worked out well. We’ve saved lots of money on gas, and Patrick has been available to help with school-related tech problems and fix lunch! We are thankful.

  As churches cancelled services and activities, LifeWay made getting “distance-worshipping” resources to churches a top priority. Patrick was part of a team tasked with getting four curriculum lines completely online as quickly as possible. It's hard to explain what a monumental task this was, but they figured out how to make it happen. I even got to preview some of it and add my input! 2020 vastly accelerated bringing "salvation to the ends of the earth" via the internet. I believe that God has Patrick at LifeWay for such a time as this. We are thankful.

  In August of this year, I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, an autoimmune disease that affects the spine. This came after a long journey to determine the cause of my back pain. Getting this type of diagnosis during a pandemic is not ideal, but we are in close proximity to excellent medical care and God continues to provide for our needs to manage the situation. We are thankful.

  One of the greatest blessings of 2020 for our family was the safe arrival of our niece, Emma. Patrick’s sister Allison and her husband Dave welcomed her in April. Big sister Abby is almost five years old and loves spending time with baby Emma at home in Texas. Even when things are discouraging around us, seeing pictures of them always brings a smile. We are thankful.

  Like many families this year, being at home together all the time has had its share of challenges and blessings. We realize that we are fortunate to have more time with Adam during such a pivotal time in his development as a young man. He’s grown at least half a foot in 2020, and his voice has dropped at least an octave. We have been trying to make the most of this unexpected period in our family life. We have all that we need, and we have each other. We are thankful.

  We hope that you are in good health and staying safe this holiday season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. We are so grateful for our friends and family, and we hope that we will soon be able to see you in person again. We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

-Patrick, Lydia, and Adam Watts

December 14, 2019

Christmas Letter 2019

      Greetings from the Watts family! We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and have the opportunity to pause and reflect on the wonderful miracle of Jesus’ birth.

Polly and Adam
       Like everyone else, we’ve had ups and downs this year. In February, we said “goodbye for now” to Patrick’s grandmother, Floss Waggener. She brought so much joy and positivity to the world in her 97 years, and we rejoice in the knowledge that she is with her Savior. “Polly,” as we called her, had the ability to distill any conversation or situation into two key elements: the absolute most encouraging words, and the gospel. Remembering the little things she said or did has made us smile over these last months. We are so thankful that Adam had the opportunity to know his great-grandmother.
        Patrick has made several trips to Ohio this year to spend time with Polly before she passed away and to be with his 99-year-old grandfather (“Pop”) as he adjusts to life without his wife of 76 years. Polly’s amazing caregivers have been able to continue looking after Pop and making it possible for him to stay in his home.
       Adam wrapped up his first year of middle school in May and jumped right into a busy summer. He and Patrick visited Pop over Memorial Day weekend, with a side trip to King's Island. Adam went to Camp Invention and Vacation Bible School in June. He also attended his first concert, "Weird Al" Yankovic, at Ascend Amphitheater.
"Weird Al" Yankovic concert
      In July, Patrick and Adam went to CentriKid Camp in Campbellsville, KY. He also went to Music Arts Camp at church and took swimming lessons. Adam visited Kentucky two more times with the children’s ministry from church when they went on day trips to
Summer reading books
Venture River Water Park and Beech Bend Park. He still found plenty of time to read and play video games during his break.               August brought the beginning of sixth grade, and it was nice to already have a year of middle school under our belts and not be new to the school this year. Adam has joined a robotics team at school, which Patrick is coaching, and he is enjoying making new friends and learning how to get the robot ready for tournaments.
Robotics tournament
        Lydia’s health challenges keep our family time close to home. We have “Family Movie Night” nearly every week when we eat pizza and watch something on Disney+. We enjoy cheering on the Baylor BearsTennessee Vols, and Nashville Predators
Gnash and Adam
from the comfort of home. Adam has also gotten interested in something his mom likes - jigsaw puzzles!
       We found out last month that Patrick’s sister and her husband will be welcoming their second child, a girl, next year. By next summer, we will have four nieces - ages newborn to sixteen years old!
        Patrick is still doing well in his work at LifeWay, working on everything from worship to VBS to training software for churches to assessments for church planters. He works from home one or two days a week now, and we enjoy having lunch together on those days.
        We love hearing from our friends and family. Please keep up with us on Facebook or email us at patrickandlydia(at)

Merry Christmas! Patrick, Lydia, and Adam