“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