Christmas greetings to one and all from the Wilsons!
We will remember 2018 as a season of change for our family. After living in the same house for eight years and in the same county for nineteen, in the past twelve months we lived in three houses in three different South Carolina counties!
In February, we sold our beloved house with its woods and tree house on Southdale Drive in Laurens. Though it was hard leaving our house and yard where the children grew up playing and living, we were excited to move to the Greenville-Spartanburg area. Though it was short-lived, we enjoyed living in Lyman. Rhett felt like he moved home, living twenty minutes from his high school, running into old friends and frequenting familiar places. In August, our family moved to Lancaster, which is Tracey’s hometown. We live literally three doors down from her parents (we might write a country song called Three Doors Down!).
Rhett worked as a Financial Advisor with Modern Woodmen of America in Greenville from January to August. He learned much about the financial business and began building clientele. After moving to Lancaster, we decided for him to not continue, since his market was Upstate-focused. This fall he worked on building his freelance writing and editing. Check out his author website at www.rhettwilson.org and his blog at www.wilsonrhett.com. You can see his devotions in the January edition of Open Windows (Lifeway) and his article, “Be Intentional,” with Tracey in January’s HomeLife magazine. He contributed a story to the collection Moments with Billy Graham, published in November, and another one to the book Romantic Moments by Grace Publishing, to be released in 2019. He also attended the Transitional Pastor training this fall sponsored by the state Baptist convention.
Tracey began serving her home church, Covenant Baptist, in January as an Interim Minister of Music. We expected it to be short-term, though Rhett told her after the second week, They are going to want to hire you full-time! Sure enough, before long, they asked her to consider doing just that. After much thought and prayer, she accepted the position in a full-time status, and the Wilsons moved in August. After about a decade hiatus homeschooling children, Tracey is again stirring her gifts of worship leading and choir directing. The church has been extremely warm and welcoming to our family, and they respond so positively to Tracey’s leadership. Covenant is a wonderful group of people, and we have enjoyed getting to know them. The adult choir presents their Christmas musical this weekend.
With three teenagers at home, life seems to move at full-speed. Sometimes Tracey and Rhett miss those simple preschool days, but we also enjoy watching our children develop into young adults. We heard for years parents say that when they have teens, they run a taxi service, and now we understand!
The children began the year attending Greenville Classical Academy. They liked their friends, community, and activities with GCA. After moving to Lancaster, for the first time all three children entered public school. It has been a big adjustment, but all three kids gave it their best shot. Hendrix attends Andrew Jackson High School, Anna-Frances, Buford High, and Dawson, Buford Middle.
Hendrix (18) takes life by the horns and earns respect wherever he goes. A natural leader, this young man makes his parents proud. In the spring, he participated in the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Artios Academy of Greenville. This summer, he traveled to Colorado with some of his Artios buddies. Hendrix dove head-first into AJ High School, landing the lead male role in the school play Cinderella this fall. “Prince Charming” got involved with the student council and plans on dual-enrolling next semester at the local university. He impresses his parents how he tries to influence other students at school towards the Lord and morality. Hendrix takes a strong interest in politics. He and Rhett often compare what they’ve read and heard from their favorite authors and news hosts. He volunteered this fall for the SC GOP, making calls for the governor’s race. Currently, he is applying to colleges and scholarship applications. This year he visited Liberty, North Greenville, and Anderson Universities. Hendrix still makes music on the guitar and occasionally plays the drums for church. He and Rhett took a road trip this summer to the Songbirds Guitar Museum in Chattanooga.
Anna-Frances (16) just had her sweet sixteen birthday, and her parents can hardly believe it! She began the year playing basketball and then softball for GCA, enjoying the comradery with her teammates. Now she plays for the Buford Yellow Jackets (which is her mother’s alma mater). This fall she learned about farm life in her Agricultural Science class and even raised quail at home. She jumped right in at church and stays involved. She plays the bass guitar for their youth band and began the fall joining in with the church’s volleyball team. An avid reader, Anna-Frances is a deep thinker and voracious learner. She usually works on three or four books at a time in her room. One of her favorite subjects is learning about Creation Science. She loves living near Tracey’s family. Tracey and Anna-Frances worked diligently in 2018 to get the Wilsons on a healthier eating plan, and it was nice to see the pounds dropping. The Wilson girls took a trip together this summer to Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Dawson (13) spreads fun and enthusiasm just about everywhere he goes. He and Rhett actively participated in the Trail Life boys’ program both in Simpsonville and Lancaster this year. This spring, we threw on awesome Under the Big Top murder mystery birthday party for his 13th. Entering Buford Middle in the summer, he jumped into about as many activities as possible. Currently, he is on the library council, the student leadership team, the Academic Challenge Team, and the arts society. Always one for a good time, he makes friends easily. He loves participating in Covenant Church and immersed himself in life there quickly. He plays in the hand bell choir, plays on the basketball team, and is learning how to run a sound board. He and his dad kayaked on the French Broad River in September and hung out in Brevard, NC. This summer, Dawson swam on the Devenger Dolphins Swim Team in Greer. Rhett swam in the SAIL division in Greenville more than 30 years ago, and it was fun participating this year.
For the first time in our marriage, we live in the same town as Tracey’s family. The children can ride their bikes or walk down to their grandparents’ house. We pop in several times a week on Pop and Meemie and come together at least monthly with the entire family. Though we miss the Upstate and our friends in Laurens and Greenville, being close to the Funderburks has been a new blessing. Rhett’s mother still lives in Greenville, and we enjoy seeing her when we can.
We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”