Sunday, February 01, 2015

Christmas Letter 2014 or 2015

So after 10 years, the goal was to mail out Christmas cards…
The cards were made, signed addressed and waiting for this letter, then the flu – chicken and pig type, strep throat, bronchitis and sinus infections passed through our entire family in the days after our first big Christmas together!!! 
Now…Happy New Year!!!  Happy Valentine’s Day!!!  Happy Everything in 2015!!!
So in just a few lines – what have we been up to for the past 10 years????

David continues to work for Chemtreat in the central or some would say southern part of Florida – in reality, we still live outside of Tampa. He is thinking about retirement, but we just aren’t sure what that looks like yet.  Several weeks out of each year for the past 8 years, David travels to Uganda or Kenya with mission teams helping to set up clean water systems and working with Water Missions International out of Charleston and Kelly Green Global out of Tampa.   It continues to amaze us both at how God has used his vocation in the mission field. 

I have finally and officially retired from teaching and education.  My time is now spent between Florida and SC and Maryland.  Mama moved into Covenant Place, an assisted living facility in my hometown of Sumter, two years ago this month.  That was a tough decision for all of us. After 6 good months there, we almost lost her due to a “med error”.  As a result of that "error", as they call it, she is now in a full care nursing home in Sumter.  This has been a trying and difficult time for all of our family.  It means lots of trips back and forth from FL to SC.  Time in between is filled with David’s office work, riding a new bike, beach time, reading, sewing, taking care of two houses, hosting a ladies study group that has been together since 2008, and being a fulltime KaKa – what the kids call me.  Now that’s my favorite activity!

Kaiti and Robert have moved from Pensacola, to Corpus Christi, to Pensacola, to Jacksonville, NC and now to Pax River, Maryland.  Collin was born in 2008, Legare was born in 2011 and Adley, July of this past year.  Being grandparents has to be THE BEST and MOST FUN job in the world!!! Robert has been deployed 3 times since 2008, and just graduated from Test Pilot School.  He is currently working at the Test Pilot School, and his masters in engineering at John's Hopkins.  After completing her Masters in Education, Kaiti has been able to be a stay at home mom since 2010 – SHE has the best job!!!  She also works from home for an online curriculum firm out of DC.  

Kelly moved to Charleston  - “back home” as she says several years ago.  She worked at Wild Dunes and then at Trident Technical College.  Her job there was as an admin assistant to one of David’s closest friends at the Citadel.  What a small world to reconnect with him in this way.  In the course of this job, Kelly met Marshall.  They began dating, got engaged and were married this past May.  The HUGE bonus of their marriage is that we welcomed Marshall’s two little boys, Bryson,8, and Cameron,4, into our family.  Now we have FIVE grandchildren.  Marshall is assistant dean at the Trident Berkley campus, Kelly is now a fulltime nursing student, 

We now have a home in Florida and a home in the Lowcountry of SC.  This does make driving back and forth a little easier. It's a fun and wonderful place for al of us to get together and make wonderful family memories.   Our hearts and so many of our family and friends are still there, so the plan is to eventually be there full-time. 

To sum it all up – if you can do that in a few words…we are blessed beyond measure from God by the richness of family, friends, community, good health, 38 years of marriage, sweet times and memories, We pray blessings on your families and long for the time when we can see you again. 

Saturday, January 01, 2011


As I sit here on the first day of 2011, my prayer is that this is a better year for everyone that I know - both near and far. This has been a year of change, a year in a new season, a year of health concerns, a year of pain, hurt and loss for so many that we know.
There have been wonderful moments and times of joy - any time spent with our family all together, watching as Kaiti grows into an amazing woman, wife and mother, Mama's Steel Magnolia birthday celebration, David's time in Africa, Robert's homecoming, being a part of answered prayers as Kelly finds her place in and then out of school with a wonderful job, times with my kindred spirits, watching my last 2 students getting to the place of being on their own, time spent at the ocean's edge, any time that is spent with Collin as he grows into the most extraordinary 3 year old in the world and no I am not saying that just because I am his KaKa.
I just read this New Year's prayer by a friend of mine and wanted to share it with anyone reading....

A New Calendar Prayer

by Michael B Henderson on Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 10:55am

I open a new calendar, Lord.

It lies flat, clean, crisp, pristine on my desk.

The days are numbered, and, as yet, have no markings in them. Each blank space an opportunity, something that can be filled.

Fill them with your grace, O Lord.

Let me see each one become a place, a time, where your love, your peace, your joy, your righteousness, your justice is made real in this new year.

Remind me to intentionally leave some blank, so that my days do not become so full that I have no time to reflect, no time to rest, no time just to be. Keep me from so much busyness , and allow me to commit, from time to time, the sin of the assembly-line- wasted time.

As the year progresses, Lord this calendar will become creased, marred, torn, stained with coffee-mug rungs. Let those things bring character not only to the calendar, but to this year, and to me.

Finally, when I put this calendar away 365 days from now, let me do so with love and gratitude for all you have done through the year.

This I pray in the name of the One who is beyond time, yet created time, even Jesus.


and this I pray for each of you....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Delight is also a Verb


[dih-lahyt] –noun- a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment, joy, rapture
verb - to have great pleasure; take pleasure
For years - I guess most of my life - I have only thought of the word "delight" as a noun, or only as a verb in a Biblical context.
Psalm 18:19
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me
Psalm 111:2
Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them.

So a couple of weeks ago I was catching up on my dvr'd programs. I am not an everyday Oprah fan - but have decided to record the programs that interest me during her last year. This show had Susan Boyle, Jackie Evancho and Debbie Boone. I had tuned in to hear the incredible voices and stories of Susan Boyle and Jackie Evancho. What a surprise when I listened to the interview with Debbie Boone. Now how does Debbie Boone look like she does when we are the same age????
Rosemary Clooney, was Debbie's mother-in-law. When Oprah asked her what kind of grandmother Rosemary was Debbie's immediate response was that Rosemary "delighted in her children". That statement really impacted me - more of an epiphany moment. What a powerful verb!!! WHO do I delight in. I delight in my family - my husband, my children, my son-in-law, my family that I grew up with, my kindred spirits and my grandson. My grandson...he has brought a whole new definition to this word - "delight". Collin brings me great pleasure. He takes me to a happy place. I only pray that I do that for my God.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waterways and Trees

I borrowed this from Kaiti's FB post after she finished reading South of Broad, by Pat Conroy. One of the best reads from last year - and I had forgotten how this passage spoke to me. We are salt waterways, but what kind of tree are we or do we need to be???

You can bury all the streams and creeks you want to, but salt waterways remember where they came from." "...the palmetto tree has more natural flexibility and can bend all the way to the ground and still survive, but an oak knows only how to stand firm against the amazing blasts of wind, and makes itself susceptible to the perils of uprooting." - Pat Conroy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shifting Gears

This was in my email this morning. I love Holly's writing and wanted to share it. I need to learn to shift gears. I so feel like I am in a very different and new season of my life - for so many reasons. I know that many of you are in the very same place. New jobs, new ministries, new friends, sadness, new physical challenges, changes, dealing with our adult children, dealing with relationships, new life in your families - everything is changing so quickly. Last night I was able to spend time loving, eating, praying and laughing with some very dear friends. I was reminded me of how very precious this life is - and how quickly any of our circumstances and places in life can change.

Today my prayers are with the Wilcox family as they walk through a very different season in their lives. I pray that God will place his power of healing on Kristin, and supply strength to each in her family. May we be there to help them shift to an easier gear. K

Heart to Heart with Holley

When you're looking for a little more joy...

Posted: 11 Oct 2010 04:22 PM PDT

This morning my husband and I set our for a bike ride. A brilliant blue sky hung above us and the first kiss of fall found its way onto our cheeks as we began to zig-zag down the trail.

Wilson Park

Biking hasn't always been easy for me (okay, never). I do enjoy it—especially on flat pavement. But we live in a hilly part of the country and every ride is full of ups and downs (anyone else feel a spiritual analogy coming on?).

My husband is a great biker and my big break through came when he taught me how to use my gears. You see, I had been doing everything in the hardest gear. I was showing off, really. I thought if I could tackle the biggest, baddest hill in that gear then I must be good.

But that's just silly. And I understood why when I learned you can make it easier to pedal just by a little flick of your fingers. Now my gear fits the terrain...I can adapt, shift, make the most of of where I am at the moment.

And when I flip it into just the right gear and it feels a little bit like flying...I feel JOY.

Holley & BikeGod has been given me some "gear lessons" in the rest of my life the last few months too. As on my mountain bike, I can be a bit intense. I think, "I'll just do it all in the hardest gear. That will prove what a good little Christian I am." Can anyone say "craziness"?

Instead the One Who Loves Me is gently showing me how to shift, adapt, allow seasons of rest with seasons of pushing hard. It has changed everything for me.

And when I flip my heart into just the right gear with Him and it feels a little bit like flying...I feel JOY.

What helps you find a little more joy?

by Holley Gerth

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Where Do I Start????

There is so much to catch up on. For the past 7 months I have had writer's block, reader's block and just didn't need to be spending time here. I found that I have really missed so many friends - new and old who blog and share their lives. I have missed the friends here that I kept up with and prayed for. So, I am back and will gradually catch up on what has really been going on for the past 7 months -so much - so very much!!!! But for today - I have been watching the weather channel off and on all day. Worrying and praying for our friends along the Carolina coast. Watching the warnings and Jim Cantore coverage has really thrown me back over 20 years to a Thursday night - Sept. 21 when we were listening to reports about Hurricane Hugo, and wondering where it was going. That was a night that changed all of us forever. So tonight, we are praying for the folks and friends who live along the outerbanksof NC. Praying that when they wake up in the morning -they will be safe. Don't ever underestimate the fury of the storm!!!!