Dad, kids, Fayette County Schools, blessings

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As I sit here and write this article it is Wednesday, December 11. Cal Beverly, our Herculean editor and chief, will probably have to be revived when I send it to him over two weeks early. I don’t know for sure how my colleagues and fellow Citizen contributors operate, but I too often snug right up to that word all writers, and preachers for that matter, seem to dread, deadline.

But let me say this, I have the best reason I can imagine for writing today and not waiting until the deadline. And that is that, as you read this, my daughter got married yesterday, and I performed their Ceremony of Holy Matrimony. As they say, “It doesn’t get much better than that.”

She is our youngest, whom many of you know. But if you don’t know her, I can say with fatherly pride that she is one of Fayette County’s brightest and best.

By the great blessing of the Lord, my family and I have lived here in Fayetteville for nearly thirty-four years. This means that all three of our children went from Kindergarten through High School graduation all within our Fayette County School System, for which we have been extremely thankful and grateful.

I’d like to offer a few “Proud Dad Reports” about these three outstanding young people, while also giving kudos and affirmation to our Fayette County Schools for their excellent foundation of education.

Of course, our Fayette County School System is a Public School System, which identifies it both as a tremendous gift to children from the tax-paying community, and in some cases and in some circumstances as a system with inevitable failures, faults, and short-fallings. Admitting that I can agree with the latter in certain things, I write here affirming the former with strong conviction.

The gifts that God gives us in our children are undeniably the greatest gifts He will ever give, other than His own Son Jesus as our Savior. Merry CHRISTmas, by the way. Every child is a precious, unique creation of His to whom He has given a variety of gifts, skills, abilities, and talents.

I see every child as a multi-faceted, complex, lovable-at-all-cost, spectacular gift from God to their parents and to the world. And I acknowledge the endless number of paths and journeys children can take from childhood, through adolescence, and on into adulthood. Each path has its ups and downs, its “Glorias” and its “Kyrie’s.”

I say all of that to say that I do not believe that my children are better, nor did they turn out better, nor do we as parents or they believe that they are superior to anyone with a different path and journey through life. I simply want to give thanks to God for them, affirm them, affirm their mother my wife for her untiring love and commitment to them, and affirm their education here in our community.

And in so doing, I want to encourage our county families with students to take advantage of all our school system has to offer. Students, apply yourselves. Parents, be supportive without “helicoptering.”

In addition, I want to encourage our School Board, all administrators, all teachers, and all staff that you are making a difference and helping create a better world both near and far. Thank you. Bless you.

Back to gifts from God, He gave to each of my children their high mental capacity. I always say, “They’re smart. They take after their mother.” This combination of their gift from God, our nurturing those gifts here in our home, and the education they received made for some wonderful results.

One result was that they each were accepted into and graduated from Georgia Tech. As the years roll on, I have an even deeper appreciation for what that meant, for them each to have matriculated through “The Institute.” That distinction is important to all Tech people. No small feat. And, again, surely their preparation here locally gave them the initial tools they needed to “get out,” which is the catch phrase of all Tech grads.

Our older daughter earned both her undergrad in Biology and her Masters in what I call Bio-Medical Research at Georgia Tech. I believe they have some harder and fancier name for it. She had her eye on a Medical Research position at the University of Michigan, was quickly offered the job, and joined that staff with her advanced degree.

Our son earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering and went to work immediately with a local company, receiving advances in a short period of time. He made a good career move to a different company and has advanced quickly there. Today he sent us a picture of himself in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, while on a business trip to Europe.

Our younger daughter, who got married last night, earned her undergrad in Meteorology, worked for NASA, earned her Masters at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and now works for a geo-spacial contract company for FEMA in Washington, D.C., also working her way up quickly on the federal level.

I add that they are now all married to wonderful well-educated Christian spouses, two have given us grandchildren, the truly best gifts from God and your kids, and all lead exemplary practicing Christian lives.

Way to go, God! Way to go, Fayette County Schools! Way to go, kids!

Happy Marriage, Rebecca and Alex!

And Happy New Year to all!

[Find Kollmeyer at www.princeofpeacefayette.org]