You know how there are some phrases you come to live by? I guess some people call them mantras, but that sounds a bit too hippy-ish for me. I’ve got a few of these phrases, some old and some new. One of my most recent additions is about faith, and the nature of God. It comes from the book of James (in the bible), chapter 2, the last part of verse 13: “Mercy triumphs over justice.” I think this is such a great way to summarize the character of God. He’s perfectly just (fair), but his desire for closeness with humanity overcomes his justice.
But today is a special day, and I’m not actually writing to talk about religion. 27 years ago today, Laurel and Andrew Jamieson welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. A baby who, if you saw her today, would look strikingly similar to the baby you’ve seen in many of our recent photos (Eden Jacquelyn). If you had peeked into the hospital room in the day or two following the birth, you probably would have observed a scene very similar to this:
Andrew and Laurel went on to raise this girl to be mature, confident, beautiful, and adventurous. Being ten months into parenthood myself, I’ve started to become aware of how much work it really takes to raise a child, which brings me to another one of my phrases to live by:
“Anything of value takes work”
It’s a simple concept, but my life experience has shown me that it’s so true. If something comes completely naturally or is perfectly simple, anyone can do it. If anyone can do something, lots of people will do it, and the results/products will be abundant. Basic economics and common sense have taught us that abundance generally leads to lower value and scarcity leads to high value; therefore, anything of value takes work! If you allow life to pass you by without putting effort in, there will be no great outcomes; your coming and going will be like the passing of a season, blooming briefly and fading away. Sad, but true.
Kathryn is – and I mean this in the most non-material sense of the word possible – an item of the greatest value for me. There are not many parents who have done such a fantastic job of raising their kids as the Jamiesons, and not many kids who have had the guts and ambition to accomplish what Kathryn has accomplished. At the young age of 27, she is a world traveller, a superstar chef, a creative genius (I mean that), an encouraging and supportive partner, and perhaps most impressively, she has given birth (for those of you haven’t been through this, all I can say is: what other circumstances can lead a person to literally tear a hole in their own body by shear force of will?). While there was an element of love at first sight with Kathryn and I (well, maybe it was one-sided – I kind of freaked her out), I had to work to convince this girl that I was the one who could make her happy for the rest of her life, more than any other guy. Even though she rejected my first request to start dating, and even after she found things out about my past that were almost too much for her to bear, I knew I couldn’t give up on her. Even though it meant long-distance dating for several years, I knew I had to work to keep this thing of great value – our relationship – going.
So Happy Birthday Kathryn. You asked me the other night, “are you glad I was born?” Even though I said no at the time (jokingly!), what I really meant was “there is nothing in the world I’m more grateful for than the fact that you were born. Every day I’m grateful, when I kiss you in the morning and when I kiss you goodnight. Wherever life takes us I look forward to spending it with you, with many, many more birthdays to come!”