Friday, January 22, 2010

words and names

SO, I'm am stealing my sister-in-law's idea today...granted, hers is a little more timely, as she just had her baby (my first niece that I am blood related to!)....and everybody wants the story on her name...Although, lately, I have found quite a few perhaps not as uncommon as I had thought!

But I digress as usual. I decided that in case my kids forget down the road the story of their names, they can go back and find out again...but by then, blogs will probably be archaic...but hopefully the love affair with words will not be.

I LOVE words. There, I've said it. I think they are luscious. I think in words. Really. If your name is spelled in a certain way, I see it in my mind as I say it. When I ask how a name is spelled, it is giving me the visual on you...and I am never confused by Sarah and Sara, because to me, in my mind, they really are different. On, the flip side, if I get in my mind that your name is spelled a certain way, and I was wrong, it really does loop me for a while...and don't even get me started on birthdays...right Sarah? :)

So, if I am obsessive on words, can you even begin to see my struggle with naming my children? Then, you even have to figure in Ethan...and his associations with words and is a dirty, labor intensive decision-making process.

Recently, a friend commented that all my kids names could be characters in a Jane Austen novel. Now, that was a high compliment for me as I ADORE Jane Austen, but it was not intentional.

Gabriel. Ah, I LOVE his name. He was named after the angel Gabriel. It means "man of God" and we do want that for him! So, it is a request of God to bless him and to claim him. But in addition, in the Bible, he was God's personal messenger (Daniel 8 &9, Luke 1)...and every time he was sent to someone, his first words are, "Do not be afraid" and it is always followed by assurances of God working things out to blessings, no matter how dark or hard it will be to start! As he was a surprise blessing in a scary and difficult beginning, we were making his name a request of God's faithfulness to us, too. We gave him Ethan's name as a middle, the family continuity...also, it means "firm, constant" which we also pray for him.

Elise. I have loved this name since middle school! It was SO lovely that Ethan loved it too. We played around with a middle name up to the very end, and were pleased to give her my middle name, "Nicole", which is a family continuity...but it means "victorious"...we had no idea how appropriate that would be for her. How very many times God has helped her be victorious in daunting struggles! Now, Elise means "God is gracious." Again, we couldn't have done better had we known in advance what her little life would hold!

Amelia. This is where we got out of our little box. Up to this point, we had wanted a name that had the meaning that spelled out our prayers...but had so struggled, that we started looking for Biblical qualities that we craved for our child...and made sure that we had the verses to back it up. Amelia means "industrious" and the verses we claimed were the "Ant" verses in Proverbs 6:6-8. This was the first "long" passage I ever memorized, as I love words so much, it cannot come as a surprise that I adore Proverbs. And Rae is after then roe deer in Song of Solomon and Psalm 18:33, and a nod to "Hind's feet in High Places".

Charlotte. We continued after the quality and Bible verses claimed path. Charlotte means "little womanly one". So, that was easy. Proverbs 31 woman. How is that for a big claim? :) It also is my only indulgence to name after un-family. My best friend for 19 and 1/2 years, Andrea. Really after all she has been my friend through, she's family. Andrea means "womanly one" you see the connection. Andrea is a godly woman, such that I hope my girls grow up to be women like her! Abigail is "Father in rejoicing" or "Father's pride". Again, as a Godly woman, is that not a treasure to rejoice in? Godly or human father will proud! 1Samuel 2:26 and Abigail in 1 Samuel 25 chose to follow a wise path to follow God.

We had hoped to chose less common names, but there has been a surge in popularity in the years surrounding their births...Except Elise. But since we had named them for reasons, rather than popularity, we are still pleased with our choices.

I had planned to have only boys and we could have named a whole army of boys, and I will always be regretful that I did not get to name a son Archer (Psalm 18:30-39)...but, I am thankful for my girls, all my kids. I pray that my children will grow into their names and use them as goals and blessings in their relationship with the Lord.


  1. I'm so glad you posted this! I always loved all their names but didn't know all the significance and symbolism behind them. I especially am touched by how prophetic Elise Nicole's name has been for her.

  2. I really loved this post...your kiddos have beautiful names and it is nice to get to read the meaning behind them and your thoughts on getting to their names...hope you are doing well!

  3. i know the kids will love how thoughtfully their names were picked out. i didn't know the meanings behind each one and am grateful to do so now:) just spent about an hour reading your entire blog! love it.

  4. Very interesting! I actually know a woman named Archer. You used several favorite names of mine. I could of named 3 girls much easier than 3 boys. :)