Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's in a name?

Let's talk about names for a second. Do you know how hard it is to name a kid?! Do you know you'll have moments of doubt even after all I's are dotted and T's crossed on the birth certificate?! This has happened with all of my kids. I mean, I love their names- obviously, otherwise we wouldn't have even considered them, much less chosen them. But I also get this feeling that God cares about our names, so it's suddenly a much bigger deal. In the Bible a person's name says something about that individual or his family.  It gives a piece of the person's story before they even tell it. 

Eve, the first woman in all of creation, was named "to give life," as she would be the mother of all people.  A while later, Sarah (pushing 100 years old) was told by God that she was going to have a baby in her old age.  She laughed, then 9 months later named her baby Isaac, which means "laughter."  Naomi, a widow who lost her 2 sons told people not to call her Naomi ("pleasant"), but to call her Mara, which means "bitter."  There are so many more examples in the Old Testament, mainly.  Then there's Jesus, the pinnacle of a meaningful name.  In Matthew  1 an angel tells Joseph, "you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."  Jesus means "the LORD saves."

Does this increase your stress levels when thinking of the perfect title for your child's life?  Our kids' names aren't going to alter the course of their lives, but I did make sure they didn't mean anything stupid before we sealed the deal. 

Oliver Isaac: literally "olive tree" and, as I said, "laughter."  In the Bible olive trees represent an abundant life.  The first verse Oliver memorized was Psalm 52:8-- I am like an olive tree thriving in the house of God.  Dude's middle name is for my brother Isaac who was here from Turkey when Ollie was born.

Georgianna Lynn: George "farmer," Anna "gracious," and Lynn "pretty" (though the meaning is just a bonus for this middle name, because she was actually named after both of her grandmas- Bonnie Lynn and Carol Lynn).  She says her name 'Gigi' which is pretty stinkin' cute, so it stuck.  I heard the name first on Pride and Prejudice, but I've always loved the name George, and my bff (sister) is Anna.  Farmers are awesome, too.  Gracious farmers are even better.  A verse that I like for little Gigi is Proverbs 31:17-- She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.  So far we've got the energetic part...

Margot (silet 't') Meg: both "pearl."  Isn't that funny?  She's a pearl pearl.  Here's what's really funny: Margot wasn't even on our [extensive] list that I've been carrying around since long before Oliver was born.  We came to it just days before she was born (though we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl).  Two of my absolute best friends are Megan and Meghan.  Well, I couldn't single one out, could I?  I had a hard time convincing Andrew on this middle name, though, since he had a childhood dog named Meg.  Reall?  Woof. 

What does your name mean?  What do you wish it meant?:)


Unknown said...

oh boy, i love this post! SO fun! you already gave away what my name means!...my middle name, however, i just googled and i'm seeing mostly that it means summer and harvester... i don't ever remember reading that before? mom and dad used it for me because they knew how saintly (like Mother Theresa) i would be, obvi.

Liz said...

Hahaha! oh Anna, so obvi.

carol said...

I think I'm a joyful song..too bad my name doesn't describe me one bit..can't carry a tune in a bucket.

angie said...

alright, first of all, i love this post. second of all, i don't know how i didn't see it until now! what a great topic. names are definitely among my very favorite things. and i agree--the challenge of naming a babe is thrilling! we didn't put a lot of thought into the meaning of our children's names, but we did make sure to check that they didn't have awful meanings. (this is one of the reasons we didn't use the name "holden." i can't remember the exact meaning now, but i think it was something like "barren valley." no thanks.)
quinn's name came from a bob dylan song (quinn the eskimo (the mighty quinn), and delia's was inspired by adele. so ... we're musicy, apparently? ha. but actually, we had agreed that if we had a girl born with a head full of dark hair (which we did), we would name her violet (which we didn't.). maybe next time.
ANYWAY, have i mentioned i love names? now i want to go get some goldfish so i can name some more stuff.

Liz said...

*Angie- I LOVE your kids' names! And skip the goldfish, go for more kids!:)
*Mom, at least you're joyful...;)