What's in a name? Does your name have a special meaning and does it speak into your life?
We often gravitate toward familiar names that are more common. We feel "safe" with them. When we hear a different name that is not as common, we question who the person is and why they have such a different name. Right?
People are creatures of habit and often like consistency and routine as it can give off a sense of security. So, naming our children more common names, or names that are associated with "strength" or "success" will help them out in the world, right?
It is true that certain names command a certain attention or respect. Can you think of any? How about Atticus, Grant, or Benedict? How about for a girl? How about Grace? Alexandra? or Elizabeth? \
Before my children were born, I was very careful about what to name them. Each of them were different before they were born, and I did not know if they would be girls or boys. Back in the 80's and early 90's when they were born, the testing to determine if they would be a boy or girl was just getting started and not a routine test. So, I waited and was beautifully surprised!
So, I named them all depending on how their behavior was before they were born and finding a name that had a similar meaning or matched the behavior. I wanted their name to describe who they were as people and have their name fit "them". Since I believe that having a name that has meaning will only speak truth and give confidence in who they are as people, I wanted to be sure it fit. I wanted their name to represent their character and help them grow into the people God had created them to be.
Top to bottom-Carissa, Jessica, Ethan, and Esther (with her fiance, Casey)
My first daughter, Carissa, was born at a time in our lives when we were just getting started in life. My first pregnancy was a breeze and she was a jumble of energy. So, I looked for names that brought joy and love. I wanted her to have this same joy and love in her life and grow into those characteristics as she became an adult. So, Carissa Joy was chosen. Carissa means" beloved" and joy means, joy! "The feeling of great happiness".
My second daughter, Jessica, was born at a time in our lives that was rather challenging. But, Jessica was anything but. This pregnancy was so calm and peaceful, and even after she was born, she slept so much I thought something was wrong with her. So, I needed a name that was hopeful and peaceful and one that she would live out. So, Jessica Hope was chosen. Jessica, because it means, "god beholds" and well, hope means hope-"a feeling or expectation of a certain thing to happen". And, I knew that my daughter would then have hope and peace spoken over her life.
My son was born a few years after Jessica, and let me tell you; it was a difficult pregnancy and he decided to go three weeks past his due date. With his name, I was looking for meaning that was also relevant to the circumstances and decided on Ethan Josiah-Ethan means, "firm" "enduring" and Josiah means, "God supports" or "heals. I wanted a name that was strong and king like because I wanted my son to know this in his life.
My last daughter, Esther, was born when we needed a lot of grace in our lives. So I looked for a name that meant something similar to Jessica's and Ethan's, and Esther Grace was decided upon. Esther means "star" and Grace means "courteous goodwill". So, in a way, Esther is a Star of Grace. :) And, she certainly brought that to our lives! She is the light to many who need to truly see.
Are you wondering if my children lived up to the meaning in their names? Are their personalities similar to what their name means?
The answers are YES. Carissa, is a passionate, joyful person who has so much love for others. Jessica is an extremely wise, hopeful and at peace person. She always sees the good in people and has hope in just about every circumstance. Ethan's strong tenacity, or firmness in his life has only helped him succeed in business and with his life in general. He has a great grasp of balance in his life with tenderness with his family and children and getting the job done with his business. And, Esther has one of the most compassionate hearts full of grace I have ever seen. She is a shining star in other's lives, and as mentioned before, a "light" to help others truly see the truth.
So, what you name your children is really important. The meaning of their name can have a huge impact on their lives. As a parent, we all want our children to succeed in life, be content, and do better than we ever could. And, I am proud to say that my children are just that. They are all grown adults who are pursuing their passions and what they truly love, in jobs that they love and/or are almost there- (my youngest is completing her master's and then she will be there). And, yes, there have been many bumps along the road, or thorns in the stem, but as they navigate over those bumps and learn from the thorns, the result will be a beautiful "rose" that has blossomed into something beautiful.
Words cannot describe how proud I am of my children not just in what they have accomplished, but in who they are as people. If I could be 1/4 of the person that they all are, I would be even happier than I am now. I am so proud to be their mom.