Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's in a name?

Names.  It can be so hard to pick a name for your child.  Not until the last few year did Nathan and I put more thought into name meanings, and who they are named after.  I am glad we did.  It has prompted me to pray the meanings for them. 

Lucy means "light" and I pray that she would shine the light of Jesus to this world as she grows older.  Benjamin means "son of my right hand".  This was a place of honor in the Old Testament times.  My prayer is that Ben's life would be one that honors the Lord in all he does.  Samuel means "heard by God".  I pray that like the Samuel of the Bible that our Samuel would preach the Word in love and grace, but with boldness.

So, when we found out we were pregnant with baby #4, I had knew it would take more to come up with a name (that and we kind of have a trend going - Old Testament names for boys that are easily shortened).  From the beginning I had my heart set on a certain name if this was a girl. 

Now that we are 100% set on a name I am super excited to finally share the name for our sweet baby girl! 

I want to start with girly's middle name.  While in college Nathan and I were in a Sunday school class taught by Bobby and Jeniece Giles.  They were the first believers that I had met that "spoke the word".  You know what I mean.  The Word was so ingrained in them and a part of who they were that it was like a language they spoke.  After college we kept in touch with them and went through premarital counseling with Bobby, who married us back in 2004. 

Along with our families, they were some of the first people to know we were expecting our first child.  It was Christmas 2005 when we decided to stop in unexpectedly to see them in Austin on our way back from Rockport to Fort Worth.  Those are sweet memories from that night.  Unfortunately, that would be the last visit we would have with Jeniece.  She was very ill (more ill than we had expected to find her).

When Lucy was born in August of 2006 we debated on her name up until after she was born.  We kept going back on forth on her middle name being Jeniece.  We ended up making it Elizabeth, thinking we'd have the opportunity in the future to name a sweet girl after our beloved Jeniece.  After Lucy was born I was so caught up with the transition to mommy-hood and breastfeeding issues that I did not make the time to call Jeniece to talk about all that was going on with us, and to see how they were doing (Nathan talked to Bobby right after Lucy was born).

Three months after Lucy was born we received word that Jeniece had gone home to be with the Lord.  We were not expecting this at all, and I still remember sitting on the floor calling Nathan at work to tell him.  The regret in not letting Jeniece know how much we loved her and though of her is hard to explain.  We agreed then and there that our next daughter would have the middle name Jeniece. 

When pregnant with Ben I looked up the meaning to Jeniece.  It is a variation of Jane and means "God is gracious."  I could not think of a more appropriate meaning for the Jeniece we knew.  She handled a long and hard illness with such grace, and truly grew to love Jesus more and more through that trial.  If you knew Jeniece, you knew she loved her Savior and His Word deeply. 

It saddens me to know that Jeniece will never know that we named one of our children after her, but we pray that she displays the same grace and love in her life, and has a deep, deep love for Jesus and His Word. 

And Bobby, if you are reading this, we love you just as much!!  :)

Bobby, Jeniece, myself, and Nathan on our wedding day (May 2004). 

Now to the first name.  This was a bit more challenging for us to make a final decision on.  I knew what I wanted to call her, and we needed a name that could be shortened to took a while for us to agree on one that we both liked. 

In January of 2008 our family started going to Calvary Bible Church here in Fort Worth.  I was three weeks away from my "due date" with Benjamin at the time.  It was a bit of a whirlwind in meeting people, and I could barely remember my own name at the time.  I remember meeting a mom who asked where I was giving birth.  When I told her at home she asked who my midwife was.  Small world - we had the same midwife.  It would take me months to figure out who it was that had the same midwife as me.  I was a bit preoccupied and for the life of me could not remember her name.

Eventually I was able to get to know this other mama more and more.  We had daughters that were a month apart (and they ONLY girls their age at church), and they hit it off immediately.  And, as it turns out, we had a lot in common. Even if we didn't have tons of non-important things in common, we both love and serve the same Savior.

(As a side note, I have never experienced the friendships like those with the ladies at Calvary.  There is such sweet fellowship, and a real desire to see each other grow in our walks with the Lord.  Sometimes that means we have to gently and graciously rebuke each other, but the in the end it is to bring us closer to Christ.  There's no husband bashing or gossiping.  It is SO refreshing to me, and honoring to Jesus.  I am so thankful for these friends!). 

There are quite a few women that I truly admire as women who love and serve the Lord, but only a handful that truly "get" my convictions on my role as a wife, mother and keeper of the home.  Some of these friends I get to see regularly, some live far away.  These friendships are even more precious to me as we encourage each other along.  One of these is the same friend mentioned above. 

In eleven days this precious friend will be boarding a flight with her husband and two daughters for France.  There they will live for 15 months to learn the French language, and then they will be off to Cameroon, Africa to serve with Wycliffe Associates (part of Wycliffe Bible Translators).  It is likely that we will not get to see this family face to face for another four years.  And while we rejoice that they are walking obediently where our Lord is leading them, we will miss them dearly.

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you've read my posts about the Dorin family.  And if you happen to know them, you love them...especially our sweet Annie.  It is hard for me to put into words how dearly I love this sister in Christ.  She is one of the strongest believers I know, and continues to grow in humility and grace, seeking to put others first and bring glory to God.  He has done a marvelous work in her and Matthew's lives, and as a family, we are grateful to be a witness to that.  I can honestly say that I would be beyond grateful if my sweet girls turned out to love and serve the Lord in this same way. 

From the moment I knew I was pregnant I had a strong desire for this to be a girl named Annie.  Thankfully, Nathan was on board with this.  We (finally!) decided on the name Annabel, which means "beautiful grace", but will be calling her Annie.  I could not think of a better name for my precious daughter, and pray that she would display the beautiful grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And, I hope that some day she'll get the chance to be loved on by her namesake, and to see the beautiful grace in her life as well.

It is truly a joy to me to think of these two women who've love Jesus so deeply, and to know why we chose to name I daughter after them.  Both have endured trials with such grace that only comes from depence on our Lord, and both have served Him wholeheartedly (in the field and not).  I look forward to someday telling our sweet girl why we choose those name for her. 

Annie, Keri and I right after I found out we were expecting #4.

So, in approximately three months (though I'd be perfectly fine if she decided to come really close to her "due date"), you will be to see pictures of our sweet Annabel "Annie" Jeniece.  I can't wait to meet her!


Erin @ In Between Laundry said...

What a beautiful story and lovely, meaningful name, Stephanie!

Mommypotamus said...

Oh Stephanie, what an amazing post! I am blubbering over here! Can't wait to see pics of your sweet Annie!

Amanda H said...

Since you mentioned name meanings, I wanted to share a little bit about why I chose Tabitha for our daughter. Yes, it is pretty and sounds good with Hand (not an easy last name to match with). But mostly, the story of Tabitha/Dorcas in the book of Acts means a lot to me. I hope that my little girl will grow up to have a servant's heart, helping people in a very real way, like the original Tabitha did.
Enough about me. So excited for you and your family, Stephanie! Can't wait to meet little Annie.

Annie Lee Dorin said...

Steph, my dear Sister. I am so beyond honored and pray your precious "arrow" Annie grows to be sharper, stronger, and filled with more Godly, feminine grace than I could ever be. The honor I feel is beyond words, and to be joined in your precious daughter's name with such a dedicated lover of Christ, Jeniece, is equally as honoring. This just blesses me beyond words and makes me miss you 10 thousand times more. I still remember "peeking" in on you during your labor with Sam, carrying Ben to the car knowing his little life would never be the same. Those memories are sweet, sweet blessings!!! I can hardly wait to see your pics of little Annie:D

Haley said...

What a beautiful name! I love, love, LOVE the name "Annie". I've always wanted to name a little girl that, but when Eva was little she started calling Ryan's sister, Andrea, "Annie".
Can't wait to "meet" your sweet Annie!

Sara S. said...

BEAUTIFUL name! Congrats!

Michelle said...

Love the name!!! So cute!