What’s in a name?

Names are so funny. In Biblical days people were named very often for places and circumstances. There names were changed when there hearts were changed. Or the meaning becomes clear or works in two opposite ways like Peter. He started as a pebble, getting kicked around. But became the corner-stone of the church, the rock Christ built the church on. Cool, God, that is pretty cool.

My name means joy. Or in some translations Joy of her father (I think). I don’t think it is an accident that dad and I have the same prophetic gifts. My middle name is Kathleen, not only am I the spitting image of my mother-Kathleen, we chose the same profession, we have the same tastes, I do things that make my sisters scream “AAAAHHH you’re MOM!.” There are moments when I look in the mirror and think I look more like my mother than myself.

Christian’s name means follower of Christ. There was a time when this was not the primary way he, or anyone else would have defined him. But it was what his mother named for, and what she prayed for. And now, thankfully, he is first and foremost a follower of Christ. This is how he sees his life, his primary role.

Juliet means youthful. It is one of my favorite things about Christian. It is also in honor of my grandmother Juliane. Marie means overthrow or rebellion (I named my kid youthful rebellion. I may have a handful in a couple of years….). But I like the idea of the very feminine name having this strength behind it. I also read that Marie is derived from Myrrh, which is bitter at first but later turns sweet. Perfect, not the twins but sweeter than I could ask for.

We had a potential name picked out for a girl. Then sometime last week I soured on it. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the name Lila, it was just  that….I don’t know. I wasn’t sure Lila was the baby in my belly. Which was fine…because I was having a boy. So when we opened the envelope and saw “female” we were pretty surprised, and thought pretty quickly…..what are we going to name this child? Christian even said “man, now I have to get serious about baby names!”

So we spent a couple of hours on Nameberry. Seriously, a couple of hours. It went something like this Felicity, Fiona, Felicia? No. Hazel, Ivy? No. Maya, Eleanor? I like those but I am not sure that is this baby….. Lorna? Nora? Neither work with the last name Norman. I’m looking at the list literary girl’s names. Well, I’m looking at the list classic under used girls names. Okay, we definitely like Juliet because it is classic and not because it is fancy. Abby, why have you suggested half the names on the hipster list? I’m looking at the list if you like Josephine you’ll love…. Well I am looking at the list if you like Ava you’ll love….. Then I started reading the blog. It talked about how two syllable names sound best with one or three syllable last names. Three syllable names work well with two syllable last names. Hmmmm…. So then I gave up and started tooling around facebook while Christian thought some more.

I had given up deciding that God would have to whisper the name to me. Or someone. That maybe I would be one of those women in the hospital who has “baby girl” and they won’t release you until you name your baby. We weren’t even talking about baby names anymore when Christian said it. What about Priscilla? Priscilla, I like it. I love it. Then Christian started to choke up. He didn’t read it. We don’t know where we got it. It seems as though God whispered it to him. Priscilla, meaning ancient and venerable. (I admit I had to look up venerable. It means honorable, set apart, sacred. Wow.) Priscilla is a very prominent woman in the Acts church. Christian even read that some people think she wrote Hebrews. I also like that Juliet and Priscilla both are names that people think of in pairs (Romeo and Juliet, Priscilla and Aquila). Classic, feminine, has a standard spelling, won’t be 4 of them on the kindergarten playground.

But mostly, it feels right. We have a peace about it. And the coolest thing happened. Now that she has a name we are SO excited to meet her. God gave us this name and I can’t wait to meet this little person, help her become the person God wants her to be. Watch her and her sister fight, and love, and laugh and fight, and giggle, and plot against Christian and I, and laugh until they pee themselves. Priscilla. We are SO excited to meet you!

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Ya know Priscilla is growing on me. Have you considered Johnscilla. Now there is a name that is strong yet feminine and talk about underused its perfect. Think about it…. You're still going with Priscilla aren't you. OK but how does this sound Gideon John and Owen John.

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