What’s in a Name?

Since last writing, a little more joy has entered my life.

Our darling little girl is soon entering her second month out and about.  She’s growing, changing, sleeping (some), eating (some), and being smothered with love by her brothers.

I never thought I’d be a mother, much less to a daughter.  There’s something different about parenting your own gender:  so much more baggage that can be brought into the situation.  But, as I’m finding out, so much redemption as well.

Not that I’m placing the responsibility on her of bringing about healing or changing in my life, but that she’s a means of experiencing God’s grace in my life.  Or not.  Depends on if I choose to act on the offer:  and sometimes being cranky or impatient seems so much more satisfying … for the moment.

On Sunday someone asked about her name:  “Your boys have such Biblical names, and she doesn’t.”  But oh:  she does.

Josephine Annabelle.  Not the name we thought about, honestly.  I had a list of names at the hospital, Jason had pretty much no ideas but knew he didn’t resonate with mine, so we scrapped most everything, I pleaded a quick prayer because I knew I needed to call my mom and Boo *had* to have a name at that point, and this is what happened.  Really, it’s not the name I would’ve chosen for her:  but it’s *her* name.  How do I know?  Like when I tried on a certain wedding dress some seven years ago and burst into tears because it was the one, I got all weepy when thinking of her name.  And we all know:  when the Spirit moves around Aj, Aj cries.  At least it’s a fairly accurate barometer.  And I can blame God when she’s seventeen and having to fill out all those bubbles on the SAT score card (you know they’ll still have the bubbles).

Josephine:  Biblical – like Joseph in the Bible.  Also after my father and an incredibly influential woman in my life and one of my favorite literary characters.

Annabelle:  My mother, Jason’s mother, Jason, and I all have a variation of “Ann” in our middle names.  My middle name is  a combination of my parents, and now so is their granddaughter.  Anna is a character in the Bible who means a great deal to me:  instead of becoming a bitter widow, she used her position to worship and glorify God, and she got to see Christ.  Jason’s sister and her sister-in-law (a good friend) have had daughters within the past year – EllaMae and Stella – so the “belle” part goes with that.

And her initials are a combination of her brothers – JJ & AA.

As a child I was raised to “pray in Jesus’ name”, but I didn’t know what that meant for quite some time.  “Name” in the Bible is equal with character:  it seems to embody all of what a person stands for, their history, their story.  I figure her brothers will come up with the perfect nickname because Josephine Annabelle is an awfully long name for such a little person.  But I hope that she will feel we have named her character well.

3 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Bethany

    Thanks for sharing the story of Josephine and her name’s genesis. I resonate especially with your experience of discovering the inescapable, inevitable name for her. My girls’ names, as different as they are, embody their personalities perfectly and with such depth of meaning and history. And I worried too, that the right nickname wouldn’t emerge, but of course, it did. Can’t wait to see how this precious small person gets bigger!

  2. Auntie & grand-auntie

    Your mother named me but that is kind of special in its own way. I remember when we were told of your naming and how Joe and Ann decided. I love the name Josephine Annabelle. She’s absolutely adorable. Those eyes, that smile, the hair! From a grand-auntie far away who misses little babies.

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