What’s In a Name…

I love naming babies.  It is so exciting to sit down with a pen and paper and a baby name book (or phone book, etc.) and write down all the names that speak to you…  And then, sometimes after months of crossing things out and scratching things in, suddenly–as if by magic–one name emerges as the one that is meant for your child.  It is like a puzzle fitting into place.  And then you feel like you know your baby already because he has a name.

The day before we found out that I was pregnant with our first daughter, I wrote the name Rosanna Joelle in my journal.  When I wrote it, I got this warm feeling in my heart, and I knew that if she was a girl that was her name (thankfully Randy agreed…).  We picked Liam Josiah for a boy’s name, but I never felt the same conviction in it…  9 months later, Rosie was born.  Her name fits her perfectly.  Rose (meaning rose) and Anna (meaning gracious) suits her so well.  She really is a gracious little girl who loves others so much.  She loves to be around all people, and she is very sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.  Joelle means “the Lord is willing.”  And we have seen in her life that He is willing to care for, protect, and deliver us.

We didn’t know what we were going to name our second daughter until right before she was born.  There was a long list of possibilities, but none of them seemed right.  I had a dream that we named her Paloma, and I woke up with that glowing feeling you get sometimes in dreams.  At the hospital, we decided on Mae for her middle name–a family name with the sweet connotation of springtime.  Paloma means dove in spanish, and from the moment she was born, God has used her to bring peace to my life.  Rosie’s birth was somewhat traumatic for me, and I didn’t think I could ever go through that again.  19 months later, God showed me that I could.  Through Paloma’s labor and delivery, I felt His peace come upon me.  It was like a dove descending…

While I was pregnant with our third child, we watched The Secret of Kells, a beautiful animated film about a boy who grew to become one of the writers of The Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the gospels.  The book is Ireland’s national treasure–it is a beautiful and lasting testament to the power of the arts in sharing the Good News.  We went through a Book-of-Kells phase (which probably started Randy’s Irish-Whistle-Phase (which is still in full-swing and is another post altogether…), and decided on naming our boy Kells O’Connor.  I believe that it is a prophetic name–that one day he will share the gospel in a beautiful and artistic way.  He is so full of love and tenderness.  A beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.

I am about about five and a half months pregnant with our fourth child–a little boy.  My last post was written shortly after we found out about the baby.  God has done some major work in our lives since that day.  He has provided for our needs in really tender ways.  When our car died and we were overwhelmed by our inability to get ourselves out of a desperate situation, God (through some really beautiful people) gave us the nicest vehicle we have ever owned.  A van that will carry all of our children (and our baby to come), a babysitter, luggage, and musical instruments all at once.  (I should have taken a picture when we truly acted this out for the first time…  It was unbelievable.)  It was such a mercy to us.

Another major thing has happened in the last two months.  For a couple of years, I have talked to countless people in the business about refinancing our house or getting a loan modification–every conversation ending in the same hopeless response.  I had just about given up–in another desperate situation with our house payment–when our pastor put us in touch with someone who knew exactly the right people to call.  She found out for us that same day that yes, we qualified for a refinance and that it was a very simple process–almost a guarantee that it would go through.  A month later, we closed on the refinance.  This is huge for us.  I feel like the timing of it is really connected to the life of this baby, and it is a reassurance that God will provide for the needs of this child by helping us to keep our home.

There is a passage in the Bible that has really meant a lot to me since I was a teenager.  Growing up, I was a very fearful person.  I was paralyzed by fear in many ways, and being afraid kept me from doing so many things in my life.  When I was about 18, I read these verses and really applied them to my life.  They are about worry, and they are the reassuring words of Christ that there is no reason to fear:

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.  (Luke 12:22-31)

Over and over, I have thought about these words in regards to this new little life that is growing inside of me.  I feel like his life so far has been the constant, quiet reminder of God’s provision and faithfulness–when we have been in our most dire need, He has been gracious beyond all of our hopes.

I wanted to pick a name for our son that reflected this passage of scripture.  I looked up names that meant “raven” but was disappointed that the name didn’t jump out at me from the list.  I tried for names that meant sparrow and lily (alternate translation) but didn’t find anything there either.  There are only so many names (in pronounceable languages!) that mean raven, sparrow, or lily.  It didn’t take long for me to resign myself that we may not find a name that had the specific meaning I felt in my heart.  Randy and I discussed a few names that we liked, but none of them seemed right.  We stumbled onto Remy, and we both liked the sound of it.  But unfortunately, the meaning (French-derived) was “from Rheims, France,” which didn’t really do much for us…  I didn’t want to pick a name that didn’t mean anything.  We set the name aside and kept searching.

A few weeks passed, and I just kept coming back to that name.  Remy.  I did a few more in-depth searches on the name.  To my great delight, I found something I had not seen the first time.  The name was actually Old English in origin, and it means, “From the city of ravens.”  Randy and I both agreed…

We are calling him Remy.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I love your baby-naming story, Mackenzie. We have prayed for little Remy since we knew he was coming, and we will continue to do so. God is faithful and will provide all that you need, beyond what you could ask or think. Thank you for sharing your testimony of how the Lord continues to do that in your life. It is an encouragement to us all!

  2. Beautiful, Mack – as usual!!! Your thoughts shared through your writing inspire and encourage me every single time! Thank you for sharing your faith with the world in such a tangible way. Remy – “from the city of ravens.” Says it all! Love you, and I can’t wait to meet him!

  3. nance says:

    Mackenzie, you and your sweet family have been SO much on my heart of late….. I love the thoughts of Remy joining your family and am so grateful for the refinance of your house. Wherever you are will be a home.