Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's in a name?

When it comes to naming our children, the names have just clicked.  I mean it.  One minute Teacher Man and I are going through a list of possible names; the next minute we have permanently named a human life.  No turning back.  No need.  It's not that we take the job lightly.  It's just been an incredibly clear, peace-filled decision each and every time.

When I was only few weeks pregnant with our first son, we had already narrowed the name list down to four or five names.  Then one evening as I was watching Sarah, Plain and Tall and grading a mountain of papers, I fell in love with the name Caleb (yes, the little boy in the movie is named Caleb).  At one point in the movie, the little boy says, "Caleb means bold."  For that season in our life, we needed boldness.  We needed the courage of the Biblical Caleb too... the courage to face giants with faith in the God who is so much bigger.  Even Caleb's middle name was clear.  Teacher Man was very young when he lost his father.  Honoring Wes's memory with his first grandson just fit.  So Caleb Wesley it was. Click. Done.  So right.

Our second son was even easier.  Every engaged couple has to jump through the hoops of premarital counseling before hitting the altar, but Teacher Man and I were honored to have his former youth pastor walk alongside us through those months before we were married and then continue to mentor us after our "I do's."  This man had stepped into Teacher Man's life throughout junior high and high school to be a father to my fatherless husband.  I cannot thank him enough.  From teaching my husband to tie a tie to modeling how a man treats his wife, I owe a debt that can never be repaid to Pastor Ben.  Thus, Benjamin was named, and Benjamin was given Teacher Man's middle name.  Click.  Done.  So right.

Our daughter has been the hardest to name.  The boys were named within a few weeks of a positive pregnancy test.  I think I was past 20-weeks pregnant when we finally settled, but her name so fitly honors three women in my life that there was no question in our minds of its rightness.

My maternal grandmother Laura shaped my life in more ways than I can count.  She was a woman of the Word, a faithful wife for almost sixty years, creative in more ways than I ever knew, and one of my favorite people.  I could think of no better way to honor a life well-lived than to give her name to our first daughter.

My paternal grandmother I know by reputation and photographs alone as a godly, kind woman.  When I was not yet one year old, Grandma Helen lost her battle with breast cancer but won the victory in Jesus.  The French would say "Helen" as "Elaine."  I said it aloud once... Laura Elaine.  And then I remembered...

A very special woman named Laura Elaine changed my life.  During my time as a teacher in Argentina, this Laura mentored me weekly in the Word of God.  She placed books in my hands, asked big questions that demanded answers, and found time to just sit with me over precious cups of imported Starbucks coffee.  My beliefs, my family, my life have been forever changed by the time that she invested in my life over seven years ago.  And the humbling truth is that she and her family still pray for our family each and every month.

Laura... the name means "glory, honor."  Elaine means "light."  Oh, may our daughter be one who brings glory and honor to the Light of the World.  May she benefit from the investments that each of these faithful women made in my life.  Click. Done.  So right.

Welcome to the world, Laura Elaine!

1 comment:

  1. If I haven't already said this, you picked a GREAT name, well two great names in particular - Benjamin and Laura Elaine (Laborde) really approve ;) Too bad there's no way your Benjamin got my Benjamin's middle name since it's Teacher Man's first name :) haha! Congratulations to you guys!