the ponderings of a mother

These are the ponderings of a mother in love with her children, both in my arms and in the grave. Some of these ponderings are quite emotional, some are funny, others contemplative and spiritual. All are sincere. May these writings bless you in many ways and bring you closer to the one, true God and Redeemer of all things.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Naming Our Daughter

What a joy to name a human being. What a responsibility! As we pondered many names for this coming little lady we did, as some other parents probably do, run it through the “junior high make-fun-of-me name list”.  We ruled out names that could have a nickname that sounds anything like a body part, or sounds that a body part could make. We ruled out names with the same first letter as our last name. Penelope Pelletier.  It doesn’t sound right, and again falls into that category of sounds a body part can make (“PP”). We ruled out ex-girlfriends’ names, and the name of those girls you just hated in high school, no matter how great the name sounds you just can’t name your child after someone you thought had a horrible attitude.  We ruled out the super popular names, because we are ornery and rebellious in our hearts ;-)  And we ruled out making up our own name out of the wild blue yonder as some feel very comfortable doing. We just don’t think that highly of our brains to do such things to other humans. Really.

We do, however, love to name based on meaning. We enjoy our children’s name telling a story. Jonan Eilam, as many remember from that post: Jonan – God is a gracious giver; Eilam- Eternal. These tell of who God was to us through Jonan’s life, giving us precious time with a precious son. And also that he is eternal, we must await heaven for our reunion and finally getting to know him.  So with our daughter we based her name on the story she arrives into this past December 2011.

Let me explain with a bit of uncomfortable transparency.

Jeff and I have had an abundance of challenges since the beginning of our marriage about 4 ½ years ago.  The beginnings offered us a diagnosis of Panic Disorder with a side of PTSD.  Time away from work and some sizeable bills as a garnish.  Long time job loss, losing our home, and both cars unexpectedly failing within months of one another for the second course. A painful separation for attention to personal matters as the main dish.  Followed by a wonderful reunion leading to the life our firstborn.  Early pregnancy scooped in some unrelated sickness dishing out a stepping back from the long-time dream of graduate school.  Months later the first fruits of our reconciliation, and my womb, would turn out to be a precious life short-lived.  That briefly sums up the fall of 2007 until winter 2011. 

In the midst of what would be a 26 month job search, without cash & certainty, with new life dying there was God in the midst. Our gracious giver offering more than we could have asked or imagined. Birthing in us life through death, again in 2011 as He did 2000 years ago. The deepest places of surrender we had known, though we thought we had let so much go already, we laid down yet one more dream.  

Light came in with the steadiness of a surgeon’s hand and at the pace of awaiting a Chicago spring. Certain but long-awaited. Surrounded by meals, resources, community, and hope God flooded us in our flood of tears.  And before the tangible answers of jobs, steadiness, and new life would come He filled us with joy. The unforeseen surprise of joy.  Deep, healing joy. A greater vision of who He is and how He loves us. Served with contentment & trust as a dessert.

What does Elsa mean? “Joy or joyful.” Jenae? “God has answered.”  So the story our little one enters into, where her story begins…”Joyfully, God has answered.” Or you could say “God has answered with joy”.

Our story will continue and it will have new wonderful things God does and new challenges, but our baby girl, Elsa Jenae, is set in her time. Set in our story. Proceeded by her brother who was graciously given us for a time, but who we must wait for eternity to meet fully.

Joyfully, God has answered.

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