Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Names

Names. It seems like everyone has one. Sometimes more than one.

Here in the Philippines, EVERYONE has at at least one (sometimes several) nicknames. There are quite a few friends that as I think about it, I realize, I've never learned their real names. Nobody uses them.

We often have people ask us why we named our kids what we named our kids.

So, for those who may still be wondering, here are some of the reasons behind why we named our kids what we did. We know that some people have their children named after a relative, or their kids name has some deep spiritual significance for the parents, relative to the time their child was born.

So...drum roll. Here are our reasons.

Asia: Lots of people think we named her this because we lived/live in Asia. Really, we just liked the name and we could agree on it.
Leif: No, it's not for Leif Garret, or Leif Ericson, or a bad spelling of an important source of plant chlorophyll. we just pretty much liked the name. (And after hours of studying and arguing together with baby name books, we managed to agree on it.)
Slater: It's not because of Kelly Slater or Christian Slater. (Though we have to admit Kelly Slater rocks a surfboard like no one else on the planet.) We just..yup. Liked the name.
Skye: Actually, it's not an incorrect spelling of the blue up above, it is the correct spelling of the name of an island. But, once again, we've never been to that island, probably never will, and the fact that there is an island that shares our daughter's name does not really mean that much to us.

So, those are the earth-shattering reasons for our name choices. Basically we wanted to like (and agree) on the names. And, they say you're supposed to make your kids names sound potentially presidential. Combined with their middle names and last name, we think they definitely have at least the appropriately presidential-sounding name part down on their road to the White House.

James A. Garfield? Seriously? How did that guy every make it past security?

But, as we were thinking about the lack of deep meaning that resonates with our souls when we utter our kids name aloud, Brooke started thinking about the names of God.

Those names are super-full of meaning.

And, just like our kids names mean more to us all the time, just because we are getting to know them better and it is now who they are, the names of God take on a new depth of meaning for us over time.

For example, back in the day we all sang "Jehovah-Jireh, my provider, His grace is sufficient for me....etc.
We sang it, but living as missionaries, where we don't get a paycheck from a company, it's all donations, it Really takes on new meaning. And as we are now about 2.5 years into our overseas missions experience, we can truly say-- He does provide!

Back when Hagar, the single mom, was wandering near death with her son in the desert, God provided for her and her son. During hard times, it's easy to feel like no one sees our pain, no one sees what we or our kids are going through. Hagar, at that time, realizing that God had not forgotten her, called Him: El-Roi -- The God who sees me.

Our favorite lately is El Gibbor: Mighty God.
Mostly becaue right now our boys favorite song is: My God is so BIG! So strong and so mighty there's nothing my God cannot do. For YOU!

And last, El Sali: God my Rock. As we live in what sometimes feels like perpetual exhaustion, trying to be faithful as missionaries, parents, spouses and friends, we need our Rock more than ever.

It really helps to know, that regardless of the hemisphere we are currently in, God Sees us, He's Faithful, He's Mighty enough to keep his promises, and He is our Rock!

What's in a name? Apparently quite a bit.


Anonymous said...

Great post, guys! I was wondering about your kids names. You also need to distinguish your kids from the 800,000 other Johnsons in the world too, eh?


Tania said...

Nice!! Liking a name is important, especially when you have to name 4 kids in three years! I love your kids names! I do get a visual of a bug on a leaf when I put the boys names together. You know, that lil grey beetle do you call it a slater?
And we always sang, "My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do - that's true!"
Anyway, keep writing, I don't know where you get the time! ha ha