Names

Josh and I have known people who gave amazing thought and prayer into what to name their children. The origin, the meaning, the family history. I have genuine admiration for all of their effort and creativity; truly, I do.  

However, our ways are not their ways. Conversations around naming our kids went something like this.

Me: Hey, Josh, I have a few options for names for our baby.

Josh: Oh, good. Lemme hear them.

Me: Scout.

Josh: No way.

Me: Gladys.

Josh: Ain’t happenin’

Me: Ruby?

Josh: Maybe. You can leave that one for now.

And this went on for months. Quietly one day he affirmed Ruby and that was that. The same type of conversations occured while naming Molly and Mack. I did all the work, and he approved or disapproved. I wanted simple names that were easy to spell. Kristy, as I have learned over the years, can be spelled many different ways. Mispellings of my name don’t bother me, but still. Why not choose a simple name that is obvious how to spell, if you can, right? Our only hiccup comes when people think Mack says his name is Matt. We try to coach him to say, “Mack—M-A-C-K—like the big truck,” but he thinks that is goofy. I say not any goofier than answering to Matt instead of your real name. But what do I know?

This morning I read in Mark the list of the twelve disciples. Mark 3:16-17 reads, “And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder);”

G. Campbell Morgan focused on this part of chapter—-And I loved reading what he said:

“This Simon was impulsive, restless, inconsistent, lacking cohesion. Yet He nicknamed him Rock. The name was an indication of his unrealized natural capacities; and of the Lord’s ability to realize them. The sons of Zebedee, James and John, He nicknamed Sons of Thunder. They were men of gentle, filial nature, quiet men, content to abide at home in the service of their father. Yet Jesus renamed them Sons of Thunder; men of authority and power. The principle was the same. In James was the capacity to be so loyal to a Master and a cause as to die for them. In John was the mystic power which would make him a seer, and an interpreter of the great things of life. The Lord was able to bring these things to realization and to employ them for His own glory in cooperation with His service.”

I wonder what God sees in my kids—what might be their “unrealized natural capacities”? What name is he calling me? Josh? How does God want to “bring these things to realization and to employ them for His own glory”? I can’t wait to see it unfold.

Just last night Molly said, “If you had to pick a job for each of us based on what you know about us right now, what would you say we should do?”

Now, I have ideas and wanted to share them, but Josh spoke up and said he didn’t want to say anything because God is so much bigger than any of our thoughts about and dreams for each of the kids. He shared how God overruled and led him right where He needed to be, despite listening to what others thought he should or should not do. And I can’t tell you how many people have told Josh he missed his calling and should have been a preacher. Yet, I think God would have let Josh know if that was what He wanted Josh to do. As for me, I chose the easiest, simplest route to getting through with college—for me, it was teaching. I taught one year and did not like it much. I sometimes think it was such a waste or wish I had someone see something in me and call it out and help me find my way. And yet, I can also say that God overruled in my life, too. Being a wife and mom is a sanctifying, hidden work. And God knew I needed this path to become all He wants for me. And He isn’t done with me yet. 

We shared with the kids the strengths and qualities we see in each of them, but stopped short from telling them what career we see them best suited for. Only the Lord knows! Only the Lord can call out in each of them all He has for them….which makes spending time with the One who knows us best so important. I am amazed at how He has walked us through life and to purposes He had planned for us. What a personal God we have the privilege to know. 

Happy New Year! 2021, we welcome you.