Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's in a name?

Here I am just before the birth of my third girl (so we think) and we have not yet finalized a name. Well, at least not the first name. The middle name I've been pretty sure about for a few months and hubby is on board. The other two girls were named at least half way through my pregnancies and I loved being able to refer to them by name for months before they were born. For someone who likes to plan and be prepared, this no-name-nonsense is driving me crazy.  And the closer we get to the end the more the pressure builds from all our friends and family asking me if we have a name every time I see them.

Since we are so close to the end anyways, we will just wait to announce the first name after birth. But I've gotten hubby's permission to disclose the middle name now via my blog because it has special meaning to me.

Our first two girls have Grace or Faith as part of their name. We didn't even pick the name Grace because of what it meant, we just thought it was a pretty name. It just happens to mean gift of God that cannot be earned and is not deserved.

K. Grace @ 2 3/4 years old with me, preggo with #2
 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God... Ephesians 2:8

The name Faith, on the other hand, was chosen for a very specific reason. Before I even found out I was pregnant with her I was going through a very frustrating period in my life. I didn't have peace, I was anxious. I had this feeling like God had other plans for me but I wasn't sure what they were. I begged Him to make it clear to me. I cried a lot but didn't really know why. I struggled a lot with working full time. I thought maybe I should stay home but we couldn't swing it financially. I wondered if I was supposed to change careers. I was sick of the daily grind. I had no idea where my life was going and what my purpose was. And then, out of the blue, we found out we were pregnant again. Although we weren't even trying for a second child, I found myself feeling extremely happy and hopeful. I thought for sure, God wouldn't send us along another baby without making a way for me to be home with two kids, at least part time. We still couldn't see how that would happen though. But God snapped me out of my funk and kept telling me over and over again - "TRUST ME!!" 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

I knew I needed to trust God and I wanted to have more faith, believing he had something great in store for me. I chose to name the baby I was carrying Faith so that every time I thought of her (which when you're pregnant is pretty much all the time), I would be reminded that I needed to put my faith in God and trust him to work out all the details of my future. It was a little roller coaster ride as we thought for a while I would be able to stay home after she was born, then had to face the reality that I could not. Even in all that I continued to be reminded each day to trust God and His plans and His timing of them. Before Faith was two years old I was able to stop working and stay home. Things started falling into place. And now I look back and see how God was working in me and providing for us in all the details every step of the way. Her name continues to remind me to have faith, and I love that.

Faith @ 11 mos with me

Then surprise - pregnant again. This time my reaction was a little different than with number two. Not so happy about it. Two was good, I could handle two. Life was starting to get easy as the girls were getting older and more independent. The thought of going through pregnancy and infant-dom again made me feel a little bitter. Barely surviving colic with Faith stripped my memory of almost all the positive moments during what are supposed to be those sweet first few months. Those first few months where you walk around in a sleep-deprived hallucinogenic state all the time. Where you feel like a half-human milk machine. So throw all that goodness into the mix with keeping up with the other two and attempting to accomplish some semblance of schooling with my Kindergardener and I'll be honest - I haven't really been looking forward to it.

As you can see, and those of you who know me have experienced, I haven't really been too shy about my feelings.  I've been pretty much assuming life is going to really suck for at least a few months. Everyone who's had three has confirmed for me that the challenge of adding the third child has been far greater than they ever imagined. Great. Just when things were getting good this child is poised to steal my joy!

Now I know that children are a treasure from God, a blessing. "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him." (Psalm 127:3) Of course I feel that way about my first two girls and I'm sure that as our third child grows up I will feel the same way. It's just the beginning of her life I've had doubts about.

But the Holy Spirit has been convicting me about my attitude all along. Especially considering that during the first half of my pregnancy, as I studied the book of Philippians, I was reminded that true joy does not depend on my circumstances or people or things, but on my relationship with Jesus. When my mind is soley focused on Him and on my mission to take the truth of His gospel and His love to others, that is when I am guaranteed joy. And I can confirm this is true based on past experience. But oh how easily Satan loves to come around and breathe his lies down my neck. And how quickly I believe them.

So I've had to put my foot down and determine that, while my circumstances may be inconvenient or even hard during my baby's first year of life, I will not let that rob me of my joy. This has been my prayer. And what better way to constantly remind me of this then to give this third child the middle name Joy.  I know that God will use her to bring me and others joy and her name will also remind me that He is the true source of my joy.

"I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds." 2 Corinthians 7:4b

There you have it, a sneak preview of my third daughter's middle name and why. Please be praying that God gives us just as clear direction on her first name. Though I can't promise a similar story behind the meaning of her first name. So far a couple of the names on our list of possibilities could have her labeled as a heiffer or a boar-slayer!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13


12345 said...

That was beautiful, Hailey!

JennOveeV said...

That was very touching Hailey, I almost cried. I can highly relate to some of your past experiences because although I do stay at home, its tough financially and Timm is almost NEVER around due to school and grad school and picking up Saturday work speaking at schools. I also have the struggle of dealing with recovery from a repeat Cesarean so I really truly relate. I love how your daughters names all have great meaning. You've reminded me to keep trusting in the Lord through all circumstances. I particularly love Philippians too, especially the verse in Chapter 4 talking about being content in all circumstances, in plenty and in want. I hope everything goes/went well today. Enjoy! Love, Jenn.

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