Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What's in a name

As you know, we are expecting our second child in September. Due to the child's decision to hold its legs up tight last week, we don't know if it is a boy or a girl. Yesterday we started looking at possible names for the cricket (which is what we are calling it at this time). I remember doing this four years ago, and I always have a lot of fun trying to come up with names. If you were around 4 years ago, you will remember that one of my favorites was Shazam - good for a boy or a girl. That one didn't go too far:)

This time we grabbed our little name book and started looking at what different names mean. Jennifer looked up my dad's name, Dwayne, and discovered it means swarthy. My name, Erik, means royal one. It is interesting to me to see what different names mean and where the names come from.

When we look through scripture, we see that different names really define people. The names are sometimes chosen by the parents, other times they are given by God.

Our names help others to identify us, and they help us to either stand out or be part of the crowd. As I look at different names, I keep thinking that I would like our child to have one that is somewhat original, yet not so strange that it scars the child for life:)

But behind the name, what I really hope for is that the child knows love. We live in a world where there is so much pressure on children - pressure to be the best, to stand above others. We live in a world where pettiness and nastiness seem to rule to day. Imagine what the world would be like if the great commandment - to love God and to love one another - was the key everyone lived by. The blessings that could be showered on the world would be immense.

So as I spend time ruminating over different names, I am also spending more time letting the people I love know that I love them. For who knows what kind of change will take place when we all just share a little bit more love with the people we come in contact with.

1 comment:

Betty Dygart said...

Today I put into the Beloit Daily News computer the roster sent to us from BMHS for its graduating Class of 2008. Many, many names. Sometimes they were the same sounding names, but spelled so differently.

The most repeated female name was Brittany, or Britney, or Britteny, or Brittanni, or Britny, or Britani, and for the males, Alexzander, Alexander, Alexandre. The guys' names were not as "inventive" as the girls'.

It was tedious work, and after they were all typed, (I didn't count them, but there were LOTS), I had to go over them, just to be certain I had not misspelled one of their names, or horror of horrors, left someone off the list!

Last names were no better. How many different ways are there to spell Christensen, Christianson, Christiansen, Christenson? I don't even want to go into the names that had letters that just didn't go up against each other right. They didn't even look right when I had them right!

I guess, though, when I consider that all those 17-18 year olds have parents who proudly named them when they were mere little tikes, with so much hope for the future, I can understand the desire to give that child a name that would LAST - a name that would make them stand out, make them memorable.

"Jesus," there is one of those in the 2008 graduating class. I had a couple of them in my classes over the years. Mostly, they wanted their name pronounced "hay-soos," and that was better for me, too, because for me, there is only one Jesus. I think it takes great courage and expectation to name your son Jesus. Perhaps it is too much to expect.

But yes, we all have labels, and our labels precede us. Even before someone meets us, they see our name on that job application, at the bottom of our signed letter. An impression is given. So, it is good to think carefully when naming the "cricket." I pray you choose wisely...