Thursday, November 14, 2013

finding myself

Sometimes I get a little lost. Sometimes I see all the words on a page or on a screen and I want to lay claim to one of them. I want to be one of them. I want to walk up to someone and be able to say "Hello, I'm debbie and I'm a             " and I want to mean it with my whole being. I would love to be just a writer or just a photographer or just a teacher or just a florist or just a mama. 

Sometimes in this world of social media and labels I get lost trying to find a word for myself. I envy people who are so completely something. I envy those who can throw their souls into science or history or fashion or fixing things or athletics and be so wholly content.

I'm a dabbler.

I'm not particularly good or knowledgeable at any one thing.

I dabble.

I wake up some mornings and the only thing worth living for is the words on a page.

Other days I'm not complete until I can unapologetically throw myself into a sport or climbing a mountain.

Some mornings I wake up clutching a pencil, filled with the itch to draw out my soul in charcoal or pastel or some messy mix of mediums.

There have been days where my eyes were hidden by a camera lens---so completely hidden that I had no apprehension or fear that anyone could see me and somehow in those moments I became me.

I wake up with an ache in my heart to hold my babies and shape my world around them and the only word I need is "mama" and the only voice I need is theirs.

And yet on any given day I can cycle through the need to be dozens of different "mes".

I go through stages of fighting it. I think I've been told by the world that the me that loves sports isn't allowed to coexist with the me that writes poetry and that all of these different mes are a contradiction. But I live for these contradictions. When I try to choose just one word I feel incomplete...when I try to be only one of these mes I get lost.

So today, (for the hundredth time over) I'm choosing to embrace every different me that exists.

What do you live for? Are you happy with how you define yourself? Do you feel like you are seen for who you really are?

I hope that you will choose to embrace whatever "you" that makes you feel whole and happy. You deserve it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A boy named Sue

I am of the opinion that names are special. I think that names shape a lot of what a person will do and become.  Give a kid the wrong name and he can be scorned for the rest of his life---which can either be seriously detrimental or highly effective in building character.

Take the song "A boy named Sue" . Kind of an absurd illustration of the point, but it works.

When naming my children I felt like they needed a name to live up to. I wanted them to be able to look at the meaning of their names and know that they were special, or to look at historic figures with the same name and say "yeah! I wanna be like him/her!". But I didn't want them to be run of the mill either.

During my pregnancy with Gideon, the first indication that he was a boy was the fact that Rob and I absolutely could not agree on boy names. We had a solid girl name we agreed on but it almost came to blows about boy names---and this was from the day we found out I was pregnant.

We prayed about it a lot. Sometimes we would even try to pray for our unborn baby using a name we had chosen, but it didn't ever seem right.

Then one day we were driving to Kristy's house and we were at the Debarr/Boniface intersection when The Beatles "Rocky Raccoon" came on. It has a line about "Gideon's Bible" and at the risk of being ridiculed I turned to Rob and said "I know this sounds weird, but I actually really like the name Gideon." and he agreed! I knew that Gideon was a strong Bible name and that his story was a hero's story so it fit our requirements. You can read the Bible story here.

With Annelise and Olivia it became even more complicated. I had decided long ago that my first girl would be named Evelynn. We would call her Eva. That name was everything I wanted for my first little girl---it was beauty and meaning and love all wrapped up in one word. God named his first daughter Eve. Our first would reflect that. I didn't really give Rob a choice about that one, it was law---she would be my little Eva.

The moment I saw two heartbeats on the screen I knew that would change. How could I choose which little one to give a name so rife with meaning? These girls needed names of equal importance, but equal individuality.

Annelise incorporates two important things about our lives.

1. Ann is Rob's oldest sister's name and Elise is his youngest sister's name
2. Annelies is the full name of Anne Frank. We love the Dutch people and since we met in The Netherlands we found it fitting.  (We changed the spelling to help out with American pronunciation)

Olivia is a name I have loved for a long time. It has hebrew roots meaning "peace offering from God". It is also the name of one of my great-great relatives. Her story is a hero story in its own right but long---maybe I'll share it another day.

Who were you named after? What does your name mean? Has it changed the way you live?

They love each other