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 


  1. They are growing & looking so very sweet! Hope you are all doing well!

  2. dear Debbie,
    your blog made me think of my own name and the names we've given to our children... and although we only looked if the name(s they all have 3) would fit with our last name we also wanted the names being meaningful to them.... so each has at least one biblical name and you know they all fit perfectly !
    about my name name I was named after my mom"s only sister (which I hated for some time as there were a whole lot more family members with the same name) I hope she is proud of me wearing her name and even though I never named my girls after her my grand daughter is carrying the name on !!
    Thank you for making me think about the importance of a name again sometimes we need to be reminded :)
    love you and your girls look awesome and I love their names... <3
    Alie Vermeer