Thanksgiving.

I like to think that I’m not one to post super cliche things.
But, here I am, about to tell you what I’m thankful for on this holiday.
{This silly holiday. But, that’s another blog post about the silliness of all our American holidays.}

I’m so thankful for the beautiful freedom I have because of Jesus.
I’m so thankful He’s always redeeming my broken selfish heart.
I’m so thankful for His mercy & grace.
I’m so thankful for His unconditional, pure, perfect compassion that understands & values life in a way I never will.
I’m so thankful for His heart for me.

I’m so thankful for my sweet husband.
I’m thankful for his kindness & love in my life.
I’m thankful for his joy & pure excitement about our little baby.
I’m so thankful for the way he desperately wants to always do what’s right… For his love for justice & kindness & mercy.

I’m so thankful for our little baby who we will meet so soon.
I’m so thankful that through this pregnancy it’s been made evident just how selfish my heart is.
I’m so thankful that we’ll meet this sweet little wiggly girl any day now.

I’m so thankful for my parents.
Thankful for their generosity & patience, for their prayers over the years.
Thankful that they never gave up on me, & have so lovingly supported me.

I’m so thankful for my sister.
Thankful for her beautiful laugh; that she’s such a good listener.
Thankful for her sacrifice to come see me & baby soon.

I’m so thankful for John’s family.
Thankful for their laughter.. for their time, for their acceptance of me into their family.
Thankful that our little girl will have such a fun family.

I’m so thankful that I have a husband who understands & knows me, who listens to me & pursues truth with me & for me.
Thankful that he’s supportive of me as Mom {even before I’m really there}. Thankful that he has a heart that longs for truth & compassion.

I’m so thankful that God’s provided for us so I can stay home with baby when she comes.
Thankful that I’ll get to watch her grow, that I’ll get to have the precious first moments with her.
Thankful for our midwife who will help us welcome her into this world at home, safely.

Thankful for the understanding He’s given us, the passion He’s given us. The willingness to communicate with each other that He’s given us.
The grace that He gives us to listen to each other & work our way through tough conversations. The shared passion He’s given us for truth & righteousness.

I’m so thankful that I get to spend today with almost our entire family, {& that they’re coming to us}.

And she remains nameless.

Names.
AH!
There were several nights earlier on in the pregnancy where I would wake in the middle of the night thinking of  entire lists of names.
John begged me to just not think about it until we found out the gender.
Fine.
I would try.
And I did.

But, the thing is…
I had 8 baby names picked out before we even got married.
Eight.
First & middle names. Four boys’ and four girls’ names.

Here they are:  Girls // Boys
Mackenzie Anne  //  Camryn Levi
Skylar Eve  //  Micah Pierce
Eden Laurelai  //  Gabriel Hosea
Harmony Grace  //  John Morgan

I loved these names.
But when I found out I was pregnant, it was like all of a sudden they weren’t going to work.
{Most of them are pretty popular these days AND John informed me he doesn’t want to name a baby after him.}

Here are the two things we look for in a name for the littlest:
Unique & meaningful.

Words are powerful.
{Says the hopeful writer.}
And in modern American/western cultures we incredibly undervalue words & their meanings.
I love words. I love the meanings of words & understanding their roots & origins.

I want baby girl’s name to have significance in that way.
And, we don’t want her to be 1 of 10 kids in her class with the same name.
{John said that was never fun.}

So, our name Journey has been an interesting one since we found out she’s a girl.
Here we go:

  1. Juliette = French, “Youthful”
    Fun fact: for the first 3 months of being pregnant, I had a song stuck in my head about Romeo & Juliet.
    & I do SO love that song.
    And I do so value being young at heart.
    Jesus taught us to be like the little children, and there’s so much to be said for having childlike faith – being youthful is a beautiful thing.
  2. Anaya = Indian, “Completely Free”
    Mhmm. Love that Indian culture.
    Freedom is something I hold dear to my heart. It’s something I’ve been told I had ALL my life, but only began to understand when I met Jesus.
    And it’s something I know to run deeper than anything my country could ever define.
    And I hope to share that with our little ones.
  3. Davina = English, “Beloved”
    Beloved. Ahhh.  That’s the truth.
  4. Verona = Italian, “Truth”
    After I thought of this name {& then researched its meaning} I sat down at my typewriter with tears in my eyes and wrote a really long letter to our baby girl about the importance of Truth. How powerful & precious & valuable it is.
    Needless to say, this is my favourite meaning.
    I really, really like the name “Verona Juliette” but I also think it seems like way too much Shakespeare for one name.
  5. Harmony = English, Multiple meanings:
    “Agreement, accord, unity.”
    Musically,”The simultaneous combination of tones, esp. when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.”
    And, Biblically: “An arrangement of the contents of the Gospels, either of all four or of the first three, designed to show their parallelism, mutual relations, & differences.I thought about this name last week & it was stuck on my heart for 2 or 3 days straight. So beautiful.
    I thought of it in combination with so many other middle names: Harmony Skye, Harmony Dawn, Harmony Grace.

John’s favourite? Well, he likes Noxolo. Pronounced, {Noh-(click your tongue)-oh-lho.}
It’s an African word that means “peace.” I met a little girl in Swaziland with this name who changed my life forever.
{But, we don’t live in Africa. And no one would be able to pronounce her name. I keep trying to tell him.}

He also really, really likes Verona (and now Harmony).

I think Anaya & Davina are out at this point, but this has just been our journey of favourites.
I have also liked other random ones:
Ada: Great grandmother’s name, German, “Happy”
Naomi: Hebrew, “Beautiful, Gentle”
Kiva: Gaelic, “Caomh” = “Beautiful”
Allegra: Latin, “Joy”

John’s sister, Dana, really really wants us to use the name Adelaide.
Which happens to be in my spreadsheet of baby names.
Oh, am I only now mentioning that I have a spreadsheet of baby names?
Ya know, just in case she’s born & we haven’t decided.
I want to have several that I already know I like with their meanings & origins & popularity, easily accessible.
Also, I found myself looking up the same name meanings again & again.
Anyway, there are about 30 names in that spreadsheet.

I’d love to have your feedback on names.
{As long as you’re okay that we might reject it completely. I’m realizing it’s impossible to find a name everyone will like.}

How did you decide what to name your little one{s}?
Did you decide before they were born for sure?
Any fun naming stories?