So after two years of silence on this blog, I thought this would be the best vehicle to announce baby girl's name.
Baby girl deserves some time on the blog after all. I often come back to this blog and reminisce about about my pregnancy with Levi and his first year and half. I know I'll be happy later if I do the same about my daughter. Plus Levi says the funniest and most profound things sometimes like what he said when we asked him what his baby sister's name means)! It'd be nice to have a record of those things.
I stressed over a name for a long time. We found out she was most likely a girl during an ultrasound at 13 weeks (way earlier than I expected). We confirmed it at 17 weeks, and the doc confirmed it again at 20, so we're pretty sure she's a girl!
I love Levi's name. It's jam packed with special meaning - it's a summary of the man I hope he turns out to be - and it's just a cool name too. You don't run into a lot of Levi's around, but it's not a strange name either. (more on why we chose his name here and here)
I was finding it very hard to name our baby girl some generic name that wasn't special. I just couldn't find a special enough name. I didn't think I was going to be able to. I spent hours on the baby name websites, and scouring meanings of names. There aren't an abundance of women to name a girl after in the bible - and our family names are all pretty dated (Brenda, Debra, Geneva, Virginia).
I have a hard time with the fact that I have to choose a name in the first place. I feel like a name should be predetermined - like eye color or temperament. It feels really strange to be in charge of what someone is called - what someone will live with for the rest of their lives. It's huge task, and one that I take very seriously - probably too seriously. After all, there are no shortage of beautiful names that I love : Hannah, Grace, Audrey, Chloe - but none of them had the meaning I was hoping for. Sure some of them mean nice things (who doesn't love grace?), but none of them had the narrative, the big story, like Levi's name.
Then Christmas season was upon us. I'm not sure if it was in part due to my hormones or the amount of time talking to Levi about what Christmas means - but it took on a whole new meaning for me this year. I could not listen to a song on the radio about the baby Jesus without winding up in tears.
I reflected a lot this year on what the birth of Jesus meant to the world. Christmas time is the most beautiful time of the year. People take great effort in making their homes look more beautiful, smell more beautiful, and taste more beautiful. I know that not everyone is doing this as an act of worship to the One who gave us Christmas - but to me as a Christian, those beautiful lights everywhere were screaming out "JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD HAS COME."
I think we, even devout Christians, have become desensitized to the Jesus story. Blah blah blah, born of a virgin, yadda, yadda, yadda, laid in a manger, such and such, saved the world, and so on. But think about it. The God of the universe, the one who created everything, the one who sustains everything, the one who lives in total perfection and in total comfort, left everything to become one of us. To live among us. Not only that, but in such a humble way. I'm not sure how I ever lived without the electric blanket that I got for Christmas this year - and I sure don't want to spend the night in a barn on a bed of hay! He became the least among us, fully knowing his fate - rejection and death - for a world full of sinners. It's times like these where I wish I had the gift of writing. Nothing I can write can fully express what dwelling on that truth does to my heart.
So, Jarrod and I have decided to name our baby girl Noelle. What an extra bonus for me that it's a French word! There is nothing more important, or more beautiful in the world or in human history than what happened on the First Noel 2000+ years ago.
I like to teach Levi french words, so he knows that Christmas is Noel in French. So when we told him the name, I asked him what it meant expecting him to say "Christmas," but instead he said "it means Jesus is alive and came to earth so that we could have joy in our hearts." What a great definition!