the name

A friend of mine recently posted about how they picked their daughter's name, and I love hearing name stories, so I thought I would share ours.

You get pregnant. You anticipate finding out out boy/girl. You get excited to pick a name.

Then you spend 9 months arguing with your spouse about what name sounds good or bad, old person-ish, irrelevant, or just plain stupid. You will wonder how you married a person with such terrible taste in names. 

That's the story of Joe's name. Getting Robert to think of names, discuss names, or consider names was like pulling teeth. So I approached the subject with a lack of enthusiasm one December evening on our way to a Christmas party. 

"What about Joseph?" He said, out of nowhere. 
I just about fell over - because I also liked that name.
"Sure! Let's put it on the 'A' list" I said. "What made you think of Joseph?"
"Matt's sermon about Joseph, Jesus' earthly father. The story of obedience, humility, love for God."

Joseph means, "God will add" or "God will multiply", which I really love. The shortening of Joseph to Joe still sounds good with our short last name. 

We didn't necessarily want to name our son after anyone, because we wanted him to be his own person. However, we always knew he would get a legacy name as his middle name, after his father, grandfather, and great grandfather. 

Joseph got added to our short list. The moment they set that newborn baby on my chest, most of the names were eliminated just by how he looked. I turned to Robert and gave him the remaining choices. "He is either Joseph or Nathan. You pick." 

And, just as Joseph was the only name Robert added to our name list, it was the name he chose for our son. 

True to his name's meaning, Joe has added to our lives. Literally, he is our firstborn. He also brings joy, love, and giggles to our everyday. We had no idea when we picked Joe's name what lay ahead. When the sadness of our lives gets overwhelming to me, I hold Joe and I am confronted with the truth - God adds. For our loss and pain, he multiples his love. Where I see hurt, he is showing grace. And in a loss, we also passed down a small piece of Robert's father through Joe's middle name. It's a reminder that life has to continue, even as our hearts grieve. 


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