How Everett Became Everett

I love hearing how babies are named. I’m always fascinated with the process people go through to name a child. It’s kind of a big deal.

It’s the label they’ll carry for the rest of their life.

It’s the coming together of two parents to try and agree on what they like or don’t like in a name.

For some people, it’s the deep meaning and significance of what the name means.

And most of the time, it’s not something that comes easily. It’s a bit of a process, and I find that so interesting.

Everett was a bit of a process. He wasn’t going to be an Everett. The name Ben first chose from my list of possibilities was actually Zane. I loved it, because it means “Gift from God”. I thought it would be fairly awesome to be calling “Gift of God!!!” every time I was calling him to come in from playing outside.

Everett

We also knew we were going to use Alexander, because we needed something long and hefty with a short name like Zane, plus it means “Leader of the People”, which sounds strong and awesome, and makes me think of his dad, who tends to be a natural leader in whatever situation he finds himself in.:)

But we needed one more name, because Ben likes his babies to have three names, like he does.

When I came across Everett, Ben liked it right away, and I thought we were done. Zane Everett Alexander. Everett means “Brave and Strong”, and is a really old, classic name, but one that I had never heard before.

About a week later, Ben said, “I think I really like the name Everett. I think it should be the first name.” And I said, “Nope. He’s already a Zane in my mind. I can’t change it. He is just Zane.”

And Ben said, “Zane is a surfer name. What if he wants to be a lawyer or a doctor? I think Everett is a good name that will wear well, and stand the test of time.”

So I tried. I really, really tried to rename him in my head, but he was just Zane. And Ben just liked Everett best. It took a couple of months, but one night, I woke up at 3 am, and couldn’t go back to sleep. And suddenly I realized at 3 am that our baby was an Everett. He had finally become Everett in my mind. It just took awhile!;)

Then, a week before he was born, Ben said one night, “I think I’d like it if our son had my name.” And so once again, I had to rename him in my mind, and get rid of Surfer Zane completely. He’s still a gift from God, even if his name doesn’t state that!

He’s a brave, strong leader of the people, and his father’s favorite son. (Good thing he’s our only son, otherwise that meaning could get a little tricky!)

As I look back on that whole process, I feel thankful that I didn’t figure this out on my own! Ben was right, of course. Everett will wear well. And now that he’s here, he just is Everett.:)

The Power of Words

Yesterday I spent some time talking with the Pursuit students about labels.

I’ve written about this before on my blog – it’s something that I think about often.

We use so many words in a day. We’re bombarded by so many words in a day. We speak, we think, we listen, we read – books, magazines, emails, texts, endless amounts of stuff on the internet. (Ha, as I write these words, both of my girls are talking, and we’ve got music playing. Words are coming at me from all directions!)

I feel that with all the communication going on around us, it is very easy to become desensitized to the power of words. But as I prepared for my class yesterday, I was struck once again by how important words are in the Bible.

If you flip your Bible open to the very beginning, it says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” If you keep reading down to verse three, this is what we find:

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

How amazing is it that the God who loves us, and hears every single word we say, and cares deeply about every aspect of our lives, has the power to simply speak, and create something from nothing.

Now I know there are many people who do not believe that Genesis is a literal account of Creation. To me, it doesn’t make much difference in this case – I believe that God has the power to do this, and His words carry so much power that Genesis chapter one goes on to say “And God said…” nine times.

I would say that’s fairly significant.

And God said, and God said, and God said…

I also find it really interesting that every time He spoke something into being, He called it good, and then He named it. If words carry significance in the Bible, then names even more so.

If you’ve ever named a child, you know what we’re talking about here. There are so many things to think about – this is for life, and it becomes such an important part of someone’s identity. And every time you stick your head out the door to call your child in for lunch, you are speaking that name over them, again and again and again.

To some people, a name might not mean anything beyond just being a name. I believe that my girls’ names are a chance for me to bless them and speak over them something important that was chosen just for them.

“Anika Elisabeth Joy” means beautiful¬† and woman of God (and the “Joy” is kinda self-explanatory!) “Kaylia Isabelle Hope” means purity and the fulfillment of God’s promise.

That’s a big deal to me. (That’s why if I had a son, I would not name him “Caleb”, because it means dog. For some people, that might be a great meaning, but I really, really don’t like dogs.)

Anyway. Names are a big deal. So God named everything after proclaiming it “good”. He named a lot of things in the beginning.

Until chapter 2. And then He stops naming things. The Bible says,

Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. (Genesis 2: 19-20, emphasis mine)

After all of the speaking and naming God had done, He stepped back, and handed off the responsibility to Adam. And whatever Adam called each animal, that was its name.

God has given that responsibility to each of us as well, every single day. He gives us the gift of communication, which does so much good, but it can also do much harm.

We name things all the time, often without realizing it. More importantly, we name other people, and we name ourselves.

Have you ever said things like,

“I’m a perfectionist.”

“I’m not a patient person.”

Or thought things about frustrating people? “He’s such a jerk.” Or the one we’re personally hearing all the time right now: “Don’t worry about it – she’s just going through the Terrible Twos.”

Really? This entire year of Kaylia’s life will be labelled as terrible? I don’t think so. I think it’s pretty enchanting. I absolutely love seeing her toddling around, discovering the world and learning how to use words to communicate. And yes, there are some tantrums, and she screams and tries to figure out how to communicate that she’s angry beyond reason about having to wear runners outside instead of slippers.

And sometimes, my patience is struggling to rise to the occasion, but I absolutely refuse to use the term “Terrible Twos.” Her twos are wonderful and sometimes hard, but why would I choose to label them in a negative way, over and over and over again?

Think it doesn’t make a difference? You should try it out – there is a big difference in saying, “I’m such an impatient person!!” or saying, “I’m struggling with having enough patience right now.”

It becomes one situation, instead of a label that you stamp on your whole life, and keep using repeatedly.

Because guess what? The Holy Spirit is in each and every believer, and that means that we all have the Fruit of the Spirit. There are some pretty great things included in that Fruit. Like patience.

If I’m going to name myself, I would like it to go like this: “I am loving. I am joyful. I am peaceful….” Through the power of the Spirit, those words are absolutely true. Try saying them out loud sometime. It does very good things. And pray like crazy that God would make it so, in each and every moment.

If we’re going to name something, make it good. God declared over and over again that what He made was good.

Let’s agree with Him!

Same Blog, New Name

Once upon a time, I started a blog. I didn’t really know where things were going to go with it. I didn’t have a clue what to call it, so Ben just labeled it “Kendra’s Blog” when he was getting everything set up for me.

I always thought I would change it, but it never happened. Until now.

A few months ago, I was reading My Utmost For His Highest, by Oswald Chambers, and came across a quote in which he wrote about learning to sing on ordinary days, in ordinary ways. Since then, it’s become a thought I’ve gone back to many times throughout each day. When things are chaotic, the house is a mess, it feels like my patience was used up few hours ago, and there’s pee on my pants that isn’t mine, those words come back to me – learn to sing on ordinary days, in ordinary ways.

And that is what this blog is about. I write about all of the little things that I’m learning in my little life. We do family, and we do camp life and ordinary life, and we try to love Jesus more all the time, and we figure out how to follow Him better each day. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and sometimes that feels small. But as I am faithful in the little things, as I follow Jesus on the ordinary days, when there’s nothing especially dramatic or triumphant happening, I know that He is teaching me to “sing”, no matter what circumstances are surrounding me.

I hope that this new name will continue to sum up the things that I write about – loving Jesus and my family, and trying to live an ordinary life that is becoming extraordinary as I strive to serve Jesus in all that I do.

Name That Blog

So when I started up my own blog the other day, the name of it automatically popped up as “Kendra’s Blog.” I had intended to be slightly more creative and family-inclusive than that, but nothing came to mind at the moment, so I just left it for the time being. Since then, Ben has been so very helpful in his suggestions – I’m finding that naming babies and naming blogs with him is equally challenging and amusing. He knows that I’m not really interested in having a cheesy blog name, so he delights in coming up with stuff like “Wilderness Wanderings” or “Dueck Daily”. Anika thought it should be “Dueck Daily Bread.” We’ll keep trying… Having written this, I’ve now put all kinds of pressure to come up with a good name. Maybe I’ll just leave it as “Kendra’s Blog”!