Monday, May 27, 2013

What's in a Name?

How we Came up with
Nolan Gerard and Judah Matthew 
As you are probably all aware, Josh and I did not find out the gender or our twins.  One piece of the fun in that was knowing we would need to be armed and ready with two boys names, two girls names, and four middle names.  We have been talking about what to name our future children since before we were even dating so we did have some ideas before getting serious.  However, in January, we were trying to decide how to go about figuring out the possible names our our babies.  Because Josh and I both have a love for games and competition, we decided to make it fun. 

Using our own smart brains and a book of names, we decided to do a bracket of sorts to narrow down names.  Josh picked a group of names, boy and girl, and so did I.

Throughout the weeks, we would do 'matchups.'  Names would move on because of the powers of persuasion, because of rankings, or because we both happened to like the same name so that name would get a bi to the next round. 

Eventually we were left with 2 girls names (which I will not share...we may have girls in the future after all) and 2 boys names: Nolan and Judah.  People have asked us many times where we got the names or how we decided so I thought I would share.

I need to start by saying that neither boy name are ones we had ever discussed in the past.  They were both new choices.

Nolan as a name choice I think came as a surprise to both of us...

First, Nolan has NOTHING to do with Nolan Ryan or baseball what-so-ever (we've been asked that because of Josh being a baseball player).  He came out of the book of names.  As I was looking through it, Nolan was one a couple of top ten lists that made me flag that name.  Nolan was on the top ten over-achiever names and also the top-ten CEO names.  What a great name to come from two extremely determined and hardworking parents.  I happened to say the name to Josh and he liked it too.  Throughout the weeks, I knew it was growing on both of us as it continued to smash any competition.  It fairly easily became our number one choice and our first boys' name. 

Judah has quite a powerful story to his name....

When I was about ten weeks pregnant and scared out of my absolute mind at the thought of miscarrying again, Josh and I were visiting at my parents' house.  I am sure we spent some of the time talking about how scared I was and how I didn't want to share with anyone about the pregnancy yet.  I was not in a good place mentally.  I literally wasn't even sleeping because of fear.  My dad asked me to come downstairs with him to watch something he had DVRed that he thought I might benefit from hearing.  He played me a talk from Joel Osteen called "Thank God in Advance." 

The gist of his sermon was that we often times ask God for things we want and then we continue to ask and ask and ask.  Instead, we should be thanking God in advance for the answer to prayer.  Instead of asking, praise.  Praising gives you strength in faith.   Often we think we will thank God AFTER the prayer is answered, after the solution is given.  What truly keeps us strong as we wait for answered prayers is to thank God in advance.  When people want to worry, we should be praising instead.  He went on to give many examples in the Bible of people who did this: Abraham as he waited 24 years for the baby that was promised to him, Elijah who knew the drought would eventually be over, and finally, he talked about the tribe of Judah and the fact that his name literally does mean praise.  Even though the Israelites were in a valley and were the underdogs in most situations, they continued to be a people of praise.  I cannot tell you how much I needed to hear exactly that at exactly that time.  It was as if that sermon was written for me.  On the drive home, I shared with Josh what I had watched and planted the seed for Judah as a name as I began the change in the way I prayed about these babies and this pregnancy.  Again, over time, the name and the powerful story continued to grow and grow.  And there it was: our second boy name. 

To watch "Thank God in Advance" click here: 

The middle names ended up being fairly easy to choose. 

Nolan's middle name, Gerard, is after the Patron Saint of motherhood, fertility, pregnancy, and miscarriage.  My family and Josh's family have been saying prayers to that saint for the last three years for us to be blessed with a healthy pregnancy, birth, and children.  Many of us have cards with a St. Gerard prayer on them in fact.  We both felt these prayers were key to blessing us with two healthy baby boys.

Judah's middle name, Matthew, was my brother's middle name.  There was no question we wanted to honor Eric somehow in our future children's names.  I know he has been taking care of the two babies we lost and I know he had been watching over this pregnancy as well. 

Nolan Gerard

Judah Matthew


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