What’s in a Name?

Mother’s Day seemed an appropriate time to reflect upon the names given to our little blessings, as we honor the responsibility God has given us in raising His children.  You see, I may be their mother and Dan their father, but Emma Margaret, Caleb Daniel, and Isaac Jacob really belong to our Father in Heaven.  As their mother, I have been charged with the task of bringing them up in the ways of the Lord, so they will not stray from it.  This responsibility also came with naming priviledges and the right to be called “Mommy.”

Dan and I thought long and hard about what to name the kids, looking back at old family names, flipping through pages of books on meanings of names, performing all of the word-play tricks that peers would surely conjure.  We took this task with the utmost of seriousness and care.  What name shall we give to this little person God has placed in our lives?

Here’s the run-down on the names of the three Jenkins ninos (or kids) to whom this blog is dedicated.  We hope their names will serve as reminders of whose they are:  children of God, followers of Christ.

Emma Margaret Jenkins' first day of life.

Emma Margaret Jenkins' first day of life.

Emma on Easter Sunday 2009.

Emma on Easter Sunday 2009.

Emma Margaret is the oldest of the Jenkins children, born in 2002.  Together, her first and middle names combine to mean “universal pearl,” and a precious gem she is.  Emma happened to be the name of a great aunt in the Lapp family, as well as a favorite title character from a Jane Austen novel.  Margaret is a name shared by two of Emma’s great grandmothers.  Together, they represent the precious girl, who is sure to capture the hearts of those she meets.
 
Caleb Daniel Jenkins -- day one.

Caleb Daniel Jenkins -- day one.

Caleb on Easter Sunday 2009.

Caleb on Easter Sunday 2009.

Caleb Daniel is second in command of the sibling helm and was a special Christmas-time gift in 2004.  He has lived up to his biblical namesake, Caleb, the spy of the Israelite army as they approached the Promised Land from the wilderness.  Caleb literally means “faithful” or “bold,” and our Caleb has shown his boldness and faith by not fearing new situations.  His middle name, Daniel, honors his earthly father and also serves in meaning as a reminder of his Heavenly Father:  “God is my judge.”  Caleb carries his name well.
Isaac Jacob Jenkins -- Day one.

Isaac Jacob Jenkins -- Day one.

Isaac on Easter Sunday 2009.

Isaac on Easter Sunday 2009.

Isaac Jacob is the baby of the bunch, joining the Jenkins clan in 2007.  Isaac’s name was a bit of a compromise on the parts of Dan and I:  Dan pushed for a child named “Abraham” from Emma on down, but his nicknaming of Emma as “Gracebraham” (his two favorite names during my pregnancy) wore on my hormonal nerves. … What we didn’t realize was that our compromise, Isaac Jacob, better suited our son than any other name we could have come up with.  Isaac means “he laughs, and God laughs with him” — boy is that the truth.  Isaac is a jokester, who is full of joy.  His middle name, Jacob, means “supplanter” or “may God protect.”  We hope Isaac’s name serves as a lifetime reminder that God is in charge of everything and holds him in His hands.

This Mother’s Day, I couldn’t be more thankful for the children God has given me.  We are excited for what He has in store for them as we journey to the mission field in Costa Rica, and entrust them all into His hands.

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