Wednesdays with Jillene: what’s in a name?

Maybe I should be apologizing to my children because it seems most of them are destined to have their name spelled wrong or mispronounced. It started with Micah… I don’t think I really anticipated that his name would be difficult. But since he was tiny just a few days old, doctor offices have been spelling it “Micha” and thinking, by the name on the chart, that the patient would be a girl.

Then came Lily, you’d think that would be okay… but that name is not spelled the same and the variations still have result in her name being written “Lilly.”

Somehow we thought Isaiah would be better, it is after all an important book of the Bible, but all those vowels really mess people up. Serious, why would a name have twice as many vowels as it does consonants. Who does that?

So then, we threw in Elanor. Historically, it is a name people know… but we couldn’t just go with the normal spelling could we? Facebook reminds me of that fact every time… I think it took me 4 tries to override the auto correct last night.

Joel should be easy enough, except we must not say it clearly because people commonly think his name is Joe. I don’t know, maybe they just hear the first 75% of his name and call that a day. I think he is getting a bit of a complex about it and therefore has taken to over pronouncing it so people think it is said like Noel… Joe-L.

And it goes downhill from there… Avari… are you kidding me?! What kind of name is that? Where in the world did you get that one from? You probably just meant Avery. hahaha, oh my, that poor girl and the name we gave her…

Calah isn’t much better. People think it is a pretty name, or so they say, but they also are quick to ask where that one came from too. Facebook is sure that what I really meant to type is Clash… It’s kind of sneaky too. I will type Calah, move onto to completing my sentence and when I look back… Facebook autocorrect has changed it to Clash. Again.

Iris may be the easiest one of the bunch. Good for her, the only one out of eight that people say and spell correctly.

And really, throw in our last name  and we’re truly done in. In case you weren’t aware, there isn’t an “O” in Narraway.

But the truth is, despite how this post sounds thus far, I don’t really get bent out of shape over it. No, honestly it is more funny than angering. I really feel bad for teachers… seriously, have you seen the names out there these days? Plus the strange spellings too?!

I try to take it all in stride because I’ve lived this my whole life. My name is Jillene. I grew up being called Jillian during roll call and my friends all shortened it to Jill (or Jill-e-bean… or some other silly nickname).  For the most part I’m okay with that but I’m sure my momma would love for you to call me Jillene. After all, it is the name she gave me.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.”

That line from Shakespeare may stick in our heads… but the truth is, there is a lot of importance in a name. Naming each of my babies was a wonderful but daunting thing to do. I wanted a meaningful name, that wouldn’t be too popular, and one that would suit them… plus, my husband and I had to agree.

Our boys show our devotion to our faith and have Old Testament prophet first names and New Testament middle name. Our girls’ first names show our devotion of another kind, and really highlight our nerd status, as they are named in Tolkien fashion.

Names do matter.

I think that is why it stood out to me in my morning Bible reading as I dove deeper into a familiar passage from the Old Testament in Exodus 3.

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

In fact, early this morning as I read about God, the I am,  I was reminded of study of the book of John I did many years ago as we examined the I am statements of Jesus. 

Here is what I was thinking, I say it a lot that to know who we are is to know whose we are and who He is… So, when this came up I thought it might be good to spend time again studying the I am statements.

Want to join in with me? If so,  you can leave a comment, send me a message or an email. I will send out details once there are a few people interested!




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