What’s In A Name?

whats-in-a-name1

I often wonder why people choose the names they do. The year I had my daughter was a banner year for Madison. We knew 4 Madison’s in our Mommy and Me group alone. I wanted each of my kid’s names to be individual. I wanted them to have character. I wanted them to be strong names. I chose traditional names but ones that weren’t too popular. Each of my children also have names that can be found in the Bible and come from relatives or variations of a deceased relative’s name. My youngest son’s middle name is after my husband’s great uncle who helped lead the Dutch Resistance in WWII. My middle man is named after two family members who served in our armed forces, one being my grandfather’s. My daughter’s middle name is a derivative of my Great Grandmother’s name. Each of these names is precious and has meaning.

So too do I think that Blog’s names have meaning. I’m sure many people who professionally blog chose their names based on dynamics and a commercial viability. Many people choose their names after Bible verses or Biblical characteristics. Some name them after their hobbies, alliteration, social affiliations, etc….

When I first started blogging I blogged under Lost in the Prairies….Found by God. At that time, I lived in the middle of the three prairie provinces of Canada (It’s the one shaped like a rectangle). I lived in a small town of 1000 people; and yes, you pretty much know or recognize everyone in town. I had a view of a farmer’s field from my living room window. Ok, to be honest my view was of the local gas station but in one chair, at an angle, I could see across the highway and see amazing sunrises over the fields. It was in this town that I began to grow closer with God. I had drifted to and fro like the grasses I saw for too long before then. I was a kindergartener in my faith. I still had a lot to learn. And learn I did. I attended BSF in the nearest city. When I had my youngest I formed a study with friends who were looking to get deeper into the Bible as I was.

I learned more about God and more about His plan and will in my life at that time than any other time. In the prairies God found me. He taught me about me. About who I was. What He wanted from me. What He had planned for me.

I blogged about it all. The lessons. The love. The joy. Then something changed. We learned a new word – Autism. It is a messy word. It is a word that means something different to each person who has it and who is affected by it. We became a number. At that time 1 in 81. Life took a new meaning. I had to focus on diagnosis, therapies, advocacy, funding, acronyms, etc… I had to leave that small town and move to another province to get the help that my son needed. Then a year later we heard the word again in our younger son.

These last four years since we heard the “A” word has been messy. It has been filled with revolving doors of therapists and aides. Advocating for inclusive education, not just for my sons’ but for all children. Medical appointments for different specialists. Then another word entered our vocabulary – Epilepsy. What did that mean? What did that look like? Then a word that came and went and came and went stayed around – Depression. In a province and country that says they want to help, there was little to none around.

Messy. If you were to meet me personally, you would see a person that takes pretty good care of herself. My grey is always covered. I try to keep up my appearance and take a business casual approach to my dress code. My house is clean and tidy. You sometimes can write your name in the dust but from first glance it’s neat and tidy (ok, don’t go downstairs that is where we hide everything). But you see if you look past the smile, you will see someone who is broken. Someone who lies to the world because it’s easier that way. People don’t want messy. We don’t want to face the ugly. We want everything in pretty neat wrapping. This includes our faith.

We want a faith where we come to church and worship God. Where we volunteer to collect food for the foodbank. Maybe we go on a planned missions trip to help those in a 3rd world country so that we can show how we are living out our faith. But what we are really missing the messy. I read recently that God wants us to return to Him.

Jeremiah 24: 7 states

I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people

and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. (Esv)

See God doesn’t ask us to return to Him with our perfect, have it all together hearts. God wants our WHOLE heart. The messy, imperfect, sinful, dark, stained, dusty, mouldy heart.

I have struggled with my relationship with God since the “A” word showed up. But He didn’t. He walked with us in this storm. Things I was told were impossible, became possible. However, I still wanted something completely different from what He was showing me. I wanted easy. But He never says He will give us easy. Jesus told us that life would be hard. Life is hard. Life is messy.

So…….. back to names. Just before I gave up blogging I toyed with changing the name of my blog. I wanted my blog to reflect what I was really dealing with. I wanted the blog to reflect what many people were dealing with – messed up lives with a perfect God. That’s how Messed and Blessed came about. A friend saved the domain name for me. But it took a few years to get going again. Only recently have I really felt like blogging again. That I wanted to share what God was doing in my life. I feel though a shift to that format though. To be authentic and honest with pain and messy. To show the dust and embrace it.

I am linking up with the SDG Sisterhood today.

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