Saturday, April 4, 2009


The other day someone asked me how we decided on names for our that because they thought our kids have weird names? Well, I ask you, how could our kids have normal names with parents names like Noah Richard and Lizbith Lyn?

Anyway, so here is the answer...

When I was pregnant with Forrest, we were on summer staff here at Barakel. We lived in Railside 1 and didn't have access to the Internet, so we bought a book...

Now, let me just say that about 20,000 of those baby names are ones that you would never even consider using, you know names that mean things like "female witch of the north" or "man who eats his neighbor" ...but it gave us some fun reading material.

I should insert here that Noah and I feel strongly about names. There is something about them that we might not totally get here in the West. Many cultures have times when your name is changed based on many different things. God changed people all the time. So we take the whole naming a kid pretty seriously. We view it as sort of a blessing on them.

With Forrest, we didn't know if he was a boy or a girl until he was born, so we spent the whole 9 months reading, debating, analyzing. We both went through the whole book, then wrote down the names that we had highlighted, vetoed and negotiated. We finally settled on

although we knew people would laugh (note to those deciding on names....don't tell anyone until after you name the kid...then people will either be polite enough to hold their tongue, or they will be so rude you can start crying and hopefully they will stop) we liked the name and though the whole "nature loving" thing was great!

We choose as middle name, although Noah lobbied for it as a first, because we loved the meaning. Shy hero...something like meekness, a quality we really wanted for our son. And no, neither of these names are family names.

Before Elliot was born, I posted about how he would never be named because we couldn't decide...he actually didn't have a name until several hours after he was born, mostly due to the fact that mama was unconscious. Because we knew that he was a boy, I didn't want to settle on a name until he was born. We went to the hospital with about 5 names. On the way, we settled on

as a middle name. Again, the whole "outdoorsy" thing seemed appropriate, and something we want to instill in our kids, a wonder for God's world.

During the parts of labor I had my wits about me, we talked about all the names we had and I lobbied hard

In many ways, Elliot is named after Jim Elliot. I was changed after I read Through the Gates of Splendor when I was about 14 and Elizabeth Elliot is probably one of the most influential women in my life, although I have never met her. To be God-loving is something we pray often for both our boys.

So, there you go, that's how these darling ones came to have such different names. What treasures!


  1. What a fun post--I enjoyed reading the stories behind your boys names! :)

  2. we too feel very strongly about names. annelise was chosen before we were even married. her middle name was supposed to be rose. until i found out she would be born on my grandmother's birthday - she would have been 90. we changed her middle name to louise after my grandmother. she was a beautiful example of God. to this day i think of her each time i say my sweet daughter's name.

    we have chosen a very thoughtful name for a boy. if we have a girl...we're in trouble. nothing significant is climbing to the top of the list.

  3. What beautiful stories for both names! (And NO, your kids' names are NOT weird!) I hope you tell your kids their stories when they are old enough to understand. It's so interesting how names can shape the character of a person.

  4. really enjoyed reading about how you chose the boys' names. we're really into names and their meanings as well. thanks for sharing! and the pictures are great...forrest and elliot are adorable!


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