I’m fascinated with names. Maybe all of us writers are.
I like creative names and creative spellings. I’m intrigued with old-fashioned names that come back in style, and I like unique names I’ve never heard of.
I’ve chuckled at names, like one of my college friends, whose first name was “Holly” and she married a gentleman with the surname “Wood.” She said she had trouble cashing checks with the signature “Holly Wood,” so she eventually stuck her maiden-name initial between the two words.
My brother had a friend named William Williams, but at least he went by the name “Bill.”
A convenience store in my hometown was owned by Billy Joe Deal who married a woman named Billie Jo.
When I became pregnant with our first child, David and I decided we liked the name “Jeremy.” I told my husband I thought it would be fun to give him a “J” name for me and a “D” name for him, so child number one became “Jeremy David.”
We stuck with the plan for child number two, and she became “Jenifer DeeAnn.” Yes, only one “n,” because my husband likes creative spellings, too.
Child number three answers to the name “Jeb Daniel.”
And then when God said there would be four, my husband and I pondered briefly abandoning our nomenclature method for fear of giggles from our new west coast friends.
“Julie, we’re not in Georgia anymore,” fretted my Navy officer husband, who was serving a billet in California.
“Well, everyone out here thinks we’re tacky rednecks, so let’s do it anyway,” I joked. And our dear, California friends welcomed “Jessica Danae” to the mix, shortened to “Jessi” on occasion.
What my husband and I hadn’t thought about was that all of our kids would have the exact same initials, so their water bottles or snacks or other belongings were often labeled J1, J2, J3, and J4. We feared they’d grow up to tell a therapist: “We were just a number in my house.”
My favorite thoughts about a given name, however, come from Acts 4:12 (ESV) and says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
I am so thankful for that Name.
Oh, and I did forget to mention – my parents named me Julie Anita Bland when I was born. So, when I married, my name changed from Julie Bland to Julie Lavender. My husband loves it when I say, “I went from dull to colorful when I got married.”
BIO: Julie’s favorite color as a child was purple, so she loved adding “Lavender” to her name when she married. Julie Lavender’s newest book, 365Ways To Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories (Revell), releases this month. It’s on sale right now, 40% discount, at Baker Book House with no shipping cost and is also offered as a giveaway at Goodreads.com.