And when I think about it, a name really isn't something to be taken lightly. Historically speaking, many cultures believed that names affected the personality or character of a person. American Indians received their names after they had accomplished something great. There are many accounts in the Bible where a name was changed to reflect a new identity. My favorite example is when Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter, effectively changing his name from "pebble" to "rock". At the time of the name change, Peter was not really a "rock" yet, but Jesus changed his name in anticipation of what Peter would become... a pillar of the faith.
In our culture, naming a child is typically more about how the sound rolls off of the tongue. However, Christian and I both felt the meaning of a child's name was too important to overlook. We also wanted to incorporate our Scandinavian roots. In the end, we did not actually make our final naming decision until after either of our daughters were born. And because you might be wondering, here are a few of the specific reasons we chose what we did for our two precious daughters...
Sommer Christiana Negard
- Sommer is the Scandinavian/German spelling of Summer, which means "Summer" of course! Summer is defined as "the warmest season of the year." Also, "a period of great happiness, success, or fulfillment." A blessing we can intentionally bestow upon her.
- Christiana is derived from my husband's name, Christian, and means "follower of Christ". We figure he may never have a son, so our daughter can carry on his name in feminine form.
Annike May Negard
- Annike means Grace, or favour. Grace is the name of my prayerful, Christ-following, grandmother. What a wonderful quality to be named for! We chose the Danish spelling (as opposed to the more common Swedish spelling of Annika) because Christian's mother (Elke) has a family full of women with names that end in "-ke".
- May is my maiden name. It is more personally relevant than meaningful. But I suppose it is also the month of the year when the flowers are blooming, the sun begins to shine, and the hope of new life is evident everywhere.
Someone pointed out to me that names can only work so far to undo genetics... but hey! It's worth a try!