I love our children's names. I love saying them, hearing them, writing them, and most of all, introducing them to people by their names. Choosing a name for each of our girls has been such a joyful process. It is such a sacred responsibility and privilege to bestow a name on your child.
We came upon Theia's first name quite by accident. We had chosen a name for a boy that is the Hebrew word for Truth, and is also the name of a character in "The Last Battle", by C. S. Lewis (the name was Emeth, by the way). I was involved in a Beth Moore bible study with a group of ladies while I was pregnant with Theia, and it was in our study that I came across the Greek word for Truth, Aletheia. I was immediately struck that it would be cool to have two meaningful names waiting for our baby, one from the Old Testament, and the other from the New Testament. Both of these words in their original meaning stood for truth in its most absolute form, the implanted recognition of truth that God has written on our hearts. After we settled on Aletheia (always with the intention to shorten it to Theia, pronounced "THAY-uh") we looked for another Greek name to go with it. We settled on Vangelis (van-JEL-iss), partly for its meaning (it is derived from the Greek for Evangelist) and partly because it is also the name of the composer of the music for the movie "Chariots of Fire". That is probably my favorite movie of all time, and it has such a strong message of the rewards that are reserved for those who honor God.
Eliza is a name that I was excited to give a daughter of mine, and I'm so glad that Jessie liked it too. Eliza means "sworn to God". What a challenge, to have a child whose name means "sworn to God". We know they are His from the outset, but our children are the hardest things on this earth to surrender to God. We pray that He will help us to surrender our children to His will and in the trust that His love for them far outsizes anything we could imagine. Marie is Jessie's mother's middle name. I initially wanted to use her first name, Jean, but Jessie grew up watching "Little House on the Prairie", and he felt that Eliza Jean sounded too much like Eliza Jane, who is not a very nice person, so Eliza Marie it was. I never thought I'd have to deal with opinions from my husband that he formed from watching "Little House on the Prairie". He can also quote you any line from "Anne of Green Gables". That's what comes from having a sister only 18 months older than you, I guess.
Once again Jessie surprised me with his open-mindedness. I had already had my eye on the name Ingrid, but didn't mention it to Jessie because I felt sure for some reason that he would reject it. But Jessie brought the name up to me himself one day while he was browsing the baby name book. I was tickled pink. Ingrid means beautiful, and she is definitely living up to her name already. Our prayer is that she will also have a spirit that is beautiful and pleasing to the Lord. Ralene is my sister Penny's middle name. My parents actually took that name from another C. S. Lewis book, "The Horse and His Boy", but they actually derived it from a longer name, Lasaraleen. They definitely chose the name on the merits of its aesthetic qualities, because Lasaraleen is not a character that you would want your daughter to live up to! But, now of course Ralene is part of my sister's name, and she is definitely someone that we would want our daughter to emulate.