Thursday, April 30, 2009

What's In a Name?

The naming process doesn't come easy at our house. Names are important to us, and if you haven't noticed all our kids' names come from the Bible: Micah Andrew, Eden Rebekah, Caleb James, Ezekiel Paul, Joshua Eleazar, Malachi Jude, and the latest installment Tirzah Joy. When we were first pregnant with Micah we sat down and discussed names. I have a New Open Bible that has a topical index in the front that I love. It's easy to find names, their meanings, and where to find them in the Bible. We selected 2 boy names and 2 girl names that we loved: Micah, Eden, Caleb, and Hannah. We had Micah, Eden, and Caleb, but Hannah never came. This resulted in a struggle--Mitch suddenly did not want to discuss names. Ezekiel's birthday came, and he was unnamed. :) This surely caused confusion when we called our family to announce his birth. I remember my step-mom called me back to say that Dad "forgot" the most important detail--his name! So that was pretty funny, but the stress of picking a name in the hospital wasn't so funny (to me). Still, we did it 3 more times after that. Mitch just doesn't want to talk names. I did get him to a little bit early in my pregnancy this time--at least discussing girl names--he said, "Because you're not going to have a girl." Haha.

Tirzah is such a different name, and many people have never heard it before. So here's where it comes from. (Oh, and we're still using the same Bible to find our names 12 years later).

Tirzah means "delight." In Numbers 26:33 she is the youngest daughter of Zelophehad from the clan of Manasseh. Zelophehad had "no sons, only daughters." It's very cool to know that in spite of having NO sons, that his daughter is still a delight to him.

In Joshua 12:24, Tirzah is a city in Canaan defeated by Joshua. Tirzah, the city, is mentioned numerous times throughout Kings.

In Song of Solomon 6:4, the Lover says to his Beloved: "You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my love, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners."

When I was looking through names and occasionally saying one out loud to the family, Eden got very excited over Tirzah. She said, "That's the name of Ben Hur's sister!" Ben Hur happens to be one of her favorite movies. My friend Angela told me about another Tirzah who lives in town--and her middle name is Joy. One day coming home from church, Mitch (the person who refuses to discuss names) told me he loves the middle name Joy. It pretty much stuck. Besides, I did have "tears of joy" when I found out I was having a girl. :)

What happened to Hannah? My brother and his wife were pregnant about 3 months before me. They were blessed with a little girl. Guess what they named her? I was only a *little* sad, I would be lying if I said I wasn't. I am happy for them, though!

The end of the story is funnier. I was ready at the hospital for Mitch & I to finally have the "big discussion" about names. I did mention to him as I was wheeled to my postpartum room that "Tirzah Joy" is still a perfect name because I was STILL crying just thinking that I finally had a little girl. But I didn't think that was the end of the discussion. Later when the birth registrar person stopped by I told her to call back for the name--we hadn't decided yet. So while I sat waiting for Mitch to come up and discuss it, Kristin called to tell me she saw the official name announcement on Facebook (Mitch's status). LOL--the world knew her name before I did! Shhh...don't tell Mitch. He will probably say that he had no say in the matter. :) It's ok, I can't think of a better name for her!


  1. We went though a similar situation with our Ava. Though we came up with Avalon Grace when I was about 4 months along, Dan was dead-set on it and I had my reservations (eventhough I suggested the name, lol). We had to tell everyone at the hospital that we wern't quite sure yet, and 2 days later it was official, Avalon Grace was her name (but we usually call her Ava).

    She can be a unique or common as she wants!

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. by the way, Avalon Grace means "Heaven's Grace" and we chose that because I had good health, fortunately, during this pregnancy. If we had gotten pregnant on OUR time she wouldn't have made it or would have been very sick, most likely, because I had an intestinal rupture around that time.

  3. Is it part of your religious beliefs that you have to name your kids from the Bible? I was wondering that...

    I'd think you'd run out of girl's names pretty fast if you kept having girls.

  4. Beautiful name... unusual but not crazy. Congrats!

  5. Frogmama, thanks so much for sharing!! Avalon is a beautiful name. :)

    Danielle, there is no mandate that suggests our children should have Biblical names. Just like some families have themes they follow (everyone's name beginning with a specific letter, for example), it was just a theme that we decided we wanted to follow when we were first discussing names. :) Certainly it does have the effect of identifying us right away as "religious." It's been a cool conversation starter. This is our church's statement of beliefs, and it's pretty much to a "T" what Mitch & I believe: What We Believe. I'm not worried that we would run out of names...I think there are plenty. My short list has at least 5 more on it so far...I only have so many years of fertility left! LOL

    Thanks, JEN!

  6. I LOVE the name! There is a little girl in our HS Co-op named Tirzah. Beautiful. That's good that you have 5 more names on your list, I've got nothin'! I'm really regretting getting into this vowel rut. Chris insists that it's no big deal and we don't HAVE to do all vowels but how can you stop after three?? I'm too OCD for that, lol!