As you may imagine, there has been a lot of discussion about names in our life lately. Whether it's family discussion about how names were chosen for relatives or the funniest names we've heard, Charlie and I have been discussing the idea at length. Though I'm not writing to share our ideas for Baby B, it has got me thinking a lot about the idea. And as God so often does, while contemplating this idea in church, we recently sang Bethel Music's song "Ever Be" and the lyrics of the second verse really struck me:

You Father the orphan / Your kindness makes us whole / And you shoulder our weakness / 
Your strength becomes our own / Now you're making me like you / Clothing me in white / 
Bringing beauty from ashes / For you will have your bride / Free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame / 
And known by her true name and it's why I sing / Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Although I love my name, I've always struggled with it as well since there are inevitably a handful of Sarahs in any given group of women. What I do love about it is that my mom has always reminded me that it was my dad's doing. She was absolutely convinced that I was a boy while she was pregnant, but somehow my dad "just knew" and he chose Sarah because I was his princess. Now, I've never particularly associated with the idea of princess-hood, but to be his princess...well, that was special. Named by my father. 

So as we discuss names for our own little one and I've been thinking a lot about my dad's own choice, I heard those lyrics and was reminded of one powerful thought: "her true name." Free of our guilt and shame, mistakes and weaknesses, we have all been named by our Father. And like my dad did while I was yet born, our Father knows our true name even when we don't. At different times, I have felt Him call my name as Daughter, as Precious, as Worthy, among others. And those names have certainly been the beauty brought from the ashes at certain points. Just as the lyrics so perfectly state, it's by knowing that we are made beautiful and called, individually, by our truest name, that we sing His praises. Without that knowledge, I strongly doubt that I would even be alive today to be blessed to bring this baby to the world, never to have the chance to rejoice in the true name God already has for him/her.

As we discuss little B's name, I am so grateful that Charlie has pretty much narrowed it down for us. I love that our son/daughter will be named by his/her dad as well as his/her Father. Though he contends that we can't choose a final name until we've met him/her, I am so grateful to know that God's name for our little one has been known and written since the beginning of time.

For these incredible, breathtaking blessings, it becomes easy to keep praise ever on our lips.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out: you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration - what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread before you
The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.
Psalm 139:13-16