Monday, January 24, 2011

What's in a name?

A couple of notes: I wrote this post awhile ago, and set it to publish this morning, as we were scheduled, Lord willing, to return from Michigan late last night.

Second, I had the privilege of writing a guest post over at Offering Hospitality on the subject of personal retreats. If you have a few minutes, I'd love for you to stop by!


Today, my 32nd birthday, seems an appropriate time to thank my parents for not just my life, but for my name. Because the truth is, I like my name. I remember being told that my parents considered the name "Caroline," and even though that is clearly just a tad different from their final selection, I don't think it would suit me as well. More important than the sound of the name is the meaning. I wrote a poem about my name in college that I shared here a few years ago, but I thought I would re-post it today.

I pushed into the cold
two months early,
instead of staying tucked safe inside
'til St. Patrick's Day.

Immediately detached
from my warm jelly sac,
I was placed into a heated glass box.
My skin was yellow and wrinkled and hairless,
and my body was scrawny,
less on the scales
than a standard bag of white sugar.

Daddy held me in the palm of his hand.
My tiny fingers fought tenaciously to grasp his,
so my parents named me "Carrie," which means "Strength."

Despite my current name appreciation, I do recall as a young girl that I really wished my name was Victoria. I also remember that when Monica and I would play dress up, I wanted my name to be "Karen Puff." Quite humorous, especially when you consider how similar the names Karen and Carrie are!

So, what about you? What do you think of your name? And do you know what your name means?

A couple of "Cliff's Notes" for the poem: My due date was March 17, so I was born 7 weeks early. I weighed just 4 pounds, 13 ounces, and the heated glass box refers to the incubator I spent my first days in. A standard bag of sugar used to be 5 pounds, not 4 like it is now.

Finally, as usual, best wishes to my birthday twin, Abbey!


Mom said...

Dearest Carrie, this post brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the fear and uncertainty of your day of birth. You were so tiny and your survival was not guaranteed. How could we have known then what a strong (you've lived up to your name!), beautiful, sensitive, and godly woman you would grow up to be?? We thank and praise God for you -- what a blessing you are to us! Your birthday is an annual reminder of His mercy in your life and ours -- love you! Mom
PS: I'm glad you like your name!! :)

Hayley said...

Did I know that you were a premie baby? I don't think I did. Praise the Lord for his work in your tiny little heart, and for choosing you, 18 years later, to be my roommate, and forever friend. I know we don't keep in touch much, and life gets in the way, but I want you to know you are an inspiration to me and countless others! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Katie said...

Dear Carrie,
Love your touching poem about the way you entered this world and how God's hand protected you from the very beginning! (Don't you have an equally miraculous story of how God saved you in the water?) You are a special blessing indeed, and I'm privileged to be friend to such a special servant of God! I'll never look at a bag of sugar quite the same! =)

My name means pure, and I'm thankful Jesus has made my heart so! I'm also thankful that both of our names are written in His Lamb's Book of Life!

Neat post Carrie ~ Happy Birthday to you! Hope your travels were safe!

Birthday Blessings,

*Psalm 118:14-15*

kelseylynae said...

Beautiful poem...which may have inspired me for a class project for my Lit. Appreciation class. Thanks!

also...HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I know you will enjoy a day of birthday traditions with your beautiful family of four.

Also, my name is from Irish decent [as was Carroll], meaning victorious/brave...but mostly deals with ships? My parents finally decided on it on the way to the hospital [while they drove through the snow in April!].

And I really am going to do this project with my kids.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I love the meaning of your name in conjunction with your birth story! How very touching!

I named my Holly Hobby doll Carrie. I loved that name when I was little!

My name means grace and bitter. I kind of ignore the bitter part (Marie) and latch onto the grace (Anne), which is kind of ironic, considering that if you shorten my name to just Anne, I will correct you. ;-)

Crystal said...

Hi Carrie, I'm popping in from over at OH. Happy Birthday again and what an amazing birth story! My parents were expecting me to be a boy, so when I came they quickly thought up a girl name and named me after Frosty the Snowmans wife (it was on at the hospital, my bday is Dec. 22nd). My name means ice or the quartz rock, but also takes it root in the name Christiana or follower of Christ!

Melissa said...

I love my name, too. It was very popular when I was in school way back in the 80's...yikes! But now, it's not too common I meet another Melissa. I love the way it runs off my tongue, and I love to hear my husband say my name. My name is honey bee in Greek. I love the meaning! My husband says it's fitting...

"Aunt" Julie said...

Sweet Carrie - What a wonderful post. I've always loved your name, too, but even more the caring, dedicated and strong woman I've watched you grow to be. I think the thing I enjoyed the most when you were growing up was your wonderful imagination.

I've always loved my name, too, and at my age, appreciate that it means "youthful spirit".

becka said...

I have an adult daughter named Megan who once said as a child, "I wish I had a pretty name." We asked her what name she would have chosen and she said: "Maggie." Her siblings teasingly call her that even now. :)
Hope you had a blessed birthday. I love your name.