Wednesday, January 13, 2016

By the Same Name

Part of why I love Lily Katherine's name as much as I do is because of it's timeless elegance and lovely feminine sound. Not only are her first and middle names both names that would be heard in centuries past, but they are also names from generations past in my own family, making them even more special.

My great-grandmother Bain (my mom's dad's mom) was named Katherine. She was almost 100 when she passed away. I was 10 at the time, which leaves me with several memories of her. Obviously my Lily's middle name is Katherine. I selected it, not primarily because it is a family name, but because it means purity and innocence. However, I love Katherine with a "K," rather than a "C," because that's how my great-grandmother's name is spelled.

After I already named Lily, I found out that Katherine's mother (so my great-great-grandmother and Lily's great-great-great-grandmother!) had the name Lily! Lily had a daughter named Katherine. And all these generations later, came my sweet flower... my Lily Katherine. Both names mean purity and innocence. I wonder if they both knew what their names mean. I wonder why they were given those names.

It makes my heart smile that Lily is connected to the generations of my family through her name. She is just a real as anybody and deserves the most beautiful of names. She is a daughter, a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter, a great-great-granddaughter, and so forth. She holds an irreplaceable part in my family. And it makes me feel connected to the women in my family who share my daughter's name.

Some people live close to 100 years on Earth, while others never take a breath outside the womb, but that doesn't make one life more significant than another. That's what I feel God reminding me of as I struggle with wondering why my relatives before me, Lily and Katherine, were blessed with many more years than my little Lily Katherine. What I keep coming back to is remembering that it is God alone who numbers our days and it's His business whether those days are numbered few or many. Our value is not found in that number. And what God can do through a life is not measured or defined by that number. He works outside of our lines, as I wrote about in a blog post a couple years ago. Not only that, but His love for us is not measured in how many days He gives us on Earth. The fact that my girl has the same name as these women who lived on Earth for many decades is a reminder of how they are equal.

Psalm 139:16 says, "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."

My grandmother "Bumma" recently sent my family this photo of Lily's great-great-great-grandmother, Lily! She is sitting front and center. It's special to have!

Here is a photo of my great-grandmother, Katherine, and I when I was a little girl.

Lily Katherine's name is one of the last and only things I have of her, and I treasure it. Lily is with both Lily and Katherine right now. I wish she could know Bumma and that the two of them could take a photo like this one of me with my great-grandmother. I bet Lily would look a lot like I did in this photo right now.


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