So as much as I hate to admit it, my husband came up with our boys first names – Theodore and Oliver. I contributed to the middle naming process, but he was the originator of their first names. But when we found out we were having a girl, Mike had a harder time settling on a name he liked. That was fine by me, because I already knew who this girl was.
Beatrice Willow Shipper, my baby girl.
I love old fashioned, vintage names. Add a French flair and you’ve really got me hooked. So when I was reminded of the name Beatrice during my pregnancy, I instantly fell in love with it. After some reading, I discovered that Beatrice means “bringer of joy,” and I just knew that was her name. We are big on the meaning of names. The words we speak over each other matter.
Beatrice has already brought us such great joy. Despite a pretty miserable pregnancy, I can’t tell you just how grateful and honored I felt to be carrying a little girl. It wasn’t about the pink or the future shopping dates or even the excitement of having another girl in the house – it was the knowledge of her that brought me joy. Even though I couldn’t see her, I felt like I already knew her. I could sense her tenderness, her light, and of course, her joy.
For a middle name, I wanted something to reflect her beauty and strength, but that would also honor the earthy and physical nature of being a woman. I had to dig deep into my reserves of strength and bravery for this pregnancy, because everything was just plain hard. And in at the end of the day, I didn’t always have what it took to stand my ground – but I had access to one whose strength never fails.
Like I mentioned in my post describing why I chose the location of my maternity photos, one verse I prayed over Bea and myself was Jeremiah 17:8.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
For some reason, the tree that I always picture in this verse is a willow tree, as I know they are water seekers and are commonly found near lakes, streams, etc. Just as I symbolically stood in the stream for my maternity photos, I want Bea to have roots that run deep, that will provide her with a constant source of nourishment, and will in turn produce wonderful things in her life.
And, as someone with a proclivity towards all things earthy and hippie, I just love, love, love giving my daughter a name that harkens something so natural and beautiful from nature. When I was looking up information about Willow trees, I found this description of them: (their) roots are remarkable for their toughness, size, and tenacity to life (Wikipedia).
Oh Beatrice Willow, my little bringer of joy; my remarkable girl. May your tenacity for life, your inner strength, and your joy, be a gift to you and all you meet, always and forever.