Thursday, January 5, 2017

What's in a name?

Hi!  My name is Jessica.  Or is it Jesse? Jess? Mom? Miss Jessica? Wait, what is my name?  Well, I think that can only be answered by you.  You see, I am different names to different people.  And when we really dig down deep, we are all that way.

Let's look at me first, because well, this is my blog so I'll go first. And I would never want to call any of my friends out and comment on their names (LOL).   My name is Jessica.  However, my family has called me "Jesse" since I was born.  The only time I heard "Jessica" was when I was in trouble (which wasn't often mind you) but it was more like "Jesse Ca Ann" so I honestly thought my name was "Jesse Ca-Ann" until I was in 4th grade.  Imagine the shock when I realized my first name was Jessica and not Jesse!  Silly yes but when you aren't called by your first name, but a nickname that's what happens.  When I first started dating my husband he didn't get the whole "Jesse" thing and refused to call me by that name.  That was, until he met my family, until he heard my mom and step-dad and sister call me "Jesse" and he got it.  He understood it.  He HEARD it.  He heard the WAY they called me "Jesse".  So guess who calls me Jesse now?  Yes, my husband.  I think it was the love he heard in their voices in the way they called my name.  Because really, it's not the name, but how it is said that really defines us.  Think about that a minute.  HOW someone calls your name is just as important as your name.  The love that is in the greeting changes the sound oh so much.

LJ and Janessa
Mom is another of my names, one that I cherish and one that my amazing husband gave me when we married.  Only one of my two children call me mom.  The other calls me  Miss Jessica (or at least she did until she got "too old" to do that so now it's "Jesse" from her too!).  But most of the other "kids" around call me Miss Jessica.  See, I live in the south.  Adults are all "Miss" or "Mister" plus their name down here. So the kids call me "Miss Jessica" and I absolutely love it.  It is respectful.  And I still call ladies older than me "Miss" too.  It's a southern thing I guess.

LJ a.k.a Fred
Now, I have a son.  He received a nickname too!  His Uncle Jason (whose birthday is the day before my sons) started calling him LJ for "little J" because we thought he was going to be born on Jason's birthday.  Now, LJ (as everyone calls him...well everyone but our swim team carpool and there he's known as "Fred" but that's another story) is named Jon just like his daddy.  He went almost 6 years being called LJ until he started K5.  When we went to school his teacher asked what his name was and he said "Jon".  I questioned him on it and he said he wanted to be called "Jon" because he's a big boy now.  OKAY big boy!  You got it!  It was his choice so I didn't say anything about it to his teacher.  Well, on the third day of school the teacher contacted me and informed me that "Jon" wouldn't answer her in class.  She wanted to know what was wrong. She would say his name and he would completely ignore her.  I laughed.  I immediately knew the problem.  You see, for almost 6 years, he's been called "LJ" so naturally  he wasn't answering to "Jon" because that wasn't his name.  I gently told her the "story" and suggested she call him LJ vice Jon.  Well, immediately she began calling him LJ and  he answered and all was good in the world.  So LJ is still LJ, except when he's Fred or his full name but that's only when he's in trouble...which isn't often. But "Fred", well I'll explain that another day.

Nicknames are wonderful most of the time.  Nicknames are sometimes the way most people know us.  They are usually shorter versions of our name or variations on our name.  If you are like my family, all of our names start with the same letter. And for us, we've really taken it to an extreme. "J" names!  TOO MANY! Across both my husband and my family we are predominately "J" names.  Except for my sisters kids (all "A" names) and my little brothers girls ("E" Names).  But for my immediate family we are all "J" names.  So much so that I had a difficult time finding a name for my son that wasn't taken already!!! And we didn't!  Our names define us.  People know us by our names.  People recognize us by our names.

I have been called many names in my life.  Jess, Jesse, Ma'am, Mom, Miss Jessica, Janet(??), Sarah(??) but the one name that I carry that isn't on this list is "Princess".  I can hear the laughter from here!  Before you balk, let me explain. When I was a young girl of 9 years old, I accepted Christ as my Savior.  So therefore I am a Daughter of the King!  I have been adopted into the family of God because of Jesus death on the cross and accepting the Salvation He so freely gives.  So there, I'm a princess.  I don't have a crown (not yet anyway) but I am HIS. Now, if I could just get the wardrobe to go along with the princess title I'd be set...HA!

But seriously you ask, what is in a name?  In the name of Jesus is salvation.  Freedom.  Peace. Forgiveness. THAT is what is in HIS name.  Each of us are loved because of that name. Each of us, if we accept it, are HIS.  So there are many things in a name.  But if I had to define it, there is Love.  And that's all we need in this big crazy world.  Love.  Love of our family, love of our friends and most of all, accepting the Love of God.

Until next time, much love to each of you!
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