July 28, 2021

Every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name from God.

Ephesians 3:15 (International Children’s Bible)

How did you get your name? My parents, hoping after two daughters for a son, decided I would be named Frederick Carl for my mom’s father who died 6 months before I was born. When I arrived, a little female bundle of joy, they had to change plans. My mom thought that Fredericka Anne would be a good name. My dad, thanks be to God, put his foot down on that idea. They compromised with Anne Albrecht, my mom’s maiden name.

When our son Dan had his first child, he decided that Lily would call me Granne.  It was a clever and reasonable adaptation of my given name. However, he failed to consider two realities. First, the “gr” sound is difficult for young children to pronounce. Second, a cute toddler’s first words often trump parental desires.

His decision was put to the test when the family visited us in Hawaii when Lily was 18 months old. It was Christmas time, and no matter how often Dan modeled the name, Lily couldn’t repeat it. Things got more mixed up when Rod tried to teach her the Hawaiian word for grandparent, “tutu”.

Lily settled the matter. As we sat around the dinner table one evening, Lily looked at me and said, “Nana tutu ho ho ho.” She prefaced the Hawaiian and Christmas parts with her own word, “Nana.” Nana stuck – and Nana I am, named by my oldest grandchild. It is a name that I cherish.

What would happen if I were to embrace and cherish, deep within my heart of hearts, my true name and identity? Not the one given by my parents or my grandchildren, but by God. I am, each person I encounter, is a child of God, making us siblings.

Blessings, sibling ~ Anne

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