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This is a wonderful topic, and one close to my heart. My parents gave me the name Beth - "just Beth" as I often explain to people - because my father doesn't like nicknames. I have since learned that the meaning of the name "Beth" is "house." I am not a homemaker in the traditional sense, but my house - my home itself, my family, my community - are central to my identity and my joy. After a long childhood of disliking what I felt was a boring and meaningless name, I have come to realize just how significant, and beautiful, it truly is.

When my two daughters were born, my husband and I were very deliberate in choosing their names. The name may or may not "make the man," but it can inform how a person thinks about herself, and how others think about her too. So we considered aesthetic appeal, nickname options, casual versus formal. But most importantly, we considered the meanings of the words themselves. We want our daughters to know, once they are old enough to understand, that their names are a reflection of what they mean to us, how precious they are, how special and filled with possibilities. We Named our children from our hearts and with words of deep meaning to us and, hopefully someday, to them as well.