names :: part one

"names have power, like magic spells..."

-Cinderella's Fairy Godmother

Our journey with all of our kids' names has been one of my favorite parts about my pregnancies. Each kid has a special story behind their name that we get to tell them as they grow, and the girls have LOVED this! We get asked all the time about how we chose our kids' names, so here are the stories of the girls' names!

Rayne Evie ::

When we were pregnant with Rayne, early on (around 11 weeks), our amazing community of friends in Atlanta had a 24 hour prayer day for me - I was really sick with chronic hives (I had developed it a couple years earlier and it got really bad during pregnancy) so they committed to praying for me for an entire day and they each chose specific time slots. Some of them knew we were pregnant but we hadn't told everyone at that point. Some people prayed from home or wherever they were, and some came over and prayed in our home.

It was a sweet day and Ben and I used the time to pray for our baby. We didn't know yet if it was a boy or girl. We prayed about the baby's identity, and what name we could give the baby that would reflect that true identity. We kept sensing that water was an important theme - water symbolizes new life, healing, purity, etc. and we knew that those were the things God was highlighting for that baby. We landed on the name Rayne because "Rayna" means pure and "Rayne" was our play on words of "rain" so the idea of water was there! We also chose the middle name Evie because Eve means mother of life. I think we may have had some boy names too, but we felt so strongly about this name that we just knew we'd be having a girl! 

That day, as people prayed over me, they wrote down anything specific they saw or heard that they thought God would want me to know. We went to a worship night at our church that night, and walked in under a huge sign that said "Let it Rain." After that, we read through some of the stuff people sent us from their prayer time and there was one that stood out that we'll never forget. My friend wrote out a beautiful description of what God showed her - a flower that was being tended to at the roots, and after she wrote it out she added, "I saw one more thing but it didn't make sense - God was pouring water down on the flower out of a watering can, and it was raining - so it was like He was making it rain in the rain... maybe that means something to you?" We loved it and knew that Rayne's name was the one for her. 

To add to the affirmation that she was always supposed to be Rayne Evie... a few months later, Ben and I woke up one morning to a crazy rain storm. We drove to our doctor's appointment and found out that I was dilated to 7cm already and my baby would be coming soon -- it was rare because it was her due date, and even more rare because her due date was Christmas Eve.

So our sweet Rayne Evie was born on Christmas Eve in the middle of a rain storm!


Rayne's Bible verse :: 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. -Matthew 5:8


Rayne's song ::

"We exalt the One, most anointed Son

Raise dry bones from the dust

Breathe new life in us"

-You Make All Things New, by Pat Barrett


Bradlee Pepin ::

We have had baby nicknames for each baby during pregnancy. Bradlee was nicknamed "Pips" because I told Rayne one time early on  that the baby was a tiny pipsqueak, so we started calling it Pips. After we found out she was a girl we transitioned that to "Pippa" and her nickname has stuck to this day! 

My maiden name is Bradley, and we have always wanted to pass it down to one of our kids - we knew our second baby would be a Bradley but when we found out she was a girl we decided to change the spelling to Bradlee to make it a little more her own. Her middle name, though, is what we really prayed about for her. 

When we prayed about her identity, we both felt strongly about similar themes - fighter (specifically and especially for others), someone who doesn't give up, prayer warrior, etc.. So we started researching names/words/anything that related to those ideas. We used the thesaurus a lot, to help us nail down what we were really feeling - and we landed on the word "petitioner." We both felt like that word encompassed all the things we were sensing - someone who will fight for others and not give up until they see a change. 

So then I started searching for names associated with that...

and crazily, we found out that "Pepin" is a German name that means petitioner // we loved it and loved that we had already been calling her Pippa for weeks!!


Bradlee's Bible verse ::

I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. -Luke 11:8


Bradlee's songs ::

"Let us sing our freedom!"

-No Longer Slaves, by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser


"Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can't see
And this mountain that's in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea"

-It is Well, by Bethel Music


We have a name chosen for our baby boy and are excited to share that story too! Stay tuned for Names :: Part Two to read about his name!


Jenna WinshipComment