names :: part two

Last week, I shared how we chose our girls' names and how they have become important parts of their identities and their lives. If you haven't read those stories yet, click here to read about Rayne Evie & Bradlee Pepin!

When we found out we were pregnant again after our miscarriage, we were cautiously excited. We were really hesitant to acknowledge the baby or let our hopes get up, worried we'd only be crushed again. But as we wrestled through those feelings and confessed our fears to God, we felt strongly that we should name the baby, give him or her an identity, a way of us acting on our belief and faith that God had created that baby with a purpose. While we were driving up to one of our favorite campsites one day, Ben and I talked through our thoughts and feelings about the baby's identity. And here's the story behind his name...

Oaken Daye ::

We've always loved the idea of autumn, because of the implications of what the autumn season represents - a season where everything seems to die, only to be reborn in spring as renewed creations. During our hard months of first living here, we really felt like we were in that autumn-type of season - but with hope that God has a season of new life for our family. 

I thought a lot about the life of an acorn - a tiny seed that falls off it’s tree and becomes buried, only to be reborn as one of the strongest trees we know of :: the oak tree. Our hope felt like an unseen oak tree. 

We wanted our baby to be filled with that identity of hope and renewal. Oaks signify so much more than that too — 

Biblically, oak trees are associated with strength & long life, and the Hebrew name for "oak" comes from the word "providence" --- you may remember, but our "word of the year" this year has been providence (you can read more about that here), and we love that oak means providence. 

We named him Oaken, mostly because we liked how it sounded, not in reference to Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post - although that’s pretty great (if you know, you know)... 

Choosing his middle name was tricky for us - we have so many names that we were choosing from! There was one we couldn't stop coming back to, though --- another theme in our lives right now, especially regarding this baby, is the idea of gratitude. I wrote recently about a Hebrew word "dayenu" that expresses the deepest gratitude. It literally means "it would have been enough" - that the gifts God has already given us would have been enough on their own, but He continues to bless us with good gifts and we are deeply thankful for those. Not only do we feel that deep gratitude for this sweet baby joining our family, but we love the idea of bestowing an identity of gratitude on him that he can live out all through his life!

Since this is our only (most likely!) Alaskan-born baby, we shortended "dayenu" to "Daye" and this is our tribute to him being born in an Alaskan summer when there is 20 hours of daylight!


Another fun tradition we're doing with Oaken is one that my family did with my brother - and if you ask me why this happened, I will probably never know. I've always assumed it was just because my parents are a little crazy/hilarious... which may or may not be correct. Either way, the fact remains :: my brother has 8 names. Legally, he has just 3 (first/middle/last), but in our family he has 8 :: Scott Michael Dean Jason Lewis Arnold Schmidt Bradley. My girls LOVE this and think it's hilarious... so while we were trying to decide what to name baby brother, the girls unanimously declared that he would have lots of names just like Uncle Scott! It worked out well, since we had so many middle-name contenders anyway. So our little guy, while legally being Oaken Daye Winship, is actually in fact ::

Oaken daye benaiah miller michael james winship


Oaken's bible verse ::

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified."
-Isaiah 61:1-3


Oaken's Songs ::

"When a cry is in your throat, watching all the waves below
Lift your eyes to the sky and trust that I won't pass you by"

-Fear Not, by Kristene DiMarco 


"Let the King of my heart
Be the wind inside my sails
The anchor in the waves,
Oh He is my song"

-King of My Heart, by John Mark and Sarah McMillan

How did you choose your baby's name? Did you spend time contemplating the meaning of the name? We believe that names have power - the power to speak life or lies to us. You may or may not know that I've been working on a very special project - a kids book - about identity and lies and truth. Another fun thing I've been working on is a family devotional to go along with the book! As a gift to you for visiting my blog, and as an encouragement to you, I'm going to give you a sneak peek into one of the weekly devos today! It's all about names and identity and it's a fun way to interact with your children about their true God-given identities! So just CLICK HERE to head over to the devotion!



Jenna WinshipComment