Sunday, April 29, 2012

What's in a name?

A lot.  In my mind, names can be a blessing or a curse.  It's something that you speak over someone every day of their lives and in a sense declare it over them.  I am not writing this to criticize anyone for their name or name choices.  This is just a strong conviction that I have for my family.

My name is Shaloma.  It comes from the Hebrew word shalom (שלום) which means: "Peace, wholeness, safety, prosperity, wellness, to restore..."

My husbands name is Nathan.  It is also a Hebrew name (נטהן) which means: "He (God) has given" or "He will give."   The popular translation is "Gift of God."

We named our first son Ezekiel (אזקיל) which means: "God will strengthen" or "Strength of the house".
His middle name is Manuia which is a Samoan word meaning: "blessing, peace, grace"
His personality lines up very well with his name.  He is a tough boy with so much heart and cares for the people around him.  His mind is strong and he can focus intently on tasks that would make my mind feel crazy!

Our second son is Isaiah (ישייה) which means: "God is Salvation" or "Salvation of the Lord".
His middle name is Tumau which is a Samoan name meaning: "to stand up/to stand firm"
God has recently shown me how much the word salvation means love.  Or how great love is to save to the extent that he has and wants to do for people.  Isaiah is a bundle of love.  He hugs and loves constantly!  He gives kisses and still at 21 months old, loves to just rest on my chest with his head on my shoulder and hug me for minutes at a time.  He looks you in the eye and has the most tender of hearts.  He also knows what he wants and stands firm in it.  He is a very decisive little bugger sometimes.

We obviously put a lot of thought into our kids names.  When it came to naming our little girl we had a couple names picked out from right around the time that we found out we were pregnant.  Our understanding of the meaning of the name was that it meant "princess of the Lord" or "daughter of the King".  However, after doing a ton of research, we found that it means: radiance in Russian, Shining/flower or beauty/light in Arabic, I saw one site that said it means princess in American. It's across the board.  We finally decided that we needed to be ok with what ever it actually means considering that all things seem positive and go with it the way that God gave it to us.

Last May I had been reading a book called Captivating by John and Staci Eldridge which was amazing.  God was showing me a side of being a woman that I had never allowed myself to embrace.  I went on a long run from home down the interurban trail.  It was raining and when I had run about 4 miles I noticed a name etched into the cement on a corner that I had run on for years.  This was obviously very old etching and it was the first time I had seen it.  The name caught my eye.  I will reveal it in a minute. I continued running for another few miles and felt led to pray Psalm 23 into my and Nathan's life. As I was praying this, I saw a vision of Nate and I on a hill.  It was a stormy, cloudy day with the wind barely blowing.  We had conquered the hill together.  Nathan was holding a long sword out with a strong stance. One hand on the sword and one arm back as though he was protecting me. Eyes fixed forward as if he was defending what had been conquered.  I was beside and slightly behind him wearing a long flowing white dress. Obviously dirty and torn from battle holding a small dagger with my eyes fixed on the offending party.
The feeling I got from this picture for me was that I can be rugged and beautiful.  I can battle in a dress and be graceful and beautiful and strong and a threat.  That Nathan and I can and do work together and that it had to do primarily with spiritual warfare.
At this point in my run I ran another mile or two and turned around.  I was praying about what I had seen and again passed the etching on the sidewalk.  When I was about a mile from home I saw a homeless man up ahead on the sidewalk in an area that was a bit secluded and started feeling a little nervous.  Mostly because at that point I was exhausted and he had looked up and taken an interest in me.  At least enough of one to stare as I was running toward him.  As I got close, he stepped back and took a very royal bow toward me as I passed.  I felt like God had spoken to me at that very moment.  I am his princess, I can and will defeat the enemy and He made me to be rugged and beautiful.  I am a daughter of the king.

Later that night I asked my sister if she had heard of this name that I saw etched in the sidewalk and without hearing my story she responded by saying that she though it meant "princess of God" as she was going through all her knowledge of Hebrew words and trying to put it together for a meaning.  Come to find out that it doesn't mean princess of the Lord....  If the first letter of the name was changed from a "Z" to an "S" then it would mean princess of the Lord.  However, I felt strongly that she needed to have this name that God showed me on my amazing run that left me feeling very empowered as a woman and a mother and feeling somewhat capable of raising a daughter now that I knew what my place was in the eyes of the Lord.  Nathan and I have discussed it and discussed it and decided together about a week ago that this is what she needed to be named.  There was no other possibility for her and we need to trust that His intentions are met with the meaning.

So the name...

The second part is the middle name which I have loved ever since I saw it the first time.  The Samoan word for Warrior.  How fitting with the vision that I had at the time that I saw the name etched in the ground.

Our beautiful daughter is to be named:

Zariyah Toa Allen

A name fit for the beautiful daughter of the King that she is and will always be.  We are so excited to have a little girl join our family and we are excited to see the personality that God has chosen for her.  We are honored to be entrusted with her care.
It's hard to see, but this is the etching in the cement from my run.  I went back several months later to take a picture. 
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

36 weeks and updates

This picture was taken Tuesday.  I was 36 weeks and 2 days.  I also had my midwife appointment where I was unfortunately lectured because I am still sick.  I have been sick for between 4-6 weeks so far.  Coughing, sneezing, tired...  Doesn't feel good with an almost full term belly.  I have been ordered to go to the Dr. for antibiotics by the end of the week if it isn't better.  :(

Her heartbeat was in the 140's and sounded strong!  My blood pressure was good and all seems to be well.  The one thing that I had as a complaint this time around was how intense the braxton hicks (BH) contractions have been.  She informed me that this happens the more babies you have.  Pretty crazy... I've had one BH contraction last for 5 minutes...  it isn't painful, but it is intense.

My belly grew two centimeters in the last two weeks and is now measuring at 35 centimeters which is technically small, but she has already dropped so Ann said that it isn't reliable as an actually measurement at this point. I also learned that I have only gained 15 lbs during this whole pregnancy so far!  That is far below what I gained with my previous two.  I will thank the Paleo lifestyle for that!

Yes, I look excruciatingly tired in this picture...  Mostly because it was late in the evening and I've been sick and it's been difficult sleeping lately with all the aches and pains associated with being this far along.  I will say that since then, I feel much better and intend on only feeling better from here on out!

In other news, the boys are now officially in their bunk beds and absolutely love it! Nathan finished them about a week ago and we couldn't wait to get them into the room so the boys started sleeping on them a week ago today actually! We have rearranged their room a bit and we are trying to get our room arranged to fit her crib until we move her into the boys room in a few months.  We finally have a car seat and we feel like we are close to ready.  Still have a bit to do, but at this point if she came early, all would be well.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

35 and more

Today marks 35 weeks of pregnancy and 35 days until my due date!  If our little girl is anything like her brothers, she should show her pretty face within a couple days of the due date. 

Things have been going well for the most part.  Pregnancy is hard...  I've decided though that I have it pretty easy...  I think I mostly just get annoyed with the inconvenience of pregnancy.  I can't sleep so I get cranky, I am hungry a lot, I have a ball attached to my belly that makes activity difficult and I can't eat certain foods.  I know I have a ton to be thankful for because there are so many woman out there who have much more difficult pregnancies than I have.  So I am grateful for the ease of this pregnancy and my previous two. 

Nathan is still working hard on the bunks.  They look great!  It is going to be a nice ebony color but here is a sneak peak at the bed before staining and finishing touches.

about a month ago Nate discovered a fun app for my iPhone that allows trailer editing...  He spent a few hours on this adorable video of our kids.  I shared it on Facebook before so you may recognize it. 

I was outside playing with the boys and put this one together in about 15 minutes... You can tell the quality difference from Nate's and mine because he actually had the patience to make it cool.  Mine on the other hand still turned out fun even though it is seriously the same shot and the cast members were less than enthusiastic about the whole thing.  
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