Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Some friends of mine are expecting a baby girl and are so excited! I am, too, really. I love it when friends and family have babies! There is so much to share. As soon as I heard she was having a girl (she has 2 super cute boys), I instantly went out and bought this adorable onesie (I'm not a mom, is that how it's spelled?) that was red and had these darling ruffles on the back side! I couldn't resist getting some tiny sweet socks as well. So many things! They are actively and openly discussing a name for their sweet thing, and it got me thinking.

I went to a website that gave the origins of names and I was first looking at their choices. Then I went to mine. How narcissistic is that?! I know. I already knew the meaning of my name, I thought, and just wanted to see if there was something different.

There wasn't.

I felt rather indifferent about my name, as it was given to me and I didn't give much thought to changing it, except in the 3rd grade when I desperately wanted to be called Lisa! I think it was an 80's thing...Anyway, I liked my name. I never had any nicknames as I didn't like the ambiguity of "Mel" and I despised "Missy." I don't know why. I know several fabulous Missy's, but it didn't fit me I guess! I think I was trying for a nickname in Lisa, but I'm glad that didn't stick. I finally did get a nickname in college. My incredible roommate, Merv (not her real name: and you have to pronounce it Muvv), began to call me Meli. I loved it! She was the only one to call me by that name until my sister had my first niece! I am now Aunt Meli to 10 1/2 nieces and nephews and it is the most dear name I can think of. I hope they never call me "Melissa."

Melissa is of Greek origin and means honey bee. That just isn't very inspirational. There's little imagery or mystique in "honey bee." I did find it fascinating that there was nymph in Greek mythology named Melissa who cared for Zeus AND a good fairy in Ludovico Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso'. That made me feel better. It also made me want to look up that poem! It felt a little more magical than a bee. The name is also a latin classification for a group of mint herbs. Yes, the connection with the bees is inevitable!

I wonder why God prompted my parents to name as such. I could philosophize that I could spread His Word like the bee spreads the pollen from flower to flower, or that I'd better not be bothered much or I'll sting, but God knew I'd be named Melissa. He knew it before my parents did. He knows my name! Luke 10:20 says that because I received His salvation, my name is recorded in Heaven! MY name! I do rejoice in that fact! I am so beyond comprehension that this little bee is written in a heavenly book.

Did Jesus have a nickname? Did He choose to reject any silly ones? Did He have any special names that only family or the closest disciples knew and were never recorded? Jesus' name was written on the cross. It said JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS. There are so many names for my Lord, and this week I want to bask in the name of Jesus! The Lord is Salvation! Salvation.

That brings me to my middle name: JOY! I think that says it all!


  1. I have a sis in law named Melissa. No nicknames for her either. Until HER nieces & nephews were born... and she became Aunt Weezer!

    Hmmm, not quite as sweet as Meli!

    Thanks for stopping by, it was so nice to meet you too!

  2. Meli
    I have often thought about what names we are given and what they husband is a pastor and his name, Joel, means proclaimer of name means renew, or reborn...I like that too. When we named our daughter we thoughta bout the name Leah but when I read it meant tired or weary, I changed my mind! Of course our name does not need to define us, but I like the idea of finding the best name AND that God knows our name!

  3. I love your writings, MELI! I've been totally amazed at the thoughts you are so beautifully putting down on paper. Thanks for sharing!

    I think "Honey Bee" is just fabulous. So many thoughts could come out of that for a name, stinger or no stinger!