For several months we actually thought we had a girl's name picked out, but the sooner it got to her arrival, the more unsure we became. So we started back at square one. We made our list and slowly started narrowing it down. Andy really liked the name Rose and Joseph continued to request that Mary be put up for consideration. Neither as a first name felt right to me.
We were down to about 8 names or so when I came to the realization that we could combine Rose and Mary into Rosemary. Joseph and Andy immediately approved. We added it to the list but it didn't really stick out in the crowd as "the one."
Anna, Belle, and Jane all come from my side of the family. I had always wanted to honor a female from Andy's side of the family, but a majority of the females in their family have either Roberta or Louise in their name. I just couldn't bring myself to carry on that tradition.
I emailed all the women in our families asking if they would send me some family names. We discovered that Andy's paternal grandmother's middle name was Marie. Marie is the Spanish variation of Mary. So, when we heard that, I seriously thought, now if his other grandmother's middle name is Rose, then it's a done deal... Well we heard back from family, and sure enough it is!
Marie is also my mother's middle name and Mary Jane is my dad's mom's name, along with one of my dad's sister's name being Mary Katherine.
All of the names we had on our list we could see being our daughter's name, but none of them had the family significance that Rosemary did. It made the decision very easy.
Rosemary is most often recognized as an herb. So, we did some research on the herb. The herb itself is often used as a symbol of remembrance. It's a very popular herb for wintertime as well, which we think is fitting since she's a winter baby. There is a hydrangea named Annabelle, which is a summer flower. Fitting as well since her birthday is in June. We now have two botanical girls with combination names, each having one part being biblical.
All throughout the Bible, it encourages us to remember what God has done so that we do not waiver in our faith and so that we are encouraged when trials come. We are to remember his promises and what he has done in the past. Having experienced God's faithfulness and grace very deeply over the past 2 years, specifically in regards to our children, we thought it fitting that her name be a reminder of that. You would think we wouldn't be able to forget something so impactful, but we are humans, and we so easily forget God's goodness. We need reminders. Rosemary Grace is one of our reminders.
For a few days we played around with a middle name. What is it exactly that we want to remember? What about God's character during these last 2 years has made the greatest impression on our faith? It's his grace. We do not deserve this favor he has lavished upon us. He has showered us with more yeses than we can even count. He has given us the desires of our hearts.
But, it's not only these recent acts of grace we want to remember. It's the eternal grace he offers. Grace is the single component of Christianity that, I believe, distinguishes it apart from all other religions. We are given something from nothing we have done. All we have to do is accept his grace. Receive the gift he offers.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9We pray Rosemary's life will not only be a constant reminder to us of God's grace in our lives but also others - those who already know the power of God's saving grace and those who have yet to understand.