Friday, April 27, 2012

A Word on Rhett's Name

No longer your only association

I've gotten a few questions about how we chose Rhett's name (particularly his middle name, which is obviously unusual).

We chose the name Rhett VERY early in my pregnancy. As I've mentioned, I was pretty certain from early on that I was having a boy, and he just always "felt" like Rhett. We struggled a lot more with the girl name and changed our mind a few times, but Rhett was always Rhett. I had plenty of dreams about my little boy and his name was always right.

For his first name, we wanted something short, relatively uncommon, recognizable, and sounded strong and masculine. I can't recall where we got the name Rhett (I'm always so perplexed by this question). I don't remember where I first heard the name, though it HAD to be Gone with the Wind, right? But I don't remember the name leaving an impression on me after watching the movie or anything. We're not particularly big Gone with the Wind fans, though we're movie lovers and obviously the movie is great. The association doesn't bother us at all.

We struggled with middle names for a long time. We kept going back and forth on choosing something that sounds great (with the top contender being William in my mind) or something with meaning (my maiden name was a contender, but it sounds horrific with Rhett). In the end, I was sitting in church one day and thinking about my favorite bible stories and excerpts. I remembered how much I love the book of Philemon, and think it's really underrated. It's so rarely referenced. I absolutely love the story and the image of grace that God has for us in the relationship between Philemon, Paul and Onesimus. Onesimus is a runaway slave who meets Paul in jail. The book of Philemon is Paul's letter to his master (Philemon) asking that he be pardoned from his sentence. Paul takes on the full debt of Onesimus, even though Philemon already owes Paul money. I love the wording of this letter, and the image that we are all like Onesimus--undeserving of Christ paying our debt, but he did it anyway. And so... we chose Onesimus. I liked the way it sounded with Rhett and we were totally willing to go more outside the box on the middle name (cause many people even use their middle name? I don't think so.)

And that's the story. In case anyone's interested, the girl name we had chosen was Pearl Evangeline. I don't know if we'll use it for a potential future sister for Rhett or not. Unlike Rhett's name, I always felt like I loved the name Pearl, but if she came out and wasn't a Pearl, I wouldn't be SHOCKED. So I could see us changing it, even though I adore it.

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