Although there are lots of superficial reasons I chose my children's names - that I liked how they sounded, that they weren't too popular, I also chose their names based on what they meant. Judah means "praise". Naomi means "pleasant". And Ezra means "God is our help."
I have never been nearly as diligent as I should be about prayer. It is something that I continue to work on and strive toward - to become a person of prayer. These last few weeks in the hospital have definitely been marked by more prayer than normal from me.
After a tough day earlier this week, a day when Ezra's sugars dropped low again and I realized we would be in the hospital for several more weeks, I looked at my baby's beautiful face as he grinned up at me and said his name, tears in my eyes from the exhaustion of it all. Ezra. It hit me again, what his name means. God is our help.
And I can say each of my children's name like a prayer.
Judah. I will praise him. Naomi. He has brought us to pleasant places. Ezra. God is our help.
During this difficult time, I have realized that encouragement comes from many places. From texts and posts and facebook messages and verses that come to mind. From the hymns we sing in church and hugs and meals delivered by friends. But I also think God knew that I would need encouragement that would come as easily as looking into my children's faces, and for prayers to go up as often as I say their names.