I’m starting this blog with the story of Ruthie’s name because it’s what is on my heart at the moment (as she sleeps in her rocker next to me) and a story that I’ve been excited to share for a long time. A lot of people have asked how we chose the name Ruthie and especially since Dave and I chose to not share Ruthie’s name before she was born, there was a lot of suspense around what the name of our baby would be! It was fun for just the two of us to know her name but it got so hard towards the end to not just blurt it out or mention it in conversation when I talked about her. I’m so glad I can refer to her by name now and not just “my baby” or “baby girl.”
Dave and I had a boys name picked out before I even got pregnant – one that we still love and I hope we still get to use someday. When I first got pregnant I was convinced I was having a boy. I talked to the baby and called him by his name. (They tell you that mother’s intuition tells her what gender her baby will be – ha!) We also had a girl’s name picked out, but I wasn’t in love with it and didn’t think it mattered because we were having a boy.
Then, right before our 20 week ultrasound where they do the gender reveal, I had a really vivid dream that the ultrasound technician told me I was having a girl. God has often used dreams to reveal things to me and I’m not sure if this was one of those dreams or not, but when I woke up in the morning I was convinced that I was having a girl. Since this was only a few days before our 20 week ultrasound, I felt panicked that we didn’t have a girl’s name that I loved. I know that not everyone names their baby as early as we did but it was important to me to have a name for her picked out. I couldn’t imagine going the next 20 weeks without being able to call her by a name.
We prayed that night for God to reveal a girl’s name to us. Both Dave and I felt convicted about incorporating a name from the Bible into her name somehow, either as a first or middle name. We loved the name Ruth and how in Hebrew it means “compassion” and “friend” (depending on the translation). I also love the story of Ruth and how she was a woman who followed God, even in hard times. I wanted the qualities that Ruth had to be exemplified through my daughter’s life too.
We decided together that the name Ruth was perfect, but both of us liked Ruthie more than Ruth. Then we debated on whether to just put Ruth on her birth certificate or use Ruthie. Eventually, we decided on Ruthie since that is what we will call her. (Also, sidenote but the name Ruthie still totally reminds me of the youngest girl in the show 7th Heaven… I half expected my child to come out with curly dark hair like that actress had).
One of the problems with the first girl’s name we chose was that it didn’t work with the middle name Lee. The name Lee is really important to me- it’s my mom’s maiden name and my two younger sisters and I all have the middle name Lee. I love the idea of passing down family names. I don’t think I will use the middle name Lee for all my girls (if we end up having more!), but I love how Ruthie, the oldest, will have the middle name Lee just like her mom and her aunts.
After we decided on Ruthie Lee, Dave and I fell in love with the name. At our 20 week ultrasound after the technician said “It’s a little girl!” we walked back out into the doctor’s waiting room, looked at each other said “Ruthie!” That was on December 20th and we have been referring to her by her name (of course, out of earshot of other people) since then. There was truly no other name I could have imagined for Ruthie and I really feel like God led us to the perfect name for our daughter.
Something special Dave and I did in preparation to meet our little girl was read the book of Ruth out loud to her. In the six weeks leading up to Easter, Dave and I did a Lent study on He/She Reads Truth. In the She Reads Truth archives I found an old 14 day study that they had done on the book of Ruth. After the Lent study was over, Dave and I decided to do the book of Ruth study which was perfect because the 14 days brought us right up to my due date. If you haven’t done this study, the men’s version is found here and the women’s version is found here.
One of my favorite parts about Ruth in the Bible is that she does not have a perfect past and I assume she has not always made perfect choices, but God still uses her in a big way. She is in the lineage of Jesus (she’s David’s great grandmother!) and God redeems her story. Ruth’s first husband dies and instead of going back to live with her people, the Moabites, she chooses to follow her mother-in-law Naomi to a new place. This explains the meaning of her name in Hebrew as “compassion” and “friend.” Eventually, Ruth is remarried to Boaz through a huge act of faith and her family’s story is redeemed.
I love this excerpt from She Reads Truth:
“The story of Ruth shows us that there are no insignificant people in God’s plan. He takes the despised and rejected, the lowly and the insignificant, even His enemies, and He binds them to Christ. What looks messy and meaningless to us is, from God’s perspective, an intentional and precise way He is working to establish His kingdom. He takes what appear to be loose, broken, and unrelated threads and reveals how He was weaving something eternally beautiful all along.”
I know that my Ruthie will not be perfect. She will make mistakes, sometimes big ones. Her life will look messy, just like all of ours do. And that is ok because God is already weaving her story into something beautiful.