Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What's in a name?

Choosing a name for our daughter has been quite a challenge. Not because we couldn't find one that we liked, but because in her Ethiopian culture, names are extremely significant - given as a blessing, a declaration about who this person is, or is to be.

Her given name is Mastewal, which means UNDERSTANDING or CONSCIENCE ("... Though it cost you all you have, get UNDERSTANDING" Proverbs 4:7). How beautiful to pray that our daughter would have an understanding of God and His Goodness, Faithfulness, Guidance, and His Will. That is a prayer we don't want to take from her.

So as we prepare to meet her next Tuesday morning, it's been important to keep that significant name, but also give her a name that connects her to our family.

Her name will be Selah Ruth Mastewal Magruder

Selah is a word from scripture, especially the Psalms, that is used as a praise, or "let it be so". We also chose it because our other daughters have S names, and we didn't ever want her to question her place in this family. Ruth is the name of my grandmother.

A wave of panic just washed over me, thinking about all there is to do today....better get moving!


krista said...

That's beautiful, Gretchen. What a meaningful, wonderful name for a sweet, beautiful girl.

sgowin said...

That is a beautiful name! Will you pronounce it "sha-la" or "sa-la"? And I love Ruth--if we ever get a girl, her middle name will be Ruth (along with Samuel for the boy--both for the same reason) b/c they both were people who learned to serve God while being raised by people who weren't their biological families. I will praying for this exciting adventure for you!

Missy said...

Beautiful...I'm so excited to hear all about your travels!!

Gretchen Magruder said...

Suzanne, we'll pronounce it "Say-La".

Mamushsky World Headquarters said...


so excited for you!

Kevin & Laura said...

What a neat name! love it!

Misty said...

It's a beautiful name. I love it. I am thinking of you guys a ton! I'm so excited for you to meet little Selah. Have a WONDERFUL trip!

a moore said...

I was aggrivated we hadn't heard about it when I checked facebook but i hadn't checked your blog yet. Sorry.

Selah is a great name, it kind of loosely sounds like it could have come out of Mastewal too... sort of. But I am glad someone finally took Ruth's name. Its such a good sturdy, loyal name and I liked Ruth- she was spunky.

No worries, you all will do great.