My brother and sister in law have a tradition of naming their children Bible/religious names. It's a little 7 Brides for 7 Brothers ish, although they are more creative. So, far there haven't been any discussions about naming a child "Hannah or Hagar or Hephzibah" but they are planning to have a few more :)
My newest little niece was welcomed by their family this week. Mom and baby are doing well. Her name is Selah. If you are like me you are probably racking your brain to figure out where you've read that word before, knowing it is in the Bible somewhere but not sure where. Here is a Bible Dictionary definition, "A musical term that occurs 71 times in the Psalms and three times in Habakkuk. Its meaning is uncertain. Most likely it is a direction to the musicians to strike up, either with a louder accompaniment or with an interlude while the singing ceased." The best part of that definition is that it doesn't really have one, so I feel at liberty to make up my own.
To me Selah means to sing with joy. So, much joy in fact that it feels like my cup runneth over. It probably isn't surprising that knowing her name comes from Psalms (of course it does say it in Habakkuk, no offense to Habakkuk, but I think I'll stick with saying it comes from Psalms, even though it is fun to say Habakkuk, and to write Habakkuk :) that the day she was born I had perhaps the most famous Psalm running through my mind. And the most prominent line to me that day and in the days since is what I've already alluded to, "my cup runneth over." I understand a little better what David felt when he wrote that line. As each one of my, now 17, nieces and nephews runs through my mind I feel so much joy and gratitude that it just cannot be contained, and I feel to sing with joy. God has so blessed my life, my family is one of the greatest of these blessings.
Joy is what family is, or at least what family should be. Yes, there are difficult times and most definitely yes you can get through every one of them if love is the guide. Joy is more than happiness it is not fleeting, it goes more to the core of your being and radiates outward. My family is a wellspring of joy in my life, one that I shall be eternally grateful for.
Many in society today try to come up with counterfeits to family. All one has to do is watch an evenings worth of network television programming to see that there is an attempt to belittle and alter the perception of family and family values. People long for the joy and relationship that family brings so they search for it in things like gangs. There are those on the left who wish to takedown the family entirely. Read "The Coming Insurrection" or read Alinsky's take on the family. There is a knowledge that indeed the family is the most fundamental and important unit in society. So, for those who want to change society to fit their own paradigm and agenda there is a recognition that the family must be taken head on and out. Thus the attempts to counterfeit. The reality is though they may try to approximate the structure, they can never get the joy. Joy is too pure to be manipulated like that. Pray for families. We need good strong families to turn society around.
Pray for parents and children, brothers and sisters, and even aunts and uncles to be guided in peace and love and joy. I'm forever grateful for the joy that is in my life. It sometimes literally takes my breath away to realize how truly blessed I am.
I welcome every new family member with open arms and open heart, and do so with a song of joy, a joy that overflows.