Sunday, June 05, 2011


Dear Harper,
I want to tell you how your name came to be. As I write this you are about one and a half months old and rocking gently in your swing next to me. You are doing that thing where you are looking intently at my face with your little furrowed brow, your eyes methodically trying to close in rhythm with the swing but you are still half awake.

How can a love so deep grow so quickly?

In the nine months before you were born I prayed and bonded and tried to get a sense of who you would be. We thought about several names for you... Micah, Solomon, Everest.. Asher...Harper. We liked them all for different reasons but we had trouble fully committing to one and agreeing on one. I was leaning toward Solomon but daddy wasn't. As the weeks rolled by I told your daddy, "He could be here any minute. We need to decide."
Some of my friends and family gave me a shower for you and during a time of prayer, one of my friends prayed that God would whisper your name to us. In my heart I prayed the same thing. A few days later daddy and I decided to have a lunch date at the park. We tried to squeeze in a few dates before you arrived. We thought we would sit in the park and talk and pray and make the decision of what we would name you. And then a strange thing happened. Daddy saw something on the ground right between his feet.
And it was this.

We looked at each other and kind of laughed. Shortly after that we decided that your name would be Harper. Harper is an English name that simply means Harp player. I loved this name for a few reasons. One, I just like how it sounds, strong and beautiful. Two, because I love the story from Samuel about David the harp player. David, a man after God's own heart, a man who recognized that he was nothing apart from the God inside him. He was a young boy who tended sheep, a humble shepherd who made music on strings. A lowly boy, tanned by the sun, smelling of meadows and lambs, playing the songs of his heart before a King. He did what so many of us try to do, spill our souls in poems and songs and art, following after the master creator. In Samuel it talks about how Saul would call on David when his spirit was troubled. The sound of David's harp would refresh his spirit, "making him well, and the distressing spirit would leave him." It's with this imagery in mind that you were named. To me Harper sounds musical and poetic. Just as Jesus tells us to speak to one another in Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, it is my prayer for you, sweet son, that your life would be a soothing sound in God's ears, a sweet aroma in the air around Him. Oh, that you would never know a day with out Him...that the days of your life would unfurl into your very own story, in the notes of your very own song, Harper Pax.

We agreed easily on your middle name, Pax, the Latin word for peace.
~Galatians 5:22-23~
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

We're looking to our God to help us nurture in you little ones, the fruits of the Spirit, just as we pray that those same fruits will be growing in our own hearts.

With that said, I have no idea what choices you will someday make, or how our brokenness will leave you messed up and wounded. Maybe someday you'll do something that will break my heart, maybe someday you'll scare me to death. We'll disagree and fail each other, and forgive and love a thousand times over. I'll feed you and clothe you and show you the ocean. I'll read you books and poems and then teach you to read by yourself. I'll rock you at night when you can't sleep and always come when you have bad dreams. I'll tell you the names of the trees and the birds and play you all my favorite records. I'll sing to you when you're having a bad day and pray over you at night. I'll watch you grow faster than my heart will be able to catch up with and probably take a million photos. Cause you know your mama's nostalgic like that and totally hopeless and there's this need to collect the moments, need to preserve. Maybe someday we'll fight about girls or motorcycles or curfews, but we'll figure it out together with Jesus' truth covering us. But know this my son, no matter what you do someday when you are grown or what you choose to believe, I will love you just the same for the gift of grace that you are to me. You were never really mine to begin with. I'm entrusted, not entitled, to the joy you bring me. I will always be a safe place for your heart, blanketed in the prayer and love in which we gave you your name.

In the mean time you are our peach-fuzzy, pudgy-legged, stinking adorable baby and you are known by many names in this house, including, Harpie-Pie, Pax,the Harpster, Paxie, the Pax man, sugar lump, little man... oh yes, it is amazing what escapes these lips when in baby voice and in the presence of such ridiculous cuteness.

Here's a song by daddy and I set to images of your first week.

We forever love you, little man.