Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Regarding names

Many of you know that Paula Harper is a pen name I took up when I started blogging. I thought it might be fun to let you know what is behind the names I chose for my family on this blog.
I have actually always wanted to have a pen name. Someday, I hope to write and publish books--probably children's books--but for some reason I never wanted to put my on name in the author's place. I've played around with different ideas over the years, but never really settled on one. When I decided to start a blog, my husband (who shares in Lily's cautious nature) was very concerned about putting private family information on the internet. We decided it would be OK if there was no specific identifying information--but that meant I couldn't use our real names. So I invented my pen name. Why Paula? Well, I really like biblical names, but truly biblical female names are rather limited. I like Paul--both the name and the person. And Paul was a missionary; I thought a blog would be one way I could share my own faith in Christ. But of course I had to use the female form of Paula. Also, when my last baby was born I had a wonderful midwife help with the delivery, and her name was Paula--I felt it was an appropriate way to honor her. What about Harper? Well, a harper is a minstrel or bard, someone who both entertains and educates, a musician and a poet. I guess it just seemed like something I could hope to be.
And the children? Well, I like lilies. I like their simple elegance. A white lily is a symble of purity. I chose lilies for my bridal bouquet. So my oldest daughter became Lily. "Consider the lilies of the field..."
My son became Luke, named after the Luke of the New Testament, called by Paul "the beloved physician". Actually, I think I've liked the name Luke ever since I became enamoured with Luke Skywalker when I was 9 or 10...This is a family name as well, which means I just might use it if I have another son--now that could confuse things!
And then there is Esther. I think the story of Queen Esther was one of my very first favorites. When I was little my mom would put me to bed and turn on a tape of scripture stories; I loved the story of Esther. Maybe because we don't have many stories in the scriptures featuring courageous heroines? When my youngest sister was born I wanted to name her Esther; I didn't get to use the name then, but I am using it here for my own beautiful baby.
And my husband? No, his eral name isn't Nathan, but Nathan means gift, and he is indeed God's gift to me.
So now you know the stories behind the names.

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