Thursday, May 25, 2017

How Peter Got His Name


Considering we've reached that point in pregnancy #3 when my husband and I finally allow ourselves to start thinking seriously about names (we wait until we discover the gender - so stay tuned for that announcement!), it should come as no surprise that baby names are now constantly on my mind.

Many, many moons ago I wrote about how we chose Gabriel's name and figured it's high time I did the same for our second son, Peter!

As soon as we found out that Peter was a boy we revisited the old baby name list we had first drafted back when I was pregnant with his big brother. That provided a jumping off point with ideas, although naturally our feelings towards some names on the list had drastically changed. Peter was on that list, but only as a good middle name.

Pretty soon we had settled on a first and middle name that both Michael and I liked a lot; it had a great nickname and the first and middle names were nods to great Saints as well as people in each of our families. This was a no-brainer - or so we thought!

We tend to keep our baby names private until the baby is born, which gives us ample time to sit with the names, think, and (of course) pray. Michael and I agreed that we thought we had the name pinned down but would continue feeling it out and praying about it.

Within a month or so I began having serious doubts about the initial name we had chosen. It was a fantastic name (which is why we have never told it to anyone in case we decide to use it for a different child), but I began to doubt that it was THAT child's name. I didn't initially mention my doubts to Michael, but after a couple months I felt strongly enough about it to express my hesitations out loud. To my relief, Michael said he shared the exact same sentiments! The longer we sat with that first name, the more convinced we became that it was the wrong name for our second son.

We were on the same page. But what name WAS the right one??

We quickly realized that Peter had shifted to the top of our list, not as a middle name but as the first. I had never thought I would use Peter as a first name, but suddenly my husband and I found ourselves loving it, which just goes to show that the Holy Spirit is constantly doing work around us.

We settled on Peter, but were at a complete loss for a middle name. If we couldn't find the right middle name it would be back to the drawing again we prayed. And waited. And prayed. And for a long time we still only had "Peter."

Then, on Easter Sunday 2015 we had a long talk in the car on our way home from Rhode Island about potential middle names. We brainstormed at least 15 names and I finally began to feel hopeful that we could, in fact, use Peter as a first name like we felt called to. Out of nowhere we suddenly had multiple options which we narrowed down to only a couple.

We left that conversation feeling that "Matthias" had the strongest potential and agreed to pray about it.

For the first time since we agreed on Peter I was completely at peace about his name. I was convinced that he was Peter Matthias and within a few weeks my husband and I agreed that it was THE name.

I should mention that when we choose names we carefully consider origins and meanings. Our oldest (Gabriel Alexander) has names that mean "Strength of God/God is my strength" and "Defender of men." Not only do we consider how the names themselves flow together, but we consider how well the meanings go hand in hand as well.

Peter means "rock" and Matthias means "Gift from God/Gift of the Lord," which we felt was perfect.

Additionally, we wanted to choose a name that felt like a good fit with Gabriel's so that our children have nice sounding "sibling names." I like when all the kids' names sound like a list that flows, rather than having all different sounding styles thrown together. Gabriel and Peter absolutely feel like "brother names" to us, which further solidified our choice. Both our boys have at least one Hebrew name, which was not at all something we necessarily tried to do, but perhaps made us feel that much more confident that the names seemed to fit nicely.

I wanted to give my husband time to think and pray about "Peter Matthias," but in my mind the name was pretty well settled that Easter Sunday back in 2015. From that day I never had doubts.

Peter is about to turn 2 years old and my husband and I have commented to one another on more than one occasion that he is SUCH a "Peter." Nothing else would suit him properly, especially that first name we initially picked out.

In case you couldn't tell, I love the process of choosing baby names and feel like it is such a powerful way to prayerfully bond and better discover who each child is before we even meet them face to face. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of baby names to go consider.... ;)

"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names."


  1. Thanks for sharing! Names are so important. I look forward to this process of choosing a name one day! :-)

    1. You're welcome! It really is a fun process. :D