Monday, July 19, 2010

What's in a name?

Sometimes it is hard to trust God. At least for me it is.

It wasn't always this way. I used to be able to say, "I don't understand ________ but it's one of those questions I'll ask God when I get there," and I'd be-pop on my way.

When Matthew died, it got hard to trust Him. Not necessarily Him and what happens, but that He's good, all the time.

I know, I know...that makes me a very, very bad Baptist. It's sort of ingrained that when someone says, "God is good," the automatic response is, "All the time."

Since Matthew died, I have had NO trouble believing that things were going to be the way they were going to be and I really didn't have much say in it....but that God was good ALL THE TIME was hard for me.

I didn't think He was all that good at 1:26 am on November 29, 2009.

My daily (often multiple times during the day) prayer is that I get back to a place where I can just say AND believe that God is good all the time. I remember not too long after Matthew died begging God for that belief...telling Him that I could even handle Matthew being gone for now if I could just believe in the GOODNESS of God again...not just His existence or His power...His GOODNESS.

It can't be based on what my heart says or even what I feel. It just has to be a conscious choice. It'd sure be nice to feel it too, though.

The choice to believe has been very hard for me. I don't know how I can be able to put God being good all the time with Matthew being dead...all the time. So most days, I just praise God for every blessing I have, and beg Him to bring to me the faith that I feel I once had.

Today was an amazing day. We had our ultrasound with our beloved Dr. Sweeney (brought homemade banana pudding, minus Grandma's extra ingredient: rum) and baby was MOVING! Wiggly, wiggly, WIGGLY! The sono tech was laughing because again, she was trying to get the heartbeat and that little one was just hopping all over the screen. Wiggling and waving hands and legs. I loved it! Heartrate was 146 (when she could finally get it) and baby was measuring right on target. I'm 14 weeks today and one measurement was 13w6d and another was 14w2d, so just perfect. My placenta is a little low-lying, but it's very early right now so that isn't a big deal and even if it stayed that way the whole pregnancy, it's not a huge deal because I'll be a c-section.

We were very excited to confirm (or deny) what was predicted two weeks ago--that wiggler was a girl. The sono tech was looking and looking as we told her what Dr. Sweeney had said last time and she said, "Well...I think he might have been wrong! Looks like a boy to me, but we'll see what he says."

So, when he came in, we were all quiet seeing what his guess was. He looked, and looked, and looked some more. He had a very perplexed look on his face and then he said, "Gosh, I guess it's a boy, huh?!

It sure is!

He then said, "That's not what I said last time, is it?"

"Nope," I told him.

"This kid just sprouted out at me!"

A BOY! Another precious little boy!!!! I was so, so excited to be a boy mom...and now I'm a mom to TWO boys! Two heavy duty movers (though I have to say that this one seems to be even more active than Matthew!!!) and shakers.

At one point, the baby was scratching his head! He had his little hand over his head and you could see his little fingers actually scratching his head...sort of like he was wondering what the heck was going on!

I'm so thrilled to say my son's name is Luke. His name is Samuel Luke, but we will call him Luke. Another thing he'll share in common with his brother...going by his middle name. Even though I'd been feeling girl, when thinking of boys' names, and deciding on Samuel Luke, I began to feel maybe boy because there was just such purpose and meaning behind his name.

When we first tried again after Matthew died, and we contemplated a successful pregnancy, we wondered about what boy name we'd give. My son had always been Matthew, and honestly, I hadn't thought of other boy names. I had loved Andrew when I was in high school and college, but that just wasn't screaming at me now.

What screamed at me, in that discussion, was Luke. I had a student several years ago named Luke...the sweetest, smartest young man...I just loved the name Luke. I asked John what he thought and he said, "I like that." I looked it up and found it meant "light". When I told John this, he said, "Maybe he'll be a baby that brings us out of this darkness and into light."

Sold. IF we got pregnant and IF we had another boy, he was Luke.

Two days before we took our beta test, I was feeling pretty low. I was actually feeling pretty low the whole week. I just didn't feel like it was going to be successful. I got the most amazing phone call from my "This one she will keep" friend.

She told me that she'd been doing her Bible study that day and had been praying for us. She was going over the story of Hannah and was marveling at how much I reminded her of Hannah...begging God for a child, being faithful through trial...promising the Lord my son. She knew I knew the story of Hannah, as did she, and she said she dug deeper into the story of Hannah's precious and promised son, Samuel....the child for which she'd prayed. She noted how many times the Lord called Samuel, and how many times it took Samuel to finally respond...she said she counted five in her reading and kept stressing this to me. At first, I was like, "Ok...I get it...the Lord called Samuel several times before he answered...what are you getting at?" She then said, "Lori, I had to go back and look at your blog, but just like the Lord called Samuel five times, He called your Matthew." Matthew had to be resuscitated 5 times and finally, he answered the Lord's call.

So, obviously, I am crying. A lot at this point. As she continued talking, I googled Samuel to find out what it meant. Samuel: God Heard. Variants: Requested of God.

She told me that the purpose of telling me all of that was not to upset me but to remind me of Hannah's promise from God--for her faithfulness, He promised to enlarge her territory and to bless her womb. My friend said she didn't know if it was Miney and Moe, but that she believed He'd promised to bless my womb as well and He doesn't lie.

Two days later, we got the call and were told we were again pregnant.

Samuel...we begged God and He heard and answered.

Samuel Luke. God heard our requests and gave us a light.

As if the miracle of this little boy is not in and of itself amazing, God was even more abundant today.

John had a night flight after our appointment, so I dropped him off because we were cutting it close. It began to rain a bit, nothing major (darnit!) as I dropped him off and drove away and as I adjusted my seat and mirrors, I also changed the radio station (back from whatever John was listening to).

33Miles 'There Is A God' came on.

Plant a seed and see
what comes out of the ground
Find the heartbeat on your baby's ultrasound
In a few years hear it laughing,
and don't it sound like a song?

There is a God
There is a God
There is a God
How much proof do you need?

As I sat in that mostly empty parking lot, marveling at the miracle of another healthy baby boy, I found it so fitting that that song came on. In my head, I thought, "Gosh, the only thing I am missing now is a rainbow!"

I could NOT believe what I saw when I turned my head slightly to the left.

An amazing, amazing rainbow. I got out of the car and took pictures and then got in the car and just broke down and thanked God for His goodness.

And do you know what song came on RIGHT AFTER THAT? Steven Curtis Chapman's 'Beauty Will Rise'. Seriously.

It was the day the world went wrong
I screamed til my voice was gone
And watched through the tears as everything
came crashing down
Slowly panic turns to pain
As we awake to what remains
and sift through the ashes that are left

But buried deep beneath
All our broken dreams
we have this hope:

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning...
in the morning, beauty will rise

Right then I knew it. I didn't have to understand it. In fact, I don't think I ever will.

But God was telling me that even though my mind can't understand how it can be, God IS good. All the time.

And I can believe it.

Here are some pictures of our precious second son, Luke:

Yeah, that's what you think it is....

This reminds me so much of Matthew...

I have a "lemme outta here" picture like this of Matthew too!

This is him scratching his sweet little head!


  1. Congratulations!!! What a great name. And that rainbow was amazing. What a sign.

  2. Oh goodness Lori; tears of happiness are pouring down my face right now. Such a BEAUTIFUL story of Luke's name (which I love, by the way). I bet Luke is going to be just as gorgeous as his big brother!
    (Just had to add that my word verification to post this comment is "healed").

  3. congrats on the baby boy!!! :) So happy for you both. I got chill bumps reading your post, especially when I got to the rainbow picture. :) We saw a rainbow yesterday...makes me think there is still hope.

  4. oh, and I think Samuel is a great name! It's my dads...

  5. Congratulations, Lori!! I'm so thrilled for you and John. And I just love the name you chose (or, perhaps, that chose you!). Continued blessings throughout your pregnancy. xoxo

  6. Congratulations, what a wonderful post & definitely a moment of celebration and joy for your family! Funny enough, I think God had some of the same things on both of our minds tonight. I posted just about an hour ago on having difficulty understanding why we lost our daughter & trying to trust in Him even when I don't understand the reason for such pain.

  7. What a great day!!! The name is perfect. Perfect name for a perfect boy. What a special story to share with Luke, and especially the way you told it here.

  8. Congratulations!!! Wonderful name and I love the meaning behind it. God trully is gracious.

    "LORI!!!! I heart the 3d pics of the baby at 12 weeks!!! I am not good at the "girlie" parts...but when I was pregnant I taught myself (good old google) to look for 3 slashes with a girl 2 with a boy..but this picture has NO Im assuming the parts I see are ehem..lady parts!! what a blessing....really!!! so so so cute!!

    thank you for your continued support!! it was a scary result i was NOT hoping to get, so now i deal with it!!"

    I GUESS ME NOT SEEING ANY "BITS" WAS BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT OUT YET!!! lol....Well HELlllooooo LUKE!!! I thought I was right about the slashes, but then i started to get confused...i thought maybe a tech would know better...what a blessing..girl/boy whatever!!! just get here safe and sound luke...we are all waiting for you...congrats to you and John!!

  10. Now you've got me crying too :) Looks like we both had some rainbows in our posts today, huh? Yours of course, is much cooler! Another Boy!!! "Noise covered in dirt" His ultrasound pictures are adorable, I can't wait to see him on the outside. You have been so faithful, Lori. Your testimony has done so much for so many. You may never even know some of them, but God has used you and John. He's used Matthew in a very BIG way.

  11. amazing...what an amazing day! so many signs, so much light...God is good indeed! i am so delighted for you sweet girl! this is one special little boy! xo

  12. Well, now I have goosebumps! I love the story of Hannah and Samuel. It is one of my favorites. Samuel Luke is beautiful! I also love it when God winks at us!

  13. A mess of happy tears when I got to the part revealing the Big News. Have fun wrapping your heads around this after thinking pink! Not that it matters, but my gut immediately said boy when you announced the pregnancy, and I've held onto that (though I was fooled by the ultrasound pictures, too). There wouldn't be anything disappointing about a girl (I have one myself!), and I hope there's a daughter in your future. But I'm thrilled beyond words that you're being blessed with another sweet, beautiful, special baby boy (who apparently takes after his big brother and likes to fool people). If mine wasn't already fast asleep, I'd go in and squeeze him in celebration. And I've got to say what a great friend you have - such a source of support and hope.

    I love the name (Luke is one of my Top Three) - it'll serve him well throughout his entire life. This post will be a wonderful thing for him to read one day...a hard-to-top introduction of your second son to the world. Little Luke, you've already got so many people rejoicing at just the thought of you...imagine what you'll be capable of once you're actually here!

  14. I cry every time I read your posts -- either hurting for you, or laughing with you or just from pure joy ... this seems to be all of the above. How wonderful to have a brother! Name meanings are very important to me and I love the meanings of both of your boys names. Two beloved SONS! Congratulations, Lori!

  15. GOD is GOOD....

    Matthew has a brother, his name is Samuel Luke and that is all I needed to make my day complete :)

    Sweet Dreams sweet friend and much love as you journey on.


  16. Really overjoyed for you! It may sound strange, but as I finished reading your post, I "saw" an adorable dark-haired boy in a baseball uniform. Maybe your active little man will be an athlete??

    "Now batting...Luke Ennis...yeahhhh!"

  17. beautiful blog lori, congratulations on your beautiful second son, i love his name and all the stories and signs behind it, loads of love sweet lady xxx anne

  18. So happy for you!!! I love what his name means, what a perfect praise!!!

  19. I love his name. It is perfect.

  20. Congratulations, Lori & John. Beautiful story and beautiful name!!

  21. Love the name Samual Luke! Such an amazing rainbow that you saw. xo

  22. Beautiful, Lori! I was so surprised when I read BOY yesterday! I guess we have to be wrong sometimes :) I am just so happy for you and John, so thankful for Matthew and Samuel Luke and so thrilled that you have found that "God is good ALL of the time" back! So thankful. I love the meaning so much. I chose Ellie's name because of meaning as well, you know. Lots of love, hugs and prayers xoxo

  23. i'm in tears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    he's wonderful! and so handsome!!! just like his daddy and big brother:)

    God is so good in all the ways we don't understand, in all the ways that tenderly surprise us. i too have deeply struggled to reconcile my "head knowledge" with my "heart emotions" for years.... what amazing story you have and what perfect words you've used.

    your sons are so blessed because you are their mommy. "your children will rise and call you blessed" my friend...

  24. I read this last night and couldn't post for boo-hooing. Now that I'm only misty: Welcome, Luke, to the Ennis Family!

    When I told Nat this morning, she said, "Now Mr. John can say, [deep voice] 'Luuuuke. I am your father.'"

  25. Oh, Lori~I am so so so so so thrilled for you. And I love the name Samuel Luke--they are two of my favorite names and have such beautiful meanings. :) Congratulations, again!

  26. I am crying right now...what a great post! I am so excited for you and your husband. Samuel Luke is the perfect name for your son!

  27. Oh Lori such wonderful wonderful wonderful news I am literally crying tears of joy for you all. What a beautiful name and for a son ! For a much loved, much wanted second son.
    Lori I feel so very happy for you.
    :) :) :)

  28. LOVE IT!!! Congratulations on another boy. Love the pictures!!!

  29. Love the name! Such a strong and meaningful name.

  30. Why didnt I see this last night. I have tears streaming down my face. God is SOOO Good All the time. I know it is hard to say that sometime. I read and read and then saw how you talked about Hannah. That was just awesome. I have also said that whenever I am blessed with a child he belongs to God. In the hospital I told God that whatever his will was I was willing to accept. Two days later he called Anthony home. Any other blessings I receive are Gods as well. I will do all in my power just like Hannah (Samuel by the way was the focus of our Sermon on Sunday)to ensure that my child learns and understands the teachings of God and follows the commandments. I always gain something from your posts and this one is no different. I am rambling now so I will stop. Samuel Luke, such a strong name like I told you yesterday. He is deffinately the light at he midst of the dark storm for you. God bless you and this new baby.

  31. What an awesome day! The name is perfect and the songs on the radio were definitely messages from God. He is so good!

  32. I love the name you chose for your son, and I love that you heard those songs and saw that lovely rainbow. What a way to lift your spirit!

  33. Oh congrats on another little boy! I love the meaning behind his name. How very special!!!! I always love reading your posts.

  34. wow, Lori! This is so uplifting! such an encouragement to me. the Lord IS good all the time! Samuel Luke is a beautiful name...I've actually thought of both names if I ever have a boy. (partly since my name is Hannah.) I am just so happy for you! this post gave me goosebumps and tears. beauty will rise is like my absolute favorite song. sounds like your 'this one she will keep' friend is really special! love you!

  35. Just wanted to say I really like your blog... keep up the great work!!

    Common Cents

  36. You know Hannah's story is near and dear to my heart. But I'm currently working on the life of Paul and his physician, Luke, is also a saint I'm greatly looking forward to meeting in Heaven. Such a caring heart, a beautiful reflection of our Great Physician! Thank you for introducing us to your sweet Samuel Luke!

  37. oh Lori~ this is a beutiful post. Sometimes it is hard for us to remember God is good all of the time, especially in our dark times, but he showed you MANY signs this day to remind you that he is. And just imagine what an AMAZING mommy you are going to be to little Luke. He truly is your rainbow baby...a gift ssent stright from God.

  38. I love that you put so much thought into your children's names. It's nice to have a story with so much meaning to go with the name. My parents picked my name for no particular reason other than they "liked it" and I always wished it had more meaning behind it.

  39. I love that you put so much thought into your children's names. It's nice to have a story with so much meaning to go with the name. My parents picked my name for no particular reason other than they "liked it" and I always wished it had more meaning behind it.

  40. beautiful name:)

    love and best thoughts are with you and your family on this journey.

    so uplifting!


  41. Lori - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! So happy to read a sweet boy will be gracing your family (I am biased, but boys are tons of fun!) Love love love the name Luke. Hugs to all of you, J

  42. I love this post, I love the rainbow, I love the meaning of Luke's name and I love how Matthew was called 5 times by God and finally answered as Samuel did.

    The pictures of Luke are so adorable! Thank you for sharing.

    love to you