Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"What's In A Name?"

Today I am participating in a "loveleigh" party hosted by Sares. Many of you who know Sares and read her wonderful blog "Loveleigh Treasures" may be like me, wondering where and how she goes by this interesting "Name". I have only heard the name Sares once before, so I am very interested to see her post. To accompany the "unveiling" of her name she has invited us to share something about "names". This could be about our own name, or our children's names, or even why we chose our "blog name". She said, anything to do with names. I have given this a lot of thought, so this will be an intimate post that is about who I am as a person, hopes and dreams, and what God has called me to do. My name holds great significance to me, and I'd like to share it with you.

I am linking to my Bible Study blog also today. If you have not stopped by  "a day in the life..."  I hope that after you read this post that you will. You will also find a permanent link on my side bar.

I think a name can say a lot about a person. I know as a child, there were so many "Debbies" in my elementary school classes that the teachers did not know how to address us, individually. They used nicknames, last names, initials, and all sorts of things, even separating us so we would at least know who they were speaking to. Because of that I always hated my name, and the fact that so many others had it. I longed for a name that was "special", different, and meaningful.

I felt that way until as an adult I read an article by a favorite pastor and author Francis Frangipane. He spoke about how names in the Bible were most often an indicator of who that person would be; that they were a personal "prophecy" for that individual's life. Names in the Bible have "meaning", so I let God lead me as I investigated what my names meant from a Biblical perspective.

My birth certificate reads "Debra Ann", but my mother had told my father Deborah, spelled in the Biblical way. For some reason, it didn't turn out that way. I became "Debra".

God took me to the book of Judges, Chapter 4, in the Old Testament. Here I read about Deborah, a woman who had been a leader of the Jewish people, long before the time of Christ. She took charge of the nation and called them to battle, something the men at that time were not wanting to do. She enlisted "Barak" to fight alongside her and they conquered the enemy.

He then directed me to Luke 2:36-38 in the New Testament. Here I read about a woman named "Anna". She had been widowed as a young woman, and lived in a room at the temple. She had dedicated her life to serving God in prayer. When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple she stood on the steps and recognized that He was her Savior, tiny baby that He was, she knew in her heart that He would be Messiah.

Reading these accounts of the two women in the Bible changed my mind and changed my life. God showed me through these two women and their names that He was calling me to be involved in His work, and to lead a life following after Him. I realized I need to be proud of my name, and pursue living up to my namesakes. I'm encouraging you to study the origins of your own name, and to see how you can identify with it's meaning.

And lastly I want to say that I chose the name Common Ground for my blog because although we may all be different; having distinct likes and dislikes, tastes, and opinions; if we look inside our hearts, as women, we can all find something that we have "in common". Our hearts reflect our love and need for connection with one another.

Blessings to all of you,
and thank you, Sares, for your "loveleigh" party,
Please click on the above link
to read about other names


  1. Debra, I love the meaning behind your name. The name Debra is a wonderful name. I love what Sares is doing this is truly a neat idea for us all to get to know a little more about each other.

    God bless.

    *®*´¯`•.¸¸.♫• Happy Holidays ♫•.¸¸.•´¯`*®*
    (¸.•´ (¸.+´♥♥¸.+´
    (¸.•´ (¸.+´♥ Heidi ♥)

  2. Hi Debra! I'm coming by way of Sares's party today.

    Your post is just lovely. I always hated my name as a child. As I grew older I grew into my name and now I'm happy with it. After so many years I better be! LOL!

    I'm inspired by your post and love to read about women of the Bible. The book you have in your post looks like a good one and I'll be looking for it next time I'm at the bookstore.

    Thank you for sharing today!


  3. What an amazing post! I think it's so beautiful hoe you came to appreciate the significance of both of your names. I think as we get older we tend to appreciate things we took for granted. I went to school with a Debra and always liked the name, she was a sweetie too! I don't think my first name has any Biblical roots but I cherish it just the same. I think the name of your blog is perfect as well, a place we can all share a Common Ground. Thank you so much Debra for joining me, your story was very meaningful!

  4. You are the only other "Debra" who spells her name like me. I would love to be able to say that was why Mother chose my name as well, but sadly not so. She liked an actress by the name of Debra Paget and so...
    I think you have indeed been called on a special mission and I think you are answering the call beautifully!

  5. Deborah Ann is a name which sounds very feminine, but is soooo soooo strong! I love it!

    I , too, believe in meaningful names from the Bible! That's why I named my son Gilead Isreal!!! :)

    I like how your parents shortened it to "Debra" I think that makes it balance out the strength! I love it! Cheers to Debra Ann! :)

  6. Hello, Debra,
    I so enjoyed reading your post today and the origins of your name from a Biblical view. I have always loved to read about women in the Bible. God bless you as you enjoy the name He has given you! Blessings to you! Vicki

  7. Wonderful post! Love the Bible verse about your name:) Also, it is nice to hear why you named your blog Common Ground! Have a blessed day!

  8. Hi Debra, Thank you for the beautiful story. I guess it is a part of just being human or maybe girls that we are always a little dissatisfied with our names as a child, but I love the way you came to embrace yours. Have a wonderful week, Mollye

  9. I love this post Debra! I'm so happy that you have come to love your name through the readings of the Bible. You have a beautiful name...a beautiful name for a beautiful person...inside and out!!!
    I'm so happy to be a part of your "Common Ground", a name wisely chosen.
    everything vintage

  10. Perfect - this was such a special blog - I wonder where Jennifer came from originally? I'm named after my grandmother Jennie. When I was a child I never liked it (I'm 56) because all through school I was always the only Jennifer - I'm easy with myself = I love my name. Common Ground is true and just perfect for you!

  11. Sometimes finding the meaning behind a name - or changing the spelling - can make a real difference in how we view ourselves. Thanks for sharing your story!

  12. Wonderful post. I've always liked the name you had chosen for your blog, and now that I hear the explanation, I like it even more! Have a great day!

  13. Debra...this is a beautiful post. I love the name Deborah. Thanks for sharing about your name and sharing you heart with us!

    Gail-> always the ONLY Gail in the whole school full of Debbie's, lol.

  14. Debra - GORGEOUS post! I love the meaning behind your names!!! Just as beautiful as you are!

    When I named my son I went searching and searching and searching for his name - and I found it in the bible. My sons' name is "Jonathan" and for NO other reason but that it means, "Gift of God". He IS my gift and I thank God for him each and every moment!!! (Especially when we are right in the middle of being 15 years old - that's when I pray something like this: "Thank You for Jonathan, now...please tell what I'm supposed to do next.") WHEW! ;-)

    And "robelyn"? My mom is a fruitcake.

    Thank You for such a wonderful post (and for listening to my rambles!!!)

    Have a wonderful wonderful Thursday!!!
    ;-) robelyn

  15. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet! Debra, Deborah, Debbie, you are still a wonderful gift in my life. I so respect how you infuse your messages here with meaning and substance. A good reminder of what we are all called to be. You are truly answering the call!
    Love you!

  16. Hi Debra,

    I have just invited you to a little Thanksgiving gathering. Please drop by when you can. I love the thought you put into all of your posts and also learning the spirit behind the name of your blog.


  17. We already talked about this before, and like you, I didn't like my name either. I also don't like my last name, or the name of the street I live on or the city I live in. How's that for some heavy-duty whining?

    But like you said, God had His reasons. I am learning to appreciate who I am in Christ.

    Great post Debra Ann!

  18. Debra,
    When I read your post last night, I didn't comment as I wasn't sure what to say, as I guess I hadn't stopped long enough to ponder names and how people felt about their's.. Your's was such a beautiful post that it brought tears. When I awoke this morning, I read more from others and knew that I needed to suck it up, not be a baby and be a part of this wonderful day. Thank you, Debra for your inspirations always!

  19. Debra~~
    A very thought provoking and moving post. As a young girl, I never heard of another person with my name, Ella , except for my grand-mother, her mother and Ella fitzgerald. I especially love the meaning behind the name of your blog.

    Blessings, GG

  20. Congratulations Debra, Jermaine saved the best for last.
    Everyone loves you dearly.

  21. Hello Debra
    This post resonates with me on a very personal level...I had lost two last names,which left me very sad...but our Lord came through with an amazing last name for me.
    Your post was very well written,I am impressed with folks that have a gift like yours to put in print what is in your heart...beautiful post!


I love hearing from you. Feel free to comment, big or small. Be sure and leave your name and blog if commenting under anonymous. Thanks friends

New Posts in Your In-Box