What’s in a Name?

If you know me very well, you probably know of my passion for names. In a running list, I have 9 beloved girls’ names, 8 beloved boys’ names, several names for specific people’s children, another 25 names to share with anyone else who can’t figure out what to name their baby (let me know if you need an idea), and 13 dog names—as if I could ever live long enough to use all of them. In fact, our kids’ names were decided on before we even got engaged as part of a verbal prenuptial agreement. To say that names are important to me is a gross understatement.

So, of course, selecting a name for my blog was one of the most important decisions I had to make before finally launching it. Indeed, my inaugural post was delayed by probably a week or two because of that process. The decision was going to be an easy one. For a long time, I had a plan to call it, “311 Story.” But recently, I inadvertently learned of a rock band known by those numbers, whose name was reportedly inspired by a local ordinance prohibiting public indecency. And frankly, that’s just not what this story is about. So I began looking for an alternative name, and came up with several possibilities—each with its own advantages and drawbacks.

I won’t bore you with the details of deliberation, but I will offer a bit of explanation as to why I finally settled on “Fathoming Heaven,” which I believe turns out to be a perfect title. According to Vocabulary.com, “To fathom something is to understand it thoroughly” or “to get to the bottom of it.” The site further pointed out that the word is usually used in the negative, as in ‘I can’t fathom…’ I also learned that the word fathom comes from a Middle English word (fadme), meaning “outstretched arms.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11 suggests that “no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” And even though we will never be able to completely understand, or get to the bottom of, what God has done or is doing or will do, both in this world and beyond, the idea of fathoming heaven encompasses a desire to continuously seek a deeper level of understanding and a deeper level of intimacy with God—and to do so with outstretched arms.Image

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