For Robin and I choosing a girls name was easy. We had two beautiful girls names picked long before we were even considering having children. As for boys names, this was a real struggle. We came to agreement upon a boys name twice before we settled on Valentine. However, about two weeks later for one reason or another, one of us had changed our mind. We loved the name Oliver until we realised it was 2016 and 2017 most popular boys names.
Valentine originally was a name we had thought of about two years before conception. We wanted a name with strength, a name that was unique and one that was meaningful. Valentine, meaning strong and vigorous, acquainted with the modern trend of being commonly known for love, was very much liked by the both of us. Though, realising that all names get shortened, we couldn’t stand the thought of having a Val.
During the pregnancy, both of us leaned towards names found in nature. We explored names such as Hail, River, Storm and Forest. Somehow in conversation we came upon Valley. Not a name that is in any of the baby name books. Actually, not really a name by definition anywhere… yet.
Initially I was stumped on the fact that Valleys can be dark and gloomy and it is the mountain tops people aspire towards and then Robin said to me “Jekkie, water brings life, water heals, water is soft and flexible, yet strong and it moves mountains. Where does the water flow? In the Valley”. From then on we loved it so much and were set on it for about the last two months of my pregnancy.
So why Valentine? As much as we have received the common “we love Valley, it suits you guys so much” type comments, we aren’t deluded to the fact that Valley can be seen as an ‘eccentric’ type name. We also wanted our little man to have a name that as a adult, is more formal, and this way he can have some autonomy around what he prefers depending on his stage of life, vocational choice etc. So we chose Valentine. As for his middle name, that was easy, in honour and remembrance of my precious father, he received Rainald.
We both are very much besotted by our Mr. Valentine Rainald Shearer.
Christian Surfer Girls posted on Instagram this week:
“One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.” – G.K. Chersterton
The modern world takes great pride in mountains. We conquer them physically, and mentally and emotionally, mountains are used to convey hard seasons in our life, another sense of overcoming. But, we never talk about the valleys. Or, if we do…we talk about “The Valley of Death.” 😧
I’ve found though, that valleys are the source of life. The valleys are where the water runs through, and where most life dwells, from animals to vegetation. And for most of us, we’ll spend significant times of our lives in valleys (or as we like to call it, community). The valley is the place where we grow. Without the valley, we could never conquer the mountains. Yeah sure, the valley might seem a little bleak compared to the top of the mountain, but the valley puts your life into perspective. The valley is where you find your true self. Your true self who is great, with or without conquering mountains. To live in the valley is a true challenge, a challenge of your self and how to be grateful in the seasons where we’re settled. Of course, we’re always going to conquer mountains, physically, emotionally and mentally, but take the time to grow in your valley first. Your appreciation from the mountain tops will be humbled when you see your valley below. “I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose–I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]”
- Philippians 4:12-13