God really started talking to me about JOY in the advent season before I was pregnant. Have you ever had one of those weeks where EVERYTHING around you screamed the thing you were thinking about? There’s actually a name for that! But anyway, that week everything for me was joy: my She Reads Truth advent study, a song on my Spotify playlist, an embroidered gift while Christmas shopping, every Christmas card we got in the mail that week…
Joy was everywhere. So much so that I took pictures and kept an account of all the seemingly “random” occurrences. I knew they weren’t random!
A word to see.
After the Christmas season was over and weeks before I found out we were pregnant, I was at a local women’s conference called You Are. Every year they write a word (and scripture) on a card and every woman who comes gets one that guest night. Well, guess what my word was: JOY! Out of hundreds of women and only 2 cards with that word, my bag had it. My fertility story with this conference goes back years. They even told my story the year before (watch testimony video here).
I felt like the word joy signified this idea that IF I was to get pregnant, I was to surrender to have joy and not fear. My pregnancy with Rivers was full of unknown, worry, and straight up fear. I knew the Lord had something different this time!
So Stephen kept telling me “we are going to have a girl and name her Joy.” I persistently said, “No no, God is just telling me to have joy.”
Well, wouldn’t you know in March, to my surprise, we found out we were having a baby girl!! We quickly started talking about her name – and going through all the options with Joy as the middle name. I was really determined to choose a name and share it with the world this time! We narrowed it down to 5 and had family and close friends weighing in. There were some front runners, but in the end, for some reason, I couldn’t 💯 commit to one. They were all beautiful, they just didn’t feel like HER name.
A serendipitous summer night.
One night some good friends were over to swim & we started talking through all this. I was sitting with Hailey (who also happened to be with me at the conference) when I was reminded of another word I heard that January day…
Someone was teaching through Ephesians 3:20, which happens to be one of my favorite scriptures. (I’ve legit almost had it tattooed on my body).
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
In underlining it in my bible, I realized 2 of my 3 kids have middle names found in that one verse. Camp ABEL (able), Rivers GLORY. How cool, I thought. I remember thinking in my heart, “if we have another baby, I want him/her to also have a middle name from this scripture.” The only word I could come up with was, you guessed it: EVER.
That summer night, sitting by the pool, I told my friend the story and said “but I thought it would be her middle name, and she very clearly already has a middle name: Joy.” I think I rolled “Ever Joy” in my head before saying it out loud, but I did say it out loud. I had considered a “double name” for one of my children. My sister and several very close friends have double names, and I go back and forth still wanting to call Rivers by both her names, Rivers Glory.
That night in the bath, I did what I do. I started googling it, ha! Or rather looking up the hashtags, to make sure my baby would have a #firstnamemiddlename hashtag on social media just like her siblings. Wouldn’t you know I ran into ONE #everjoy baby. It just felt like it was meant to be. Rivers came in and joined me in the bathroom, and after throwing in “Ever Joy” with the other top two name suggestions, she said she liked that one best.
EVER JOY it was. We didn’t tell many people her name, it was a fun surprise when she was born!
Another sign that Ever Joy was meant to be.
Later that summer while I was studying the Psalms, I came across this verse:
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
It was meant to be. Now knowing this precious baby girl – her personality totally fits. She is indeed ever joyful.
Hey, I'm Wynne!
Hi, friend! First, I truly am so giddy that you are here. I want you to know I believe in you and all the ways you are growing towards living a more intentional life. I genuinely hope you are encouraged from our time together here.
A little about me, I’m a type 7 on the enneagram, a total extrovert + people lover, entrepreneur, connector, storyteller, people gatherer, and passionate wife, mama + friend. I feel most alive when I’m exploring new places and surrounded by people I love. Give me a day in the outdoors disconnected from wifi, and I am a happy girl. I run on oat milk lattes, Jesus, gratitude journaling and kitchen dance parties with my four kids.
Welcome, come on in!