What’s in a Name?


When we are born we are given a name.  I know from experience that parents tend to put a lot of care into naming their children. Sometimes the name is a family name, or sometimes the parent likes the meaning of the name, or sometimes parents have thought of what the name would sound like when their child becomes an adult. Whatever the reason you are named it becomes your name, yet we do not become our name until we are older.

I have many memories of being a teacher where I would associate a name with a student in my mind and even to this day based on the behavior of the student; I still hear their names and smile, because their 5th grade student image pops into my head.

Do you have anyone that has ‘become’ their name, and every time you think of their name you think of them?

I have been thinking a lot about names lately, specifically names from the Bible.  It is not just the name that has me thinking but it is the people whose names were changed when major life events happen. Some for example include:

  • Abram changed to Abraham when he was to be the father of many generations. (Genesis 17:5)
  • Sarai became Sarah when she was to become the mother of many generations. (Genesis 17:15)
  • Jacob switched to Israel after wrestling with God and changed from a deceiver to a man who will prevail. (Genesis 32:28)
  • Saul during his conversion was changed to Paul. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and set his eyes on Jesus (Acts 13:9)

In fact if you want to geek out with me for a moment I created a list from my research of the names changed in the Bible (see below):

Abram Renamed Abraham God Genesis 17:5
Azariah Renamed Abednego Ashpenaz Daniel 1:7
Barnabas Also Known As Joseph The Apostles Acts 4:36-37
Barsabbas Also Known As Judas   Acts 15:22
Bartholomew Believed to be Nathanael    
Ben-Oni Also Known As Benjamin His Father Jacob Genesis 35:18
Boanerges Also Known As James and John Jesus Mark 3:17
Cephas (or Peter) Also Known As Simon   John 1:42
Daniel Renamed Belteshazzar Ashpenaz Daniel 1:7
Daniel Also Known As Kileab   1 Chron. 3:1
Didymus Also Known As Thomas   John 11:16
Dorcas Also Known As Tabitha   Acts 9:36
Edom Also Known As Esau   Genesis 25:30
Eliakim Renamed Jehoiakim Pharoah Neco 2 Kings 23:34
Esther Also Known As Hadassah Persian – Hebrew Esther 2:7
Gideon Renamed Jerb-Baal The men of Ophrah Judges 6:32
Hananiah Renamed Shadrach Ashpenaz Daniel 1:7
Hoshea Renamed Joshua Moses Numbers 13:16
Jacob Renamed Israel God Genesis 32:28
Jedediah Also Known As Solomon God 2 Sam 12:24-25
Jethro Also Known As Reuel   Exodus 3:1
John Also Known As Mark   Acts 15:37
Joseph Renamed Zaphenath-Paneah Pharoah Genesis 41:45
Levi Also Known As Matthew Hebrew – Greek Matthew 9:9
Lo-Ammi Renamed Ammi God Hosea 2:23
Lo-Ruhamah Renamed Ruhamah God Hosea 2:23
Mattaniah Renamed Zedekiah Nebuchadnezzar 2 King 24:17
Merub-Baal Also Known As Mephibosheth   2 Sam 19:12
Mishael Renamed Meshach Ashpenaz Daniel 1:7
Naomi Renamed Mara Herself Ruth 1:20
Paul Also Known As Saul Latin – Hebrew Acts 13:9
Sarai Renamed Sarah God Genesis 17:15
Silas Also Known As Silvanus   1 Peter 5:12



As I have been thinking and processing these name changes in the Bible, some to be have stuck out more then others – the ones what come with a big event.

In my own life I have had THREE MAJOR name changes:

  1. On July 24th 2010 I got to marry my BEST FRIEND! I was honored and excited to take his last name. I went from Marissa Brown to Marissa Rice. Yes, those of you who are quick in your humor may see that hyphening my last name would have been pretty funny (Mrs. Brown-Rice) but that was not the reason I wanted to take my husbands name. I was excited to enter into a convent promise and union with Him, and to represent that with a name change. I am an adored, beloved and cherished WIFE.

  1. The second MAJOR name change I got to experience was when I became a: MOM! The name of Mom, Mommy, Mother, is a honored and joyful name change! When I think of all the things I have been called in the past Mom is near the TOP! I am a MOTHER to five of the most beautiful creations I have ever seen (I know I am biased).

  1. My last name change tops them all, and I know that is hard to believe that there is something better then wife and mother. I am a chosen Child of God, I am a Christian, and I have submitted my life and am following Him. My new name is written in the Lambs Book of Life and I will never be the same!

What is in a name? Everything!

What is your name?

Motherhood – Best Me



Being a Mom:

Being a mom is the HARDEST job I have ever done! In fact when my husband has a day off and gets to be the one in charge all day he attests that the role I play during the day is harder then the one he does at work. (And I think he has a very intense job).

I think it is the weight of responsibility that builds the tension of wanting to do your very best and feeling like you are always failing.

Anyone else on this moving train with me? You know the one where you think you know the direction you are suppose to go and what you are suppose to do but the bumps and lane options in the path make it look like spaghetti noodles in front of you instead of a straight path. Oh the choices and what lane do you pick, AND don’t forget about those bumps along the path that can derail your very best intentions. This moving train stops for no one so jump on and adjust while still keeping all your kiddos from falling out.

Motherhood is not for the weak of heart, it is not for the unintentional, and it is not for a passenger. As a mother we are the conductors of the day, the one who guides and directs this moving bumpy train.

I love being a mom, EVEN THOUGH it is the hardest most intimidating job I have ever done. When I became a mother it was a moment, a pivotal moment in my life, and it created a chance for me to choose intentionally above complacency.

Being a mother didn’t make me LOSE MYSELF, I hear this a lot on social media:

“I am finding myself again.”

“I am taking care of me”

“This is for me.”


I am sure you have heard or read them before; I am here to bash on anyone who has said this, I know I have before.  But I have come to the realization that I don’t have to compartmentalize motherhood from me. Iain Thomas once said, “Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I’ve ever been.” I am MORE me, I am not less of me, I am not less of a person due to motherhood.

If you feel like your drowning, you might be, but it might not be motherhood that is causing the drowning. It might be a lack of team support systems, it might be a lack of true joy found in Jesus Christ, it might be not fueling your body right, it might a lack of healthy boundaries and expectations, it could be a lot of different things but being a mother doesn’t cause you to not be you.

You are more you than you’ve ever been, the YOU you are designed to be! I would recommend not running from it, but instead embrace it, learn to love it, make ways in your life that you feel create more intentionally. Does that mean having daily Bible reading, a girls night, daily exercise, or making time to refresh in the day? YES, find ways that help you maintain balance and do things that refresh you so that you can do the intentional work we are called to do in our life of motherhood.





Podcast – Episode #23 Pursuing Dreams While in the Mom-Stage of Life

Marissa Rice-2

Listen in today on a Podcast I am so excited to share! My dear friend Mary Rabe and I get together to talk about the importance of pursuing passions and dreaming WITH YOUR KIDS! Don’t let being a mom stop you from dreaming! We also talk about, maybe your dream was always to be a mom and now you are HOORAY, but now what? Listen in, I think you will be inspired and encouraged!

Marissa Rice #23



Show Notes: