Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”1 John 3:1-3 (NIV)
As I was reading my devotional for today and the accompanying narrative I felt compelled to share my thoughts and feelings on the topic of being called by our given name(s). Indeed, what great love our Father, God has lavishly blessed us by calling us His children. The story that was included in the devotional was about a small boy who was upset when an older adult had called him “sweetie pie” and not by his given name. The boy liked his name and preferred being called by such. His mother tried explaining that it had been said as a term of endearment. She told her young son that sometimes when people are talking with others they use words that are complimentary and endearing. * Devotional can be reached by clicking this link:
The first and foremost a lesson for me is most definitely that I am both honored and blessed to be called a child of God. Secondly, I am honored by my given name that my parents gave to me at birth. I don’t know if there’s a story behind it or not but I have come full circle in loving my whole name . . .
Charlotte Ann Robinson
One of my earliest memories of my full given name was in kindergarten learning to spell my name; it was so long! I had to use three lines of the preprinted paper just to print my full name. It may have seemed impossible at the time but I would not change it for anything today. With that being said, I do recall writing a paper for English literature in college about changing my name to something with less letters in it (LOL)! I’m so thankful that was just a writing exercise.
I have many friends who use different variations of my name and I’ve preferred some over others during specific times in my life. I am thankful for each one and for the memories that flood over me like river of time whenever I am called by a specific variation.
The (nick) name that has been with me the longest and sprawls over more than one stage of my life and at times crisscrosses back and both, much like the ebb and flow of the waves on a shoreline is Charlie.
I gained the nickname “Charlie” when I was playing softball as a kid, so it brings back some very fond memories and I reminisce about my glory days. To say that I loved softball would be an understatement. I starting playing when I was five and enjoyed it for another three decades. My parents were super supportive and even when I played in college they only missed a few games. My mom was my biggest fan.
During my time in college I met a few very special individuals who became like family and they still call me Charlie. Margaret, Greg, and Nancy. To this very day when they calls me Charlie, it transcends me back to our early meetings of one another and the love and kindness they showed me. Greg was the fiancé of Margaret, and her husband today. They took me in and treated me like an extended member of their family; they are indeed very special to me. The joy of their friendship has sustained me with love, compassion and gratitude over the years. Nancy too, is a part of my connection with Greg and Margaret, she is a dear friend and though we rarely see one another our relationship as friends, sisters and children of God bonds us together. Nancy and Margaret are like sisters to me, a gift from God. Of course, they call me Charlotte too, and I love it as well!
I believe that I was in junior high and high school when some of my friends shortened my name to “Char.” It was different and kind of unique but the best part of it was, my two best friends Marcie and Staci called me, Char. We even had a secret word we used when we wrote notes back and forth to one another, back in the stone age before phones and such! “ETA” meant “love you” I honestly don’t remember how we came up with that collection of letters but I do remember passing notes in our Greek language class. Times were simpler back then, I miss them, my friends and that space and time.
Much later in life, a person I had been romantically involved with also called me Char. It was endearing but felt so very different than what it did in high school. That relationship, like many things in life ended but the name remains with significance.
I also have a dear friend, Shelly who calls me, Char. So is a bundles of joy and her heart is filled with love. She is one of the most courageous women I know and she has faced more adversities than one person should. She’s not a quitter, she does t know the word defeated though many have tried to bring her down. I just love her! She has been like a cheerleader for me and my writing since the beginning of our friendship that began in the mid ‘90’s. We rarely spend time together yet our bond grows stronger with time. We share many life values and have deep love and respect for one another.
Now, that certainly has a parental ring to it, doesn’t it! Whether it was used with regard to praise or reprimand, today both bring a smile to my face. I feel so enormously blessed to have the parents God blessed me with, I knew they loved me through everything they did. They scolded me and corrected me when I needed to be shown right from wrong. They praised me when I achieved things in life, they encouraged me when I had been disappointed or lost in an event. They taught me to be kind, to be generous and respectful. They taught me to pray, we’re concerned about my education both academically and spiritually. They sacrificed themselves to give me and my brother a life filled with truth, honesty and responsibility. I am fortunate to still have my dad and he is in relatively good health given some of his diagnoses. My mom, passed nearly ten years ago, not a day goes by I do not miss her. I had a beautiful dream just last night, I often do not remember specifics but this one I did. I was a kid and I looked my mom in the eyes and intently spoke those three little words, “I Love You!” her face beamed and so did mine. The older I get the more I see her in myself, I like that.
It is difficult to put into words the sensation that fills me when I hear my given name, while many people use this name the most at this point in my life, it also invokes different emotions depending on the person speaking. It is in the pronunciation of my name, for instance the tone and sound of someone’s voice can ignite a spark in my soul. I have a friend, Nick he’s a sweet guy who always makes me feel like I’m significant, just hearing his voice makes my heart smile and a calmness rushes over me. He’s kind, considerate and respectful. He always greets me with a friendly hug whenever we meet one another in person. I have a friend, Ty at work who often uses the phrase, “The secret lies with Charlotte” a movie quote from “National Treasure” it always makes me smile, and he uses a direct and deep voice when he says it! I love hearing every time!
Two other friends, Barry and Tony address me by my given name, they speak it differently and it is comforting to hear my name spoken. I feel “seen” and “recognized” as more than just another employee that happens to work for the same company they do. Barry has been my coworker and friend for many years. We, in my opinion compliment one another with our work skills and abilities. I enjoy our friendship and our combined interest in sporting events, political banter and our shared faith. In many ways, my relationship with Tony is very similar, in addition he has been a mentor to me and has always been willing to listen and allow me to talk through obstacles I am facing within the workplace. I believe he is wise beyond his years and has the ability to see things not just as they are but what they have the potential to become.
Obviously, it would be impossible to mention everyone who calls me by my given name and how that makes me feel. So please allow me to say this, I love all of the beautiful men and women in my life who have made and continue to make a difference in my life, your abilities to invoke influence, sincerity, love and respect is overwhelming at times, may the God of the universe watch over you and keep you safe, healthy and joyful. We are all God’s beloved children.
Friends, thank you all for the many names by which you bless me.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”~1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
Just for fun . . .