What's in My Name?

This is my first blog post for this church, so please forgive me! I am a rambler, so bear with me. Many ideas have been going through my head about what I should write about today. I have decided to just introduce my name to you. Brian Doyle may mention me in some of his blogs, videos, and sermons, and he will probably be mentioned in some of my blogs too.

I used to be obsessed with my name. I am no longer obsessed, but I still like it! When I was a teenager/young adult, one of the trends was having your initial on your accessories. I had "m" on my purse, wallet, keychain, pajamas, and it decorated the walls of my dorm room. I would tell people my favorite candy was M &M's. Although I was a math major in college, I never had a favorite number, but I had a favorite letter. My name is not common, and it may look difficult to say. Since I could rarely find my name on a keychain or bike plate, I usually just stuck with my first initial.

I was named after my father, Michael. I was the third girl in the bunch. My dad was insistent on having this child be named after him. As far as I know, my dad was not named after anyone in his own family. One of my sisters is named after my mother, so I guess my dad wanted a namesake too. I was going to be named Michael, boy or girl, but my mom was not completely on board for that. She knew a girl in school with the name "Michaelene", and was able to convince my dad that it would still be honoring to him, just feminized. The nurse who typed my birth certificate was not honoring, though, and typed the wrong name. My parents were told that it was too late, and would have to pay to get it fixed. Having three kids in three years, it was not something they were able to pursue right away. To register me for school, they always used my Catholic baptism record (a topic for another time), which contains my real name.

There is more to me than my name, of course. Having an uncommon, long name can be a challenge. When I introduce myself, I try to speak clearly and slowly because people need time to process. I really do love being named after my dad. I love even more, though, the meaning of my name. Once, I found "Michaelene" in an Oxford dictionary, although the definition was just "A girl's name." The name Michael is Hebrew (also part of my heritage!) and means "Who is like God?" The name "Michael" can be found in the genealogies of several people in the old testament. He is also the name of a prince mentioned in the book of Daniel in chapters 10 and 12. And, of course, "Michael" is the name of one of God's angels in the books of Jude and the Revelation. As I understand, the name is a question, not a statement, implying there is no one like God.

I do not know if my parents had any knowledge of the meaning of my name when they gave it to me. Brian and I agonized for months over the names of all of our children. What I know is that I am honored to be named after my earthly father. I fail many times a day, but I do try to live up to being a godly woman. Am I demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit to others? That is, can other people say that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are all a part of this Michaelene? If not, then I need to get myself in check!

God is revealing to me what my purpose is while here on earth everyday. He continually challenges my preconceived notions of what my life should be. My struggles are real, but my God is bigger than any of them. When I was obsessed with my name, I was only thinking of myself. The God who created me needs to be above all others. What He wants from me needs to more important than what I want. I pray that His will becomes my will, rather than the other way around.

Enough about me! I will just leave you with one of the Proverbs I read today.


Proverbs 27:2

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.


(By the way, my name is pronounced MY-kull-leen)




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