Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How A Boy Gets His Name (according to Bryan and Kathryn)

Some of you know that, for Kathryn and I, the naming of our children has been a fun and thoughtful process. The meaning of the name, in particular, is important to us. Caleb means “faithful, courageous, and bold” and our daily prayer for him is that he would be exactly that. Joel means “Jehovah is the Lord,” and our prayer for him is that his “life – always and in everything – would declare that Jehovah is the Lord.”

Additionally we have chosen significant family names for our middle names. Caleb’s middle name is Charles. My father, Charles, passed away in 1999. He was a humble man who loved God, a great husband, an amazing father – in short, a man whose life is worth emulating. Joel’s middle name, Matthew, is in honor of Kathryn’s brother. He has always been a loyal, safe, and compassionate friend to my wife, and is a courageous, creative, and grace-filled man.

Several things have motivated our choice of Samuel Erik:
- We have liked the name Samuel from the beginning, and it made our short list for our first two sons.
- In 2008 Kathryn and I had two miscarriages. Despite the grief of those experiences, we continued to desire and ask God for another child. One meaning of Samuel is “requested of God” (1 Samuel 1:20). He is the child for whom we asked.
- We first found out that Samuel’s heart was different during our 20-week ultrasound. Knowing (but not knowing) about his heart condition and seeing hours of ultrasound images of his heart bound our hearts tightly to our unborn son. We have been confident from the beginning that our God knit Samuel together in Kathryn’s womb exactly as He saw fit. He was and is exactly who God made him to be, defective heart and all. We searched for names that have “heart” somewhere in their meaning. Guess what popped up? We discovered that another meaning of Samuel is “God’s heart.” My prayer for Samuel is that his heart would be fully devoted to God.
- In the biblical story of Samuel, Samuel’s mother, Hannah, is so grateful that God gave her the son for whom she asked that she dedicates his life to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:24-28). My first prayer for Samuel after his birth was a commitment of our little guy to the Lord; this has been our heart from the beginning. Because of the questions about his health, Kathryn and I have been keenly aware that his life is in God’s hands, not ours. Sometimes it is more out of survival than devotion, but we have resolved to daily entrust him to the Lord.
- Erik is my brother. Apart from my wife, he is my best friend. We have already told Samuel Erik that if he grows up to be like his uncle, he will be a man worthy of respect. Erik is trustworthy, diligent, thoughtful, and wise. He consistently thinks of and serves others.

In the Apinis family, that’s how a boy gets his name. Thanks for praying. Please keep it up!


  1. Thanks for sharing Bryan! We're praying for little Samuel Erik, as well as the rest of you guys. May God bless you as you continue to walk in faith.

  2. Praying for your family and precious Samuel, Bryan! Thanks for keeping us updated. You are all held and loved.

    Amy and Russell Todd

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with you

    Love u guys!

  4. I love the explanation! Samuel, Caleb, and Joel are so blessed to have parents like you guys! You are such special people and I am glad that your story and our story has crossed paths in this life!
    With continued prayers,
    The Tates

  5. Kathryn and Bryan, Praying for you and Baby Samuel that because God's everylasting arms are under you and around you day and night that you are able to love and minister to all your precious family. Thank you for the blog; it allows us to know what is happening so we can pray specifically. Tell Baby Samuel he is very loved in Texas. Jim and Judy