Ira Gray Lewis - How We Chose His Name


Ira
Origin: Hebrew male name
Meaning: Watchful (Different sources also say wakeful and full grown)

Something I have been wanting to do for a long time is write about Ira's name. We frequently get questions about where we found it and why we picked it so I thought this is something I should share sooner or later.

To start, this is going to should cliche but... we didn't pick his name, God did. God made it clear to us many times that Ira was to be the baby's name. Jason and I believe that names are important and powerful so we didn't want to pick a name simply because we liked it. Thankfully we love the name Ira but we also wanted it to have significance and be relative to who God made him to be.

One day while we were perusing the internet for baby names Jason was on a random website with a list of names. The kind of random website where you have about 10 tabs open and if you closed it you would probably never find the page again because you aren't sure how you got there in the first place. It was on one of those pages that we first saw the name. As we threw random names back and forth, most of them being turned down, Jason said, "what about Ira?" We instantly like it and added it to our list of potential names. (Our list has many girl names but barely any boy names. Boy names are hard!) As we continued to look at names over the weeks we took many off the list but Ira always stayed near the top.

One night I had a dream. I won't go into the details of the dream but when I woke up to write it down the main message in the dream was that our son would be a "mighty man." Afterwards we found out that Ira is actually a name found in the Bible and is one of the men in King David's army of mighty men. These were men of righteousness. They were warriors doing mighty, valiant exploits for King David and ultimately for the Kingdom of God. That, for us, was definitely a confirmation and added to how much we already liked the name.

After praying and waiting Ira was to be his name so it was actually rather simple to choose. The hardest part was choosing a middle name.



Gray
Origin: English
Meaning: Nickname for someone with grey hair or a grey beard (clearly the meaning wasn't relevant in this case)

Gray is my maiden name. Before I married Jason I was Jillian Gray. We never intended on using family names but as we discussed middle names Gray stood out to us over and over and we like the sound of the two names together. Ira Gray. Many names we liked when paired with Ira ended up sounding feminine and we didn't want that. I think Ira is sometimes now used as a female name but it is originally a male name. One thing we felt strongly about was that this baby would carry a lot of the generational blessings from our grandparents and great grandparents and so on, especially things from my Irish heritage like the friendly relational demeanour Irish people are known for. So to emphasize that part of who God made him we decided on Gray.

Sidenote: Wonderfully enough at the last Prophecy seminar we taught at Bethesda last year one of the students had to ask God for a prophetic word for me. He looked at me and said when you were teaching I was wondering if you had a child and then right after you said you had a son and God told me this about him: You (Jillian) come from a long line of people who have been faithful to God and that generational blessing is on your son. He had no idea who I was or that those words were something that had already been spoken about and emphasized about Ira since before he was born. So that was pretty special.

Once we prayed and finally settled on it we grew to love his name more and more and were so excited to share it with everyone once he was born. We called him by it when we would talk to him in my tummy but kept it a secret from everyone else. I still clearly remember the moment when Marlene said, "So what's his name?" It makes me so happy to think about. I look forward to that moment of saying my babies names when they are fresh and new in my arms after I have each one.

Anyway, those are the details. He has already lived up to his name in his short 11 months and we constantly have people commenting on how watchful he is. He honestly doesn't miss a detail. they also comment on how friendly he is and constantly has us stopping and talking to people just like his grandfather and great grandfather. That's our Ira Gray.




All the pictures are from the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. It is one of my favourite places in Cape Town.

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