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What’s in a Name? …As it Turns Out, Quite a Bit!

A letter from Daddy and Mommy to “Baby Rae Rae” concerning your name.

Sweetness, when you google (or whatever it is you’ll do 10-15 years from now to look up information on the internet) the name Rae, you will find it has a variety of different meanings, based on the origin of the word. Please allow this letter tell you why your mom and I named you Rae Sawyer Dennstaedt.

Dennstaedt: The last name is an easy explanation. It is our name, so that is what you are stuck with until you get married; then you can take the last name of your husband and ditch the Dennstaedt.

Rae: Contrary to what you may hear, your mom and I did not pick the name Rae because we are Star Wars nerds; which we are. Words can’t describe the scene when Captain Kirk and Dr. Spok take on Loki on the moon of Endoor…priceless cinema…Tom Cruise got snubbed for best supporting actor on that one. Anyway, back to the real purpose of this letter.  We debated on whether we would even use this name for a while after the new Stars Wars film came out in 2015. When your brother was conceived and it still wasn’t time to know the gender, we had picked two names that we would go with; one girl, one boy. Obviously you know the boy’s name…it’s your brother’s. The girl’s name we had picked was originally Rae Louisa, but after much consideration, we decided against that because we wanted to give you a middle name that had a far more significant meaning. More on that later…

Here’s what you should know about the name Rae. It means wise protector. It is more than a pretty name that also happens to be easy to yell from the sideline of a soccer field (wink, wink). We pray that it will describe you in a profound way because wherever the weak and marginalized find you, they will find a defender and a safe place…a protector. We already know you are strong in will and body and now we are praying that you will use that strength to act in wisdom as you care for others with nurturing authority. We’re thankful, too, that there will also be someone close by looking out for you – your big brother, who, we’re quite sure will be your very own protector (perhaps to your annoyance at times).

Rae is also the middle name of both your Great-Grammy and your Great Grandfather Guice. This is an important legacy – first and foremost because those two individuals gave us your Bei Bei, and it is hard to imagine life without Bei Bei! Your great grandfather (my Poppi) was a military vet (Navy), who served his country during WW11 and the Korean War. And you will find, when you meet your your Great Gram, that she is a steadfast prayer warrior and an incredibly faith-filled woman. Yes, a great legacy indeed!

Sawyer: The name actually means sawer of wood or one who cuts timber, but that is not why we wanted you to have the middle name of Sawyer. The name has rich meaning because it is a representation of two amazing people, who we pray you will emulate as you grow and mature.

Your Nana; Shirley Sawyer Dennstaedt. She is the quintessential Proverbs 31 woman. Right now, you do not fully understand how blessed you are to have Nana as your Nana, but as you grow and mature, you will see just how amazing this woman is and how she is someone (outside of mom and dad, of course) to whom you can look to for wisdom and guidance. And, Lord willing, she is someone who you will one day become very much like.

Your GG; Carol Ann Sawyer. She is the embodiment of love, loyalty and sacrifice. Never in my life have I seen these characteristics displayed so well than when I watched your GG care for her husband, your Great Granddad. She is an amazing woman; so loving and caring towards others, especially her own family, and especially her grandkids and great grands. It’s a pretty sweet gig to be a grand or great grand of GG’s! You’ll know soon enough.

Our prayer for you is from Luke 2:52 – that you, like Jesus, would grow in wisdom and stature and favor with God and with men (mankind). We pray that you will become a well respected woman of faith, a woman of great character and integrity, and an impact player for God’s kingdom. We will continually ask that God would mold and shape you into a Proverbs 31 woman. For us, that would look like you becoming very much like your Great Gram, your Nana and your GG – fiercely loyal and loving, hard working, full of faith, wise, and willing to put others before yourself without expecting anything in return.

We love you so much already,

Daddy & Mommy


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