Receiving Grace upon Grace – Introducing our New Daughter

On Friday March 12 at 5:14 am, Emily and I welcomed our second daughter, Hannah Grace, into the world.

Probably the hardest part (for me) this time around was choosing a name. Names are really important. Biblically, they define people to some degree. The names of Naomi’s sons, Mahlon & Chilion, for example, meant “sickness” and “wasting away.” They died in Moab, leaving their mother without grandchildren. Naomi herself, after the death of her sons renamed herself “Mara” because the “Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20).

So, what you name your children is kind of a big deal. And for Emily and I, agreeing on a name was extremely difficult at first.

We initially wanted this baby’s name to convey an idea of strength combined with femininity. (Tall order? Maybe.) After batting around ideas for several weeks, we managed to agree on a middle name: Grace, meaning “favor” or “blessing.”

More time went by and we were short-listing names, crossing off others… Eventually we came to Hannah. I liked it, but didn’t recall the meaning of the name.

I asked Emily, “How about we call her Hannah Grace?”

Her response, “But ‘Hannah’ means ‘grace;’ wouldn’t that be weird?”

Then I remembered:

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
John 1:16

The last year has been an incredibly challenging one for us; ultimately all of our difficulties have worked out for our good though it’s not always been comfortable. But through them all, God has been with us and He’s been incredibly gracious to us, so much so that I think I take it for granted.

He’s poured out grace upon grace in our lives, blessing after blessing. And the chief blessing is that He has not only shown us how to live in the Law but that He came to live that life for us in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. That His perfect life was given to me in exchange for my sinful one by faith in the crucified and resurrected Jesus.

Naming my daughter Hannah Grace is a tangible reminder of this for me.

God willing, the next several years are going to be exciting. Seeing my girls grow up, teaching them about Jesus and someday walking them down the aisle… To see this family grow into all that God has planned for us is going to be a wonderful gift.

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  • Heather

    There’s no better heavenly news than Grace – and there’s no better earthly news than a new baby! Congratulations on your sweet daughter – my husband and I are blessed with 4 daughters (and a boy in there for fun) – and there is nothing that makes us cling more tightly to Jesus than these precious ones.

  • Amelia

    Congrats to you all, Aaron! Tristan and I are both excited and happy for you! And we will be praying for you. =-)

  • Lark

    Aaron – All the best to you and your beautiful family. They are lovely and blessed to be lead by a man of conviction and humility. Welcome Grace upon Grace!

  • Ann Voskamp

    Beautiful name!
    And every blessing to you and yours…
    How God blesses…

    All’s grace,

  • Aaron Armstrong

    Thanks very much everyone! Just a quick update: The last few days have been pretty wild. I forgot how tiny newborns are (and how much they poop!)

    God is going to teach us some pretty amazing things with these two little girls, no doubt about it.