It's been a super busy week! Our dear Christine was born on Sunday, she celebrated her Name Day on Monday and Kyriaki had her third birthday on Wednesday!! I see this being a stressful week in Mama's future... ;)
Of course, we already posted the birth story, and everyone knows what a birthday party looks like. (Super cute by the way!)
Can you believe Daddy made that cake?!?
But what is a Name Day? Well, Monday was Christine's name day in more than one way. First - that's the day we named her! But also, and more importantly, that is also the day that her saint is commemorated.
When we were deciding on a name, Christine kept coming back to us. It has been on our name list from the beginning and it did seem to fit her. The day we were trying to decide on her name, there was also a saint who shared the same name - Saint Christos the Gardener.
I immediately felt connected. Not only did this saint have her name on the day she was receiving her name, but he is also a gardener! Iakabos comes from a family of farmers and gardeners. He grew up helping his parents with their greenhouse business and gardens, spending countless hours watering and weeding them (and even after being ordained as a pastor his parents still have the most beautiful garden in the neighborhood every year).
Gardening is also something we have done together as a family, and that all of our children very much love. It is a joy for us, and also something we would like to incorporate more into our lives as we learn to be more connected with this creation we have been entrusted with.
In the Orthodox Church your Name Day is a cherished day of the year, and we are trying to get into the habit of observing these special days for ourselves and our children. Saint Christos was martyred for his faith in Christ, therefore becoming a "gardener in the land of Eden", as his hymn so eloquently puts it.
Rejoice with us! We have been greatly blessed. And may Saint Christos pray for us that we might also prefer to garden in our Father's heavenly Kingdom rather than toil for treasures on the earth.