What’s in a name?

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
    I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.

For I am the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
    I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
    I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
    You are honored, and I love you.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
    I will gather you and your children from east and west.
I will say to the north and south,
    ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel
    from the distant corners of the earth.
Bring all who claim me as their God,
    for I have made them for my glory.
    It was I who created them.’”

Isaiah 47: 1-7

Throughout the Bible names are significant. God, so magnificent we cannot cannot capture his power, glory and greatness in a name. “I am that I am.” We see Him call chosen followers out of their old names and into new identities in Him where they are given new names. We see all throughout scripture that names and words are of importance and relevance. Names carry weight, meaning and value.

My name is Danielle Jade McNeal Womack. My first and middle name was chosen by my mom. My mother named me after her favorite author at the time, Danielle Steel, with the intent of calling me Jade, a name she heard and loved from a movie, Brooke Shields’ character in Blue Lagoon. My mother’s words when I asked her why she chose to name me Danielle Jade, she replied “you were my babydoll and I liked the names together.” Though not very profound, it was an honest and loving response. She wanted a beautiful, strong, intelligent name for her daughter. She had intended to call me Jade, but my grandmother, her mom, upon my arrival insisted she call me Danielle, because “it was elegant; a name fit for a princess.”

My children’s names my husband and I chose to be names of purpose; firm and foundational badges of honor, promise and protection: Braxton Stone and Jade Karis. Both names of substance, Braxton is commonly known as today’s version of Brandon, his dad’s name, a name of tradition, virtue, honor and truth. Stone is a name Brandon and I have always loved, we also liked the firmness and foundation this name expresses. When thinking of the name Stone I am always reminded of the old hymn that sings “on Christ the solid rock I stand.” May our Braxton Stone be a man of God; bold, strong and steady. Jade is the name my mother always wanted to call me, so in a way our daaughter’s name is a name of tradition and honor passed down to her. Karis, is spelled phonetically, deriving from one of my favorite words of the Bible “charis” which is Hebrew for grace gift. Our prayer for our Jade Karis, that she be a precious rare gemstone of this world, unlike all around her, radiant with the Holy Spirit and full of grace that she freely gives. People come to mind when we think of Braxton and Jade’s, not only Brandon and I, but our parents, and others we adore from our childhood.

All names should be well thought out and given with purpose and intentionality. Just as shown to us in the Bible, names should be a reminder of a person’s purpose or character. Just as words have impact when spoken, let when our names are used the impact that is left from our name and presence be that of our Heavenly Father.

If you do not know the meaning of your name and why your parents chose it for you. I urge you to be bold enough to ask the question. And, furthermore, look into your heritage. Know where you came from and the mantle you adopted when you took became one with your spouse (this goes for men and women). Knowledge is wisdom, and wisdom is power. Know yourself, know your King and know your enemy. Place a name on your today and your tomorrow. There are power in your words, and more than that, power in words of scripture that you claim and declare.

Together, let’s leave our yesterday and name our today. Think on this today. Pick a word for your rear and a word for your year! What will this year be for you? A word that you can cling to, that rings with promise and hope, that is spoken to you by the Holy Spirit. He will give you the word, just lean in, ask with an open heart, be still, expectant and listen.

My charge for this year is for it to be a year of radical obedience. Maybe, like me, you’ll find yours in a book or song. In your searching and listening, get in the Word of God and worship.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7

I’d love to know what God has speaks or has spoken to you. I’d love for all of us to stand in agreement with one another for what their days ahead hold for them.

For all of you I will be praying, what my church is praying for the body of Christ this year – for the Christian body of believers to have a year of God encounters. I will be praying that you would be so bold as to seek the Kingdom and ask God to what He wants to show you, and open your hearts to receive all He has for you.

Please comment and share with one another what you discover about your name and what you hear from God your word is this year. Let us know what you are believing for so we can name it and claim it with you.

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, I am there with them.”

Matthew 18:19-20

Answering the Call

Hi there! Welcome!

My name is Danielle Womack. I have a million and one nicknames, but most in my circle at this phase of my life call me “D” (mostly because it is a short abbreviation of Danielle when texting and emailing) and my nephews named me “Dee Dee” hence the inspiration for the title of this blog, “His D-light.” In this space I plan to shed light on my testimony, story, be a place of light, a place where we cling to His Word, and take steps closer to Jesus and His plan for our lives in transparency and community.

I am not a native of Birmingham, but have called Birmingham home for over a decade. Home will always be tucked in the SouthEast corner of Alabama, the city and people of Dothan. However, Birmingham has been fertile ground for me since 2006. I fell in love with Samford University at the age of 18, and have been chasing my dreams in Birmingham ever since. I have experienced a lot of life and lessons in Birmingham, which is what I am looking forward to sharing with you here at His D-Light.

I married my wonderful husband and love of my life, Brandon, in 2012 and have two beautiful children, 5 year old son, Braxton Stone and, 2 year old daughter, Jade Karis. God has truly blessed me with my family and the people in my life far beyond what I deserve and greater than I could have imagined, and the city of Birmingham and our home church, Church of the Highlands, has been the foundation we have built our lives and love on.

For those of you who are personality junkies like me, I think it is important for you to know with whom you are speaking; I am an ENFP/2w3. For those of you who are not as familiar with that means I am a bit of a free spirit. I am a go getter. I love to dream and bet against the odds. I think out-loud; which means I say more than I should, and I have to apologize for not thinking before I speak… a lot. After a conversation I will play the words exchanged over and over and over again in my head, hoping I did not offend or worse discourage the person with whom I was speaking.  I thrive on social and emotional connections. I spend far too much time reordering my task list and debating on which I should do first, or pondering on the intent for making the list and the purpose and meaning behind each item. When I get fresh vision that inspires me, my husband and close friends can attest, there little that can stop me from pursuing that vision, even with all cards stacked against me.

That being said, I am really excited to share with you the purpose and vision behind this space… 2020 being the year of 20/20 vision has me fired up. I had the most radical 21 days of prayer and fasting. I cannot wait to share it with you. I pray and fast with my church twice every year (and intermittently as needed throughout the year), but this year was by far the most powerful, coming in only second to the year I got married, which is a journey I plan to share here as well. My hope is that this would be a place where you can come to get a fresh word and be encouraged. God placed it on my heart to share my story almost a decade ago, and this is the year of transparency, and for personally for me, the year of radical obedience.

The vision behind this space is not to be another link where you can mindlessly scroll, looking at the photos and bullet points. This is a place where we dive deep… together. I plan to have featured writers to also share their stories, and I will be looking for feedback from you all on what you’d like to read about, where you are struggling and how I can be praying for you. Yes, this will essentially be a small group that you can participate in as your time permits. The goal here is to encourage and engage.

So get ready, we are about to dive in. We are going where the Lord takes us, together, one step at a time: reading, writing, laughing, loving and building relationships every step of the way. I am excited to seek and walk the journey God has in store for us in 2020.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  – 1 John 1:7

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Photo Credit to the ever-so talented Meshea at Olive Gray Photography, Destin, FL family photographer in Summer of 2019.

Connect with me + Let’s do this together!