What does Jovan mean?
(Hebrew) Yahweh is gracious, Yahweh is merciful.
This is very, very true.
What does Jovan mean to us?
You are such a great daughter-in-law. I mean, that sounds so legal, when really, when Rocky stood in the piercing rays of the setting sun that September evening and took you as his wife, we really, truly received you as a new daughter. We are so pleased he made that choice 7+ years ago and as seasons and time pass, our gratefulness increases.
For you are the woman who sees our son and loves him, truly loves him. You are his home and his rest, his peace and his joy. You are gracious and you are mercy. You live up to your name so well.
And you are the woman who has given us the three darling granddaughters, oh what joy they bring, each unique, so sweet. And aren’t they beautiful like their mommy? Averi Jadyn, firstborn, so wise and all-knowing, Amelie Belle with her engaging orneriness; and this gentle, most-contented baby-of-the-year, Bailey Sophia?
And so, life is busy for your beautiful family. And this has been a year of growth (new baby, expanding ministry opportunities), and of heart-breaking loss and surprise (being flooded out of your home and all the equipment and the studio, gone). But wow- in everything, in EVERYTHING – watching you and Rocky deciding to give thanks and seeing the faithfulness of God just explode towards you in restoration and generosity. The hard times are like a purifying fire, they’ll reveal what you’re really made of. And it is delighting us to see, you and Rock are growing, shining, getting stronger and smarter and better and the graciousness and mercy is lighting the sky. I wouldn’t wish bad things on you, but I am very proud of how you are handling them.
The revelation~I am SO blessed!
Remember that day in church a few years back, Jovan? They were doing that sermon series on the Book of Ruth and while I had always enjoyed the story, that day a whole new piece of it just exploded into the atmosphere of my heart. I realized I was the Naomi and you were the Ruth and that I had indeed been a daughter-in-law who was better to me than seven sons (the seven brothers Rocky never got, haha) would have been…even though I always thought I wanted 8 sons for some strange reason. Haha.
The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” The Bible, Ruth 4.14-15 niv
That sermon and that scripture passage just made me cry with gratitude! True for Naomi. True for me, too!
When Rocky was growing up and getting cuter by the minute, I was so surprised at all the girls who tried to catch his eye. I started thanking God that I only had one son, because I could totally see the potential for disaster if I’d have had to bring more girls into this highly strong-woman’ed family. But honestly, I wouldn’t mind having lots of daughter-in-laws if they were all just like you.
Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family… Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.” The Bible, Ruth 4.11-12 niv
I wish all mother-and-daughter-in-laws had the chance to love and be loved like you and I have. Wouldn’t the world be a much happier and lovelier place? I know our family is blessed because of you, and you have brought so much to the familia…
So, to put words together to celebrate your birth on that Halloween night twenty-something years ago is to thank God for His faithfulness, for His mercies that are new every morning, for the graciousness He showed us in sending you to us.