Tuesday, September 13, 2011

what's in a name?

N. crawled out of bed super early on Labor Day this year. He and some buddies went to play golf at some ungodly hour. This meant that I slept in a little longer, rolled out of the bed, pulled on a pair of neon Nike shorts and drove-- half-awake-- to the nearest Starbucks. I ordered a latte, my usual, and hit the road to do some Labor Day shopping.

It wasn't until I was halfway across town that I happened to notice what the well-meaning barista wrote on my cup:

I darn near wrecked the car because I was laughing so hard. I've seen a lot of versions of my name. Heck, some people have even thought my name was "Brat" before. But the fact that she went to the trouble to write the two "T"s and then still butchered it so? Oh man, I was almost crying from my fit of giggles. 

I used to hate my name when I was a kid. Everyone thought it was a boys' name, and since I had the bowlcut to go along with it, well,  I guess felt a little insecure about it. I wanted something feminine and pretty and 


In the adult world, you stop caring so much about what your name is, I think. What's more important--it seems--is what job title, calling or talent you can put alongside it. I let these titles get the best of me sometimes. I let them influence my self-worth. 

I sometimes think that this is who I am: 

Brett, the wife
Brett, the Portico investor
Brett, the blogger
Brett, the account manager
Brett, the sister
Brett, the daughter 
Brett, aunt
Brett, the grammar freak

But these roles are not who Brett is

I will not be called by my job title when I am called Home. I will not even be called by my calling. 

I, simply, will be called by my name. 

A dear friend whom I've admired for some time reminded me of these verses the other day, 

"The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
 7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." john 10

My name is Brett Batten Baker, and I am not what I do. I am Who I belong to. 

What are your names, sweet friends? And who are you?



  1. What an incredible reminder and one I desperately needed right now! It's so easy to get caught up on who the world decides that we are, whether it's a credit score or job title. I need to remember that God sees me for me rather than what other's place on me. It makes me think of Romans 12:2. Thank you for making such a bold statement! By the way, at one point my Starbucks cup said Trash instead of Trish, and I don't go by either;p haha

  2. what a great mid-afternoon message to get me to 5pm! thanks, Brett.

  3. Oh my goodness that Starbucks cup made me giggle!

    I'm glad you love your name. I love my name, too, but I also wasn't a fan when I was little. My cousins called me Cole and I thought that sounded like something Santa brought if you were bad.

    My name isn't Cole, though (or coal) it's Nicole Lee, and in grad school, my first and last name got squished together creating my nickname, "Nicolee." So much of my identity is wrapped up in "Nicolee" now. Even as I've started working, with three other Nicole's in my office, I'm quickly identified as Nicolee. I love it. I don't even think I'll change my name when I get married.