Oaklee Allen Reynolds: The story of his name
August 1, 2017, will always be remembered as the day Gregg and I found out we were expecting. It wasn’t long after we found out that we were discussing names…like maybe an hour.
Gregg likes very strong, traditional names, while I like names rooted deep with meaning, somewhat traditional, but different. Throughout the first couple of months, we talked about our family names a lot, the ones we liked, and the ones we thought were hilarious, and yet we kept finding ourselves coming back to the same name over and over for a little boy, Oakley. Oakley was the name of Gregg’s maternal great grandfather, Oakley Allen Patton.
Fast forward a couple of months, our dear family friend Mike Lee, the pastor who married us, and the one who baptized Gregg years ago learned he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Our hearts were broken. If you knew Pastor Mike, your life was brighter because of him. Your walk with the Lord was deeper, and if you had the privilege to be married by him, your wedding was one where the very presence of Jesus was felt by everyone there.
I look back at our wedding, and of course because of the growing world of Pinterest there are things I would change or do a little different, but our wedding…our wedding…I wouldn’t change a thing. Pastor Mike, being the creatively thoughtful man he was took our stories, our faith, and he made our wedding day what I’d always hoped it would be. A day for others to see very plainly, the faithfulness of God.
October was the month we found out that this life growing inside of me was a little boy. A fun fact, we found out we were having a boy on the same day, but 5 years later that we started dating, and Oak was born on the same day we got engaged, but 5 years later. October was also the month that Pastor Mike Lee’s faith was made sight, and he went home to be with Jesus.
Knowing the kind of man Pastor Mike was, the lives he led to the Lord, the love he had for “messy” people, I knew that he was the kind of man I wanted my son to be named after. That’s where the “Lee” comes from in his name, Oaklee. Gregg and I had agreed from the beginning that we wouldn’t share his name until he was born, but we were able to tell Pastor Mike before he passed, and I’m so glad we did. My prayer for our Oaklee is that he will radiate with the undying love of Jesus, just as Pastor Mike did.
Oaklee’s middle name is Allen. Allen is my mom’s maiden name. Her father was Walter Morris Allen.
When deciding on a “theme” for his nursery, I knew pictures of his namesakes had to be included somewhere, somehow. I want him to know that his name is special because of these three incredible, strong men. The frames we used I bought at Hobby Lobby and the name plaques we had made here in town at Signature Signs. This was a really inexpensive way to add a sweet, personal touch to Oak’s nursery. For me, it’s my favorite feature.
And lastly, the “Oak” part of his name, which is what we call him, goes back to one of my favorite verses out of Isaiah. “To grant those who mourn in Zion, to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” -Isaiah 61:3
May our Oak be deeply rooted in Jesus, and strong like the oak tree.
Anyone who knows Gregg knows he loves America. So for Oak’s nursery just like his name I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to do an American theme, but with a southern living twist. That probably makes sense to no one but myself. I wanted his nursery to be very masculine, including a mixture of woods and metals, with touches of navy gingham, shiplap, a few flags, a couple of elephants and old memorabilia. His nursery, at one time was the worst room in our fixer upper, but has now become my favorite room.
For me, our chair and curtains took the longest to decide on. I wanted a comfortable chair, and I wanted blackout curtains because this mama knew she would need her baby to be a good, sleeping baby. Don’t we all sleep better with blackout curtains? We ended up ordering the chair from Amazon and the curtains from Land of Nod. The pillow came from Lulu’s, one of my favorite consignment shops here in town.
The changing table (below) and crib are from Target. The small table to the left of the changing table we have had for years. When we moved this last time, I couldn’t really think of a good use for it. It had brightly colored teal legs (I went through a teal phase), and since most everything I own now or want to own is very neutral, soft and creamy (thank you, Joanna Gaines), we decided to paint it and put it in the nursery. I must say it makes the perfect holder for diapers and wipes.
We couldn’t resist the elephant hook holder (below) we found at World Market. His nursery had to have a touch of conservatism, and the American flag hat was just what we needed to complete the entry way…for less than $5.00 at Old Navy, I couldn’t resist.
The letters below I caught on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. I went on and got them once we decided on his name knowing that I wanted to hang them above his crib. Of course, I ran into a few people I knew at Hobby Lobby when purchasing these huge letters, but luckily they were already bagged when I saw them so no one could see.
Keeping your baby name a secret is hard, and having to explain to people why you’re keeping it a secret is even harder. Especially for those who feel like they have to explain, like myself, because I worry I will hurt someone’s feelings if I don’t explain (I’m working on it). It’s really hard when telling that to the older crowd, they just don’t really understand. There were several times I almost just told them, but I feared the word would get out at bridge club, and I would regret it. Did I mention I work for senior adults at a fairly large church here in Bowling Green?
Naming our baby and decorating his space in our home brought me so much joy. Let me just say that naming a child before you lay your eyes on them can be tricky, because you don’t really know if the name you chose will “fit” them. Once I saw him, though, I knew he was Oak, mostly because I gave birth to a baby man, a 9lb 5 oz. one, and his name just suited him.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, thank you so much for reading along!