Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rejoice In All Things

Usually when I make up my mind to do something, I do it. Like when I wanted to get my nose pierced when I turned 18 my dad could have told me no and I'd probably have done it anyway. Luckily he was okay with it (mostly) and it boiled down to the fact that I was 18 and I was old enough to make my own decisions.

Okay, but this isn't to say that I go around disobeying my dad just because I want to. I listen to him, and my mom, because they know what they're talking about. But I still have to push boundaries every now and then, or they might start thinking I'm a good kid, and we can't have that. I have a rep to uphold, you know.

I've always been the rebel child of my family. I like the rough and tumble life style - headstrong, punk-y, don't tell me what to do attitude. I mean, I always liked Sawyer better than Jack if that helps you understand. I like piercings because I think well placed body-bling is beautiful and I like tattoos because there is a sort of 'toughness' associated with them and they can hold a lot of meaning, but I don't think either of those things should be taken lightly.

I didn't just want to run out and get a tattoo just to have one, I carefully contemplated what I wanted to put on my body because I know it will be there forever. The butterflies and stars are pretty and all, but if there's no meaning behind it, I don't want it on my body. I knew if I was going to get tatted up that I needed to really think about things that meant a lot to me.

Mostly God.

I love Jesus, in case you didn't know. He has never forgotten me or made me feel unimportant. He has a plan for my life and I try to include him in my life daily. I'm not perfect and I mess up a lot (usually when I try to control things because that NEVER works out). But it's always in my best interests to put Him first in all I do, because if it's in His will for my life then it's better than anything I could plan for myself.

Throughout life I've had a lot of ups and downs. I've been cared for deeply and badly mistreated by different people who have floated in and out of my life. I have been privy to lots of friend dramas, break ups, and fights. But there have been plenty of great things that have happened to me as well. But throughout everything we have to remember to thank Jesus for those moments. We learn most when we make mistakes and fall down. God isn't just around for our good moments, but He's also there holding our hand when things go south.

You have cancer? He's there to help you through it. You were in a huge car accident? He never left your side. Your boyfriend broke up with you? Run. Run right into His arms. This is something that I have always known, but not always done. Jesus never told us that following him would be easy, but He promised never to leave us to fend for ourselves.

And we are supposed to take joy in everything that happens to us, good and bad. It's a chance to grow our faith and love. I want to rejoice in every situation I'm thrown into because I know that my God is big and amazing and He will take care of everything. It doesn't matter what I do or what I've done because He will never (never!) leave me behind.

So when I thought about what to put on my body, I went to Philippians chapter 4 verse 4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" The chapter goes on to remind us that we shouldn't "be anxious in anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present [our] requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." This passage has been on my heart for a very long time. I knew the word I wanted was "Rejoice" and then I began the process of where did I want to get it? Did I want a different language? Did I only want the text or did I also want a design?

I basically just played 20 questions with myself, making sure that this was going to be exactly what I wanted. I settled on Hebrew because not only do I think it is a beautiful language to look at, it is also an important language in my faith. Plus, it can be used as a conversation starter since not many people know Hebrew where I live.

TheKeeper was heavily involved in helping with the exact word choice. There are several different ways to say rejoice in Hebrew, so I needed to find one that closely matched what I meant when I said rejoice. I found the word "geel" or "gil" depending on what dictionary you use, and TheKeeper made sure I had the correct letters. This was going to be on me forever and I didn't want to take a chance at getting it wrong.

Then I chose some bird silhouettes to fly over the top of my word. I did this for a few reasons, one being that I didn't just want only text. I'm an artist and I wanted there to be a little more there than just letters. Another reason is because birds mean a lot to me. They are always happy, singing, and free. Birds are beautiful. They go where the wind blows them, and also where they want.

Once I had all that figured out, I went down to the same tattoo parlor that a couple of my friends have been to and made an appointment for Wednesday the 8th of February at 2:00 pm. I was nervous and jittery and excited, so very, very excited.

And then, people, then I went under the needle. Not nearly as bad as I had been psyching myself up for, and truth be told I will probably get another tattoo someday. I'm in love.

This was taken right after it was finished before I got bandaged up. I felt like a total badass, not gonna lie.

I immediately posted a picture to Facebook where I was met with a lot of support and also a lot of negativity. I knew that some members of my family would not enjoy the fact that I had permanently altered the skin on my body, but I also didn't care. Tattoos aren't everyone's thing and I'm not going to go out and pressure anyone into getting inked if they don't want to.

What's important is that this tattoo holds special meaning to me and I'm not going to be sorry that I got it when I'm 80 years old and have saggy skin. I think it's beautiful and I believe that I will always think that.

Part of me wished that I could have shared the experience with SVI because he told me that he would go with me if I ever decided to get a tattoo. He has one himself, so it would be exciting for him to tag along. And then, you know, things. I almost texted him, but I don't think he wants anything to do with me anymore. And I really feel like that's his loss. We weren't serious, so I don't feel like it's this huge monumental step backwards like it was when PC and I thought we could be "just friends." There are a lot of things I miss about being friends with SVI and I wish I could get those back.

But as it stands, I'm not going to let that hold me back. This is my life and I'm going to live it. And no one is going to stop me.


  1. I think this might be my FAVORITE. POST. EVER.

    I love your tattoo. I love that you put a lot of thought into it. I love that it's about God. I love that it's encouraging. I love that you got it in a different language. I love that you added birds to it. I love this whole post and everything that it means.

    I plan to get a tattoo someday too, and I'm with you. It has to be something really meaningful, not just a sign of rebellion or something to look pretty or make me feel badass. It has to MEAN something, something that represents me and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

    I hope when I get mine I'll be just as happy, satisfied and confident as you are.

    You go girl :)


  2. Love it! I think it fits you very well too! =D

  3. @stephanie: it makes so glad to read comments from you! and i'm CERTAIN that if you spend time to make sure a certain tattoo idea is what you really really really want, then you will most definitely be happy with it once you have it!!

  4. Your tattoo is beautiful. Very fitting for you.

  5. Your tattoo looks amazing, very jealous!
    great blog, follow follow follow ;)


  6. I LOVE this post.
    Stephanie stole the words out of my mouth. It has to mean the world to me.
    I'm only 16 so I have a few years before I can get one, but I really want "love always" in Hebrew. It's kinda become.. me.. lol. Love has always been a big part of my life.. and always will be. Cuz that's what God calls us to do. Reading this post gives me hope for when I get a tattoo of my own :).

    Love always,


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