1. Gungor Lyrics.
- right shoulder blade -
These are lyrics to a worship song by Gungor. It has been very powerful in my life, & reminds me that God can make beauty out of anything - any pain, any circumstance, any person. The tattoo says "You make beautiful things out of us" in my own handwriting… I think it makes it more personal. This is one of the first tattoos Nina ever did, & I need to get it touched up because it’s faded a bit. It’s my only tattoo that’s faded at all though, so that’s nice!
2. "talitha cumi."
- back of my neck -
Mark 5 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. There are so many miracles performed in that chapter! Starting in verse 35, the chapter tells about Jesus going to see the family of a girl who died. He tells the father, “Do not be afraid; just believe.” He then goes to the girl, & says, “talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” & she does! With all of my health problems, it’s so easy to get discouraged & feel like giving up. But this Scripture reminds me that if He can heal a girl who died, I have nothing to worry about.
(Also, the font is called Jane Austen, for all of you other Pride & Prejudice lovers out there!)
3. Matthew 10:29-31 - Sparrows.
- right rib cage -
My older brother & I were born exactly a year & two weeks apart, so we were always close growing up. When I was in high school, I found out that my brother didn’t believe in God, & that was devastating. I had such a firm faith, & I didn’t understand how we were raised the same way, but could end up so different. For years, I prayed for him. Sometimes it got really tough. There were times when I was SO mad at God. My brother was my best friend, & the nicest person I knew. He did so many great things for people - even strangers. How could someone like that deserve Hell & eternal suffering? At some points I even rebelled against God. If He didn’t want my brother, maybe I didn’t need any part of what He had to offer. But it never worked. God was always there, & even when I was furious with Him, I still relied on Him, & I still cried out to Him in my pain.
This is a very long story, & I would love to share it sometime, but the short version is this: My brother thought he was too logical for Christ. He read every religious text he could find, searching for answers, & didn’t believe any of it. Eventually, though, my brother surprised me. He was debating philosophies with a friend one night, felt like he needed to turn to a certain Scripture (where Satan is tempting Jesus with Scripture), realized that’s what he was doing, prayed, accepted Christ, & called me. I was awestruck. God is so good! It took years of prayer, & it didn't happen in my timing, but it did happen - my brother trusted in God & who He is.
So back to the tattoo. I’ve always had a thing for sparrows. & Matthew 10:29-31 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. & even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” I got this tattoo for my brother. That whole time - when I was angry, when my brother wasn’t following God, when it seemed hopeless - God was watching. He knew what He was doing. Not a single sparrow will fall to the ground outside of God’s care.
It says “Matthew 10:29-31” but it’s kind of hard to read because I'm a little smaller than I was when I got it…
(Side note: I had heard so many horror stories about how painful rib tattoos were, I didn’t tell Laker I was getting this one in case I chickened out. Shannon had done one of Laker’s tattoos & they were buddies, so I made him promise not to tell either. It hurt, but it wasn’t that bad. Then right after I got it, I met up with Laker for dinner & he reached over & tickled my ribs. It hurt SO. BAD. But of course Laker had no idea why I flinched & yelled “Ahh!” in the middle of the restaurant.)
- left hip -
This is the only one without a whole lot of meaning. I have collected owls for several years, so a tattoo was bound to happen eventually. One night (while I was still living in Shawnee), I went to OKC with a friend to go to a concert. We got to the venue, only to find out the concert had been cancelled. On a whim, we decided to go get tattoos. We had heard this studio was great, so we checked it out. Gage said he was about to close up since it had been slow that night, so since we were helping him out, he’d cut us a deal. I got this little guy for super cheap, & I love it (:
5. Ring Tattoos.
- left ring finger -
This one’s fairly self-explanatory. Instead of wedding bands, Laker & I got each other’s names tattooed on our ring fingers (actually, he got a wedding band, too). They’re in each other’s handwriting, & we got them on our honeymoon.
6 & 7. Disney Roses.
- left shoulder cap -
These are the roses from Beauty & the Beast & Alice in Wonderland.
Beauty & the Beast has always been a favorite of mine. I used to watch it every time I stayed home sick from school, & now I just watch it all the time for fun. I really relate to Belle’s character - smart, but awkward, stubborn, & more of a hermit than anything.
As for Alice in Wonderland… My mom had an old copy of the book from when she was a kid. I’ve read it several times since I was little, & have since started collecting my own copies. I love Alice & her imagination & love of nonsense.
These are two of my favorite stories, & it seemed appropriate to have a piece of my childhood on my body.
8. C. S. Lewis
-left rib cage-
I have always loved the C. S. Lewis quote, "courage, dear heart," that often floats around social media. When my hysterectomy was approaching, the quote kept coming to mind, & I decided to research a little more where the quote came from. It's from the Chronicles of Narnia series, which I loved when I was younger. You can read the full story behind the quote in this blog post.
I related to the story so much. I felt like we had made this big decision, & I felt so confident in that, but nearly everyone else was unsure. I had to trust that God had spoken to me & told me what to do, & that I would lead the way, & everyone else could follow along.
I decided to get this tattoo as a reminder of that, to keep me confident in my decision & remind me that I didn't need to listen to any voices of doubt.