Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I Did What?!






 Last Wednesday I celebrated 35 years of life, thanks Mom!

Now I know some of you think I'm a young chick, but to me 40 is peeking it's ugly head around the corner. I'm thankful for each day I have to be a mom to my kids and wife, sister, daughter, granddaughter etc.And I'm trying really hard to look at age as just a number.

But each year that number keeps getting higher and higher (along with the number on the scale) :(

I told my husband I never really thought about getting old. I knew I would one day, but I didn't give it much thought. In my mind I would always be young :)

So to celebrate my young-ness I got a tattoo! (story behind the tat below)

That's right. I'm growing up to be a bad girl! ;) A bad girl with a name of God on her wrist.

I decided to do something bold and extremely out of character. I've never had the desire to get a tattoo because, a)I've heard it hurt, and even though I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, I didn't want to test it out b)what in the world would I want tattooed on my body for the rest of my life?! I'm pretty wishy washy on things like that, so I knew I would probably change my mind.

A few weeks ago I mentioned to my husband that for my birthday I wanted a tattoo. He looked at me like I had grown an extra head... or two.

He's not against them, but he knows me well enough to know that a tattoo isn't my personality. But I was convinced and knew I wouldn't change my mind. I tried to explain to him and the kids the reasoning for choosing what I did, but I think I just confused them even more. No one really thought I'd go through with it. :)

We went out to dinner and made plans to go the tattoo shop I had finally decided on after spending days searching through Yelp.

On the drive over I was really second guessing myself. "What in the world?!" I kept telling myself, "You're not really going through with this are you?!"

This tattoo shop like most I've seen looked sketchy and downright scary. My kids were there too, and I could tell they just wanted me to say, "OK, just kidding, lets go home!" But no, (call it pride) I walked in shyly behind my husband. There was really loud heavy metal music playing and the smell of cigarettes was thick in the air. The walls were covered top to bottom in different sketches of tattoos.

Heavily tattooed, tattoo artists were busy with their clients and barely looked up at the scared (young) girl and her family that just walked in. I told the guy behind the counter (which was actually the least scary looking person in the joint) what I wanted and showed him a picture on my phone of a pin I had pinned from Pinterest.

He set to work sketching me out something and I waited. And waited and waited. I was starting to wonder if he was giving me time to run. I was getting more and more nervous as the minutes dragged on.

I think for my kids sake, thankfully, they turned the music to something less dreadful. Now they were playing Bon Jovi type-rock music and we could actually make out what they were saying. Plus, my kids knew most of the lyrics thanks to Guitar Hero. My son relaxed by pretending to be actually playing the guitar along with the music...he's pretty sure he got a high score! ;)

I was doubting myself the longer I sat there. But you know what? God saw me in that tattoo parlor.
Yep, He did.

He may have been thinking I was a little wacko, but I think He was smiling. One of my favorite songs by Bon Jovi came on, "Living on  a Prayer."
"Whoa living on a prayer, take my hand and we'll make it I swear, oh oh livin on  prayer, livin on prayer."
Oh, the irony.

When it finally came time to sit in the chair, "Sweet Home Alabama,"by Lynyrd Skynyrd started blaring through the speakers. I'm from Alabama and this song is practically the state song. It's played often at different events and functions.


I smiled. (I was trying not to pass out from the pain)

I know some people have strong opinions about tattoos. And that's OK. I honestly felt like God didn't mind. He was there with me, and the music that was playing was proof enough for me!

(Now if you ever decide you want one, may I deplore you to NOT get it on your wrist? Cause it HURTS. Like really really really bad. Imagine a thousand needles being DRUG through your skin.)

The knowing that God was with me made me feel at feel and made the next minutes bearable.

I'm so proud of myself for being brave and going through with it. My family still can't believe I actually did it...and to be honest neither can I!

And I LOVE it!!


******

The story behind the tat:

 ta da!

There has always been a name for God that has spoken to me more than the others. I'm sure you have one too?

In Genesis 16 we read about Hagar being sent away by Sarai. Sarai was mistreating Hagar for getting pregnant by Abram (which we know was Sarai's own doing). Sarai was being so horrible to Hagar, Hagar fled into the desert. (Gen 16:1-6)

God met her in the desert and told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her. I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count."(Gen 16:9)

He went on to tell her she was with child and that the Lord has heard of her misery. She then gave him the name El Roi, which means "You are the God who sees me."(Gen 16:13)

For many years I've felt invisible, like nothing good could come from me. I'm not sure where these feelings came from other than they were planted by the enemy a long time ago.

Last year I was reminded of this story in Genesis 16 and how much I liked this name for God because it felt so personal. I tucked the thought of getting it tattooed on my wrist away and didn't say a word to anyone.

This name speaks to my heart because it reminds me of the One that really does see me in this busy world. There are people who are more outgoing, prettier, fitter, more talented, wiser and yet He still sees me and loves me. ME.
"Every moment you know where I am" Psalms 139:3
Regardless of how many times I mess up or what storm is circling overhead threatening to steal my peace, I am not forgotten. Now I can look down at my wrist and be reminded daily that I AM SEEN by the God of the universe.

And I love that.

******


So, what do you think? Would you ever get one?

Sharing with Soli deo Gloria, #TellHisStory, ThreeWordWed, Winsome Wed, and Imperfect Prose, Thought-Provoking Thurs

28 comments :

  1. {tears} this is beautiful, friend! I smiled big when I read this because once again, we are so similar! I LOVE your tattoo & the beautiful significance behind it! What a beautiful reminder you have of the One Who sees you: beautiful, amazing, talented, gifted, LOVED you!! So grateful for your friendship! Congrats-the tattoo it's self is beautiful too! :) xo

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    1. Thank you so much, Satin. It hurt, but I can't stop smiling every time I look at it :)

      I'm looking forward to the day God orchestrates for us to meet...I know it will happen!!

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  2. Love the story, and you are a brave, brave girl. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to get a tattoo myself (although my son is going to have enough for the both of us when he becomes "rich and famous." The name El Roi is one I need to remember. I, too, feel invisible so much of the time that I forget that God sees me all of the time.

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    1. Thanks, Olivia. I love mine, so far, not sure if I'll get anymore. But no regrets! :)

      It's a great name of God's, one that I've always been drawn too, I know that He wants each of us to feel seen and know that we are known by Him. I pray you will feel His love today!

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  3. Well, that's not going to happen in my lifetime, and that's ok. But for you to choose to have the name of that One you adore engraved on your hand and heart? What a way to celebrate the milestone!

    And I've gotta tell you, friend. 40 was one of my BEST . DECADES . EVER! Go for it!

    Hugs.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda!! And you're right, they say 40 is the new 20, right? ;)

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  4. Beautiful! I have two. One on each shoulder. I want another one but want to take my time to really get something meaningful and I need to figure out where I want it. I love the story behind yours.

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    1. Thank you, Karmen. I like meaningful and purposeful. I don't think I could ever get one just for the sake of having one...plus it hurt too bad! :)

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  5. Alecia,
    Happy Birthday..and you're young :) and brave :) when you said wrist, I said "ouch"

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dolly for all the kind words :) And yes, ouch would be the appropriate word for this tattoo :)

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  6. Happy Birthday, Alecia! I love this story. I'm pretty sure that God has no issue with your tattoo. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Hally. Birthdays are always fun...despite the number :)

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  7. I have always said that when I got older I would get a tattoo. Well, nearing 50, I'm not sure it will ever happen. My daughter says how about a nose ring! Well, you are brave. But I LOVE yours! What a beautiful reminder that you are never alone.

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    Replies
    1. Well, there's no time like the present! I say GO FOR IT!! Now, nose ring sounds brave to me...but I think you could pull it off :)

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  8. El Roi, the God who sees me.
    I like that.
    I was lol-ing at your reasoning for not getting a tattoo... picking one thing to be on your body for your whole life and how could you make a decision like that... so me sister. :) Maybe one day I will come up with that one thing... maybe when I am 35 ;)
    Stopping by from #TellHisStory

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    Replies
    1. Glad you could relate, Amanda. It's a hard decision that should def be thought out and not taken lightly...cause it'll be there forever. You'll have to let me know if you ever decide on that one thing, I'd be interested to hear about it.

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  9. I love everything about this story. Go Jesus! Go you! - for stepping out of the boat and doing something you were a little afraid of. For showing your children another side of the woman Gods called you to be. I wrote about being seen today too, so it's no surprise we're neighbors. I love when that happens. The tattoo is fabulous and so are you! Thanks so much for sharing this Alecia!

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  10. Oh my brave friend, I'm so proud of you! Love it and can't wait to see it in person :)

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  11. You go girl. Woo Hoo. I have a tattoo on my right arm. It is the sun kissing the moon.

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  12. OH MY GOSH! A girl who never wanted a tat now wants one right now! Can I copy you? Even right down to the 'Bon Jovi, living on a prayer' . Girl, we have so much in common I can't even get over this. Way to be brave and UNIQUE! I just love this so much!

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  13. Alecia, Hi and thanks for commenting on my guest post at Freshly Brewed Life! I LOVE your tattoo and can totally relate. Your story sounds a lot like mine though I am older than you. I got mine at age 54! Do not regret it one bit....Here's my story:http://www.recoveringchurchlady.com/2012/05/tattoo-butterflies-and-freedom.html Susie

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  14. This. Is. Awesome! I love it! I agree, this name for our Father is one of my favorites. In a world of billions, its easy to think we get lost int he midst. But he is the God who sees. And that's pretty spectacular. Happy birthday, lady. And congrats on the fresh ink! ( I have one too, with the word "hope" in Greek :)

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  15. Wait till your brother sees it. LOL. Although it would give you an opportunity to teach him something from the bible that I am sure he does not know. I know the story well, but the El Rio did not stick in my memory. Keep it up dear daughter I am very proud of your writing. Alecia tell all of your blogging friends to please be in pray for Allen Smith, a very Godly friend of ours from Sunday School. He is only 53 and suffered a massive heart attack Saturday. He is in critical condition. His wife is Jeanne.

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  16. Happy Birthday again sweet friend. I'm only 10 years older...almost. :) Love your tattoo but most of all I love the meaning behind it. Just beautiful. So proud of you for deciding on something and seeing it through. They do hurt!! (I have two). Much love to you.

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  17. What a great story! I found you via of God Sized Dreams blog.

    I got a tattoo at the young age of 45. I had just gotten divorced after a 20 year abusive marriage and I never felt so close to God than at that time in my life. He lifted me up and gave me Hope.

    My tattoo is a cross with forget-me-not flowers wrapped around it and the word HOPE and Isaiah 40:31 inscribed above and below it. He renewed my strength when I placed my hope in Him and He "forgot me not" during the hardest of times.

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  18. Alecia,

    Good for you! And I've always loved that name of God, the God who Sees, and the God who hears term comes later in that story, also to Hagar. So wonderful of our God!

    How long did the tattoo take to get? How painful would you rate it on a scale of 1-10? :) What a great reminder. Did you see my post about a dear friend's tattoo she got too? ("The Tattoo Every Parent Needs") I love yours too. :)

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jnniferdougan.com

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    1. I just turned 40 this month. That felt odd, I admit. I had to process it for a bit that morning. :)

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  19. I only recently heard the Hagar's name for God - and I think that is what saved me, though I didn't know it, as a little girl - was I knew that God saw me - and in the brokenness of my parents divorce - He saw me and understood my heart.

    When I turned 40, I threw myself a Surprise 40th birthday party - which really only surprised my husband - and I had a blast! I celebrate each year - because I believe life gets sweeter and sweeter - even in the midst of heart-wrenching teen challenges - I believed. I keep saying I'm going to have a do-over for my 50th - and throw me another surprise party (that's what a mom of 5 sons has to do - LOL) - and celebrate!!!! Happy Belated Birthday - and so glad you knew just what you wanted!

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