10 June 2011

What Got into Me?

I have neglected this blog for a while now (last post in April...good grief!).  I've been reading and reviewing books, and generally haven't been ultra-inspired to write off the cuff for a while.

It's funny what triggers the need to write. So many times it's something that is so small as to seem ultimately insignificant, and yet it can touch off a flurry of thoughts that...sometimes...make their way into something coherent.  That's the case here, I think, and it all started with the question "What got into you?"

Let me explain.  We (hubby, son and I) were spending some time with family one evening in the midst of packing up all of our belongings for the final trek out west.  Sitting around the table, eating dinner & talking, and someone noticed my wrist...or rather, the pink ribbon tattoo that now resides there.  The questions:  "What have you done to your wrist?"  (show the tat.)  "What got into you?"  And the comment that touched off the frenzy of (unspoken) responses in my head:  "Probably the same thing that got into ___________" (who apparently has some artwork on his shoulder that has not gone unnoticed).

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!  Because the implication was that I had simply gotten a whim to do something out of the ordinary (for our family) or that would cause a reaction....the implication was that I am shallow, and that I chose to ink my skin just because I could.

Not true.  Not even a little bit.  So here I am now, feeling a need to explain my decision(s), not because someone made an assumption that appears to diminish me, but because a comment to that effect was made in a setting that included my parents.  Whatever differences of opinion we have on the merits (or demerits) of tattoos, one thing is for certain...I do not want my parents assuming that I chose the art I did for shallow reasons.  That is NOT ME.  If they know me as they say they do, they know this to be true.

I am feisty, and emotional, and passionate.  I think deeply.  I like to do fun things, to enjoy my life, and to express myself in ways that are meaningful to me.  But bottom line, the artwork on my body is personal, it is a way I express myself, and (most importantly) it makes a statement about what is deeply important to me and where my allegiances are, and those things aren't remotely shallow.

So about the pink ribbon tattoo on my wrist:  my husband's family has been quite heavily touched by breast cancer.  Most recently his sister...my sister-in-law and friend...was diagnosed with breast cancer, went through two surgeries and radiation, and is now (as far as we know at this point) cancer free.  Praise God for that!  I have friends whose families have been ravaged by breast cancer.  I hope and pray for a day when there is a cure for this, and all, cancers.  They are a scourge.  So, as a reminder to myself to be personally vigilant, and as a show of support to friends and loved ones who have been touched by this disease, I have a pink ribbon.

Additionally, on my right ankle I have a cross, with Psalm 73:26 written above it, which reads "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."  What a magnificent statement of faith that David wrote!  It absolutely captured my heart and soul and has become a talisman of sorts for me.  When I forget that I will fail, and fail mightily, without the grace of God, that tattoo on my ankle is a visual (and effective) reminder that GOD never fails, and that only by putting my trust and faith in him will I be sustained.   It is also precisely what anyone fighting the cancer fight needs - to know with certainty that God is the strength of their hearts and their portion forever.

Whatever else there is to say on the subject is a discussion topic for another day.  For now, I will end with this:  "From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. (Gal 6:17).  Amen to that, and may God be glorified through this and all that I do.


  1. Yeah! You're writing again. I can't imagine you ever doing anything on a whim, for shallow reasons. I think you've done a lovely job of stating your purposes, and I pray that others will appreciate that.

  2. I noticed the pink ribbon on Tuesday and meant to ask you about it but not in that way ;-) We had so much other good conversation going on, it slipped my mind!

    I remember praying for Phil's sister going thru everything, my mom was diagnosed when I was just starting college, to say it rocked my world is an understatement. It affects so many, I think that's a great way to keep it as a reminder for you. I'd never think you'd do that on a whim!