Three weeks ago I met with a local tattoo artist for a consultation to discuss getting a bird tattooed on my arm. I took this in to give him an idea of what I wanted….
He liked it, so an appointment was scheduled for June 2nd. I was a little disappointed to have to wait so long, but I knew I really wanted this particular artist to do it. Later that night I got a call from the shop asking if I wanted to reschedule the appointment for the following Friday…just one week later….and of course I did! So two weeks ago while my kids were at school, I showed up for Tony to permanently etch this bird onto my arm. His drawing was slightly different than what I originally took in, and he said he’d have to make it larger than I originally planned because of the detail I wanted. I liked it, though, and decided to trust him (after almost completely walking out when he went to the back to get set up!). So he got started (and I, of course, took pictures during the process because that’s, well, just what I do)….
It took about 45 minutes, and although it definitely hurt, it was’t as bad as I expected it to be. I watched him a lot of the time, freaked out in my head a little bit, and in the end I loved how it turned out!
It’s been really interesting to see people’s reactions to it. One lady in SteinMart the other day went completely nuts over it, grabbed my arm and kept talking about how beautiful it is and how well the artist did. A few people have apparently been freaked out by it and have completely ignored it, as if ignoring the fact that I got it done would make it vanish. It doesn’t really matter to me how people react to it, though. The only person I really cared about was Brad…mainly because he’s my best friend, and his opinion matters to me. When he said to go for it, I did.
So, to answer a couple of questions/assumptions:
1) Did I get the tattoo because I became obsessed with our little robin family recently? Umm, are you crazy? Seriously? You think that I decided to get a tattoo after one month of bird watching? No, absolutely not. I’ve been thinking about getting this done for at least a year and a half. Maybe some people are gutsy enough to get one done with such little thought, but I put a LOT of thought into this.
2) Why a BIRD? Well, if you’ve read this blog much you know that I kind of have a thing for birds. I love to watch birds because I think they’re neat. When I watch them I have to be still and quiet, and being still and quiet is sometimes a tough thing to do in this crazy world. I like to photograph birds, but in order to do that I have to be silent and perfectly still. I have to be patient and wait a lot. And in those moments, I think a lot about God and what He’s been doing in my heart and life lately. Some people call it solitude, and I think that’s a fitting description. In those moments I often feel close to God and sense Him speaking to my heart. It’s a special thing that’s very important to me. Also, I think there’s a lot of symbolism when it comes to birds. There’s freedom and grace in the way they soar through the air. And then there’s this verse that’s one of my favorites….
You see, my relationship with God affects my whole life. It’s my point of reference for everything in life. It hasn’t always been, but I’ve struggled with trusting Him and have found Him to be the only truly faithful and unchanging thing I know. He’s my anchor, and through Him I find joy and peace. The promise that He carries me and has always carried me gives me security and contentment even when things aren’t going the way I want and I don’t understand what He’s up to. He takes care of me and is my Provider. This verse reminds me that if He takes care of the birds, He will surely provide for my needs each day. There’s no reason for me to worry and fear because I can hold onto this promise.
When I look down at my arm, I’m reminded of just that, and it also gives me an opportunity to share my story with other people….sometimes even people I’ve never met. So, there you go…..the backstory behind my bird! Two weeks in, and I like it more every day….good thing, huh?!