Why Getting a Tattoo was the hardest and best thing I’ve done

A year ago I did, probably, the most rebellious thing in my life!

I got a Tattoo.

Which you probably figured that out from the title.

I was at work chatting with a customer who had the coolest tattoo of a map of the world on his calf. We struck up a conversation and chatted for a good 10 minutes about travel and tattoos. I mentioned that I had wanted one for about six years and I finally knew what I wanted and where. And his comment was “You should get one, I think six years is long enough”

I thought “I think he’s right!”

That evening, I booked a consultation for the next morning.

The biggest thing that was stopping me from getting one was the fear of disappointing people, mainly my mother (whom I love dearly). Then that day, I realized, that wasn’t a good enough reason!

That night I had a hard time getting to sleep because I felt anxious that I was going to disappoint people.

I went to my consultation appointment with no intention of getting a tattoo that day. The appointment was a two minute conversation about placement and other stuff. Then he said “The only question now is, when do you want to get it done?” I can’t remember exactly what I said, but it was something along the lines of “I don’t know, when are you available?” and he replied with “I’m free now.”

My lovely friend Christina, who came with me to make sure I went through with it, chanted “Do it now! Do it now!” and I just said, “Ok. Let’s do it.”

He quickly drew it up and I got inked!

The reason behind the bird is when Jesus talks about anxiety in the Bible, Matthew 6:25-34. The key verse that inspired my tattoo is verse 26 “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Sure, it could have been a dove or a sparrow, but I just love humming birds. They are a beautiful small timid creature, that only show up when you least expect it.
But also, this was my visual reminder that I am not on this earth to please man, but God. A lot of my anxiety comes from trying to make everyone happy. Which, let’s face it, you can’t make everyone happy. If I can do this, even some people will be unhappy with me, than I can do the really important things. If I’m running around trying to please everyone on earth, I miss out on the amazing plan that God has for me.

 

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My Very First Tattoo!

I was even nervous about posting this, thinking who’s going to read it and disapprove? what are the comments going to be like? But that is the kind of thing I need to stop worrying about. This was something between God and me.

Now, please do not think that I am condoning that everyone should get a tattoo. If you are young and impressionable, please know that I have been thinking about getting a tattoo for the past 6 years.
I did not rush into this decision!
I made sure that I knew what I wanted and where I wanted it and thought about it for at least a 6 months or more.

If you are thinking “oh, this gives me permission to get a tattoo!” No. That’s not it. What I am trying to say is, you need to live life without fear! Fear will hold you back in life! Like fear has been holding me back. Now I have a visual reminder that I am not on this earth to please people but God, and I can do things even though people that I love don’t approve! I can (or at least try to) live without fear and start living the way God intended.

 

Do Not Be Anxious

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

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The Thorn In My Side

Ok, so my whole Year of Resolutions kinda tanked. I kind of, just, got preoccupied, I guess, or depressed. You pick.
I’ve also been trying to read the whole Bible in a year. Meaning I have readings to do everyday. I got stuck in Numbers….again. This is the second time I’ve tried to read through the whole Bible and got stuck in Numbers.
I mean, I love Jesus and all, but most of Numbers is a bore. Balaam and his donkey are pretty cool, but everything else is like reading a phonebook.

Anyway. I refused this to get in my way this time. I may have been two weeks behind, but I was going to catch up by listening to the Bible instead of reading it! It took three days to catch up, but I did it!
My New Testament read was 2 Corinthians. The next day was chapter 12, which had Paul talking about his weakness, so I read ahead.
Hearing about one of the most revolutionary Christians and his weaknesses intrigues me, since I myself have a few….too many, of those.
Paul talks about boasting of his weaknesses. He loves to talk about how imperfect he is.

I have many thorns. Anxiety. Depression. Low self-esteem. Perfectionism, which leads to procrastinating or giving up on things. Sometimes even giving up on a project before I’ve even started. Oh geez, what else?
The list could go on. But here’s a little revelation I got from reading Paul’s word.

He doesn’t quite specify what exactly the thorn in his side or “messenger of Satan” to harass him was exactly.
Could he also have suffered from anxiety? Maybe it was insomnia? Or maybe he had some chronic pain? Could he have suffered from something that those of us today can identify with?

Abso-freakin-lutely!

He pleaded God to get rid of it. “God, it’ll be so much easier for my ministry if I didn’t suffer with chronic pain!” “How am I suppose to travel if my anxiety stops me?” “Lord how am I suppose to help people when I can’t even help myself?”
But God said “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9a.

Wait…what?
I’m sorry…could you repeat that?

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Ok….just once more please.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Ah, ok.

What I then realized, after I read that line over a few times, is that God used Paul even though he suffered from something, and look at the amazing things God did through Paul! He started churches all over the known world and wrote several books of the New Testament!

I’m not saying Paul is this perfect guy that everyone should be like. But be encouraged! Because if God used a guy like Paul with his imperfections and sufferings, a man who used to persecute the Christians he then taught, just imagine what God can do with you!

So, even though my Year of Resolutions was a bust, God still has grace for me and my imperfections.

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corin 12:9b

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Organize March

Is it March already? Where has the past two months gone?

This month, since I decluttered in February, I thought, why not organize what I have left. I have some memorabilia that I need to sort through, and taxes to file. What a great month to attempt it.

I’ve been pinning things constantly on my Pinterest page Don’t Agonize, Organize for months, now it’s time to actually use those tips and tricks. Hooray for actually using Pinterest to it’s full potential!

For my Monthly Reading. I didn’t actually get to finish Unstuffed: Decluttering your Home, Mind, & Soul by Ruth Soukup…whoops. I’ll finish that one up, and then move on to The Best Yes by Lisa Terkeurst.

Also, this is the month I turn the Big Ol’ Quarter of a Century! 25…I can’t believe it, yet I can. Finally, I feel as if my personality and my age have caught up.

Here’s to March being a month of getting my s*** together! Or attempting to do so…

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Declutter February: Wardrobe Discoveries

Monday Motivation! I woke up late one Monday morning and just laid in bed until around noon, watching Youtube. But somehow after I ate something I was just ready to take on the world. I played some Relient K and tackled my “wardrobe”.

img_0529Isn’t that just gorgeous? And why yes, that is an empty box of Shreddies on my floor. Honey Shreddies to be exact. And no, I’m not sure how long they have been there…

Yeah, this projected was WELL over-due.

Thanks to Pinterest, I discovered How To Find Your Style, by Devastate Boredom and she has some great blogs on how to create a Capsule Wardrobe.

I started with all the clothes that were hanging up. Take ALL the clothes out and make four piles:
1) Keep. Clothes that you wear on the regular.
2) Maybe. Clothes that you don’t wear often or just can’t seem to get rid of.
3) Sentiment Value. Clothes that may have been given to you by a friend or you have some sort of attachment to.
4) Get Rid Of. Stuff that no longer fits, doesn’t look good, or you’re just bored of.

Once those piles have been made, put back the clothes in the Keep pile. I hung them back up with the hangers hung the opposite way. When I wear something, I turn the hanger back around. This way, when the season comes to wear my summer clothes, I can get rid of the items I haven’t worn.


Take the Maybe pile, put it in a box or a bag and hide it away. If you don’t go seeking for any of those items in a month, donate it without going through them. You haven’t thought of them, there’s no need for them to take up more space.

With the Sentimental Value pile. This is a hard pile. I have a few shirts from volunteering, or a sweater that reminds me of memories of a late friend. These I just put together in another box/bag, and put them with my summer clothes. I’m planning/hoping to make a t-shirt quilt out of all the t-shirts I have acquired through volunteering. And believe, there are quite a few. It is going to be a large blanket!

And finally, Get Rid Of! Sort this pile in two little piles: Chuck and Donate. Whatever has holes, and is just beyond salvaging, throw away. Anything that can be worn again, donate. Whether it is to your local Frenchy’s or even a Women’s Shelter. Anything that was really expensive that could be resold.

I’ve been reading a ton of blogs about capsule wardrobes and I did NOT understand how people are able to pull together multiple outfits out of just a few articles of clothing. It just doesn’t make sense. How did they even discover their style? How do they not get bored of their clothes?

As I was going through my wardrobe, It made no sense. Everything seemed like it barely went together. And then, oddly enough, I was going through my underwear drawer. I had over 40 pairs of underwear! Why? I have no idea. I only have one bum, why would I need 40+ pairs?
So, I just got rid of the pairs that were looking pretty sad, and ones that I didn’t love. Having 40+ pairs, I could be picky.
Eventually I ended up with maybe like 20 pairs. I started putting them away in my drawer and noticed the colours. I like those colours….I wear those colours! Then I looked at my clothes, and realized those were the colours I wear regularly, but of course with one or two odd pieces. But, I realized I had colour scheme to work with. It was an exciting moment!

Hopefully this discovery will be a stepping stone to a capsule wardrobe. Especially since I’d like to live simply and on the road.

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Declutter February 

Here we go! Second Month of my Year of Resolutions.

This month I am going to attempt to DECLUTTER!!!!

*GASP*NO*OH MY SOUL*

For anyone who knows me, I am a bit of a pack-rat. I like things, and I like to keep things because I may need it for that day and time where that thing happens. You know?

I get ideas in my head of what I want to be and I need to buy the things/clothes that go with that personality. I’ve been trying to figure out who I am, and every time I have an glimpse or a thought I jump in with both feet to prepare myself.

For example. I was working on my education degree and I was convinced I was going to be a classroom teacher. So in my head, I thought I had to buy a ton of books for my classroom as well as to help me become a better teacher and all the clothes that are teacher appropriate. But I had to withdraw from my degree to take a break, and really focus on who I really am as a person.

I like to think that I have a better idea of who I am now, than this time last year. I was placing my identity in what I was doing, instead of placing it in God who is never changing. I get bored so easily and chase new ideas frequently which makes placing my identity in what I do kind of like an emotional RollerCoaster.

I know I will go back and finish my degree, but I don’t believe that being a classroom teacher is where God wants me. I could be wrong. I know that I’ll be a teacher of some sort, but I don’t know if I’ll be somewhere close or I’ll go where I can only bring one suitcase with me…and my guitar, I can’t go without my guitar!

So, now that I am a bit more secure that what I do is NOT who I am, and the world is my oyster, I am going to declutter the unnecessary things so I can pack up and leave easily.

So…good luck to me…this is going to be interesting.

And the book I’ll be reading this month is Unstuffed: Decluttering your Home, Mind, & Soul by Ruth Soukup. I really enjoyed her book that I read for last min, so I’m looking forward to this one.

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No Spend January Overview

I did it!

I actually accomplished a No-Spend Month!

Now, I’m not sure I can do a complete breakdown of everything I spent. I’m just figuring out how to change my attitude of money. Because this month showed me how much I stress and fear money.

There was a moment when I actually feared, as in started feeling anxiety, whether or not I should meet a friend at a coffee shop. But in the end, I went and just got the cheapest thing possible.

It’s amazing how much fear I have of money. Of having it, not having enough, not being able to buy the things I want, paying off debts. I live in a constant state of anxiety.

Jesus says in Matthew 6 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” This is right after he said “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.(Matthew 6:24)”

When I let the anxiety rule my thoughts, I know that I serve the wrong master. This month has helped me reflect on these things and also realize that I don’t need to buy things or spend money to be happy.

So, I not have shifted completely to being a super saver, but I think I made some progress this month. And with Jesus’ words in mind, I’ll try to apply it in the next month as I declutter.

 

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No Spend January Pt2

Right after I finished my first post I went on Pinterest to get some ideas for lunches and dinners and such. My main page was FILLED with posts of things to purchase. “31 Online Stores You’ve Never Heard Of”. “Try The World” box that ships you food from all over the world. A funny mug that had something about Lord of the Rings on it.

All I could think is: this is going to be difficult!

My inbox was filled with emails from Old Navy, Lush, Groupon, Etsy, and Sephora. How on earth am I going to accomplish this?

I started by unsubscribing to those emails

I don’t think I said before, but to have a successful No Spend Month, it’s good to have a reason to keep you motivated. And not just to save money. It should be really specific. What are you saving for?

I wish I had a good reason. But it just so happened that this month has been reeeeeally slow at work. So I have to be a responsible adult.

BORING!!!

And it has been painful!

The first two weeks I had planned meals out. I made big batches of two meals each week, but by the end of the week I was bored of them and wanting delivery. I’d go on different restaurant websites and figure out which place is cheapest, start an order, only to close my laptop, lay on my bed or the couch and stare at the ceiling while arguing with myself why I don’t want to spend money on fast food. So far it’s only happened twice, but it’s been a big temptation.

So! Tip 1: make sure you have a goal in mind that is 10x better sounding than Pizza or Swiss Chalet, so it’s easier to say no to those things.

Next time I do a No Spend Month, I am putting my extra money towards something awesome!

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