Thursday, October 25, 2012

inked :: redeux

{songbird for joy, flower for feminine, branch for strength}
two days before 2012, i crossed an item off my bucket list with ink of permanence on my skin.

four days ago, i did it again.

and now my shoulder bears the reminder of the best thing i have ever done. this is a memorial of her birth in the most perfect of ways. pain and blood that results in beauty, and this is what birth is and this is what i will bear on my skin for all eternity.

but it's more than that.

and these stones shall stand as a memorial...
for when your children ask
what does this mean?  
:: joshua 4

one day she will touch the mark on my shoulder, and the one on my wrist, and the ones that i have yet to get but will soon bear. and she will ask, what does this mean?

and i will tell her our story. i will tell her how i wrestled with God the day she was born, and how i was humbled, and how He was victorious. and how she was pulled from me like Moses from the water and laid in my arms. and she is my ultimate memorial to His grace. 
{via pinterest}

and that i am marked on my shoulder, and that i am marked from hip to hip, because i love her. 

and then i will point to the cross and tell her of the One who gave her to me. 

i will tell her that He is marked, too, because He loved her, too. because He loved her most. and that His Father has her name engraved on His heart, and that He wrote love in blood.

some people glace at my skin and wrinkle their noses. 

that's permanent, you know.
 even when you're old. 

and i smile. because i never want to forget, and i never want them to disappear. i'm proud of them, my story. my tattoos are my stones in the water, stacked high to remind the children of God from where they have come and where they are going instead.  

and i want to remember always what my Lord has done. 

and so i am inked. 

{linking imperfect with emily today. won't you join us there?}


  1. it's so cute! i'm sure miriam will appreciate it growing up. when i was born, my father got a tattoo on his right shoulder of a baby lizard breaking out of its shell. it means a lot to me to know he went through that pain for me. xo

  2. i'm confused... doesn't the bible say not to get tattoos? why would you use a bible verse to justify getting one?

    1. I am free in Christ. I no longer live as a slave under the old law. I worship Christ through my tattoos, and all of my marks are God-honouring {no pagan symbols, etc.} This is a really great link that lays out close to everything I believe about tattoos as Christians.

    2. The Bible says to not desecrate the temple/our bodies. I think Rachel's tattoo isn't discretion, but beauty. Now, if you were to slather your body in gothic, satanic, or punk symbols for absolutely no reason, if you had more ink on your skin then not, I think thats pushing the line. But there is nothing wrong with a little thing, or a big thing, as long as it is made in the correct heart.

    3. the bible says a lot of things that don't fit life today like slavery. Jesus fulfilled the law when he came, he followed old law because he was born into that culture and to show his obedience to the Father and so people would know he was the son of God. We are saved by grace not laws. I'm sure Jesus is more concerned with people's hearts and prayerfully getting ink that reflects the glory of God wouldn't offend God in my opinion. If we follow all old laws ( excluding the ten commandments) and even Paul in the new testament, we, women, would be praying with veils on and certainly not preaching/teaching men or even allowed to be a voice in the church. All I can say is I thank God Jesus came. Rachel, beautiful beautiful. You sing the glory of God every single post that you write. xo

    4. @Rachel -- well, hold on though... is it really about what it means to YOU, or is it about what it means to the Creator of the universe? to worship Him through something that is pagan in its origins (tattoos are just that) can't possibly be pleasing to Him, whether or not you're "saved by grace." of course, jesus came to FUFILL the law with love and grace, because without those two things, it was a burden. but with love and grace in the equation, God's law is what it was intended to be before man added to it -- something beautiful, meant to keep His people safe and separate from the world.

      i didn't mean to offend you with my original comment -- i think that your motivations to mark your skin for your daughter out of love are wonderful. i just don't think that backing up something that God says not to do with His Word is necessarily a good idea. be blessed.

    5. i'm a tattooed Christian. i don't have a single amount of guilt or shame or regret. when i arrive in Heaven, i do not believe that Jesus will look at my skin and cast me out for my tattoos. i live for Him and that's what matters.

      i appreciate your feedback, but my faith is indeed mine and it is unwavering.

    6. Christian's do a lot of things that are Pagan in origin. That doesn't mean Christ loves us less for it. God also says not to eat shrimp, work on the sabbath, put your wife aside while she is mentruating. Even our holidays we celebrate are based on paganism. Every modern thing we do as Christian's has it's origins in paganism, does that make us less whole in Christ? No The Bible also says not to judge others. I really think you should mind your ps and qs and not judge a mother who gets ink after much prayer and meditation in Christ.

  3. There is an OT reference to not getting tattoos, but it must be taken in context with culture of the day. At that time, tattoos were done as an act of pagan worship. Getting a tattoo isn't something that I would personally do, but I think that it is a matter that is between God and the person, much like the eating of meat was for early Christians. I love the tattoo you got for your little Marian :) Such a beautiful testament to your experiences and faith.

    1. I agree. I wouldn't get a Tattoo myself, but I'm not exactly opposed to them. I just don't feel the conviction to get one. I don't look down on people that do, Unless, of course, its in the pretense I mentioned in my first comment. I think Rachel's is sweet, and I think the one Jessica's dad got is sweet.

  4. My, Rachel! You started quite a discussion!

  5. thank you so much for your comment on my blog today, dear-heart. my heart has been wrenching open this week, and your small string of words really brightened my day.

    i love the tattoo that you chose...and i only hope someday i'll be brave enough to tell my own life stories in ink too. you've definitely inspired me.

  6. My older daughter (3.5) is so proud that my highest-reaching stretch mark is from her...that she was my biggest baby. (I haven't told her, yet, that she was the one who made me so sick I thought I would die - haha.)

  7. So every body has already mentioned that tattoos used to be a pagan ritual, and now are not, but I also would like to say that what the verse in Leviticus was talking about was a ritual where after a loved one died, those who grieved would cut open their skin and pour in ash as a plea to other gods. Not sanitary and definitely could be considered idol worship. But also not a tattoo.

  8. I got my first tattoo at 45. It's Hebrew and means "In Your freedom I will live." "Your" being God. I have since gotten 2 more, extremely meaningful to me - one is of Africa, where I have a ministry (Uganda) and where a huge part of my heart lives; and one has various symbols for my own journey to freedom (in Christ), my family, and my marriage.

    As far as the OT references to tattoos, it's pretty interesting how many things that are in the Bible we completely disregard. No sex for 2 weeks or more from the start of your period; not cutting your hair and covering it; women not speaking out in an assembly; observing the Sabbath; our food choices. We say about those things (and hundreds more such commands) that Jesus fulfilled the law. But it's always brought back out for tattoos.

    The reason for my first tattoo was FREEDOM. Freedom from legalism, and freedom to live a Kingdom life, following and obeying HIM and not men (women). We are FREE to LIVE - "I came to give you life, and that abundantly." Follow Him in your own life, and don't worry about what He might be saying to others. Then you will be free.

  9. Just because our modern culture condones tattoos does NOT MEAN that the God of the Bible condones them as well. Indeed, we may justify it by saying "I am worshipping Christ through my tattoo! The law is done away with! I am free! Jesus would not mind!" Oh really? What does Matthew 5:17-19 say? What about Romans 3:31? Or Romans 2:13? I find it amazing that James 1:25 calls the law "the PERFECT law of LIBERTY".

    Indeed, my dear sister in the Saviour, we will all be held accountable for the laws we have willingly broken when we stand before our King on Judgement Day. And yes, His laws still apply. I know that flies in the face of Modern Christianity, but only HIS approval is what matters. God wiped out families, towns, and nations because they deliberately disobeyed His laws. John 10:30 says, "I and my Father are one." Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and forever."

    Yesterday He wiped out the entire world in a flood because the people were so wicked and deliberately forsook the laws of God. Yesterday He killed 70,000 men of Judah because King David disobeyed His law and took a census (2 Samuel 24). Yesterday He sent the Israelites into thousands of years of captivity for disobedience to His law. Yesterday He struck Ananias and Sapphira dead because they disobeyed His law (Acts 5).
    How can we be so arrogant as to think we will go without punishment? How dare we think that we can do things that are expressly forbidden by God and are punishable by death? John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Most - if not all - Christians believe that this verse is referring to Jesus. Well, if Jesus is 'the Word of God' (ie: the law... John didn't have the New Testament when he wrote this!)... then how could He have done away with a part of Himself?

    Christians needs to take off their blinkers, and read the WHOLE BOOK... not just the last half. The New Testament is like the roof of a building. If you do not have the foundation, your house will collapse. That foundation is the Old Testament. All Jesus and the apostles had to live by was the Old Testament. Maybe we should really DO WHAT JESUS DID... He followed God's laws. Why can't we?

    1. So... What part of the 10 Commandments (note: The Law) did my lovely bride break?

      Has, perhaps, she made tattoo's above God? Has she put an idol on her body? Did she forsake the Father's name? Is this a way to forget the Sabbath? Has she publicly dishonored her parents? Was anyone murdered to obtain said tattoo? As far as I know, no man had sex with her while doing this nor does it defile our marriage. Is there lie hidden within her tattoo you wish to point out? Maybe you know if she coveted this image since I may have missed that part?

      Funny how you say the Law is why we shouldn't do this or that because YOU don't like it. However, reading each chapter of the passages you just listed in the 1st paragraph say something else. The LAW listed is known to the Jew (who those books were written to and know the difference between the Law and the laws) as the 10 Commandments.

      You, my sibling in Christ, need to not only read but understand who these were written to and use full context.

      Romans 2:1-16.


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon