Yoga Pose

Yoga Mats

I am not a fan of Yoga. First of all, I’m not good at it. Second, it is difficult. And third, there is very little movement. It is all about standing still and balancing and holding different poses. I love moving and doing those hard core, high intensity, work outs where you are jumping and punching and moving. I like to be moving.

This morning’s workout was called Isometrix. It is all about holding Yoga poses. It was only 30 minutes so I went ahead and did the workout. But I really wasn’t enjoying it because my mind was wondering what I was going to do for the evening workout because it was scheduled to be Yoga. And I’m not talking about just a 30, 45, or 60 minute Yoga workout. I am talking about a 1 hour and 36 minute workout. I was not looking forward to it. So when my son asked me if I was going to do Yoga, I said, “nope.” He tried to talk me into it but I kept turning him down.

After the morning working and the time grew closer for the evening workout I realized something. This 1.5 hour Yoga workout is hard! It has been years since I’ve done it but I remember it being very hard. But God told me that sometimes we need to stop moving and stand still. Sometimes some of the most difficult times is in standing still. Not because we are lazy or just don’t want to move but because God tells us to stand still. He maybe telling us to wait or He may be testing our patience or our faith in Him. Whatever the reason, when God says to stand still or stay in one place or rest, He tells us that for a reason.

As someone who likes to always be moving, it is difficult to keep still and rest. The world tells us that keeping still and resting is being lazy. It tells us that we are not productive unless we are moving. But when God tells us to keep still and rest, we are being more productive than if we defy Him and move. We are obeying Him and that is better than sacrifice, right?

When the time comes, and it will come, to keep still and rest, enjoy the rest. Enjoy the respite knowing that you are resting in God.

Talents

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My daughter introduced me to a very talented author by the name of Maggie Stiefvater. I have only read one of her books but it was an amazing book. Okay. She is a good author. I’ve read books written by lots of good authors. Then I found out this author draws, and draws very well. Then I found out that she writes music and plays instruments. She is multi-talented. And she does them all very well. I made a comment on one of my daughter’s posts about her saying “It’s not fair. You only get one talent!” But we all know that isn’t true. I know it’s not true. 

In chapter 25 of Matthew, Jesus gives us the parable of the talents. We all know this parable, right? A landowner goes away on a trip and gives talents to his workers. He gives five to one of the workers, three to another, and one to another. While he is away the guys who got five and three put their talents to good use and made the landowner more money. The guy who was given the one talent took it and hid it in the ground and when his master came back he was so proud of what he did. He took the talent that was given him and he buried it. His master was very upset by the fact that the worker didn’t even put the talent in the bank so that it would earn interest while he was gone. The servant said he knew his master, and the master said “if you had known me” then you would have done this.

See where I’m going with this? Some people are given many talents and some are given few. I look at the talent that was given to me and I buried it for a long time. I took this gift that was given to me and I hid it so that no one knew about it. It has only been in the last few years that I have taken this talent out of hiding, brushed off all the dust, and have started using it again. It’s sad really. All those years wasted on frivolous pursuits when I could have been earning wages for my Master.

And it’s not about the money. It’s about trusting in God and using the talents He has given us for His glory. There are people out there who have been given many talents. I have a good friend who can sing, play an instrument, teach small children, and write. And do you know why God gave her more talents and He gave to me? Because He knew she would be more responsible with hers than I was with mine. I am not saying she is better than me; she is just a better steward of her talents than I have been. I am the servant with the one talent.

Thankfully, I realized what I had done and I unearthed my talent and am using it to glorify God. Thankfully, He saw that my soul was deserving of another chance. It’s truly scary to think that God has given each of us a talent and when we do not put it to good use we are wasting our lives.

I am very thankful for my talent and I pray that God allows me to earn wages for the Kingdom before He returns.

 

The Matrix

“There’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.”

This will be one of my next tattoos. This is a quote from the movie “The Matrix” when Neo tells Morpheus that he isn’t the one. But Morpheus tells him “there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.” He tells him this because Neo does not believe he is the one and Morpheus does. As we find out, Neo is the one and only discovers it when he walks the path set before him. The only way he gets past his doubt is to start believing he can do something no one else can do.

We know the path a Christian should walk. But as we all know, there is a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path. It is much harder to walk it than to know it. Anyone can know it. But it takes a strong believer to walk the path God has set before them. As scripture says, “not turning to the right nor to the left.” It can be a lonely path. It can be a difficult path. It can be a deadly path. But it is the path that leads to God so no matter what happens, we know where we will end up and it is worth all the pain and turmoil.

Know what path you should take and then take it.

I plan to put this one on the inside of my left bicep. Because it is just a few words, and the location, it will be very painful. But the path that leads to God is also painful.

Ship Mates

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This is my fifth tattoo and the last one I had done. It isn’t the last one, just the last one I have had done.

One of my adopted daughters and I love to cruise. We are cruise fanatics. If we could stay on a cruise ship, I think we would.  We just don’t have the financial independence to do that. Every chance we get, we are sailing. We finally decided that we wanted to get matching tattoos. As we were searching for what we wanted that would go along with the cruising theme, I thought about ship anchors. Then I found the ship wheel and I loved it. So we decided that we should each get one. She got the anchor and I got the wheel, because you cannot have a ship without both an anchor and a wheel. So we went together and had these done.

This one is located on the inside wrist of my right arm. Recently, my husband and I took a cruise without our daughter and although we still had fun, it just wasn’t the same without her. Every time I saw something new I thought “I wish Katie was here to see this.” We have a lot of fun together and I miss her when she is not there.

This tattoo is for her because she is my cruising buddy.

LOTR

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This was my fourth tattoo. This also has a long backstory.

I am a big LOTR fan. I love watching the extended versions of the movies and I am currently going through and reading the series for the first time in my life. One of the reasons I am such a huge fan is because God spoke to me through this movie so many times! I wish I we had the time for me to share with you everything God has taught me but then this post would be extremely lengthy.

The Tree – This is the Tree of Gondor from the LOTR. I have always loved the Tree of Life and the fact that God put it in the garden of Eden for Adam and Eve. He gave them a choice to choose between the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They chose wrong. Every day of my life, every moment of my life, is filled with choices and I need to strive to always choose life. I have also seen many versions of the tree of life with some of them where the roots and branches encircle the tree. I don’t like these even though they are pretty because it makes it seem like the tree is self-sustaining and it isn’t. A tree cannot sustain itself just as we cannot sustain ourselves. We need God. Without Him we are nothing.

The Words – If you have watched the extended version of the The Two Towers there is the scene where Boromir comes back from a battle and his brother, Faramir, meets him. They share a brotherly moment when Boromir says “Remember today, little brother. Today life is good.” Then their father, Denethor interrupts them. Denethor loves Boromir and chides and belittles Faramir every chance he gets. Boromir knows this and does what he can to encourage and lift Faramir’s countenance. Those words…”Today life is good” reminds me that no matter what is happening in my life, no matter how bad it gets, today life is good because God is still on His throne and He is still in control and I am still in His care.

The Location – This tattoo is on the inside wrist of my left arm. It just seemed like a beautiful place for it. While I was getting the tattoo, my son-in-law was watching Danielle and he would ask her questions about what she was doing. At one point she got to the cartilage in my wrist and it was extremely painful when she hit that spot. When she moved on I was able to breath. Then my son-in-law said, “Are you going to correct that? It looks like you missed a spot.” Danielle said, “Yeah, I’m going back to that.” The spot he was talking about was right on that cartilage. She went back and I had to keep myself from pulling my arm away. Isn’t that like life sometimes? When we are in the midst of pain we can’t see the big picture, all we can feel is the pain and we want it to stop. But God sees the big picture and He knows what needs to be corrected. I’m glad now that she made the correction because I love the tattoo, but it was painful going through it.

“Life is pain. Anyone that tells you differently is trying to sell you something.” The Princess Bride

Getting Gone

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This was my third tattoo and one of the most difficult ones. First of all, Toby Mac sings a song called “Lose Myself” saying “I want to lose myself, lose myself to find You, I want to lose myself, lose myself to find You, I don’t care how it sounds, burn it all to the ground, Your kingdom I desire, I want to lose myself, lose myself to find You.” This song had a big impact on me because God has asked things of me that really confuse me sometimes.

Paul says in Galatians 2:20 that it is no longer us that live but Christ that lives within us. Okay. I was okay with that. So I am no longer queen on the throne of my heart, but Christ is King. Okay. So after years of knowing this and trying to give up control to Him, He said to me one day, “You need to find out who you are.” I said, “What? I thought it wasn’t me who lived anymore in this body but You.” He said, “Yes, but before you can completely give yourself to Me, you need to know what you are giving up. So find yourself.” So I did.

I read a book by Beth Moore titled “So Long, Insecurity.” It was an amazing book and helped me to realize that I had been living my life trying to please everyone else when the only One I should be trying to please is God. My life took a whole different direction.

Okay. So now I know who I am and I am loving who God made me to be. Then God said, “Okay. Now you have to give all that up to Me.” What?! It wasn’t that He was asking me to no longer do what He made me to do, He just wanted me to use my talents for His glory, but I had to find my talents first.

When I heard this song, I realized it was God telling me I needed to lose myself.

The tattoo is of the moon with clouds floating in front of it. I know, my daughter says they look like hands. One of my friend says it looks like water waves. They are clouds. Why the moon? Because the moon is just a hunk of rock. The only time it does any good is when it is reflecting the sun. Get it? And when the moon does go through its waxing and waning, it negatively impacts us here on earth. When I try to do what I want, I mess it up. When I let the light of Christ shine off me, I am doing good.

Now. It’s location. It is located on the inside bicep of my right arm. One of the most painful tattoos I’ve gotten. Why did I get it there? It wasn’t my idea. God told me if I wanted it, I had to get it there. Why? Because when we lose ourselves to God, it is a painful procedure. It isn’t fun. It hurts giving things up to God. It shouldn’t be. We should be glad to hand things over to Him. But it isn’t and it is painful. Thus the painful location of the tattoo.

Music For The Soul

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So this was my second tattoo. I wanted something that would represent my love of music. The original music staff and notes I had chosen were so intricate that the artist would have had to have made it several times larger than this one and I didn’t want it too big. This one is located on my left upper thigh, again, where very few will see it. The “aaf” stands for Always And Forever because music has always been and always will be a big part of my life.

Music speaks to me and God speaks to me through music. I cannot go one day without hearing some type of music. It is part of me, part of my soul.

This tattoo was hand drawn by Danielle who has become my tattoo artist. She truly is a wonderful artist and she has done all the rest of my body art. When you put something permanent on your body you want to make sure that it is done correctly and beautifully. She is not only a good artist but she is a wonderful person with a beautiful soul.

I think out of all of my tats, this one is the most beautiful. It is one of my favorites.

Made To Love

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I decided to post pics of my tattoos and the stories behind them not to justify them, but to give the story to those who are curious but are too embarrassed to ask. BTW…don’t ever be afraid or embarrassed to ask an inked up person about their tattoos. We love telling people about them.

This tattoo was my first one and I got it alone. I always knew that my first one I would get by myself. It is positioned on my upper right thigh where very few will see it. The tattoo place was recommended by my hair dresser located in Dallas off of Garland Road. I walked into the shop and it was dim and scary the way you would think a tattoo parlor would be. It was busy and I walked up and told the guy what I wanted. He found this beautiful font which has a soft flow to it but has a few sharp edges extending from the letters giving it a rougher look. I thought it was very much me! The owner looked at a guy standing next to me and said “How much for this?” The guy looked at it and said “$40.” The owner looked at me and asked if that was okay. I said “Sure.” We went back and he got me ready.

He started to put it face down so that everyone could read it when they saw it but the tattoo was for me so I asked him to put it facing me. I asked him how long he had been tattooing people and he said, “Well, I’ve been out of jail for six months, so six months.” Nice. In the industry, he would be called a “scratcher” because he’s just there to stab ink into you; he has no concern about how it looks or how you feel. After it was done, it was a relief simply because I had seen that tattoo in my mind for so long that it was a relief to finally see it there.

“Made To Love” is a song by Toby Mac with the words “I was made to love You, I was made to find You, I was made just for You, Made to adore You, I was made to love, and be loved by You.” That was one of the first songs of his as a solo artist that really spoke to me. I was made to love God. And I was made to be loved by God. That is my sole purpose in life. If I fulfill that, then I will remain in God’s will and will fulfill His will for me.

I get the question with anyone who inquires about my tattoos…did it hurt? Of course it hurt! You are getting stabbed thousands of times by several small needles! Of course it’s going to hurt! But for me, it is worth it.

It really is a rough job and I have often thought about having my current tattoo artist pretty it up for me, but leaving it reminds me that when I try to go it alone, things don’t turn out the way they should. We were made for relationship, even if the only relationship we have is with God. I mean, really, if that relationship is all you have, that is all you really need.

 

Not Your Job!

A few days ago I was having a casual conversation with a friend. I mentioned something about getting another tattoo and my “friend” said, “Don’t get any more tattoos.” I couldn’t believe my ears. This is someone who I thought understood who I am. I looked at my friend and said, “This is my body and I don’t answer to you.” It bothered me so much that here I am several days later still upset by it. I am not upset by what they said but simply because they said it.

I started getting tattoos a few years back and ever since I have had many, many people give me their opinion about them. Like it’s their job to tell me what I can and cannot do with the body God gave me. Unsolicited advice about something that is none of their business. I am sure they would not like it if I went up to them and told them they are stupid for NOT getting a tattoo. Or that they are irresponsible for being overweight. Or that they are raising their children wrong. And then there is the comment…”What happens to the tattoo when you are old and wrinkled?” Then my tattoo will be old and wrinkled. Do you stop fixing your hair because one day it will fall out? Do you stop driving because one day you won’t be able to drive anymore anyway?

Do you stop living just because one day you will die anyway?

I think the reason my friend’s words got to me so much is because they are my friend. Not my best friend. Not my family. Not my husband. And certainly not my God. The only people I have to answer to are my husband and God. That’s it. God has given to me this life and this body and the choices I make are mine and He is the only one that I will ultimately have to answer to.

Don’t try to put me on a guilt trip about the choices I make because that is not your job.