My Tattoo Story

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Yesterday, I took the leap and got a tattoo! It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for over a year now, and I finally worked up the courage (and money!) to go for it. And I couldn’t be happier with the final result. Every time I look at it, I think of what it represents. I decided to get the word Gentle on my wrist, because it is a word that has come to hold deep significance in my life, especially over the past few years. Freshman year, I read the verse 1 Peter 3:3 for the first time, and was immediately infatuated. Here’s what it says:

“Do not adorn yourselves with outward adornments such as the braiding of hair and the wearing of gold jewelry. Instead, adorn yourself with the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Ever since reading that verse, the word gentle has come up over and over again in my life, forming a reoccurring theme of sorts. Many people have said I am a gentle soul, and someone even wrote a letter describing me as, “Gently influencing those around me.” When I shared my desire to get this tattoo with certain people, they all immediately agreed that it fit me perfectly. They saw it as much as I did.

I recently read a quote on one of my favorite blogs that said, “Take gentle care of yourself.” I need this reminder daily, as I am my own worst critic. I am extremely hard on myself, even though I make many of my faults up in my head! This tattoo will serve as a reminder to take gentle care of myself even when my first instinct is to do the opposite.

They say tattoos are like a gateway drug– the more you get, the more you want. They are addictive. I don’t plan on getting another one any time soon, but who knows! As my life progresses, I can’t wait to see what other words and beliefs are impressed upon my heart. I’ve learned so much in my first 20 years of life, and I’m glad I am able to capture those lessons in a single, permanent word. I feel like I’ve captured a special moment in time that would have otherwise been swept out with the tide, lost forever.

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Question of the Day
Would you ever get a tattoo?  What would it be?

P.s. My little brother took these photos– isn’t he talented? It’s so convenient to have another photographer in the family.

My Word of the Year

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Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about the idea of having a Word of the Year. A few bloggers I follow and podcasts I listen to have announced their word for 2015- that is, a ‘theme word’ to influence and inspire them this year. I decided I’d like to give this idea a try, so I chose a word that has held deep significance and meaning for my life in the past and hopefully will continue to in the future. And that word is (drum roll please)…
IMG_9279.JPGGentle.
I am striving to be a gentler person this year. Here are a few of my specific goals:

To be gentle with myself. Someone said to me the other day that the nicest people are often the meanest to themselves. That has always been true in my life. I am considered a generally nice person by most people, and I genuinely strive to be a positive influence. But I am So. Hard. On. Myself. I stay up at night over-analyzing everything I think I did wrong during the day and beating myself up over it, when chances are everyone else has already forgotten it or didn’t notice it in the first place! This year I want to treat myself with gentle kindness mentally and physically, which also means not spreading myself too thin or over exerting myself.

To show gentleness to others. I want to be gentle of speech, always thinking before I speak, and gentle in my actions, always aware of the way my decisions affect others. Of course you can’t put others first 100% of the time, but I will aim to be a considerate, thoughtful person as often as I can.

To find strength in my gentle spirit. I used to think my quiet, introverted personality was a detriment, that I didn’t fit in in this loud world and couldn’t make a difference. But with time I’ve come to appreciate my gentle disposition, and how it sets me a part in unique ways. Several people have called me a gentle spirit, a title I now wear proudly.IMG_9309.JPG
Question of the Day
Have you heard of this concept before? Will you choose a word of the year?

P.s. My post Amsterdam: A City Guide is currently featured on the travel blog Route Bliss if you’d like to see it!