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A Tiny Tattoo.

May 27, 2010

So. If you don’t know me, I am a fairly conservative & simple girl. It’s a rare occasion when I bare my legs, bare my shoulders, bare my back, bare anything really. I pretty much stick to black, white, grey, & cream. Little to no accessories (minus the wedding ring of course). No nail polish, no lotion, no perfume. (Haha, I’m starting to feel a little grungy now.)

All that to say, I’ve been thinking & thinking & thinking… about getting a tattoo. Just a little one, mind you. But a significant one. It all started when we watched a few episodes of LA Ink. I got hooked. Tattoos became meaningful to me — a way to express something deep & profound in a permanent kind of way. When I first brought up the idea to S, he said that I needed to sit on it for one month (so I don’t do something on a whim & then kick myself for it later). It’s been three months.

I go back & forth, contemplating if I really want one, or if it’s a phase that will pass. But these pictures make me want one all the more:

image credits: 1, 2-3, 4

I love the first one, even though (secret) it’s not really a tattoo… she did it with a sharpie. But it’s still beautiful in its simplicity. If I got one, I’d be inclined to do a snippet from Psalm 16, a passage that was really meaningful to me during a challenging period in my life. To me, Psalm 16 represents God’s goodness & faithfulness to me & is a sweet reminder of His grace in my life.

What do you think… should I do it?!

30 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2010 5:45 am

    I really like the first one, too! I want a tattoo in the future, but I’m sorta scared of the pain :P

    I think you should. Tattoos are really awesome and a beautiful means of self-expression. I love how you’d do text from the bible… wonderfully meaningful. I wish something meant that much to me that I’d tattoo it… :)


  2. May 27, 2010 6:00 am

    I admire tattoos, but the permanence totally freaks me out. Seems like something you would love when you were young, might not be the same when you got older, but maybe not. I couldn’t handle the stress of that decision! Maybe print it out on some temp. tattoo paper and see if you can live with it?

  3. May 27, 2010 6:29 am

    oh you’re so brave even to entertain the thought of it! i am the biggest wimp when it comes to needles. i get shaky just thinking about it.
    that first one is very secret and sweet! i just love the idea of psalm 16 being your inspiration for it.

  4. May 27, 2010 6:45 am

    I have two small tattoos and my feeling has always been that frivolous ‘fad’ tattoos are unfortunate (barbed wire anyone?!) but that if it’s something deeply meaningful to you then it is just that, a meaningful memento that will forever remind you of your strength, your weakness, a challenge bested, a turning point or just something intimate and special that you hold dear. It will forever represent that moment in your life and I think that is meaningful in itself. SO, it’s your decision and I agree that you should wait until you’re sure (it IS permanent!) And it’s not the worst idea to try it out like Kenzie suggested. But don’t be afraid of the pain. It isn’t bad (especially for a small one that doesn’t involve ‘fill’) and it’s quickly forgotten :)

  5. May 27, 2010 7:44 am

    Oh my, Mike would be so excited reading this. He has wanted a tattoo for a long time and keeps joking about it with me. I told him if he did it, we’d have to do it together. But maybe you and he can get one together instead. Maybe a 2-for-1 deal? What kind of tattoo would you get?

  6. jane permalink
    May 27, 2010 7:57 am

    maybe you can start out with a sharpie one to “test” it out? haha…and if you really like it you can get a real one. but i secretly think you should just get one. or ask allison b/c she has one!

  7. May 27, 2010 8:03 am

    hi cathie! i am pretty conservative too, although i do admire tattoos. i think just as long as it’s something that is meaningful to you.. GO FOR IT!

  8. gregandsusan permalink
    May 27, 2010 8:20 am

    Hmmm, well, at first glance, I would say no. It’s so permanent, and I wonder what God thinks of tatoos. I’m not saying He wouldn’t like it, but I just wonder, you know? I haven’t pierced my ears yet because I wonder sometimes…but, oh, how do I love beautifully simplistic earrings…

    On the other hand, my crazy side says, yes! I love the first one you posted. Very simple, and hidden for the most part. I love when I see an unassuming person that surprises me in someway. And that first photo of the nape tatoo would qualify. :)

  9. gregandsusan permalink
    May 27, 2010 8:22 am

    the bracelet tatoo is pretty nifty too…


  10. May 27, 2010 8:49 am

    I say go for it! And I think you’re right in wanting a tiny one. I worry about some people who tattoo up their whole body. I think “will they love it when they’re 70? doubt it.” But a tiny one that holds a special place for you, yes!

  11. ehnie permalink
    May 27, 2010 9:18 am

    DO IT, CATHIE. DO IT! I’m so surprised that you’re even considering it. I’m actually getting one in the future too. My Korean “nickname” is “Jindalleh” which, I recently found out, translates to Azalea. So I’m getting a tiny Azalea on my inner wrist…if I ever gather up the courage. Psalm 16 is an amazingly meaningful passage. Let me know if you do and we can show them off to each other in the future ;)

  12. miriam permalink
    May 27, 2010 9:28 am

    OH MY!!!! i can’t imagine u with a tattoo! that’s just insane but totally awesome! hhahhaa…
    i know a pastor’s wife from our church who has a tattoo on her lower back that she got when she was younger before marriage. it’s crazy to learn all these little hidden secrets about ppl, makes me feel less like the crazy one! lol.

  13. Angie permalink
    May 27, 2010 9:46 am

    I want one, too!!! Maybe if you get one, Reuben will let me get one! My co-worker has this little heart on her arm and it’s the cutest tattoo I’ve ever seen. How about you get one first and tell me if it really hurts that bad =).

  14. moonchoi permalink
    May 27, 2010 12:32 pm

    DOITDOITDOITDOIT. I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo but it was just for the fun of it… hahaha. Your desire behind it makes more sense. :) But yeah, skimmed through some of the comments and I think that it’s the permanence of the tattoo that scares me away from it… but at the same time, I feel like getting a tattoo of a butterfly on your ankle vs. Psalm 16 are two different things. Not all tattoos are just tattoos. :)

  15. May 27, 2010 2:09 pm

    Definitely do it! I plan to do the same, once I can decide on exactly what I want. I’ve got an Evernote folder full of tattoo images that I love, but I still haven’t honed in on one specific thing (or location, for that matter). Can’t wait to see yours! :)

  16. May 27, 2010 2:27 pm

    i’ve never been able to think of something that i would want forever.
    something i would still be proud to flash when i’m 70.
    but that tiny infinity sign is gorgeous.
    i might have to go find my sharpie.

    if you decide to get one–you can never go wrong with a passage of scripture. that will always have meaning.

  17. May 27, 2010 2:33 pm

    a month? my god, i don’t let myself get a tattoo unless i still want it after one year. this is why i haven’t had a new tattoo since i was 18. anyway…i love simple and sweet. have you seen the model with an itty bitty heart tattooed on her spine? it’s my favorite.

  18. May 27, 2010 2:43 pm

    I’m one of those people that thinks tattoos are cool for others – but for me the fact that it’s permanent is too much!! But if you keep thinking and thinking about it, maybe it’s your gut saying go for it :)

  19. May 27, 2010 5:24 pm

    I always think that tattooing Bible verses is a good idea. If I were to ever get a tattoo, which will be never, I would get a Bible verse as well. I think you should go for it. :)

  20. May 27, 2010 6:20 pm

    hi! do it! maybe it’ll spark a chain of tattoos…like when a bunch of started piercing our ears few years back! i’ve always wanted a small tree on my foot. is that weird?

  21. May 27, 2010 8:28 pm

    Just a little one? Oh do it! Especially if it’s meaningful to you!

    Just don’t do what I did in college and get a tattoo of your sorority letters and now you have to go to Body Details every other month to have it lasered off.

  22. May 27, 2010 10:48 pm

    wow, you are soo brave to even consider getting one! i’m afraid of needles and pain, so i can’t do it. i think picking a design that will be with you forever would be tough too!! but i think you should do it, i know you can design something soo cool! =)

  23. May 28, 2010 6:56 am

    I say go for it…..and the psalm 16 thing would be awesome!

    I love when tattoos have meaning and purpose……that makes them worth the permanence…


  24. May 28, 2010 1:56 pm

    i’ve actually thought about it before, too — haha, are you surprised? :] i still occasionally think about it, but my indecisiveness kills me here as in many other things, haha. what would i want on my body for the rest of my life? and bahhh needles …

    my friend got a tat after “sitting on it” for some years (background: her parents asked her to wait until she graduated from college to make a decision). she still wanted it after graduation, so she got it. it’s “selah” in hebrew, with some musical marks (she sings). it’s on her back, so it isn’t readily visible, but it’s meaningful to her. another buddy of mine has “chesed” written in hebrew on her wrist as a reminder of God’s lovingkindness. another friend has a feather quill on her arm — nothing fancy behind it; she just likes to write. :]

    and here’s the coolest story (imho). one friend has tats all over both his arms. he got them before he became a believer. he was into drugs, etc. and the tats are (in his words) “shameful” representations of his past life. when he first became a believer, he’d always wear long sleeve shirts to cover his tats. but last year, he started to add to his tats. so as you go up his arm, the tats become more about God’s grace toward him. so his arms tell his story of salvation. and he isn’t afraid to bare his arms anymore. :]

    the end. hahaha.

  25. May 28, 2010 2:00 pm

    (something to consider: depending on weight changes and aging, your tat could look different later. classic story from college: a guy got a korean flag on his arm when he was really buff. later, when he lost weight, the flag looked more like a pizza…)

  26. May 29, 2010 7:53 pm

    I actually like the last photo but rather the photo and her outfit more than the tattoo.
    It is totally a personal choice. And we all know there are strong opinions, for and against, out there about getting inked.
    I, too, use to really contemplate getting inked. I do appreciate it and admire a lot of work on others but it is something that sort of faded away, the desire that is, over time for myself. Perhaps sitting on it a little longer is a good idea. Of course, a small tattoo is different than getting a large area of your body inked.
    I like the significance of using a Biblical passage but remember you don’t have to wear it on your skin to hold it in your heart. Just a thought.

  27. May 31, 2010 2:43 pm

    I have three tattoos, and I always contemplate getting more. However, if I could go back to being a completely clean slate, I would do it in a heartbeat. Tattoos are cool, the pain is tolerable, but they’re rarely timeless. So my advice would be, give it more time and please don’t do it unless you’re 100% sure you really want something on your body forever. Just my two cents! =)

  28. June 3, 2010 7:58 pm

    I love Ps 16. “I will not be shaken.” my go-to verse. When I was 18, 20 years ago. ack. I so desperately wanted a tattoo. I wanted a cactus on my ankle. I never got around to it although I thought about for about 2 years. i can say with all certainty now at age 38 I am grateful I DO NOT have a cactus tattoo somewhere on my leg. having said that I still want a tattoo but at this point it will likely be a bible reference or the names of my kids & my husband. It is good to thing about it. Do you know about stray tats: Just a thought.

  29. angella permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:11 pm

    no, don’t do it. i’ve always wanted one and will probably always want one. but if you think about it, it’s just gonna become part of your skin and you won’t think much about it after a while. it’s what i’ve noticed with others who got tattoos; and then it gets them thinking about getting another one or wondering what the big deal was in the first place. i say, just get a henna tattoo whenever you want one and by the time it wears off, the thrill of it is gone too. =)

  30. Jessica permalink
    July 14, 2011 6:29 pm

    So? Did you do it???

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