Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tattoos, Faith, and Parenting

I've decided to get a tattoo. While this has nothing to do with parenting directly, what I've decided to get relates to it for me.

Everyone in my husband's immediate family has tattoos. He has some, his sister, one brother, and mom do, and his dad and oldest brother have sleeves. I've always been a fan of people with tattoos, I think they look great, but while I would have liked to get one, I never really had anything I wanted on my body permanently.

This week something in me changed. I suddenly very much want a tattoo. I was torn between getting "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine" or "The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still," and I may still get those some day. But while I was trying to choose between the two something dawned on me. A verse came to mind that means a lot to me, and that has helped me get through a lot, and I honestly couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it yet.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the world runs after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:25-34

Read that verse helped me survive an abusive and isolated childhood and get through my teen years. It encouraged me when I wanted to move but didn't have a job, when I had a not-so-ideal living situation, when I eloped and had rocky family ties and little money, when I found out I was pregnant and didn't know how we could support a child.... Time and time again this verse has been incredibly encouraging to me. It still is. It reminds me to rely on God in my parenting journey, to remember that He continually blesses us and our income, and leads us down the many paths we venture in life. We are important to Him and we shouldn't waste time worrying when He is going to take care of us. He knows our needs and supplies them! And sure enough, in all of those situations, God took care of me and provided.

In one way or another, my needs have always been met. Perhaps not necessarily when or how I wanted, but Christ has never let me down. Rent is made, groceries are bought, we are warm and have a cozy apartment, Bree is healthy and growing and fed as well. I am so thankful for my life, my husband, my child, and my home. I owe it all to the Lord, and this verse will always remind me of that.

Naturally I will not be getting that entire passage on my body, I will be putting "Therefore I tell you, do not worry..." and the address "Matthew 6:25" on my forearm, just as a reminder to have faith that God will always take care of me and my family, and will continue to bless us with not only our needs, but the strength and wisdom to parent our child (and future children) as well.

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