Today is my birthday. (Thank you... thank you very much!)
I have lived this life - here on this earth... here in this town... for 43 years.
I've told the story of my birth and miraculous survival before... of how I was not expected to live through the night... for many nights, all strung in a row. How when, yet again, the nurses told my mother she would not get to take me home - she wept and pleaded that they would just let her hold me - at least once. The doctor heard this and was beside himself upset - not knowing that they had not been letting her wrap herself around me... Things were different back then... I never got a chance to thank that doctor, but I believe his actions in that moment - his righteous anger and immediate fixing of this reality - is what began to bring Life back into me.
Skin to skin... My mothers' heart pressed to my head... her heartbeat familiar and my needing that reassurance of love and warmth and a reminding of promises whispered over me for months and months, through belly and blood...
After all - at any age... we all need reminders!
We all have those days when we forget where we're headed, who we (really) are, and why we are here in the first place. We all entertain thoughts... voices playing and replaying havoc in our minds... speaking doubt, tempting us off course, sowing fear and unbelief. A Reminder is necessary - even for the most confident among us!
We all can lose our way... Sometimes - we lose our way and we are not even aware of it! So today - on this, my birthday... I am etching a reminder into my skin. It is already such a part of me - of who I am and of what I say, that it almost seems unnecessary. And yet...
It's not just for me... no... it is also for her. It is actually because of her.
She - who I would do nearly anything for - asked... and my resolve to say no is nearly nonexistent, and what it speaks to us both is louder than any black ink could ever soak in... the meaning is deeper...
The statement more of a Declaration really... What it reads is true of His thoughts toward us, and our thoughts towards each other - and this... this is a gift that gets counted again and again and does not go unnoticed or get taken for granted.
"Beloved"... that is what He calls us...
Me. Her. (YOU!)
...and "Beloved" - this is what we are!
So this afternoon - side by side... my nearly grown girlie and I will etch it in ink... and will give ourselves - each other - a permanent reminder of this very truth!
For on the days when we forget... when our eyes turn downward and our head is not lifted high in confidence - it will be there to remind us: We are loved... we are His Beloved... we are HIS, period!
It will be a show of solidarity and remind us of this supernatural connection... this Mother-Daughter bond that goes beyond normal, and intertwines itself with bigger picture words like Destiny and Purpose and Love...
My life message... the grace He has poured out on us and through us and between us... sometimes in spite of us... The mantra to 'Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.' lives on and on and on in this house, and in these hearts, and we are a living Declaration of just how amazing His grace really is... and just how ridiculously consistent His loves is for us.
This - my second and last tattoo... and her first (and hopefully close to last?)...
We will allow ink and needle to scrape the surface,
only to reveal what lies beneath:
We are already forever marked...
as His Beloved!
Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.