Thursday, September 17, 2015

Be still

To celebrate my 35th birthday yesterday, I did this:


This particular idea for a tattoo has been on my mind for some time. One of my favorite bloggers, Glennon Melton, has the same two words inked on her wrist as well, but larger and in a different script. You can read about the story of her tattoo here

Some time went by, and then I read this by Lauren Warner at Sipping Lemonade. It's about Benedictine monks and how they take a distinctive vow when joining the religious order. Along with obedience and conversion of life, they also take the unique vow of stabilityStability is derived from the Latin word stare, which means “to stand,” “to stand up” or “to be still.”

The vow is described this way:
We vow to remain all our life with our local community. We live together, pray together, work together, relax together. We give up the temptation to move from place to place in search of an ideal situation. Ultimately there is no escape from oneself, and the idea that things would be better someplace else is usually an illusion. And when interpersonal conflicts arise, we have a great incentive to work things out and restore peace. This means learning the practices of love: acknowledging one’s own offensive behavior, giving up one’s preferences, and forgiving.
Wow. So much to unpack there. But amen to all of it. The part that really gets me is "ultimately there is no escape from oneself." I don't know about you, dear reader, but the older I get, the more I find this to be true. So I suppose I better start learning to be still with myself. 

A quick search of my Bible app She Reads Truth revealed the following verses containing the phrase "be still":


There are so many themes running through these verses. The ones that speak most to me are those that assure me of God's love and plan for me. 

I've been experiencing some anxiety lately, which is a very new thing for me. It started with having some car trouble a few weeks back and spiraled from there to full-blown headaches, stomach aches, shaking, sweaty palms, and racing heartbeat every time I needed to get in a car. I've realized the need to control my thoughts and learn how to still my racing mind. And a permanent, visible reminder seemed like a solid idea. 

So all of this is to say that yesterday, for $50 plus tip, I let a man who's life's ambition was to "cover the world in tattoos" ink these sacred words onto my wrist where they will stay until the day I die. I wonder if it will take that long for me to take the words truly to heart. 

What words do you need to tattoo on your heart (or your wrist)?

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