grace.

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on December 12, 2011

in Uncategorized

In October, I did something I have been wanting to do for a few years now and got a second tattoo (much to the dismay of my family)!  It’s the word grace on the inside of my left wrist.

The idea first started when my pastor started a year long series on the book of Philippians with a teaching on the phrase “grace and peace” which is in the first couple verses of all of Paul’s New Testament letters (1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, etc.).  It stuck with my something fierce, particularly the idea of grace.

Before long, I was doodling the idea on myself with a Sharpie.  The vision was the same from the beginning.  I was – and am – deeply grateful for God’s grace, that I am loved despite my flaws and however many times I screw up.  So, first and foremost, the meaning behind my tattoo represents my faith.  I love having a constant reminder of that, something I see every day.

The more I thought about the idea of grace, the more it began to extend beyond my faith.  For well over a year, I’ve had a sticky note with “grace and peace” stuck to the dashboard of my car.  A picture of that note is the wallpaper on the home screen of my phone.  It’s in the signature of my emails.  I am reminded of it on a daily basis.  Soon, I began to think of grace not just in terms of my faith, but in extending grace to others.

What I’m really realizing now is that I need to not only remember God’s grace and to show grace to people in my life, but to show grace to myself.  I am perpetually hard on myself and I have been for as long as I can remember.  Always the perfectionist, I would cry over a getting anything less than an A in school.  If I gain a couple pounds or don’t have a great week of exercise or eating, I dwell on it and beat myself up for it.  I overanalyze and criticize.

Sure, there’s a time and a place to strive to be a better person, but when you don’t allow yourself room to stumble, to struggle, to fall, then you’re not being realistic.  I’m learning to give myself the grace to fail, but pick myself up, learn from my mistakes, and move on.

I’m learning to give myself the grace to not have it all together.  I don’t have all the answers and that’s okay.  There are going to be weeks I skip the gym or I eat indulgently more often than I should.  There are going to be days when I screw something up at work.  There are going to be times things aren’t going to end up just the way I want them, and that’s okay.

I’m learning that accepting God’s grace means extending that grace to myself.  

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz December 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I am reading a book called “Self-Compassion” by Kristen Neff, which I would recommend on the topic of showing grace to self and others.

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mindy @ just a one girl revolution. December 13, 2011 at 8:15 am

Thanks for the suggestion! I’m always on the lookout for new books!

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Melissa September 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Mindy

I came upon your blog because I researched “Tattoos of the name Grace.”
Your blog and photo instantly popped up.
I’ve always wanted a tattoo but have been to afraid of the pain.
The past few months it’s really been on my heart to get the word Grace tattooed on my wrist (funny enough, just like what you did).

My question is, how badly does it hurt? How long did it take? Was it worth it?

Thank you for your help.


Melissa Statema

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mindy @ just a one girl revolution. September 25, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Hi Melissa!! Thanks for commenting! For me, the tattoo was 100% worth it – I had been drawing it on myself with a Sharpie for a couple years before I went for it! I love it so much and it’s a great daily reminder. The pain wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated – easy enough to grit through the pain. I would say it took maybe 15-20 minutes total? Let me know if you decide to get one!

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Katy Widrick December 13, 2011 at 11:13 am

BEAUTIFUL! I love it.
Katy Widrick recently posted..New Tool Tuesday: Facebook Insights for Pages

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Allison Blass December 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I have grace tattooed on my left ankle, but I have it written in Greek, along with the word “faith” in Hebrew. i chose Faith because that’s a major theme in the Old Testament (written in Hebrew) and I chose Grace because that’s a major theme in the New Testament (written in Greek).

I also have learned to apply those words to not just God but to myself. To have faith in myself and to have grace with myself. Important things to know and believe.
Allison Blass recently posted..{Ten Things on Tuesday} Thirty-Eight + Three Years!

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Jen@FoodFamilyFitness December 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm

So beautiful!
I love it!!!
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Rebecca December 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm

SO many people forget that it’s not just okay, but necessary that we extend Grace to ourselves. We say, “Oh, I need to show grace to others and be thankful for God’s grace towards me.” and then totally beat ourselves up on a daily basis. Good for you!
Rebecca recently posted..Biting Bullets and Making Compromises

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