I recently got inked, which means that my skin is no longer a virgin when it comes to tattoos. They tell me that tattoos are addictive; however, I have no immediate plans for any more, and am not coming up with a reason for any more. If, however, I do come up with something else that is significant enough to me that I want it permanently etched into my body, then at that time I will do it again. But it would have to be good; it would have to be really good. I love my tattoo, it means a lot to me and somehow I think that if any of the trivial things in my life were going to mean anything to God, my bet is that this tattoo would be one of the things he cared about.

The more studying that I do in the area of communications; the more I realize how important symbols are to our culture. After all, you don’t have to see the word “McDonalds” to know that you are nearing a McDonalds, all you need to see is the huge yellow “M” and you automatically associate it with McDonalds. We don’t need to see an iPhone with “Apple” written across it to know it’s an Apple product, or to recognize it as an iPhone, all you need to see is the apple with the bite taken out of it and you just know. That’s the power of symbols and icons in our culture.

So, on the inside of my left wrist, if you were to look, you would see the word “grace” and the date 03.03.08. It’s a simple tattoo that just means so much to me. You see, on March 3rd, 2008, I became a Christian. I was nine days short of my 23rd birthday. I had grown up in church, grown up knowing about God, and grown up in a Christian family. But I never truly understood salvation until that day, the day that I accepted Jesus, and realized that this whole salvation deal wasn’t about me, it was about him. There was absolutely nothing that I could do, including praying a formulaic prayer, which would make me right before God. The only “thing” that could make me right with God was his son, Jesus.

For me my tattoo is a symbol, a tangible reminder of the power of Jesus to change a life. The tattoo is on my left wrist for a reason. The reason is that I used to cut myself there, and once tried to kill myself by cutting there. It’s a reminder to me not only that Jesus can change a life, but that Jesus IS life. I’m a new person now, a person who is alive and wants to live and who will live forever. I like to think that the day I got that tattoo, God looked down from heaven and he smiled. 


I’ve never been the greatest fan of fiction, but lately some great fiction has sucked me in and now I’m a bigger fan that I used to be and like to always have some kind of quality fiction to read. My latest read was “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson. I really enjoyed this book because unlike certain fiction of the trashy quality such as “50 Shades of Grey” or “Twilight”, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was, in my opinion, a great read! (I know some of my readers may appreciate the other series I mentioned, the views expressed here are merely my own opinions).

There were many things that I appreciated about TGWTDT. The first was, unlike the other above-mentioned titles, the main character, Lisbeth Salander, is a strong woman who stands up for herself and works out her problems by herself. I don’t necessarily agree with her methods, although the scene where she tattooed her rapists belly was pretty funny. Lisbeth Salander isn’t the popular current image of womanhood. She’s unmarried, has a highly intellectual job, and is very much liberal in her beliefs and actions including, of course, her interesting piercings and tattoos.

However, the character of Lisbeth Salander is as much of a real woman as a conservative stay at home, home-schooling mom. We need more fiction with strong female characters, so that we can learn how strong we can be. The reason I don’t like books such as “50 Shades of Grey” or “Twilight” is because they teach women that being in an abusive relationship is normal, or even desirable. Of course, all these stories are just that…stories. The thing is that stories, particularly ones of such popularity as the ones mentioned here, become part of our culture, and our culture is part of who we are. We draw meaning and identity from our culture, which means that we need our culture to be informed by high quality fiction, movies, games, music, art, etc.

I’ve been taking part in some interesting conversations and interactions lately. I had a conversation last night with some great women I work with who differ completely from me in the way that they think, and a lot of it is influenced by their culture. The only problem is when they think that their culture is the only right way of life. Every culture, even every generation, does things a little differently and have both good and bad aspects. My children are being raised in a multicultural home but are living in the culture of the southern USA. I’m hoping that my children will glean the valuable things from both of the main cultures they are exposed to and influenced by.

If I had to choose, I’d rather have my daughter be like Lisbeth Salander than like Bella Swan. So I want to give my daughter access to literature that shows her how strong she is, how wonderful she is. I want my daughter to know that she needs to be in a relationship with a man who treats her well, not a man who abuses her. I want my daughter to know that she is fully capable of having a career in any field she chooses and that she is intelligent. I want her to know that whether she chooses to dress in conservative clothes and has pretty hair or whether she has her tongue pierced and a hundred tattoos, that she’s a beautiful woman worthy of respect because of who she is. And I want her to know that God loves her either way.