that afternoon, before they came over, i decided to go ahead and give allen his gift.
we dont usually make a big deal for v-day, but allen is SO hard to buy for and i'd been thinking it would be great to get him a gift certificate to have his car detailed, so as soon as an opportunity came up to get him a gift, i jumped on it.
so he opened his card and was very thankful that i had gotten it for him and he said
allen: "i didnt get you anything."
me: "i didnt figure you had."
allen: "ouch. well i was thinking the dinner would be the present." (he arranged for a guy that works on our youth ministry to some over and make dinner for the 4 of us. he graduated from culinary school and was an executive chef for awhile. awesome. i was so excited.)
me: "i know, babe. we dont make a big deal for valentines. but i finally had something i could get you, so i decided to do it."
allen: "i'll get you a present."
me: "you dont have to get me a present."
allen: "no, i'm gonna get you something. what do you want?"
me: "........a tattoo!"
allen: "yeah. we'll go tonight and get you one."
now this is a HUGE deal. i've wanted a tattoo since i was, i dont even know, 15 or 16. when i turned 18, my parents told me if i came home with a tattoo, they wouldnt pay for my college. i believed them.
then when i got sick and had withdraw from school, a tattoo was the furthest thing from my mind. then i started dating allen and we were married a little over a year later.
i still wanted a tattoo, but it became an issue of me being a [youth] pastors wife, and what kind of example would that set, etc.
i can understand that point of view, but at the same time, i think its a personal decision. its not that 'cut and dry'.
what i want to get is very important to me. i've wanted a tattoo not just for the sake of having one (although i'd be lying if i said i dont think they're super cool), but because it means something to me, its a reminder of my relationship with Christ; to myself and those around me, and its a great conversation starter and possibly a chance to share Christ with someone. because what i got is different, and truth be told, in the 7 days i've had it, i've had 2 strangers ask what it means.
ok, so anyway, i called april and told her what was going on (she didnt believe me at first) and she prepared to get hers as well (shes was also regretably tatto-less).
we had dinner, headed to the local 'ink shop' and i walked out and hour(ish) later with my long awaited tattoo.
its a western african symbol. when i went to ghana a year and a half ago, i saw it everywhere and asked what it meant. translated to english, it means, basically, 'i am nothing without God'.
i love that. i love the reminder, and i love looking at my wrist and thinking of ghana and the people there i got to meet and love on, and being reminded to pray for them.
so...heres the journey. :)
it hurt, but not near as bad as i was anticipating. i had psyched myself up for ridiculous pain, so i was pleasantly surprised.
oh, and april ended up not getting hers. she wanted words (matthew six twenty-six) on her foot, but the guy wouldnt do it, because he was afraid she would jerk and mess him up...or something. she was bummed, but hopefully will be able to find someone else thats willing.