Hang my locket around your neck,
wear my ring on your finger.
Love is invincible facing danger and death.
Passion laughs at the terrors of hell.
The fire of love stops at nothing—
it sweeps everything before it.
Flood waters can’t drown love,
torrents of rain can’t put it out.
Love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold—
it’s not to be found in the marketplace.
Song of Solomon 8:6-8
So let's start with some tattoo talk! I get lots and lots and lottttttts of questions about my sleeve. It's something that is so special to me. I've shy'd away from sharing for a while because it is so special and it's hard to explain each piece but also because I really don't want anyone to copy it. Which I know is silly, but I'm all about staying true to yourself and staying original to your heart.
I broke down each piece below!
Shoulder: I started this piece when I was 18 and gave our artist the entire scripture and he turned it into a solid piece. I never planned on getting a sleeve at that point and wanted to keep it colorless. It's a locket with a rose coming out of it with a string of pearls through out it. At that time it really represented God's love for me and that season of my life. He stuck with the first few lines of "hang my locket around your neck" and then added in the waves and flowers to go with "Flood waters can’t drown love, torrents of rain can’t put it out."
Outside of upper arm girl head: This piece was kind of thrown in. I got it while living in Chicago when Austin got his wedding ring tattoo'd. It's one of those that I always wanted and it just happens to fit with the sleeve. I remember being so SCARED to get this piece because it was getting really close to my elbow and I always heard your elbow is the worst. It's fun looking at my arm and remembering each season I was in when getting tattoo'd. (also my elbow was not that painful)
Inside of upper arm: Hand with covenant ring. The entire inside of my arm was the most painful part and I'm SO happy this hand doesn't have much color! This goes with "wear my ring on your finger." A ring is such a symbol of covenant and that's exactly what we have with Jesus and in our marriages. I honestly LOVE this part of my sleeve so much and it's almost never seen. Also, Do you know how awkward it is taking a picture of your armpit lol?
Inside of forearm: Skull through a looking glass. "Passion laughs at the terrors of hell.
The fire of love stops at nothing" This piece was something I was the most nervous about. He had mentioned a skull... and I just really didn't want it to look demon like. He drew this on me completely free hand and it's my favorite piece. Those words just hit close to my heart. Gods love is so passionate for us that NOTHING can get in the way of it. Nothing I can do can keep God's love from me and it's a daily reminder that Satan has no power in my life.
Outside of forearm: Torch with fire. "The fire of love stops at nothing—it sweeps everything before it." I loved the interpretation of this line. It was something that I didn't expect and it turned out really beautiful. I love the orange of the fire and that it goes up through the elbow. I love the mixture of the fire and water and the heart on the front of the torch to kind of tie it into the sleeve.
Through out the sleeve, we tied it all together with water to go with "Flood waters can’t drown love, torrents of rain can’t put it out."
The little anatomical heart on my wrist is part of a matching set of tattoos that Austin and I got before we were engaged. We were those crazy kids who got matching tattoos. His is an antique key on his wrist. I know, how cute... he has the key to my heart. (ah young puppy dog love)
If you're looking to get a sleeve my best advice is to know its going to cost a good amount of money. That a "cheap" tattoo is almost always a bad tattoo and if you're going to put that much effort into getting a sleeve, it's worth the money and time to make sure it lasts your entire life. Also, remember it's a huge commitment. At the time I was working a 9-5 and had to wear dress clothes to work every day and while everyone got to wear cute tops in the summer I had to wear a boiling hot blazer because I couldn't show my tattoo's. Also just know you're going to be judged for it. I get so many funny looks and glaring eyes depending on where I am. I'll admit being so young and getting such a big piece done really tested my confidence and there was a small season I also wondered if I would regret it. I'm happy to say that was very short lived and that I love talking about my sleeve when people ask because I love sharing about how much God loves each of us and how passionate that love is.