Jamie The Very Worst Missionary

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inappropriate remarks, embarrassing antics, and generally lame observations from an American Missionary.
Updated: 2 min 1 sec ago

You Can Never Have Too Much Sofa

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 20:13

We bought our little house in California one million years ago, in 1997. And it's a good thing, too, because that was the last year our oldest child was our only child, and it was also the last year we could ever have afforded to buy a little house in California.
It's a typical, boring, no frills, suburban tract home, but nearly 20 years later, we still love it. The property is just over zero acres, the living space is compact, and the laundry is in the garage, but my kids still like to argue over who will live here when Mom and Dad are dead and gone. I mean, obviously, if we're dead, they should probably sell the house and split the equity three ways (Turns out, it was really smart to buy a house in California in 1997. You're welcome, kids!), but they say they want to “keep it in the family”. Ha! Either way, this house has become part of the legacy we will leave for our sons.
The only real challenge we have in this house is size. Not the house's size, the house's size is fine – we have no desire for a bigger house - it's more the size of the kids that's a problem. My boys keep doing this thing where they turn into men? And then they take up a lot more space with their bodies. It's so annoying. They've become very long people. They are so very lengthy, and they have these expansive limbs that stick our very, very far from their actual bodies. This house has high ceilings, so vertically we do alright, but try sharing a standard three cushion sofa with several people over 6 feet tall. Trust me, it's no bueno. So the primary problem with filling a small house with tall people is that there's no room for big furniture.
You can never have too much sofa. That's a thing I decided.
I don't care what designers and decorators and, y'know, all the rest of the professionals have to say about it. People need a place to lounge. We need space to spread out, get comfortable, and stay awhile. We need to be able to fall asleep on the couch while we're watching Hannibal until 2am, together, but not touching. Lounging is important. Laying around in your pajamas with your kids on a Saturday morning – no matter how long they are – is kinda crucial to the health and well being of your family.
Recently, I noticed that whenever we decided to watch a movie or something, one kid or another would disappear. It took me awhile to figure out that it's because there was no room at the inn. If the sofa was already full of other people's arms and legs and stuff, the last man standing would rather do something else. There just wasn't enough space for my whole clan to lounge at the same time, and that was unacceptable, so a couple weeks ago I filled our itty bitty house with a big fat sectional, yes, including a chaise. Now it looks like my living room is pregnant with Don Draper's sunken sofa, and I don't even care. Do. Not. Care.

The day after we brought home the monstrosity of comfort, El Chupacabra and I went out to search garage sales for a sofa table to go with it, but it was rainy so we had to look at estate sales. Estate sales are always kind of weird for me, because....well....someonedied. I know I'm there picking through the remnant belongings of the recently deceased, usually while their loved ones watch, and I feel this massive tension between wanting to be mindful of their loss and hoping for a kickass deal. It's always super awkward. But, at the very first estate sale we found, we came across the most perfect old stereo console.
This thing was hand made almost 50 years ago by the...uh...dearly departed. Like, he MADE it. With his HANDS. His daughter proudly told us he'd made other beautiful furniture throughout the years, but sadly none of his kids had room for this particular piece. As it was carried out to the car, and I heard one of the siblings take in a breath and say, “Oh, there goes Dad's stereo...” And in the chaos of closing out their father's estate, there was a brief pause for grief.
Thus, a tiny part of their legacy became a part of ours.
Of course, the first thing Dylan said when he saw the cabinet was, “Can I have this when you die?”, and Jamison cut in to say, “I'll fight you for it.” They're charming like that. Then they helped get it all set up in its new home behind our massive sofa expansion. It took a couple of hours, but El Chupahandyman got the turn table working and the bass kickin', and our home hasn't been the same.
The kids lounge and the music plays and we've been seeing a lot more of each other's faces.
To be honest, I don't really care what my kids do with this house after I'm dead and I don't care who wins the funeral fist fight over the stereo cabinet. But I do hope my boys will carry on this legacy of lounging around together. I hope they will actively make space in their lives for the people they love. As the world changes faster and faster, and people see less and less of each other, I hope they will remember the importance of being in the same room as another human being.
Side note: I am not obsessed with Navy Blue. OBSESSED.

I hope their couches will be huge and I hope they have too many chairs around their tables. And when people give them the side eye for having ridiculous furniture, I hope they invite them to sit down for awhile and tell them, “My Mom always said you can never have too much sofa.”
........................................................................................
Are you sure you have enough sofa in your life? Like, really sure?

You can't give what you don't have.

Thu, 01/07/2016 - 20:14

The first time I flew on an airplane, I watched the safety demonstration like my life depended on it. As instructed, I checked that my seatbelt was properly secured, identified the nearest emergency exits, learned how to inflate the life-vest, and noted that my seat cushion doubled as a flotation device. I was keenly interested in everything I needed to know to survive an air travel disaster, and if necessary, I would happily put my head between my knees to prepare for a crash landing and calmly exit the burning plane without my personal belongings, because that is how you live.
But the first time I flew with kids, something changed. I followed along as the flight attendant skillfully mimed the Survivor's Guide to Falling Out of the Sky; Seatbelt? Check. Life-vest? Check. Butt-floaty? Check. Toward the end of the announcement she held up a severed oxygen mask, showed us how to wear it, and reminded us not to freak the eff out if it doesn't inflate. Then she stood there smiling like a creep while a disembodied voice from the back of the plane chirped, “If you are traveling with a child, secure your own oxygen mask first, then assist others.” And I was like, “Yeah. I'm not doing that.”
If we're all gasping for air like fish out of water, you can bet your ass I'm putting my kids' needs first.
Don't get me wrong, I completely understand why we're supposed to arrange our own masks before theirs. I know it's safer and smarter and more sensible, but, in that moment, I knew I wouldn't do it. I knew that given the choice and despite the consequences I would never put my need for oxygen before my sons' – even if it meant I passed out and we all died because I was too stubborn and scared and dumb to take care of myself properly before attending to them.
I was thinking about this on Friday as I boarded a plane to meet a handful of girlfriends for a weekend away. Feeling excited for the days ahead, I was also pestered by guilt over what felt like a great big self-indulgence. I'm definitely not a martyr to marriage and motherhood, but I have always had major hangups about doing things that are justfor me, and this was no exception. This is an annual meet-up of dear friends that in three years I had yet to attend, and I waffled back and forth for 9 entire months before deciding I would go, I was so hesitant to take a short trip that wasn't for work, or for family, or for hotel sexmarital bliss. It felt incredibly selfish. 
ButI needed a breather.
Big time. 
Honestly? It's been a really tough year around here, and it took awhile for me to see how much I needed a break from this season of intense writing, and hardcore wifing, and momming actual real live grownass men. I needed a little stretch of time away from the very things I felt like I was neglecting if I left, and I sobbed when I bought my airline tickets, because it finally sunk in how badly and how sincerely I neededto breathe.
For like 5 minutes I believed I was a worthy cause. But as the girls weekend drew near, guilt crept back in to tell me I didn't deserve a break, my marriage would suffer in my absence, my children would resent me for leaving, and I was selfish and spoiled and stupid for deciding to go, and I actually thought about backing out at the last minute. It was like an oxygen mask had dropped right in front of my face and I refused to put it on. I was simply too busy looking with wide eyes at all the other needs in my personal life to secure my own oxygen, but I was too oxygen deprived to breathe life back into those same areas of need.
I aaaaaallllmostbacked out.
And then El Chupacabra said something in his last sermon that hit me really hard. He was talking about how when we really love people, like, when we really get into the nitty gritty of life and faith with other broken people, it will deplete us, it will stir up our own pain, it will tap our spiritual resources. He said you need to care for yourself in order to care for others, because “you can't give what you don't have.”
        "You can't give what you don't have."                                                                                              ~ Pastor El Chupacabra, aka Steve




I mean, it's kinda likeduh. But also? OMG, THAT IS SO ME! So, so, so me.Trying to pull from empty reserves of physical energy and mental health, desperately drawing from a dry well of faith, hope, and love, to bear the weight of looming financial commitments, to fight for a hobbled, hurt relationship, and to launch young adults into a scary world. That is so me. But I can't give what I don't have.
I haven't been caring for myself in a number of ways and it has absolutely hurt my capacity to care for others.
The reason we're supposed to secure our own oxygen mask first in the event of an emergency is that you can't give what you don't have. You can't expect to breathe life into those around you if YOU can't breathe. Your kids, your spouse, your coworkers, your friends, your neighbors, your parents – they really, truly, honestly NEED you to put on your own mask first.
I fly often enough now that I don't even bother playing the preflight charades game; I usually read, or sleep, or pick at my fingernails while the flight attendant does the old “in-case-of-death-spiral” song and dance. On my way home after three amazing days with friends, I watched a cranky, overwhelmed Mama trying to settle her young ones around her while she checked seat belts and felt for life-vests and peered over her shoulder for the nearest exit. I saw the familiar flash of resistance on her face when she was told to put her own oxygen mask on first, and I remembered when I was like her, seeing how she was too tired and too empty and too wrapped up in the thick of it - because she been poured out for her family – to choose to care for herself first. And I thought, “I got you, sister. You focus on taking care of those babies, and, if necessary, I'll take care of you.”
Because that's how it works.
I felt like I had nothing left to give, and then I spent a weekend having my heart and soul tended by women who generously dipped into their own reserves to breathe life back into these hollow spaces. With an infusion of joy and light and everything else I lacked, I came home prepared to be a better wife, mother, and writer than when I left.
So, on that day, that little Mama may have been empty, but I was full enough for us both.
That's how it works. 
I take care of me, so that I can take care of you, until you can take care of yourself,and then you care for someone else.
But someone has to be smart enough to put their oxygen mask on first. 

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Have you ever lost sight of your own needs to the detriment of everyone around you?


Jesus, save Christmas.

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 15:19

I promised myself I wasn't going to be a total grinchhole about Christmas this year.
I also promised I'd have the tree up before December 10th, get all the shopping done and gifts wrapped early, give beautiful plates of homemade goodies to all of my friends and neighbors, and not eat my weight in fudge.
The tree went up on December 15th . This, after a last minute trip to the forest to cut down a tree where we arrived 20 minutes before closing, scrambled around in the mud and fog and freezing cold to no avail, only to drive an hour back down the hill and buy a patchy, pathetic tree from the Home Depot parking lot. I'm still not done shopping. Nothing is wrapped. I tried to cheat on the Christmas baking by grabbing some easy recipes off Pinterest, and I ended up buying $62 in cookies and candy to grind up or melt down to make into other cookies and candy. I don't know why I thought I could just mix Oreo mush with marshmallow fluff and call it a day, but the results were unworthy of gifting and mostly inedible. Except that I did eat it, all of it. Plus, doublemy weight in fudge.
And now I hate everyone.
Christmas just seems to be getting more and more ridiculous, and with a knife-twist of irony, I find myself drifting further and further from Jesus around this time of year. I want to revel in the beauty of God with Us, I want to celebrate the birth of Christ in earnest, I want to delight in the story of Faith, Hope, and Love slipping into the world in a dirty stable on a starry night. I want to rejoice. But it's kind of hard to rejoice in the goodness of baby Jesus when He's buried under a dwindling bank balance, an intentionally ugly sweater, and a small mountain of fudge.
The thing is, I'm conflicted. I really want to participate in our modern Christmas traditions – the tree, the lights, the food, the gifts, the honey baked hams (yes, multiple hams). It's busy and expensive, but it's also fun and yummy, and I am all about the fun and yummy. But at this point there is a glaring lack of Jesus in it all, and combined with the utter ridiculousness of the season, it's starting to make my skin crawl.
The other day, I drove down a street that looked like the Macy's parade took a dump on it; one lawn after another covered in massive inflatable characters donning Santa hats, fat limbs bouncing on the breeze, tethers whipping the ground. There was probably $20,000 in huge balloon creatures on that street alone, and, if you ask me, that's a lot of money to throw away on whimsical Christmas fuckery. Don't get me wrong, I'm not immune to the insanity of Christmas spending. We spent $35 on a Christmas tree and hours to decorate it, and no one in my family can even be bothered to plug in the lights. Like, we don't even care, but it felt wrong to not have a tree. So we buy a tree. And it feels wrong not to give gifts, so we give gifts. And it feels wrong not to eat all the fudge, so I eat all the fudge.
Honestly? I barely love fudge. I only eat it because it's there, and it's only there because it's Christmas, and it's only Christmas because of Jesus. So here I am, twisted up in this tension, baffled by the enigma of celebrating Christ's birth by going into debt and gaining 6lbs. It doesn't feel right... but it feels wrong any other way.
It's like the thing with the manger. You know what I'm talking about?
I love the Christmas story. I really do. I come back to it often during the holidays, especially when I'm stressed about money, feeling the burden of busyness, frustrated by the exploitation of something so pure and good, and sad when the fudge is all gone. When I need to be reminded that we have a genuine reason to have a huge celebration, Luke chapter 2 is my jam.
But I hate the part about the manger. I don't get it. What's the deal with putting your infant in an animal trough?! What was Mary thinking? Like, why not just hold your baby? Lay him next to you. Give him to Joseph. Ask one of those shepherds to lend a hand. I can think of 20 things that would be better than wrapping your newborn up like a burrito and putting him in a manger. I guess she could have set her first child in a nastyass manger because she knowingly anticipated the theological significance of God becoming flesh in the humble form of an infant, and maybe she liked the symbolism of placing the most important baby in the history of the world in the most humble of cradles, but I don't think so.
I think she was probably just tired and drained and over it.
Come on, neither of you can just HOLD the baby?!
Whatever. At this point, it doesn't matter, because, while it doesn't always feel right to me, it would feel wrong any other way. The manger feels more familiar and old and real than all the rest of the Christmas bullshit we indulge in combined. A nativity without a manger would feel like some kind of sacrilege. So I can choose to let my irritation at the thought of a newborn baby swimming in a bed of E-coli and donkey slobber ruin the whole story, or I can look at the bigger picture and see that, ultimately, the story of Christmas isn't the story of a manger, it's the story of a Savior.
I don't like the idea of God using a 9 foot blow up snow globe lawn nativity to draw near to the us. I can't even imagine it's possible. But we've seen what He can do with a teen Mom, a poor step-dad, a handful of shepherds, so it's not really out of the question. Even so, I don't want my own attempts at celebrating Christmas to fall into the glittery traps of nothing more than a hollow cultural holiday. I want Jesus to somehow be evident in all of the fun and yummy. I want the whole of Christmas to be a demonstration of how my life is different because of Jesusy things. I want to give gifts out of Jesus generosity. I want to decorate with Jesus creativity. I want to eat Jesus fudge...um...ok. That?....Sounded weird
Anyway.
We've royally mucked up Christmas, I'm quite certain of this. But if there's anything worthy to be found in the gross, materialistic, commercialized mess we've created around the birth of Jesus, it might be the most Christmassy thing of all; that God shows up in the most unlikely places and the most unexpected packages, and then He sets up camp in the most undesirable spaces.
He is with Us.
Even when we're getting it all wrong.
So Merry Ridiculous Christmas, my fellow Holiday haters. Take heart. 
Jesus can save this, too. 

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Are you a Chirstmas Grinchole? Or a Happy Clappy Holiday Apologist? Explain...

When we are all Priests and Levites.

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 21:29
On Friday, the world fell to its knees in sorrow as the media brought us the horrible aftermath of a coordinated, multi-site, terrorist attack on Paris. The outpouring of love and support was swift as status updates declared our collective heartbreak, Instagram became a sea of candle lit prayer and Eiffel tower peace signs, and the French flag graced profile pics far and wide.
The loss of life was terrible, indeed, but it seemed terror itself would not prevail. In the hours following those bloody events, I started to believe the world could not be terrorized by a handful of men with guns. Global citizens stood together in a strong and united front to give wannabe terrorists the finger; We will weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn, you assholes. But we will not be terrified. Not by you. 
Because you're cool. And because you're not a refugee.
But then we learned some of those men with guns entered the city hidden in a stream of Syrian refugees, like parasites riding on the backs of the innocent, and the attack on Paris that appeared to be over swelled to unleash a second, far more powerful wave of terror upon the world.
Governments across the globe have been forced to reevaluate how to handle the mass of Syrian refugees seeking safety and asylum from the very men who may be hiding amongst them. Opening borders to millions of families forced to flee their homes under conditions of indescribable violence and prolonged starvation has become much more than a huge social and economic burden for the countries and communities willing to offer sanctuary to the displaced. Bundled babies and their exhausted Mamas have been contaminated by their mere proximity to danger, while young men and their desperate fathers have more potential to be active carriers of Hate.
The question is, do we let them in?
The concern is legitimate. It's real. This happened. And whether you like it or not, every governing body has an obligation, first and foremost, to its own citizens, their economy, and their security. The risk must be assessed. Parameters must be set. Systems must be enforced.
But refugees must not be ignored. Not by the Government, and most assuredly not by the Church.
Far from the compassion and mercy we displayed on Friday, on Monday an embarrassing number of American Christians took to social media to yank the Welcome mat out from under the battered men, women, and children at our doorstep. Fear for our property, our lives, our kids, our faith; fear, fear, fear decrees we MUST NOT take in any of those people. Because what if. What if. There are so many “what ifs” to be considered, but they all boil down to the same thing:
What if I try to help them and something bad happens to me?
And, honestly? That fear? It resonates in my heart. I am afraid.
I wantto Love others. I wantto serve and give and help. I want to meet felt needs. That's truly the kind of human I want to be, and I believe it's the kind of Christian I am called to be. But, before I help you, I am forever counting the cost to me. I really do wantto help the orphan, the widow, the refugee... but I don't really want it to cost me very much. Actually, I don't want it to cost me anything. So in the face of a humanitarian crisis, I'm tempted to say bullshitty things like, “We don't have to take them in to help them.” And “We can still love them from a distance.” And “We can't be expected to help everyone.” And, I don't know, some other bullshit about a dog bowl full of poisoned grapes, or something.
But Jesus, you guys. I swear. Jesus effs up all my best plans.
In times of confusion, I turn to bourbon the Bible for guidance, but when I cracked that sucker on Monday to cherry pick it for verses supporting my fears, Jesus totally got in my way. He is alwaysdoing this to me. I was trying to find that story where Jacob (or somebody. I can't remember) plays nice with another clan (or whatever it's called) until they're all super chummy, and then he's like “Hey, I have an idea! You guys should totally let us chop off your foreskins. All the cool kids are doing it.” So they do. And then, while their new 'friends' can't fight back because their wieners are sore, Jacob (and his sons?) kill them all. And the point is, you just can't be too careful when it comes to your life. Or your wiener.
Anyway.
Instead, I landed here...

Terror turns us into priests and Levites. 
Fear will always lead us to the other side of the road, away from the one in need, because fear convinces us that to stop and help is too costly and too dirty and too dangerous. 
So do we let them in, Church?
It's true, if we open our borders, doors, homes, and hearts to Syrian refugees (or homeless vets, or foster kids, or recovering addicts, or poor people of any kind), there is a chance that we will unwittingly show love to our enemies. We may even end up getting hurt. But if we choose to avoid our neighbors and ignore their dire circumstances, then maybe it doesn't really matter if a handful of terrorists sneak in to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave behind a family of hungry refugees; When the Church is willing to let innocent people with genuine needs die in the street because we're too scared to get involved, terror has already done its job - it has stolen our identity in Christ. 
When Christians are too terrified to Love their neighbors, when we are all priests and Levites, the terrorists have already won.
Are we really going to let that happen?

Before you get that tattoo...

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 18:50

On my 40th birthday, I went totally crazy and got drunk and blacked out and woke up with a huge tattoo.

RELAX. I'M JUST MESSING WITH YOU.
I mean, I did get a tattoo on my birthday – but it wasn't a surprise and I wasn't drunk. ...Unless you can get drunk on the Cracker Barrel's “Country Boy” breakfast. If so, I was definitely drunk.
Regardless, this happened...

It was this or Botox. 
Might as well have tattooed a Christian fish
on my forehead. Hindsight and all that.
A month later, I got color...

Look how much FUN I'm having. Needles are SO FUN!!
I thought I was so cool with my plastic wrap and medical tape.
Then I got home and saw my squishy old lady arm looked like raw sausage links.
 So embarrassing. 
I'm in love with my tattoo and I don't regret it for a second, but if I'm being totally honest, I'd say there are some things about having a tattoo that I was not prepared for. Like your first sexual encounter, or having your first baby, or eating your first Jimboy's taco, no one really tells you what to expect later. But I've been a tattooed person for six whole weeks now, and I've experienced some physical, emotional, and cultural ramifications that took me by surprise.
So, before you get that tattoo, consider this:
  • A visible tattoo is an invitation for chit-chat. It's like you're wearing a sign that says, “I'm interesting and I have 'a story'. ASK ME QUESTIONS!” This is an introvert's worst nightmare. The first time a complete stranger said, “Tell me about your tattoo.”, I was totally caught off guard. I didn't know how to answer, so I stammered, “Well...it's, um...*swallow*...made of ink...aaaand...I like it?”
    (I should not be let outside without supervision.)
  • If people can only see part of your tattoo, they will want to see the rest. Be prepared to hike up your sleeve or push down your sock or undo your belt or whatever, because if the tiniest little bit of your tattoo is peeking out, the hidden parts become public domain. Now the right sleeve on every t-shirt I own is all stretched out and floppy from being pulled over my shoulder no less than 27 times a day – But you can't blame people for wanting to see the whole thing when you're carrying around a work of art. It's just part of the deal. 
  • Tattoo gazing is awkward for everyone. Or just me. I love my tattoo, and I really don't mind showing it off, but after I yank my sleeve into my armpit so someone can take a good look, it get's kinda weird. Like, how long am I supposed to stay like that? How should I hold my arm? Down? Out? At an angle? Should I flex? Are they still looking? Do I need to stand perfectly still? Where should I point my face? OMG. WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?!?! 

    It is 45 seconds of pure angst. And it's inevitable.
  • Tattoos are gross when they're healing. I know you know already know this. This was not surprise to me, as I've gently rubbed many a glob of Aquaphor over El Chupacabra's crusty, flaky, scabby, healing tattoos over the years. The problem is that everyone is super excited to see your brand new tattoo because it's brand new, but you don't want to show them how awesome it is until it stops looking like the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.
  • Sometimes, certain colors don't like you. Red? Not my pal. The decomposing body stage of tattoo healing lasted a really long time after I had the color done, because Red hates me. It's one of those things you don't know will kill you until you do, but that's why God gave us antibiotics. And if those don't work and your arm falls off? Prosthetics.
    This doesn't even begin to show the terrible things
    that were happening in the red zone.
    ...Terrible things were happening.
  • People are people. Again, no surprise. But if you get a tattoo, be prepared to hear the same exact jokes, comments, questions, opinions, and off hand interpretations every day for the rest of your life. “Did that hurt?” “Is that real?” “Were you in the Navy?” “Were you attacked by a Sharpie gang?” “I don't like tattoos.” “I don't like tattoos on girls.” “I love tattoos on girls.” “Will you marry me?” “Cool ink.” “Is that new ink?” “When'd ya get inked?” “Did you come up with that idea yourself?
    Every. Single. Day.
  • Getting a Christian tattoo is the pretty much the same as having a Christian fish on your car. Now I have to behave myself in public. When I'm wearing short sleeves. 
  • Your tattoo will make you a douche. At least for a little while, you will be a tattoo douche. It's like a right of passage. You will stare at yourself and your tattoo in every mirror, window, puddle of water, and shiny spoon you encounter. You can't even help it. You will also find ways to include your tattoo or parts of your tattoo in all your selfies. And everyone else's. It could be on the bottom of your foot, it doesn't even matter, you will find a way because you're a tattoo douche. Don't despair, this wears off pretty fast for most people. Most. 
Who me? I'm just driving...
WITH A TATTOO.

(That was before color, but I'm still kind of douching out.)
  • It doesn't matter where you live, you should probably go to Kentucky and get your first tattoo from Scott Bryant. It sounds a little extreme, but I flew out to Louisville specifically to have this guy do my first tattoo because I knew I could trust him with the rest of my arm's life. He's done incredible work on my husband and my son and my sister, so he was the obvious choice for me. He is a tattoo wizard. Also, he's my brother-in-law -- BUT I WOULD HAVE GONE TO HIM NO MATTER WHAT. I'm so, so, so grateful to him for making my first tattoo such a great experience. (Thank you, Scott!!! I don't believe anything Emily says about you.)

You should definitely check out his work, connect, make an appointment through Acme Ink, Louisville (or look for one of the other shops around the country where he works as a featured guest from time to time) and get yourself something nice. 
ALL THAT to say: Here is my finished tattoo. I could not be happier with it!
"And what does the Lord require of you?..."
Micah 6:8

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If you have tattoos, do you have any other words of advice or warning for me and my fellow tattoo newbies? We're listening, Oh Wise Ones.
If you don't have tattoos. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???

DON'T FORGET TO TIP YOUR ARTIST, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.