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I saw a girl in the Walmart bathroom with a work of art twining around her shoulder and arm. Victorian birds perched on rose bushes were so beautifully inked onto her skin, you could almost feel spring come to life right in the middle of dirty toilets and fluorescent lights. It made sense, this permanent reminder of beauty. No matter where life takes her she will always be wrapped in something lovely.

It only takes a moment to lose sight of lovely. There are days when I take my tea with the morning news and end up swallowing more than herbs and warmth. Days when the stories of tragedies slide down my throat and sit in my stomach like lead anchors.

When my daughter was just learning how to walk, I couldn’t shake the fear of her falling and banging her head. As I drifted to sleep at 100_1062night, nightmarish images would barge in and fill my mind’s eye with horrific possibilities. It’s no wonder that she fell and bumped her head three times in succession until I realized I had lost sight of what’s good. My anxiety manifested itself as large as the shadow monsters she would see at night, but it was me that fed the fear.

I snapped my eyes back to the beauty of this little girl, the incredible gift she was and how God had designed her not for reminders of danger, but as a reminder of Him. No matter what life throws at her, she is made in God’s image, marked with His love.

As soon as I stopped obsessing about my daughter getting hurt, her legs steadied, her falls became small.

My sweet girl is sculpted from the same earth as the roses and birds and flutterbys, and is a walking reminder of His loveliness.

And so are you. Tattoo that into your heart.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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