On a summer afternoon, when I was 21, I went to a walk-up tattoo shop on 17th Ave in Calgary. On a whim, I picked out a little red maple leaf, surrounded by the words “Made in Canada” and walked back out with it inked on my hip.

On a summer afternoon, when I was 33, I went to a small suburban tattoo shop, next to a grocery store, in Abbotsford. I had carefully researched and selected a deeply symbolic tattoo I wanted, a small dove, and I walked back out with it inked on my slim white wrist.


This little dove is for peace, for my search for peace, for my peace-making heart, for the peace that Jesus gives, for my committment to peace and wholeness in my own life, and in the world God created, and called good.

It’s for the Holy Spirit, for my reliance on living a spirit-filled life, for my reliance on the breath of God, the infilling, it’s even for my tongue-talking mysticism.

It’s for a fearless life. It’s for the soaring truth that love wins, and perfect love casts out fear, and I will spread my small wings a bit further, lean a little further into the wind, take flight even, perhaps.

And it’s for motherhood, for how these tinies have given me a new birth, a reinvention, a whole new life, and I carry them now, tattooed on my skin.

An inch of my blue-veined skin to mark my new beginnings, I want to carry these things forward into the days ahead, I’ve been changed by it all. Even the sting of it feels right.



In which I radically stay put
In which I am surprised by friendship
thank you for sharing...
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  • I can’t wait to see it in person! I love reading about why it’s significance for you. Hugs. Happy Tattoo day!

  • I can’t wait to see it in person!!!

    Love reading about it’s significance for you. I’m tickled pink by your Made in Canada tattoo.

    Happy Tattoo Day, S.


  • The tattoo and the significance are beautiful! I’ve had a specific tattoo in mind for years: “Isaiah 52:7” on the back of my right shoulder. My mom warned me not to get anymore piercings or a tattoo because I want to be a pastor, and that conversation always comes to mind when I think about getting a tattoo and my desire to fall in line with the “proper” appearance of a pastor. I have a semi-goal to get it for my 28th birthday (next August), so we’ll see.

  • Tara_pohlkottepress

    love. it. !!

  • OMG! I knew we were kindred spirits! I plan to get this tattoo in this excact spot when I’m finally ordained!! Looks awesome!!

  • It’s so lovely. <3
    And I love the meaning behind it.
    Makes me want to get another one 🙂

  • hopejem

    I just love you and your new tattoo. You are precious darling. Simply precious.

  • LOVE it! Some day we’re going to have to have to get tats together.

  • Gretchen

    So beautiful, especially with all of the meaning behind it.

  • misty

    my wrist says beloved. b/cs it’s true, even tho i forget it sometimes

  • Beautiful. I so enjoyed reading about your meaning – I like how much thought you put into this one. I’m always curious about people’s tatoos. There is usually a good story there.

  • Love it!

  • Oooh ooh ooh! It’s a beaut. I’m getting my first tattoo in a couple of weeks. I feel super lame because I’m in my late 20s, and I feel like it might look as if I’m trying to desperately grasp at coolness…which of course I am. *wink* But I think, for Christian women, there is something very empowering about taking that measure of control over your own body and using it to put a visible “seal” on your person as a reminder that you are spiritually “marked” by Christ.

    • Beulah Jayanthi

      ‘..there is something very empowering about taking that measure of control
      over your own body and using it to put a visible “seal” on your person
      as a reminder that you are spiritually “marked” by Christ.’
      That was the reason i got an infinity tattoo on my right foot. growing up I have been fascinated by infinity and as i grew up [still am :)] this infinity in math lead me to a newer understanding of God’s eternal nature !
      Plus i call my tat ‘Infinity Imprints’. I wanna leave imprints of Infinity [God] wherever i go.
      Plus Word play on I I as in Aye Aye Captain. [Yes. Yes Lord for whatever you say or want me to be or do]
      Plus due to tat’s permanence i know i am ‘marked’. A visual reminder!

      Sorry about the long post! Just had to say it!!

  • Mindy

    I still have this memory from college when you showed us your “made in canada” tatoo. How shocking?! 😉 Still, it’s one of the coolest ones I’ve seen. Loved it!! Your new one is so beautiful, too!

  • Beautiful!

  • I love, too, that the dove faces outward– this peace, Spirit, life, motherhood, all of it, is a gift you give to others, Sarah.

    • Yes! That is exactly why I wanted it facing outward, instead of in.

  • Christie

    Love the tattoo! I got my first (an angel) when I was 18 and then just got my second (an abstract monogram of sorts with the initials of my family members) when I was 34. I love them both. And I love the meaning behind both of my tattoos. While friends of mine express regret over the tattoos they got during their teens and twenties, I am still so proud of mine.

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  • Beulah Jayanthi

    Thanx For your post! I love hearing Tat stories! Like your 1st and 2nd tat stories. Such different stories but so much a part of who you are! Like em both!

  • claire

    I love it!!

  • I think that is awesome tattoo about “made in canada” with the red maple leaf. Being from Virginia and never having been to Canada in my mind their could not be a better tattoo for someone from Canada. I do believe that at times when you live your fearless life there will not be peace. Sometimes peace has to be sacrificed for what is right. It has been tough for me to give up peace for a higher gain but it has always proven to be what was needed.

  • Sarah

    This is beautiful! I love it. Did it hurt to get a tattoo on your wrist? I have one on my ankle and it was ok but I really want a wrist tattoo and am fearful

    • It did sting a bit, of course, but very bearable.

  • @OdysseyMamaC

    I think it’s beyond awesome that you’re inked! 🙂 I have the Chinese symbol for “hope” on my back. I had a particularly difficult year as a sophomore in college. I got thrown from a horse and nearly killed. Then six months of painful physical therapy. Then massive broken heart from bad relationship. Depression. All sorts of yuckiness. But I survived, and I emerged from that year with a knowledge of my own strength and hope for the future. I never wanted to forget that no matter how terrible things get, there is ALWAYS hope. So I had it engraved into my skin. I’ve met so many Christians over the years that think that tattoos are taboo/sinful/trashy/etc., but I think they’re an interesting and lovely form of art. Thanks for sharing your tattoo story. 🙂