My First Tattoo - Encouragement Café - October 1, 2015


My First Tattoo

Café Menu for Thursday, October 1, 2015

Today’s Special is:  A Painful Lesson on Self-Control

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey

Main Ingredient:

         A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

Proverbs 25:28 NLT


Did you know that God is a tattoo artist?

Seriously.  Did you know?  Because I had no idea until He graced me with His artistry.  My husband says it looks like a constellation. 

No, there was no needle involved.  God creatively used shingles as His ink and my hind side became His canvas.

I’m not claiming to be young.  But let’s just say that I’m well over a decade from being eligible for the vaccine.  Although I thought I was managing my life well, my body revealed the naked truth.  I was apparently overstressed.

In my prayer time, I asked God if this could be true.  Could I really be over my limits?  His answer stopped me in my busy tracks,

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. 

Said another way,

My sweet girl, you lack the ability to graciously say ‘no’ to tasks that are not from me.  So your body’s immune system broke down its walls and a virus came in to attack.

It prompted me to re-read Galatians 5:22-23.  When I did, God connected the shingles dots.  If I don’t exercise self-control, the other fruit of the Spirit decrease as well.  What I mean is that I’m not as loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful and I’m certainly not as gentle when I go beyond what God has called me to do.  Just ask my family.  I’m sure they would say, “Amen!” quietly in their hearts (they know better than to say it out loud).

We live in a crazy world.  But take it from a girl who doesn’t want to be tatted up.  Jesus said, “my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:30)  Let’s flex our self-control muscles together.  Although my constellation is a great reminder, I’d love to spare you from God’s divine ink.

Take Out:

Make a list of your current responsibilities.  For me, it’s being a wife, mom, being a representative for a company and participating in a couple of ministries.  If I wrote this list pre-shingles, it would have included a few more roles.

As you consider each responsibility, ask yourself if the fruit of the Spirit is evident in your work.

Pray and ask God if there’s anything on your list that is not God-authored.  Then ask Him the practical steps you need to take to flex your self-control muscles.  That way the rest of the fruit can beam from your heart to bless those whom God has entrusted to your care.


Dear Heavenly Father, we live in a crazy busy world.  But You tell us to not conform to this world’s patterns.  Renew our minds.  Reveal what You’re calling us to do.  If the work is not from You, we don’t want to jump in.  Show us how to use our self-control so we can be Your vessels of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness to each person You place in our paths.  We love You and lift our prayers in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

© 2015 by Noelle Dey.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Thursday, 01 October 2015.