In my experience people usually have a couple of thoughts when they hear the word tattoo. I would say most fall into one of these categories: they are destructive and ruin the very temple (our body), they have always wanted one but never had the guts to do it or they love them, truly enjoying the symbolism and art behind each one, they LOVE them or they have come to love mine. Each one I get shows another part of my story, reminding me where I have been and where my hope lies.
As a person who loves connecting people, I love that Katie and I get to work together on this beautiful display with her my stories become tangible. Tattoos connect people, like minded or otherwise, I am complimented, approached and asked about them often. One of my favorite stories was the day my dear friend, Lauren asked about my three arrows, that day a forever friendship was born. Her friendship has become a source of joy and encouragement and it all started one day over the counter of a coffee shop talking about a tattoo.
Because of placement pictures are tricky to get. It runs under my collar bone over my shoulder and across to my back. It reads, My heart is a river in the hands of the LORD; he turns it the way that he will. It is a Proverb, for me it is a constant comfort that my heart is being safely directed in this life towards the things that God desires for me. Though the path may be winding and at times a little rough, I am being guided. I visualize God cupping my heart in His hands directing it all.
Three Arrows on my inner forearm. The arrows represent health: physical, emotional and spiritual. These arrows are heading towards Jesus, my target. I love that once an arrow is released it moves one direction, the arrow can hit many things but the goal is to not lose sight of the target. I always want to be moving forward in my goals and desire for health.
Four little birdies on my outer arm. This is my crew, loving them well has been a journey and I have found the best version of that love is open handed. Giving them a safe place to rest but allowing them to fly when they are ready. I first got the three and then added number four when Little One joined our family, remembering the purpose of each encounter, even if only brief.
The half sleeve of flowers, a variety of meanings behind this one. I love wild flowers, I love how they are beautiful, chaotic, bursts of color in fields of greens, popping up wherever they want to. They remind me to bloom where I am planted no matter the season I find myself in, no matter the external forces. Just bloom seeking to be the unexpected burst of color in someone’s day.
Two lattes, coffee is one of my most favorite things. Coffee brings the world together in the most beautiful and organic way. Each bean goes through such a process to get to our mugs. These two mugs are latte art pours dear friend, Morgan poured. Morgan reminds me to see the beauty in the mundane. I have one on the front of my arm so as I extend my arm and serve people they see it and on the back of my arm they can see for when I am at the espresso machine.
On my outer forearm, “even so, it is well with my soul.” This came from one of the more difficult seasons of life, losing Little One the first time, it took me from May to October to wrestle through to the place where I could finally admit it was well with my soul. She came back home two months after I got this tattoo. This reminder has gotten me through seasons of ache and pain. Each morning as I brush my teeth, I am confronted with the truth that it is well.
The coffee plant, unfinished in January it will filled with color, I love it. The way it covers my shoulder and the fact that my kids use it as a coloring book. It ties together my love of coffee and botanicals, reminding myself of the labor it takes for us to enjoy a single cup of coffee. A reminder that this world is so much bigger than me.
The heart this one is fresh, it challenges me to rise above circumstances to thrive. Healing comes, new growth happens and things change. I am rooted, on a journey of healing but the old is gone and the new has come and it is blooming!
I am asked how many I will get and if i will ever stop. I am not sure, right now it makes sense to get the ones that tell my story. I have a lengthy list of next ones. I am always seeking and enjoying the ones I see around me. I love that Katie designs them for me and together we make them come to life, telling our story and who we are. So I have no plans to stop, the way I view it is if my body is a temple, it has stained glass.