My First Tattoo

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I got my first tattoo. Yes. I did. And I would love to share the backstory of it with you.

1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

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This book changed my life. It’s a different kind of writing style, one that you read for a bit and put down in order to mull it over before being able to pick it back up. This book dives into how to live life fully right where you are.

Eucharisteo (eu-care-e-stay-o).

(And yes, we’ve had some of our own versions already: you care to stare yo, car stereo, etc).

Eucharisteo = Grace. Thanksgiving. Joy.

A lot of you know my faith journey and I have put this small little word on my forearm as a part of this journey with the Lord. A Greek word that embodies all of what we could ever want or need in life: Grace and Thanksgiving and Joy.
Grace.
This journey started with being taken 1200 miles away to Colorado so that I could ONLY lean on Him. He also taught me that I had chains binding me. Chains that if I didn’t do enough “stuff”, He wouldn’t love me enough.  I realized that I’ve been doing all this work: to BE good enough, to DO good enough, to attend enough, to read enough, to memorize enough, to dress enough, in order for me to BE enough in His eyes. He has shown me that I already AM enough, not by doing all those things, but just simply “I” am enough and already HAVE His love. All those things that I choose to do come out of a love for Him because He simply chooses to love me, as a sinner. Period. For no other reason than that. I realized that I can teach my children to love the Lord and have a relationship with Him everyday of the week, to worship and praise Him and make them aware of His presence daily and that we can be at church as much as possible but that God’s love doesn’t drop down a few notches for me if we can’t go. I don’t have to have guilt if we can’t make it on a Sunday. Going to church and “doing” all these things doesn’t make me a Christian! Believing and accepting His Son as my saving grace does. Grace.
Thanksgiving.
A state of thankfulness. Being aware of the Lord’s blessings and, through this book, realizing that thankfulness always, always precedes the miracle. Giving thanks. Knowing that when I am in a state of thankfulness, it’s impossible to be in a state of depression. Stepping outside of myself to be reminded that every moment He gives me is a blessing to behold. Thanksgiving.
Joy.
What we all desperately crave and need.
Joy is found at the table of thanks. As the author says in the book, “as long as Thanks is possible, then Joy is possible”. Oh what amazing hope.  Hope that Joy does still exist.
I have chosen to put this small little word on my forearm as a daily reminder of these three things that God has given each of us.
Eucharisteo offered up to Him daily.
I will have to hold out my right hand when someone asks to read this word which will force me to have to open the palm of my hand, turned up to Him, offering grace to those who need it or don’t have it. I chose this small little word as a reminder that He is the vine and I am the branches, my arms are my branches, baring my soul to Him in the most humble of ways. My hands turned up and my head down b/c of the lowly sinner that I am. Not caring what others may think but knowing that my heart is raw and pure.  This was for Him.
On the plane out of Las Vegas this past weekend, at 4am, hours after getting this word put on my arm, a tiny, short girl couldn’t lift her bag up into the overhead bin. Jeremy immediately helped her and she sat in the window seat next to me: her, then me, then Jeremy. She had her window down and I couldn’t see out. She started to go to sleep and I quickly asked her if she could lift her window half way because I was feeling a bit claustrophobic and sick, and she looked at me and said “Sorry but I don’t want the light to come in” and went back to sleep. I was irate the whole plane ride. Fuming that she wouldn’t open her window half way when I felt sick, Jer said “we aren’t touching her bag or helping her! No way!” Right before we landed, I look down and see “Eucharisteo” very small.Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 10.07.26 PM

And I heard God say, “Grace. She needs My grace because she has none to offer. This is why you put this here. Now don’t miss this opportunity to show her Me”. I told Jeremy, with tears in my eyes, what God showed me and he smiled and kissed me. After we landed, he reached up and sat her bag in our seat next to us, without a word. She just stared at us then quietly whispered thank you. I walked out of that plane with my head held high knowing we offered her Eucharisteo. I passed this little test from Him and nothing felt better.
All of THIS within the first few hours of getting my forever tattoo?! How else does He want to use me?!
May we stop judging others, start loving others, and start seeking out a journey of a life on purpose for Him.
How does He want to use you?