"You had to be there." 

A phrase we have all undoubtedly spoken at least once in our past when trying to convey an impactful experience we've had to someone else. Mid-story you begin to realize the other person isn't quite getting it, and words aren't sufficient to convey the memory held in your heart. Be it a time when something so hilariously funny happened you found stomach muscles you didn't know existed because you were laughing so hard. Or a beautiful snapshot in time where you were left awestruck at a majestic sunset, powerful soloist, a stunning painting. Or even a moment where the Lord took a normal day and completely rocked your world by showing you a new side of His love. It's utterly futile to try and explain these experiences to other people so you find yourself giving up and ending the conversation with "you had to be there."

Well, this has recently happened to me. Even though I know it won't make a lot of sense, i'm going to try and explain. The Lord likes to show me how much he loves me by giving me feathers. During a season of my life in Jan - May 2010 I began to have more and more of a realization of God's presence in my life. Not just a guy I go to from time to time to throw up pray requests to, but someone that I do life with every single day. Sharing my hopes, dreams, desires and even failures, disappointments, and frustrations with.

During this Jan - March season and even still to this day I find feathers everywhere in the most obscure places. On my desk at work, under my windshield wiper, on me ALL the time. Any time I need encouragement or comfort God just plops a few feather into my day and it makes me smile. One time I even looked down to realize I was standing in a big PILE of feathers on the ground! Now do you understand why it's one of those "you had to be there" stories?

One particular day i really needed encouragement and a reminder of the promises that God has for me and I opened my bible to the next chapter I was slated to read in my read-through-the-bible-in-one/three-years program and this is what I read: Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness with be your shield and rampart. I was SO encouraged!

Anyway, I tell you all of this because I wanted a constant reminder of God's presence and this special symbol of His love for me, so I got a tattoo!

I didn't make this decision lightly. since 2008 I have wanted a particular tattoo on my hand, but feel like i should wait till i'm at a work place (or working from home) that is OK with this. So, after thinking about my feather tattoo for over a year, getting Josh's complete support and feeling total peace/excitement about my decision i took the plunge. This is my first tattoo, and I really really love how it turned out.

If you are in Nashville, I went to Ian White at Black 13.  My experience there was first rate. the place was clean. they were very friendly and professional. AND  it turns out Ian is a believer from Dayton, OH and actually did a lot of my sister Cynthia's friends tattoos when he lived there.

Do any of you out there have tattoos? Do they have a special meaning to you?


  1. So fanTAStic! I love it! So delicate and graceful. And unusual!
    I have two tattoos ... a scripture on my left wrist and a laughing Tinkerbell on my right shoulder blade. I know, I know, Tinkerbell?!

    She always meant a lot to me though ... there's a line in the book that says something about how fairies are so small they can only have one emotion at a time. So when she was mad, she was furious and when she was happy, she was ecstatic. I have trouble expressing emotion sometimes, so I like having a reminder that it's okay to give yourself over to emotion occasionally. Also, the tattooist drew her from a sketch I'd done myself. She so also represents my sometimes-neglected artistic creativity.
    So in other words, I love my tattoos and I plan on getting more :)

  2. I LOVE it! Looks wonderful. I have a lot of feather jewelry, I've always loved the way they look.

    I am un-inked. I have had lots of ideas floating around, but I change my mind all the time about where and exactly what it would be.

  3. So cute! Good choice in waiting. I am actually thinking about covering up the one I got with something else since we know we all made great choices at 18...

  4. i love your blog so much.))*

  5. So glad I saw the explanation (saw the pics on facebook and was wondering, "why a feather?"). Even though it's a "had to be there" story, I totally get it. I was doing a group study of the book Captivating and one chapter talks about how God shows his love to us through His creation. At the time, we had just gotten our dog and I spent a lot of time out during the night, waiting on him to do his business, but always enjoyed the beautiful starry night sky view at our country home. I shared this with my study group and later that night I saw a shooting star. To me it totally felt like God saying, "You think the stars are great...well, check this out! Now THAT is how much I love you!"
    Don't know if you've seen my tattoo, but I have a heart (me), surrounded by another heart (Greg), with a blue, green and pink swirly line coming off of the hearts (our kids, who have had those colors assigned to them). To me, the love I have in my heart for my husband and kids was something worthy of being put permanently on my body.