2013 ~ The Year I Got a Tattoo (or Two) and Why

I'm not weeping over these final hours of 2013, just wishing them a sober goodbye.

Because this year knocked the wind from my gut.

It would be easy to say the primary antagonist was our fostering journey, but that's a scapegoat.

It was a year we spent more than 100 days bleaching the stomach bug from our home.

We repaired the places moldy drip drops broke through our ceiling...or maybe it was more like a steady stream.

We waded the waters of the unknown when my mom was sick.

We grieved with broken hope the sudden deaths of close family, dear friends, and children of dear friends.

We battled with perseverance through the joys and trials of our marriage, parenting, and ministry.

And through it all our front door continued to revolve, bringing with each turn children with shattered circumstances and families fragmented by sin.

I found myself digging deep, more so than I ever have.

I needed to know the Gospel I clung to, this Savior I cherished, was not a product of my comfortable world, but a Redeemer able to stride the chasm of poverty, hunger, shame, and betrayal.

I ached to know that I was living out a faith, a hope, that wasn't contingent on my predictable life, but instead, transferable to the lives of the desperate around me.

I felt I had one foot in each world, and I journeyed through the truth of scripture, preaching the Gospel, the real, messy, splintered, at-the-Cross-Gospel to myself.

I wanted it carved into my very being.

So...I did it. I got a tattoo.

Hope {in dictionary terms} ~ to look forward with desire and confidence. To believe, to trust, to have faith.

Hope {in my terms} ~ to know deep within my being that it is not the end of the story. To grasp the reality there is a tapestry of His glory being woven for His kingdom.

Hope {in God's terms} ~ Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the HOPE of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces HOPE, and HOPE does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. {Romans 5:2-5} 

~ For in this HOPE we were saved. Now HOPE that is seen is not HOPE. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we HOPE for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. ~ Romans 8:24-25 

There's this moment when I'm in labor to give birth... I don't care if my hair is right or my makeup is fresh, but I have to have my toenails painted, because that's what I can see. It's my tangible reminder that the agony is only temporary.

I told Jamie, I wanted my imprint on my foot because when I am old, wrinkled and decaying, I want to be able to stick out my foot and know that HOPE is evermore as strong.

And if you happen to outlive me, Jamie has been told to give me an open casket upside down, showing my foot, so you too can remember, HOPE transcends our sin, our pain, our suffering, our world. (He says I'm a nutcase.)

But this HOPE is only reality because of the One who entered the suffering and pain of our sin and shame at the Cross.

Wrong or right, I know many believers have various view on things like marks that don't erase, but somewhere in the chaos of this year, that's what I craved, a visible sign that took me back to HOPE of my Savior, by His grace, for His glory.

Wishing you a 2014 full of true, Gospel-filled HOPE ~


  1. Wonderful Catie! My favorite sermon I ever heard/read is A Theology of Hope: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/62-21. You reminded me to go re-read. Love you

  2. Catie, I pray that you and your family continue to stand strong for these children and families that sooo NEED that HOPE that you speak of! You and Jamie are a beacon of light in a dark world through your in person ministry as well as your blog. I know I've had some heartaches myself over this past year (who hasn't, right?) and tho I consider myself a patient and loving person, I find myself feeling resentment towards a family member who is struggling with an addiction to alcohol. I so want BETTER for him, his girlfriend but ESPECIALLY their child. I love that baby boy with all my heart and so I'd ask if you would (and maybe any of your readers that wish to?) pray for them? I KNOW that with God NOTHING is impossible!! May God continue to uphold and bless you and the families you serve this year!