Carly’s Tattoo Project

We launched the Purpose Project a few months ago, and have loved watching people get outside of their comfort zone to make a difference. Each project is about an apprehensive ambition — that thing you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had a reason or the courage to do so. Enter: the mocha club… aka motivation. By adding some purpose & raising money for people in Africa, your goal becomes a little less about you and more about doing something big & fun with your community. Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing a few of the projects we’ve seen so far here on our blog… First up: Carly.

Hi! I’m Carly — I’m a proud firefighter wife, stay at home mom to my son, Gunner, the writer behind Texas Lovebirds, and a full blown Dr. Pepper addict. I am so excited to be here sharing about my Purpose Project, The Tattoo Project. It was such an incredible journey for me and I know I will be forever blessed by it.

For my project I set the goal of raising $1,000 for Orphan Care during the month of January. And if I raised the $1,000? I would get that BIG tattoo I’d always wanted. A month later, we had not only reached the goal but we exceeded it.

Just a few short weeks after that I found myself sitting in the waiting area of our local tattoo shop, my stomach in knots. I was so glad I had my husband there because while I found myself worrying about the process and pain of a tattoo this size, he was there reminding me of the Lord’s goodness through it all. He was there reminding me of what I’d said all along — that the physical pain of a tattoo could never compare to the pain of not having parents or a family in my life.

For two and a half hours I focused on the orphans and not on me. For two and a half hours I focused on the journey and what the Lord has taught me through all of this. And two and a half hours later I had THE tattoo.

I can’t tell you how good I felt when it was done.

**(You can see more pictures and learn more about the tattoo’s significance, here.)**

Since completing my project I’ve talked with several people who are considering a Purpose Project. Most of them have two concerns — What would I do if I met my goal? and How in the world would I raise that much money? I’d like to address both of those things today.


Here’s the thing, no one can decide this for you. No matter how much you want someone else to tell you what to do, you know your “box” and what would be stepping outside of it. I would suggest two things though…one, PRAY! Take it to the Lord, open your heart, and ask what you could do that would help glorify him. I know that a lot of people might not think a tattoo glorifies the Lord, but I think it can. My piece has already been an incredible conversation starter to share my heart for orphans and our Biblical calling (see James 1:27) to care for them. And two, I’d say GO BIG! That doesn’t mean you have to get a tattoo, it just means do something that people will want to see happen.


I’ll admit it, setting out to raise $1,000 in the course of 31 days was pretty frightening. There were times I doubted myself, but that’s when I realized that I was thinking way too much about myself. You’ve gotta know that you alone can’t raise the money. You can write amazing blog posts, send out emails and letters, share it all over social media, but you still can’t do it. BUT, He can! Pray about your goal, ask the Lord to share a number with you and then, trust that He can and will meet it!

If you’re still on the fence about doing a Purpose Project of your own, I hope you’ll step out in faith. Don’t let fear or self doubt cause you to miss out on an opportunity for your life to be forever changed. My project reminded me of the good in people. My project reminded me of the generosity of people. My project reminded me that WITHOUT Him I can do nothing, but WITH Him I can do anything.

I can’t wait to see what you decide to do and what the Lord teaches you through it all.


Have your own idea? Submit them here or email info(at)… we’d love to help!

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