Category Archives: Faith

Favor is Deceitful and Beauty is Vain

“Favor is deceitful, beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

As a young church girl, I thought this scripture meant that it was wrong to be beautiful, that I shouldn’t want the favor of anyone, and that I should be afraid of God.

Wow was I off!

Many other times in Proverbs it is said that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The understanding of fear that I had as a child is not the kind of fear God desires of us. We should fear Him like we fear fire; a better word may be RESPECT.  When we don’t understand God’s heart–or fire–we will run  away from it instead of enjoying it.

When we are afraid of God we may work with all our might for His approval–that was me, I really had to wrestle with the meaning of this verse because I wanted to please God, but beauty was my passion. Continue reading Favor is Deceitful and Beauty is Vain

Favor is Deceitful – 3 Reasons Why

In honor of all the moms who have ever had a child turn on them and say, “I hate you!” I dedicate this blog to you.

God’s Word  is a lot like a fire hydrant: far more powerful than a refreshing drink of water. Perhaps this is what Jesus was alluding to when He told the Samaritan woman that, “those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” in John 4:14

Let’s consider a small section of one verse for example.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Proverbs 31:30

What does the Bible mean by, “charm is deceptive” (or “favor is deceitful”)?

I write a lot about Proverbs 31 Beauty, but now that my life is so involved with the deceitful world of addiction, I feel as though Continue reading Favor is Deceitful – 3 Reasons Why

Are you Influential?

Ambitious. Hard-working. Multi-tasking–these words describe most  women in today’s culture. Dreamers, with great desires for ourselves and our families. We are strong and courageous and are willing to give up so that others can get.

Women are influential

As emotional and relational beings, our mood sets the atmosphere around us. When we are peaceful, others relax. When we are joyful, others enjoy themselves. We should not underestimate the power of our presence because, when we recognize our influence,  we can make a difference in our world.

We have the ability to  create a beautiful environment in our homes for our marriage to flourish and our children to blossom. We have it in us to become self-disciplined, and to discipline our children well and train them in the way they should go. When we build on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses, we increase our sphere of influence (as big or small as that may be) because women who are confident enough to bless others are women who people want to be around. Continue reading Are you Influential?

Building Confidence by Keeping Christmas Unfair

“I just have to get this for little Tommy, he will just love it! Now I need to get something more for Suzzie or he will have more than she does.”

My parents didn’t keep Christmas fair for their five children. I’m sure they were tempted to, and I’m sure there were times when our complaints about the sibling who got the most gifts made them feel bad, but instead of giving into our (and society’s) pressure they responded with a non-apologetic, practical answer. “He needed the bike. You all already have bikes. This is his big year.” As children, we may not have known it, but we were learning powerful life-lessons from this response.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI will never forget my junior year of high school, when my parents made that Christmas my “big year.” I felt extremely humbled as I opened the beautiful ring they bought me. I knew we were in a very difficult season financially and I couldn’t believe they spent the money on me. The only thing I remember my brothers opening was sox! I don’t know how my siblings felt toward me that year, but I do know that if they felt it was “unfair,” they didn’t show it. Instead they Continue reading Building Confidence by Keeping Christmas Unfair

What’s Your Self-Worth?

Read any article on beauty and you are bound to find the word “confidence” somewhere. 
Without a doubt, as women we feel better about our self-worth when we feel good about our appearance. Although it is certainly a catch 22, a more effective approach to satisfying this innate longing for beauty is to focus more on becoming confident. A beautiful woman radiates confidence, but a confident woman radiates beauty–no matter what her appearance.

Ask any guy and he will tell you that women put too much work into beauty. It does take a lot of time to do treatments, applications and accentuations, but beauty takes a lot less work than building confidence does.
Confidence is especially hard to build when we have had our hearts wounded. 
When we experience a traumatic event in our lives, whether it is directly related to our image or not, it makes us question our self-worth. We begin to think that if only we were more valuable we would not have been hurt. It is easy to conclude that our painful experience is because we deserve it or that we are not loved. Sometimes we internalize our belief with shyness, defensiveness or even humor. Other times we wear our heart on our sleeve with desolate or destructive behavior.

When we believe that, “no one cares” we dress accordingly by:girl-829558_640

  • Dressing for approval
  • Attempting to push others away with outrageous style
  • Devaluing or become unconcerned with our appearance
  • Attempting to overcome our inner beliefs with “happy talk”

It is not until we learn that our true value is not based either on what others think about us or what we think about ourselves that we become women of Confident Beauty.
I believe the secret to truly understanding our value is in knowing that we were created in the image of God and in having a relationship with Him. 
You are valuable. I am valuable. It is not because we are beautiful; it is because we are chosen. It is not because of who we are, it is because of Whose we are. It doesn’t matter that others have condemned our imperfections; we are not required to be perfect.

Though it hurts when others do not like us, we can still believe we are of value because we are loved unconditionally. Even when we fail completely and the ones we hurt refuse to forgive our apologies, we can be confident that we are forgiven by the Righteous Judge.
You and I are intrinsically valuable regardless of how we feel, how we are treated or what we have done or experienced.

If you are having trouble believing in yourself today, I encourage you to test your faith. Does your belief system cause you to HATE, HIDE or get HUNG UP on your self-worth at all? Instead of outfit shopping, perhaps it’s time to try on a new belief system. 

Don’t let your past define you anymore. The God of the universe died for your freedom, what could make you more valuable than that? 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

for more information, visit me at www.CatrinaWelch.com

 

How Critiques and Crowds Build Confidence

I love hanging out with teenagers. You may think I’m crazy, but you’ve got to know the kind of kids I’m hanging with.  

800px-Flickr_-_moses_namkung_-_The_Crowd_For_DMB_1Youth groups from all over America have traveled to Orlando to participate in a National Fine Arts Festival and I’ve had the privilege of witnessing their amazing talents. There are ten thousand kids here who are stepping out of their comfort zones, using their gifts and abilities and encouraging each other to do the same. During a time when so many teens in our society are defeated and discouraged, it has been rather refreshing to see so many of them excited and enthusiastic.

But this isn’t a utopia. I’m sure that when these kids separate from each other they will be back to stressing and striving, but without a doubt, this week has strengthened their character.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

We become like the people we hang around and although this powerful truth is sometimes quite devastating to a person’s character, it is also one of the greatest keys to building confidence.  

One of my favorite parts of being here is walking through the halls of the convention center where the various artists are warming up for their turn on stage. It is an amazing comparison to the crowded streets of Downtown Disney where we spent some time last night. Both places offer entertainment with the pause in your walk but the atmosphere in the convention halls is very different then the beautiful, waterfront streets where the “magic happens.” Don’t get me wrong; Disney also offers good, healthy fun. But the dream that is inspired there is really Walt’s, more than his patrons. At this National Fine Arts Festival, the kids are building their own dreams.

I feel so blessed that two of my own kids are here having the flames in their hearts fanned by the approval and inspiration of their peers as well as the critiques of their judges. Of course I wish their performances were rated as perfection, but I  know that the judgment and advice given them will help them continue to develop their gifts because they are witnessing success and failure all around them.

They know that they are not alone.

It’s often said, “When iron sharpens iron, sparks fly.” For the performers receiving
their rating, the sparks may be tears of disappointment, but that’s part of the character-building. Tears make their experience real and lasting because they refine the dream.

The desire to do better is only proof of the value of that dream to that person. 

I am impressed with the courage these kids have to stand before their peers and offer their hearts. I know many grown men and women who lack the confidence to share their talent around a campfire at night, yet these kids, during their most sensitive years, step out in front of each other and risk it all. And their courage becomes confidence wether they rate “superior” or not because there is a camaraderie being built amongst them as they cheer each other on and they are learning that they have something to offer this world and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective.

Witnessing others achieve a dream creates confidence that you can too.  

Our society is full of people (myself included) with hurts, hang-ups and habits that have destroyed the dreams within us. Perhaps there’s something we all could learn from hanging out with teens who still believe they can do anything.

If you, or someone you love, is feeling defeated or discouraged, I encourage you to reconnect with your dreams by practicing the gifts and talents inside of you and then risking your heart by sharing it with someone who just might be encouraged by it. 

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No One Should Experience Devastation Feeling Invisible

Every one of us has felt invisible at some point in our lives or another. Whether it was at a party full of strangers, in the middle of the grocery store or in the privacy of our own home when our brothers got all the attention or our husband is distracted.Our lives may center around our needs and desires but not everyone else’s does and unfortunately that can be a difficult reality.

We all want to be seen, but it’s not just about image.

We feel invisible when our words, works or worth is not perceived as valuable. Which, of course, is complicated because our perception is filtered by our love language. For example, if we desire words of affirmation yet no one speaks up, we may feel worthless even if we are given a gift of gratitude.

Allow me to go back to the example of Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb (last week’s blog). When John tells this story in chapter 20, he doesn’t mention the other women who were with her. The other gospels do. I can’t help but wonder if Mary’s friends were invisible to John?

Consider this with me:

John must have been a sensitive man. His gospel is full of stories about relationships and the heart of the people involved. Do you think that perhaps John references only Mary because she was the one he connected with? Maybe they spoke the same love language. Maybe they were both sensitive. Maybe John just couldn’t relate to the other women. Perhaps they stuffed their feelings and he wasn’t even aware of how much of what he was going through was affecting them too.

I’m not sure why John doesn’t mention Mary Magdalene’s girlfriends, but they were there because Matthew and Mark refer to the “women” of the same story and Luke records the names of some of them.

Luke 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
*****

coffee-830422_640Have you ever been left out of a story or treated as if you were not part of something significant? I have, and it used to bother me a lot until I realized that I do the same thing to others. Just the other day I bought a coffee at a drive-through and as I drove away it dawned on me that I was so pre-occupied in my mind that if someone were to ask me to describe the window server I wouldn’t be able to. Not because the server was invisible, but  because I was blinded by my own self-obsessed nature. Most often it’s our own issues that keep us from connecting with others.

We recognize and remember those who we connect with.

When my husband and I lost our daughter we made a conscious effort to allow each other to deal with the grief in our own ways. We had been told that 90% of couples who lose a child end up divorced and with the way our coping mechanisms would fluctuate we realized how hard it is to see each other’s heart when our own is so broken. But dealing with a crisis is enough; how foolish it is to become offended by the people we need so desperately. I believe our decision to BE and LET BE is the reason our marriage not only survived but was also strengthened.

Our connection to one another’s pain not only increased our intimacy, but it also opened our eyes to all the invisible people whose lives were also affected by the loss of our child. It wasn’t all about us.

We were all in this life together and together we can make it through.

If you are in the midst of a crisis, I encourage you to become aware of those around you. It may be obvious that other people are hurting, like you are; connect with them, encourage them and allow them to encourage you. Others may be less demonstrative and may be stuffing their pain or trying to be strong for you; acknowledge them, appreciate them. Allow their strength to sustain you, but also allow them to be weak in a moment when you do have strength and enjoy the experience of true connection.

for more information, visit me at www.CatrinaWelch.com

The Power of an Introduction

We’ve all been in a situation where we feel uncomfortable.

You arrive at a gathering at a new location and, looking around, you don’t see a single familiar face. 

Age does not seem to discriminate against the desire to fit in. Young or old, we all want to belong. We can be completely comfortable with one person, but if person is going to be busy with all her other guests, we are not going to to be comfortable with her friends until we find a common ground with them.

I guess that’s why introductions are one of the most powerful tools for building–and displaying–confidence.

I remember the day my aunt taught me how to introduce my friends to her. She was a teenager sunbathing in my yard when I ran by her with my friends like she wasn’t even there. She called me back and taught me the proper way to do an introduction.

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  1. “Auntie, this is my friend, so and so”
  2. “so and so, this is my auntie….”

 

As much as I appreciated learning this important social skill, it scared me to death! My aunt was obviously insulted by the way I had treated her and I didn’t know what to do with the strong emotion. I felt like a total fool. From that moment in my early childhood until well into my adult years, I would panic whenever I had to make an introduction. A situation would arise where I was the one who knew two parties and the feeling of foolishness would instantly overwhelm me and (of course!) the names would escape me, making it that much more awkward.

I was set free of that stressful feeling the day I was doing haircuts for a family with eleven kids. I was so impressed with the way this amazing mother would bring one child at a time to me and not only tell me the child’s name and tell the child mine, but also stand there with us telling me all about this child as if he or she were her only one, while the other ten played quietly in the other room. After hearing about each child’s gifts, interests and abilities I felt included in her family and I fell in love with them all.

That one experience challenged me in many ways. It made me want to explore the possibility that perhaps the secret to discipling sibling rivalry is to make each child feel as important as she made her kids feel. And it helped  me let go of my old fears of feeling foolish giving introductions. Since then I have tried to embraced the challenge of not only sharing my friends’ names, but I also now try to tell something about each person that the other might be interested in. Although I haven’t mastered it yet, I do feel my aunt would be proud to know I now enjoy the powerful moments of helping friends feel acknowledged, included and important in unfamiliar places where they might have otherwise felt uncomfortable and awkward. That’s the power of an introduction and everyone of us has that power should we decide to be confident enough to use it.

for more information, visit me at www.CatrinaWelch.com

Throw Away that Ugly Noose!

Anyone who steps out of a nice, hot shower and puts on her old, dirty clothing is a fool.

Yet we all do this from time to time.

Okay, maybe not with our physical clothing, but when it comes to emotional garments, far too often we choose to wear that which is old and ugly.

We want to be strong and confident, so we seek out that which makes us feel good–you know: the “likes” on our selfies, the “As” on our papers, the “0s” on our paycheck, the smiles on our kids faces. The things we wear with pride are like our fresh, clean clothing. But then the kids are unhappy, the commission is split, the answers were wrong, no one commented on our pic and we go right back to the self-talk that destroys our confidence.

It’s kind of like putting on an old raggedy scarf over a new, formal dress. Foolish. Continue reading Throw Away that Ugly Noose!

Are you Confident they Love You?

When my little boy was acting up, I would often ask, “Do you need a time-out or a hug?” I was learning the ropes of parenting as a single mom and I was never really sure how to discipline correctly. Sometimes kids act up because they are hungry or lonely. It’s hard to know what they need unless we really study them. After all, sometimes I act up and I don’t even know what I need!

A time-out please. In the tub. Continue reading Are you Confident they Love You?

Confident in the Challenge of Letting Go

This Easter I was asked to share my thoughts on the final words that Christ spoke to Mary while dying on the cross. This challenged me because I didn’t understand why Jesus called His mother “dear woman.” I know He was fully God, but wouldn’t His fully-human-side long for His “mom” in a time of such excruciating pain? While I don’t claim to be a Biblical scholar, I do feel that after spending two weeks digging into the scriptures I found something very powerful and encouraging and I am excited to share it with you. Continue reading Confident in the Challenge of Letting Go

What Drives You?

Every human being is in search for significance. We want to be valued, we want to have purpose, we want to make an impact in our world. This may look different for each of us, but when we understand what drives us and how to BE who we were designed to be, we become powerful, productive people. We become CONFIDENT.

And a confident woman is absolutely BEAUTIFUL.

CB vase Transparent-Bgrnd_Bouquet copyI suppose this is the very reason last Thursday’s DRIVEN conference was so successful. Women were valued. Their purpose was encouraged. They came together to encouraged each other and collaborate strengths in order to make a difference in their world. I was proud to be part of Cape Cod’s First Conference for Women.

When I see a large group of women come together like that, I see a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a great array of sizes, shapes and colors, each one sharing it’s own fragrance and beauty. No two flowers–even of the same species–and certainly no two women, should ever be compared to another. Some may have withered a bit, others may have lost a pedal or two, but all of them have something  to offer and that makes every one of them significant.

  • The rose, the Classic, may be guarded at first, but when she opens up, her wisdom and strength helps to keep the rest of us on target.
  • The baby’s breath, the Ingénue, may appear delicate and feel insignificant, but she has a way of giving the rest of us dignity by covering our weakness (like flower stems) and completing us with her beautiful creativity and attention to details.
  • The orchid, the Romantic, may have seasons of holding back her beauty, but whether she is in bloom or not, her compassionate presence brings comfort like no other.
  • The bird of paradise and the protea, the Dramatics, brings the enthusiasm and fun factor and their eye for excellence has a way of bringing out the best in all of us.
  • The calla lily, the Gamine, keeps things happening and has a way of stopping our waisted efforts. Her passion inspires and motivates us.
  • The daisy, the Natural, has a way of keeping us all calm, cool and collected. Her peaceful presence keeps all the excitement in perspective and her unpretentious nature inspires us to keep it real.

We need each other.

Maybe it’s time we treat every day like a conference and turn our minds away from the competitive drive to compete with each other and instead become more compelled to complete each other. Because a small bouquet of one kind of flower is lovely, but an array of various styles working together is not only driven, it’s DYNAMIC.

*****

Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose personal experience with rejection, betrayal and loss–as well as her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach–is empowering women to BE and LET BE.

Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, is now available in your favorite bookstores. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com