The start of a new year is a great time to reflect and reset. As you reflect on 2017, do you recognize the changes in your life? Surely there were some good and some bad experiences. Perhaps your character was strengthened; maybe your hope was defeated. Was your patience tested, your confidence challenged? How did these thing affect your how you feel about yourself? Experiences are a big influence in our identity, but they do not need to define us. Perhaps this is why I love new beginnings so much. There have been many times in my life when I have allowed experiences in my life to become who I was.
After experiencing a divorce, I took the identity of “throw away wife” and was not able to build another healthy relationship until I was able to find the truth about who I was.
Some experiences require an identity check in order to move on. It is not wise to risk your heart for a future relationship (or job, location, etc) when it is still wounded from a past one. We have a choice in how experiences affect us. They can defeat us and deter us from growth, or they can become our personal exercise program as we work through the difficulty and become stronger for it. Continue reading 3 Questions to Reset your New Year→
How many Christmas pageants, plays or recitals did you go to this year? Children add so much life to this season, don’t they? It doesn’t matter if their costumes are professional or pathetic, when a child is on a stage being recognized, it is beautiful.
Or at least entertaining.
A few children who play their part with a calm, strong confidence can make a silly program truly impressive, but the children who are timid, shy and awkward–or the ones who are boisterous and showing off–are still adorable.
When children have the guts to get up on a stage, we have grace for their fears, and when they get up there and enjoy themselves, we give them the right to be proud of what they were doing. The older we get, however, the less leeway we have between timidity and arrogance. Continue reading Confident About the Beauty of Christmas→
I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with my to do list, when a dear friend of mine presented this very powerful question. It put life back into proper perspective for me and my hope is that it will for you as well.
If you’re plate is full and you are finding it hard to be merry this season, please enjoy this guest blog from Lauri Hawley, a godly woman of wisdom who has a way of capturing the most unusual beauty in amazing pictures and relating them to deep spiritual life lessons. You can find her blogs here
photo by Lauri Hawley
I found this little rock washed up on the beach a few weeks ago, with a strange growth attached. It almost looks like a coral, but we’re too far north to find that around here. I’ll venture to say that it’s seaweed. Whatever it is, I’m sure that when it got anchored to that rock, it never saw itself being washed ashore! The rock was protected somewhere on the ocean floor for quite a while to give this specimen time to grow. And then the storms came.Are you holding on to things of this world that seem super stable, reliable, and strong? What rocks are you using as a foundation? Will they remain firm through the storms of this life?Jesus told this parable, recorded in Luke 6:46-49:
“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” (NLT)
Jesus gives three steps to building on a solid foundation.First, we must come to Him. Talk to Him, read His Word, ask Him for guidance and assurance, and learn from Him.Second, we must listen. Asking without listening for the answer is a waste of time! Staying in the Word and listening for His voice will teach us how to live, even when we don’t know what questions to ask.Third, we must do what He says. What does He say? Here are a few starters:
▪ “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34)
▪ “Love your enemies” and “Pray for those who persecute you!” (Matthew 5:44)
▪ “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16)
Take some time today to check your foundation. What are your holdfasts attached to? If it’s anything of this world, it will pass away. Your rock will be thrown around by the storms of this life, and you’ll find yourself out in the open and exposed.Instead, dig down to the solid foundation that is Jesus Christ, who is the Rock of our salvation! Come to Him, listen, and obey. Through faith in Him we are counted as righteous, and “the root of the righteous will never be moved” (Proverbs 12:3 ESV).
After 33 years of helping women with Image Issues, I have come to the conclusion that there are the three reasons that the Beauty Battle is bigger for some than it is for others:
Some people are raised in an environment that challenges their authentic style and confuses their ideology (like the Ugly Duckling we have been discussing the last few weeks).
Some styles are more sensitive than others. Passionate people feel things more deeply than those who are less excitable, therefore, Image Issues can be a bigger battle for them to overcome emotionally.
Some Img.IDs have an internal conflict within themselves in areas that make image an issue before they even enter the Beauty Battle.
Consider the sensitive Img.IDs:
Ingénue, the Delicate Beauty, who has a sweet, gentle, youthful appearance and personality. Before any man mistreats her or girlfriend insults her, she already has a conflict going on with her image. Her petite frame and high voice give a false impression that often conflicts with her strong, creative and intellectual character. She has a deep concern for other people, yet her compassion is often belittled and rejected because people assume she is far to young and inexperienced to have anything to offer. When an Ingénue faces a Beauty Battle, she often fights with herself rather than her opponent. A common war plan for this girl is to try to look older and tougher. Unfortunately, this often gets her caught in a cycle of pushing people away and punishing herself as the lies of misunderstanding and rejection go deeper and deeper.
Dramatic, the Exotic Beauty, who is enthusiastic and expressive and rather intimidating to those she towers over. Because of her natural inclination to detail, her appearance and work ethic give the impression that she has it all together, but in her striving for excellence she seldom sees herself the way others see her. She sees the fine, unfinished details, others see the finished parts. Unfortunately, she may read the tension others feel around her as their rejection of her. She is often completely unaware that her high standards are causing the threat. If she does recognize this, she may decide to “play it down” and then find herself feeling restricted and frustrated.
Romantic, the Glamorous Beauty, who has a gentle, compassionate appearance and personality. This woman cares deeply about others but has a hard time giving herself the attention she gives others. It’s important to her that others feel comfortable and loved, yet she seldom loves herself, which is (ironically) what often makes others uncomfortable around her.
Consider the combination Img.IDs.
For those whose Img.ID consists of two styles there may be areas where those styles contradict each other causing minor–or major–Image Issues.
Some styles prioritize fashion, others comfort; some peace, others justice; some privacy, others publicity.
I would say it is about half of the women I have analyzed have the Img.ID of one style the other half have two styles and about half of those have a major conflict within those two styles. If this is you, this is no cause for alarm; it only means that you have some self-discovery to do so that you can find peace and learn to blend those two styles in a way that honestly represents your authentic nature.
The Beauty Battle is emotional, spiritual, physical and logical.
It’s no secret that I think a big part of the emotional Beauty Battle is spiritual warfare. I believe that there is an enemy of God who hates the fact that a woman’s beauty is a reflection of Him, so he sets traps before us to make us HATE, HIDE or get HUNG UP on how we look. When we are preoccupied with ourselves, we do not glorify God, we do not find peace and we do not encourage each other.
It takes time to settle things in your spirit, but if you are willing to search your soul and learn from those who have gone before you and won the battle, you can become a woman of Confident Beauty, which is balanced and free.
As an author and speaker, my passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. Please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads or consider having me speak at your next event.
I love to people watch this time of year. It’s easy to tell who is holding onto Summer and who is enjoying the Fall. It’s especially fun to see those who are eager for Winter–I saw “one of those” last night, in her high boots and thick sweater. I let out a little chuckle when she walked by. It hit me funny since I had been walking barefoot on the beach in shorts and a tank top just a few hours earlier. As I looked around at all the other people who were wishing they had prepared for the temperature drop. I was glad I had changed!
Does this fluctuating weather represent your life like it does mine? One minute it I feel the warmth of all the wonderful things that are happening. The next moment I’m chilled to the bone with the difficulties that I am facing. I’ve been here before. In fact, I’ve been facing the challenges of my son’s addiction for many years now. Continue reading Changing Emotional Outfits→
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?→
In every conversation, every glance your way, each test you take or act you perform, there will always be the nagging questions about your identity, purpose, power and value:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Am I enough? Am I too much?
Does my life even matter?
These questions about our significance may be subtle and somewhat silent or they may consume us with their torment. The intensity of their demands for answers may ebb and flow, within certain seasons of our lives. Without a doubt, they are strongest when we are suffering with low self-esteem, but even on days when we highly-esteem ourselves, our nature is to solicit confirmation of our worth. Continue reading Do You Accept Rejection?→
Glance at a flower and it will amaze you with its beauty. Take a deep look at the details of each pedal, the leaves and it’s stem and you may not be as impressed. I mean really, what is this?
Flowers wilt; they fall over or break, and very often they have many deformities. No flower is perfect, yet only a fool would dare to criticize the details of that which was presented to them for sheer pleasure. I’m not saying that no one rejects the bouquet of flowers given them (Actually, I’ve personally witnessed an ungrateful critique insult the generosity of their flower-giver’s heart.). I am saying that those who are critical of beauty are foolish. Continue reading Making Peace with your Image→
If you have ever heard of the Proverbs 31 woman, you know she is amazing. She is someone we all want to be, she does it all, has it all, makes it all, and IS it all! She is the wise, ambitious, strong, organized woman of God who loves her husband, children, and servants. She honors, adores, and guards them and meets their every need- even if she has to get on a ship to get the good!. She puts others first, cares for the poor and supports the local merchants. She takes the time to dabble in real estate, plant vineyards and make fine tapestry. Not only that, but she eats right and stays in shape!
Oh, and one more thing.
She seeks wool and flax, and willing works with her hands. –Prov 31:13
How often we overlook that one…
We all want to be worth “far more than rubies” like her, don’t we? I mean, I want to plant a vineyard! I love grapevines. I want my husband to safely trust me, to lack nothing and to be well known in the “city gates.” I believe charm is deceitful and beauty is passing; I fear the Lord; I want to be praised!
I recently heard a recovering addict refer to herself as a dandelion: ugly and annoying to most but beautiful and useful to those who know her.
Her analogy has me thinking.
As the mother of an addict, I’m often baffled by the way my son returns to his drug of choice even though it makes his life so much more difficult in so many terrifying ways. I do not see him as ugly and annoying, but his behavior indicates that this is how he believes most see him. My new friend, however, recognizes that some people see her worth. She recognizes the stigma her past has put on her, but is beginning to shift her focus away from her shame and toward her worth.
Part of “recovering” from any ugly past is overcoming the stigma
As moms, we see our children as beautiful and useful–even when they mess up or become rebellious–because our hopes and dreams for them are strong. We believe in their potential. Unfortunately, it is hard to recognize your own beautiful potential when you are trapped in a lifestyle of ugly mistakes. The ramifications of bad choices make it hard to see what could be.
It’s hard to imagine a field full of beautiful flowers when at the time all it boasts is ugly and annoying weeds.
People are compelled by convictions.
When we mess up, we often allow our experience to form our opinion of ourselves. We experience a divorce and take the identity of a” divorcee” and a struggle with addiction names you an “addict.” I have a hard time with that, but really, when we get married we become a “wife”; when we restrict our diet we become a “vegetarian” (or such). I just hate this epidemic of people restricted by the stigmatism that their ugly mistakes have made.
What we experience does form our identity, and therefore we act according to who we are–in most cases it would be wrong not to. If you don’t act according to your marital status, its a moral issue. Your choice of diet, on the other hand, may or may not be a strong conviction, but each of us should BE true to who we believe we are.
Unless, of course, we are believing a lie.
A vegetarian who eats meat totally contradicts who she says she is. If she had no conviction about the matter, then her change in diet is not much of a concern. We might ask her what changed her mind, but it’s really not any of our business how someone else eats, right? If, however, she had strong beliefs on the matter and suddenly she was straying, I would try to encourage her to “remain true to herself,” wouldn’t you?
The only thing truly ugly and annoying about someones identity is hypocrisy.
It is upsetting to witness someone take on an identity that contradicts who they really are. I may never really understand why does my son keeps going back to drugs, but this one thing I am sure of: I still believe in him, but my convictions will never change his identity, only his will.
Dandelions have the potential to be beautiful or destructive.
As a little girl, my daughter loved to pick the bright yellow dandelions in our back yard. When their season of bright beauty past, and they turned to seed, she loved to blow the beautiful puff off into the wind. They started multiplying like crazy! When we told her that the flowers were actually weeds, I think we broke her heart, but once she understood the truth, she stopped the behavior that was causing an epidemic in our lawn.
Are you a dandelion?
Yes, the beautiful flowers are weeds, but they have worth. I hear you can even eat them! They are adaptable and able to grow even in cracks of pavement where their is very little soul. Try to pull them up and you will learn that they are extremely strong. Unless you succeed at pulling out the whole root, they will likely grow back. Most of all, dandelions are highly influential. They may go through an ugly season, but their beauty only multiplies as they fully recover and start all over. Why? Because they were designed with the potential to experience a Supreme MakeOver.
So were you.
Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. -Romans 6: 16 NLT
Do you see yourself as ugly and annoying or beautiful and useful? Recovering from an ugly past is a process, but it is a possibility. There is a Supreme Stylist–God, your Creator, who can make you completely new again if you simply ask. It is what He does. It’s what He loves to do.
Don’t let your mistakes–or the stigma they have caused–define you. BE who you were designed to be: Strong, adaptable, highly influential, beautiful and useful. After all, weeds may go through an ugly season, but they multiply a lot faster than other flowers do!
As an author and speaker, my passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, I love to use my profession, along with my experiences and training as a Biblical life-coach to help others struggling. If you want to make difference, too, would you become part of this movement and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads or consider having me speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.
If you are like most women, you may very well skip this one important step in your self-care regiment. After all, it does seem a bit frivolous and there’s already a lot to do to get ready for the day. You take the time to clean your face, and surely you use a moisturizer before putting on your makeup, getting dressed and eating, but throwing in this one extra step of using a toner is just too much. Really, applying toner only takes one minute at the most, but hey, every second counts, right? Why do they put in that silly step anyway?
All quality skin care systems include a toner.
Cleansers are designed to pull any built-up oils, makeup or dirt from your face. In order to work, they naturally disrupt the acidity of your skin. The toner is designed to bring the ph balance of your skin back to it’s normal state. Also, toners are humectants, so they also help to bind the moisturizer to your skin.
After studying cosmetology (granted, it was thirty-two years ago) I should know the importance of toning my face, but I’ve been guilty of skipping this step, too. Life is busy, and it’s easy to ignore small details, especially when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Most habits take time to form or reform, and self care is no different.
Routines gradually evolve for better, or for worse.
As our schedules and needs change, our habits change, too. I started skipping my toner soon after I started using an essential oil (EO) skin care system. EOs are, by nature, ph balanced and because they are complete molecules, the skin absorbs their moisturizing benefits easily. In my mind, the need for toner somehow became less urgent and I got a bit lazy in my skin care regime.
Recently, I realized was out of cleanser and moisturizer, yet I had extra un-opened toner in my cabinet. I brought the toner back into my regime simply because I didn’t want to waste this precious product. About two weeks later, after just hitting a new decade and feeling old, I was amazed at how much my skin had “toned up”. I may be feeling older, but my skin was looking smoother and tighter! There are two other amazing benefits of toner, which I needed to be reminded of:
Toner deep-cleans the skin. We tend to think of toner as an anti-bacterial, drying agent designed to aid oily skin in fighting acne. As we age, we may think this is no longer important to us, but in reality clogged pores are still dirty, whether they cause blemishes or not.
Toner tightens the skin. As you apply toner to your face, it cleanses the pores of any residue your cleanser left behind. It also closes the pores and tightens the cell gaps, reducing the ability of impurities and environmental contaminants to penetrate the skin. This process also reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
How silly I was to skip such powerful product!
There’s a life-lesson in this…
(I can hear my kids groaning now.) But, come on, you knew it was coming, right? Image-coaching is just not enough for me; I’ve got to do the life-coaching, too. Here it is:
When life gets busy, let’s be careful not to skip important details. I think of how easy it is for us to do quick “clean ups” in our relationships. When we mess up, we may easily say we are sorry, but do we take the time to be sure there’s no seed of bitterness developing in the one we offended? It’s the deep, heart to heart apologies that make our relationships strong and tight, let’s not be afraid to take that step.
When we do good and behave well, let’s be careful not to rely on self-righteousness. No matter how “clean” we think we are, no one is completely pure and holy. Every one of us needs a deep cleansing (daily!) and only Jesus is pure enough to be our spiritual toner. It’s through repentance that we are clothed with His righteousness, let’s not be afraid to seek His forgiveness.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:8, 9
As an author and speaker, my passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those I’ve struggled with, such as betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, I love to use my profession, along with my experiences and training as a Biblical life-coach to help others find confidence. This is why they call me the “Image Consultant without the shopping obsession.”
Summer is typically considered the season to take time to play, rest and renew. The change in routine and slower pace has a way of refreshing us and giving us strength to carry on.
When we were children, we were given a ‘timeout” as a means of discipline; maybe this is why we sometimes feel badly about taking one now.
When a child acts up, it is usually because they have a physical or emotional need. This is why timeouts can be so effective. When our children are grouchy and miserable, it is a good idea to HALT and question the root of the behavior. Are they:
It is a good rule of thumb to HALT and ask ourselves this question as well. We may be big girls now, but we still have basic needs. No matter how mature we are, when we are hurting physically, we may get emotional. If we are hurting emotionally, we may ache physically. Our spirituality effects us physically and emotional, as well. Whenever there’s a strong need, in any area of our lives, we may need to take a timeout to take care of the problem–otherwise, the problem may easily get out of hand.
When hurt, HALT
There’s been a lot of injury in my family this week. If you could see me with my sister and mom right now, you would crack up. We are each hurt in different ways and we are trying to help each other take a “timeout” but our physical restrictions are making it rather humorous.
One thing I have noticed, is that with each injury, the problem was first hard to define. Isn’t this how it is when we are hurt emotionally as well? With initial impact, pain causes us to stop everything. We may feel intense emotion with the intense pain. It may cause us to be afraid to move or act again. After a timeout, as the swelling subsides and the pain eases up, the root problem is revealed. The bone may be broken; the ligament torn; the joint damaged, but at least we know what to do and what not to do.
Timeout help define the needs and restrictions.
If you have been hurt emotionally, physically or even spiritually, I encourage you to HALT and assess the root problem. Do you really need to quit? Healing may take some time, ice and rest, but it doesn’t always mean you can never do “that” again. It may be a broken heart that you are suffering from, but how long do you need to remain on the defense? One unfaithful relationship does not mean that every friend will hurt you. Learn from your injuries, but don’t allow the fear of getting hurt again to restrain you from ever risking vulnerability again.
The way you handle hurt is a big indicator of your Img.ID:
N: Carry on
D: Demand change
I: Receive the problem
R: Shut down
G: Defend herself
Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear
As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference in the lives of women and girls all over! To be part of this movement, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.