Category Archives: relationships

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

 

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!

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

He Desires Your Beauty

In honor of Valentine’s Day and the “Celebration of True Love” that I just attended in RI, I would like to break down a small piece of a beautiful poem written thousands of years ago.

imagesFor your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. Psalms 45:11 NLT

Some scholars believe this poem is written about Christ and His church, others believe it is simply about the author, King David, and his bride. Personally, I believe it is like a double edged sword which cuts to the heart of the matter on both accounts. Whether it’s our relationship with man or Lord, there is much wisdom to glean from these few words.
Your Beauty is Desirable.
It does not have to be perfect, it does not have to follow any formula or fashion. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and as long as it is not withheld or propelled, it is greatly desired by the one who longs to be your beholder. Nothing on Earth is desirable to everyone, there is no reason that we should put the pressure on ourselves or each other to meet any standard of beauty. Not even identical twins should compete in beauty. The things we see as imperfections, our beholder sees as unique design.
Honor Him.
Your beauty has a powerful purpose. Like the flowers we give to the sick and grieving, your presence is meant to bring comfort and encouragement. Like the beautiful resorts we visit when we need a vacation, being with you should revive the weary and strengthen the weak, because that’s what beauty does, and that is why God made women beautiful and it honors Him to live in our purpose. We must be careful not misuse our power for our own honor because when we HATE, HIDE or get HUNG UP on our appearance, our presence doesn’t honor anyone.
He is your Lord.
Whether King David was directing this message toward his wife or not, the commitment of marriage is a wonderful reminder that true Love completes; it doesn’t compete. It really doesn’t matter where you come from or what you look like, when you are accepted into a royal family, you become royalty. This is the essence of Confident Beauty. Married or not, a woman who knows she is loved unconditionally radiates true  and powerful beauty because her failures are forgiven and her imperfections are accepted. She is empowered to BE who she was designed to be with freedom and authenticity.

*****

Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose personal experience with overcoming 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

Beautiful Garment of Gratitude

IMG_1163My best friend is one of the happiest people I know. Everyone loves to be around her because her joy and enthusiasm for life is contagious. Many of us go to her when we feel down because she not only listens and cares, but she has a way of finding something funny in our miserable stories and her signature laugh breaks the bonds of any depression. I am so thankful to have a friend like Joann who makes life so much more enjoyable. But I know her well enough to realize that she, too, has difficult days. When you first encounter her cheer, you may think she faces no confidence conflicts, but I know that one of her great challenges is the condemnation she has gotten for being so happy.

Misery loves company–if that company is also miserable. Joyful company to someone who wants to bask in their sorrow is like salt in a wound: It may bring healing, but it hurts. Picture a patient snapping at her nurse as she tries to clean out a cut and that’s what I’ve seen happen to my beautiful friend for greeting someone cheerfully. I’ve done it to her, too.

Like March 1, 1999. I didn’t know it was my last day taking care of my sick baby, I only knew I was weary, worried and wanting my friend to cry with me. She cheerfully told me her day was too full. She’d already sacrificed many days to help me but that day I resented her happiness as she went on with her life when mine was still in turmoil. It takes extreme circumstances for me to be offended by this close friend, because I know her heart and it is good. How foolish I would have been to hold a grudge over something so small when I needed her so desperately to help me deal with something so big.

Strangers may judge a joyful heart as phony or naive. But anyone with insight knows joy accompanies more than happiness. We all need to be more thankful for the people in our lives whose predominate continence is joy. No human is without pain but those with faith that “joy comes in the morning,” who are able to find the good in the midst of the difficult are the ones we all need to be around.

If you find yourself feeling a bit down this Thanksgiving, I encourage you to choose your company well and don’t just go with your first impression. Get to know the heart of your company.

If you are feeling misjudged, or outcast or lonely remember that nothing makes a woman more beautiful than a cheerful (and confident) heart and nothing robs her beauty more than misery. Seek after the joy that gives you strength.

If your life is full of difficulty right now, realize that you are not a phony by being joyful. Would you join me in looking for the good and putting on an attitude of gratitude as if it were a beautiful garment? When we, like Joann, wear joy in the midst of unhappiness, fear or sorrow and we, too, can break the bonds of depression around us.

Isaiah 61: 1b-3

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives,

And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,

And the day of vengeance of our God;

To comfort all who mourn,

To console those who mourn in Zion,

To give them beauty for ashes,

The oil of joy for mourning,

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

That they may be called trees of righteousness,

The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

*****

Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose personal experience with overcoming 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