Category Archives: working mom

What’s Your Brand?

119px-Starbucks_Corporation_Logo_2011.svgBranding is a powerful marketing tool in the business world. One glance at the Starbucks logo and you can almost smell the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Why? Because the twin-tailed mermaid has represented the world-famous coffeehouse since 1971, and though the image has been refined as the business has grown, customers can expect quality product and excellent service wherever they see the green siren. siren.
Consistency is key to branding because it is key to building trust.
No one can really brand themselves if they do not know who they are. Imagine a Starbucks sign with bright orange and pink lettering in bubble font, wouldn’t you immediately consider them a phony? It is hard to trust anyone who is trying to be someone they are not.
One of the greatest benefits of knowing your Image Identity (Img.ID) is consistency–not to mention the ease of putting your wardrobe together. When you know who you are, you know which fashions to follow and the image you portray is true to your character. When you are not sure of your personal Img.ID, you may find yourself frustrated with your look and feeling phony.
Image isn’t everything, but it is worth a thousand words.
Whether it is your business or your beauty, the look that you create should speak the truth.
• If you are a Classic: Your image should be classy and professional. It should say something about your elegant and refined nature.
• If you are a Natural: Your image should be simple and casual. It should say something about your practical and unpretentious personality.
• If you are a Dramatic: Your image should be exotic and extravagant. It should say something about your creative and exciting character.
• If you are an Ingénue: Your look should be soft and delicate. It should say something about your graceful and sweet nature.
• If you are a Romantic: Your look should be glamorous and alluring. It should say something about your sensitive and charming personality.
• If you are a Gamine: Your look should be bold and strong. It should say something about your fun and animated character.

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Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their confidence conflicts; it is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Losing our Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at www.CatrinaWelch.com

Are Cliques Bad?

cheering-momsCliques. Nobody likes them unless they are them.

Girlfriends who are having a good time together can (purposely or unmindfully) snub those around them, and if you are the one left out of the fun it can make you feel like an outsider. While these kinds of situations can rock the confidence of some women more than others, none of us like to be left out. But it happens. In fact, the more starved women are for “girlfriend time,” the more selfish we can be with what little of it we get and the more sensitive we can be about being snubbed.

When my kids were young I was able to be home with them and I had lots of time with friends in the same situation. It’s not that the kids, home and husbands didn’t keep us busy, but we would juggle our chores together. “Girlfriend time” was coffee in the minivan going on “lullaby rides.” We would go to the post office, dry cleaners, etc. while taking turns watching the sleeping babies so each mom could run in and out quickly. After stretching their naps out with a ride by the beaches, we would grab groceries together­–one of us would use plastic bags, the other paper–and then go to each others homes to put them away. Talking, laughing, holding each other’s babies while the chores got done. Good times. Productive, fulfilling times.

Now girlfriend time is more of a luxury that few women allow themselves. The only non-digital social time we really get is with the people who are involved in our already busy lives–they work, worship, network, carpool, or cheer at the kids games with us.

But really, is that so wrong?

 

Maybe what we need is to be more “cliquey” and start enjoying any girlfriend time we can get–even if it’s at the school event that we didn’t have time for and feel so awkward at. Maybe we need to notice more when others are longing to get in on our conversations and start include more people in our lives. Maybe it’s time we start juggling our chores together again and taking ourselves for a lullaby ride by the beaches.

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Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their confidence conflicts; it is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Losing our Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at www.CatrinaWelch.com

Straight Paths

Proverbs 3:5, 6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in al your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.

One day a farmer asked his two sons to walk a straight line across his field of freshly fallen snow. The first son saw the opportunity to do something simple and without hesitating, picked a tree across the field and walked straight to it. His footprints proved his confidence; each step lay there in perfect alignment.

Wanting desperately to please his dad as much as his brother did, the second son carefully calculated each step he took. Heal to toe he placed each foot down to leave a trail as accurate as his brothers, but his focus was so intent on his feet that he had no idea the line he formed zigzaged as his balance was wobbling back and forth.

Last week, my blog was about leaving impressions as we walk through life, I realized that my life’s most impressive footprints are the ones Jesus left when He was carrying me through the loss of my daughter in 1999.

This week, as I faced new challenges, I found myself looking at my feet.

Sometimes I try so hard to please my Father that I carefully calculate each step so as not to mess up. Like the farmer’s second son, I have had my vision so focused on my next step that I have lost my way. My heal-to-toe precision has only slowed me down and frustrated the people in my life that I long to lead. Especially my kids.

Parenting is no easy task, and when we face battles we don’t know how to handle, it seems there is a default button that makes us look so carefully at our feet. I don’t know about you, but when I want desperately to do a job well, I sometimes forget the greater purpose, and only focus on the imprint I’m trying to make. Actually, more accurately: I stand there swaying with my stance too narrow and my balance all off, looking back at what I’ve done or said horrified that my footprints are way out of line.

Some say, “slow and steady wins the game,” but slowing down and focusing on the game so much that I don’t even remember where I am headed does not win.

It’s time to lift my eyes again, and do like the wiser brother did: focus on the goal, and just keep walking with confidence.

 

God, help us all to keep our eyes set upon You and the goal You have set before us. We want to be less concerned with how we are performing than we are of where we are headed. None of us will hit the mark right on, but all of us will leave footprints behind us, help us to take steps worthy for others to follow.

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Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their image issues. It is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Loosing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available soon.

If you are interested in getting these books or having Catrina come speak at your event, you can contact her at www.CatrinaWelch.com or on facebook.

Tuesday’s Tip: UNnagging

The heart of my ministry to women throughout the years has mostly been about teaching women to cast their cares on the One who cares for them, to do what it takes to meet their own needs, and to have a cheerful heart toward their responsibilities to their loved ones.

Women were designed to help others. We are nurturers and comforters and our power to influence those around us is stronger than we seem to understand. But “if mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” I love that saying (you see it all over my website) because it is a powerful reminder of how much our attitude can change the atmosphere around us, causing a catch 22 of misery loves (or more accurately: demands!) company.

We have to be careful as wives and moms… and sisters and friends… to choose our battles wisely. Solomon knew what he was talking about when he said “Hope deferred makes the heart sick,” Prov. 13:12 no doubt, with as many wives as he had, he understood how a disappointment can shut a woman down emotionally (yea, I know men do too, but they usually fight it out and are over with it, we tend to hang on to our stuffed-away-bitterness and slam doors instead of our bewildered offenders who simply want to get away from us.)

Often the battle we are trying to fool ourselves into believing we are not fighting is over something as simple as the left behind jacket (shoes… towels… dishes… you name it!) Wouldn’t it be nice if others saw our needs and met them the way we do for them?

They say that “communication is key” but man, it feels like nagging when we have to ask them once again to pick up their things or to put the dish in the dishwasher!

I have come up with two ideas that have helped me stay happy so my family can live in their own home with peace. This Tuesday’s Tip is not about image, although it’s a close priority, it is about keeping up the house.

The buy-back-bin: when my family leaves things out I put them on the steps to be taken up and put away on their way up the stairs. If they do not get the hint, their item ends up in a bin in my coat closet where it stays until requested, or I decide it is time. Items are returned to the child to be put away after they buy them make from me. The price? 10 pushups or 10 situps per item. My kids stay fit, and I stay happy. Actually, they love it too; It has become a “I got you!” game in my house instead of a battle.

We’ve been playing it for years now. The dishes are another story. I just recently figured this one out.

I’ve been training my daughter to take over the  dreaded chore. Now she fights the urge to nag. One day she voiced her frustration to me. I sympathized and told her how I always wanted to make a sign… she asked me to do it.

The obnoxious posting: I could justify framing the subtle UNnagging since I was helping my little girl keep her chore done for more than an hour, so I put it in our shiny clean sink:

The Dishwasher is available for your convenience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve got to try it!

It works! We tease each other now when we don’t take advantage of our modern day convenience.

Titus 2:4,5  … admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, haste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

 

 

 

 

To Stay or Not to Stay at Home

To Stay or Not to Stay at Home

There is a familiar debate rising in our society after Hilary Rosen’s comments last week about Ann Romney saying, she “has actually never worked a day in her life.” Many stay at home moms are insulted. Once again our nation is fighting out the question: does a stay-at-home-mom work? Is she less of a woman if she doesn’t have a job/career/business as well? Are working moms wrong to leave their children in someone else’s care?

I’ve had seasons of being a stay-at-home-mom and of being a career-mom, I’ve also been blessed to run a business from home with children under feet and I can tell you that they each option has its pros and cons. Personally, I believe we are accountable for our own lives and the choices we make should not be judged by each other. It’s hard enough to juggle our responsibilities as women, why do we torment ourselves each other’s judgment?

The root of all unhappiness is comparison.

I think it’s time we rise up as Christian women and follow the advice in Titus 2. Instead of spending our energy debating who has a better life, let us join efforts to encourage and advise each other so that we can each do a good job at raising the next generation; whether we need a second income or not. We need each other. Let’s not let pride segregate us from reaching out to other moms who are feeling alone in their efforts to do the right thing too. It takes a village to raise a child.

If you are feeling the pressures of the debate today, I encourage you to live your life according to your convictions and do not let the pressures of this world deter you from what you need to do for your family. God is your judge, not them!

Proverbs 16:2  “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”

What’s with the Wool?

The Proverbs 31 woman is amazing isn’t she? This gal 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 man, 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 goods. She puts them first, but also cares for the poor, the needy and even the local merchants.  She has time to dabble in real estate, plant vineyards, make fine tapestry, and even workout!

 

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 popular. I believe charm is deceitful and beauty is passing; I fear the Lord; I want to be praised!

I’d love for my children to rise up and call me blessed one day…

Maybe what I’m missing is wool and flax, ‘cuz I’m certainly willing to work with my hands! I think most of us are, after all we are managing our homes, careers, finances, ministries and children’s multiple activities. We are not sitting around eating Bon-Bons! Do we honestly have to go back to using the distaff and spindle in order to keep up with this ancient woman, though? I mean, she had servants, we have appliances; doesn’t that level the playing field? I think we can overlook verse 13… and a few others for that matter…

Except that God’s Word is alive and applicable to our lives today.

After a bit of research, I am beginning to understand.

  • Wool and flax (which is where we get linen by the way) are still two valuable commodities in our world today. . Each of them is valued for many reasons, including their ability to wick away moisture and resist fire. Linen is especially beneficial in the heat, and wool in the cold. These fabrics have a molecular memory, which makes them far more resilient than their synthetic counter parts.
  • Flax is a simple plant, which also produces seed, oil and grain. It’s not terrible to look at, but it is terribly troublesome to work with; so is wool. You may find sheep to be adorable when they are young, but surely you don’t think the same of the aged ones you find in the field, rolling in the dirt and dung. Neither product appears valuable to start with.
  • After breeding/planting, growing and harvesting the wool and the flax there is a lot to be done before you can start making it into anything. Wool must be picked through, cleansed, combed, pulled and spun. Flax must be retted and left to dry, then broken, beaten, hackled and scotched before it can even be cleansed, straightened and softened. After all that work there are many options as to what you can do with the yarn and linen.

Perhaps the wise author of Proverbs was tucking away a very powerful secret of success here? Maybe the reason he wants to give this woman “the fruit of our hands and let her own works to praise her in the gates” is because she didn’t consider her job done after the harvest, like so many of us do – especially when it comes to our closest relationships.

We take the time and make the effort in breeding, feeding, guiding and maybe even sheering, but too often we stop there,

disappointed in the relationship we have grown and we never even start to bring it to the next level of cleansing, straightening and softening. We get disgusted with the things that have muddied and matted our husbands, friends, children, or even ourselves and we forget that deep inside there is great value.

Good relationships take work and they take vulnerability.  If we want to form those we love into what we believe they could be, we must be safe for them to be vulnerable around. And we must, with love and patience, understand that their dirty, difficult exterior is not all there is to them. That takes someone amazing.

That’s what our Good Shepherd did for us, and He gives us strength to do the same for those we love.

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Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their image issues. It is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Loosing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available soon.

If you are interested in getting these books or having Catrina come speak at your event, you can contact her at www.CatrinaWelch.com or on facebook.