Tag Archives: forgiveness

When Choices Change your Confidence

My uncle tells the story of his step-father’s violence towards him as a child. Being left-handed was unacceptable to my grandfather and he proved his intolerance for his little boy’s “rebellion” by trying to nail his hand to the table with a fork. Four pierce marks in the dinning room table served to reinforce my uncle’s fear of ever using the wrong hand again.

I remember when my life was abruptly stopped with a fork in the road. I was dancing down one path toward motherhood when suddenly my husband left me. A part of me wondered if God was sternly trying to change me–as if I, too, were being rebellious. Continue reading When Choices Change your Confidence

The Secret to a Lasting Marriage

“Don’t give her a gun.”

This is the advice given to my friend when he asked the secret to a lasting marriage.

The quick response made me laugh out loud, I admit. But today I find myself wishing we had all taken this plea for help more seriously. A marriage in trouble is no laughing matter.

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, had the best advice I know of:

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV)

It’s the little attacks on a marriage garden that destroy it.

Busyness. Unresponsiveness. Comparison. Nit-picking. Pride. Honest mistakes… there are many seemingly small things that sneak into our hearts and destroy the fruit of our love. If we don’t take them seriously, more little–and growing–foxes come in. We can end up trapped inside a desolate and demeaning marriage with a bitter and broken heart. I’ve been there. So has my husband. Neither of us are so naive to think that our new garden can not be destroyed.

Knowing our vulnerability has made us strong.

marriage mottoEighteen years ago today we stood before God and promised to love each other through better or worse. We did not need our pastor’s prompting for our vows–we memorized them because we each knew the pain of loving someone who had not taken them seriously.

Our marriage motto is “value the person over the event.” It has served us well.

Foxes still weasel their way into our marriage, but we quickly chase them out. When problems arise between us we are committed to looking deeper than the issue at hand and working it out. We refuse to treat each other like the enemy.

Every one of us can be an emotional mess at times. Let’s remember that true love chooses to be bigger than emotions. Giving grace is the best method of revealing someone’s faults. Forgiveness is what gives us strength to work it out. If you are struggling in your marriage today, I encourage you to be tenacious about finding the real problem. Too often there’s a sneaky little fox stirring up a conflict so that he can take over your garden. Don’t let him! 

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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

Finding Confidence in the Chaos

piled up laundryI love cleaning. Maybe it’s because I am so easily distracted, but I am far more engaged in a clutter-free environment that sparkles and shines. For me, cleanliness creates confidence.

I didn’t recognize my love for cleaning until I had my own home; before that I felt like it was a tedious requirement that I always failed at. When my husband built our home, I found that anything misplaced or dirty stood out like a sore thumb because everything was so new, but it also had a place to go so I could easily clean it up–especially since I was a stay-at-home mom then. Sustaining the beauty of my home became a rewarding challenge.

Now I work outside the home and my kids are older with busy social lives. With all the traffic and little downtime, it’s not as easy to maintain the laundry, dishes and paperwork. I’m sure you know what I mean. When life gets chaotic, we need to take some time to bring back the order so that we don’t become completely stressed over the little things–like finding sox.

Our soul is like our home. We cannot really shine with confidence or beauty unless we have a thorough cleaning. The reflection we see in our mirror, no matter how perfect, will always feel like a mess in our soul until we experience forgiveness.

  • We need to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made.
  • We need to forgive others who have wounded our hearts.

Unfortunately, most of us wait until there is so much to forgive (or clean up) that we don’t even know where to start–so we just keep going through life, making more messes.

I believe that the secret to lasting confidence and beauty is allowing God to do the major cleaning. When we take a moment to stop and accept the forgiveness that Jesus offers us, we are empowered to forgive all the little offenses that come daily. Try it. I bet you will find that sustaining the beauty of your soul is actually a rewarding challenge once everything is fresh and clean.

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Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker who is using her 30 years in the beauty industry to help women understand their personal Image Identity (Img.ID) and overcome Image Issues that affect their Confidence. Her message is empowering women to BE and LET BE. You can now find her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul in your favorite bookstores. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com

Free to Feel

photoI am so proud of my daughter. Since Christmas she has been learning to play the guitar. She’s a Dramatic and has always taken good care of her nails, but has had to sacrifice their length for her new passion to play the strings. After having long nails for so long, the tips of her fingers were even more sensitive than most people’s. It took a tenacious heart to pursue her dream to make music, but now she has developed calluses where there once was soft tissue. Now what used to be painful is becoming even more of a pleasure.

A callus is often formed over a wound. It’s the body’s way of guarding itself from repeated pain. This thick, tough skin can serve as a reminder of something we have been through–kind of like scars stretch marks and wrinkles do. But more typically a callus is formed because a certain area has been irritated, under a lot of friction, or simply used a lot.

Our hearts can be like our fingertips, and a callus on either can keep us from harm so that we can do good things–like play the guitar or continuing in helping others even when they do not understand or appreciate us. Take, for example, a husband’s irritating habits or inconsiderate comments. After a while, if the wife patiently focuses on her love for him, these things will no longer bother her and their “music” will not suffer. Or how about the teen who is continuously criticized by her peers and condemned by her parents? If she can look through their judgments and see that her friends may be rude and unkind because they are jealous or insecure and her parents may be harsh and unfair because they love her and fear loosing her then she can continue to pursue her dreams with confidence.

But tough skin can also keep you from good things and make you numb to the things you were meant to feel–like the heat you are cooking with or the love of God. Maybe you don’t relate to this, but recently (and repeatedly) I became aware (again) of my ignorance to how deep and wide God’s love is for me. I have never had a problem believing how much He loves you, but having been brought up in a healthy and godly home and spending all of my life very involved in church and ministry I tend to forget that His unconditional love is for me, too. It’s not that I doubt it, it’s just that I keep taking on this ungrateful, “Yea, yea, of course He does,” attitude. In my arrogant faith, I have become callused to the most precious sensation there is: the amazing grace of the One who knows my every weakness and failure and loves me anyway.

I pray you are sensitive to the fact that He loves you like that, too, because when we keep our hearts from becoming callused to His love, we are far more able to continue playing with joy through the things that irritate us.

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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 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 in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at www.CatrinaWelch.com

Happy New Year

 

It didn’t take me long to dismantle the Christmas décor that had taken me nearly a week to carefully set out.  But it took the rest of the day to bring order back to my home. I had planned to get back to the gym today, but after one trip to the attic I decided that this year’s first workout would be at home. Instead of headphones setting my rhythm, thoughts of the goals and resolutions I had set for 2012 were enough to keep my pace strong. In no time I’d worked up a sweat, and was on a role. Just then a friend knocked at my door. She was bringing her daughter to play with mine and ended up staying quite awhile.

It’s hard to sit and visit when there’s work to be done; but part of my plan for the year is to spend more time on individual relationships, since I tend to “use my playtime wisely” and visit several girlfriends at once. I’ve often said that one of the reasons I love my profession is that I can work while I visit with the gals. Duplication is one of my favorite words.

My friend could see my anxiousness to finish my work and offered to help. Ah, how I love to work beside another woman. We continued to talk and laugh as we packed up nativities and tinsel. She ministered to me with her cheerful helpfulness and I believe I ministered to her as I listened to her battle with forgiveness.

The sun began to set as she headed home and I started to clean up the remaining pine needles and move the furniture to fill the void of our eight foot tree. As I looked around my living room with it’s whole new arrangement, I couldn’t help but think how much it represents all we spoke about.

Sometimes we spend great effort setting up beautiful relations, yet they can be torn down in a single incident. Forgiveness doesn’t just happen. There can be a lot of mess to clean up, and sometimes our whole lives need to be rearranged to fill the void left behind in our broken heart. But if we are willing to sweat a little, especially if we will let others see our mess and help us, we can overcome the chaos and rebuild what has been damaged.

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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.