Tag Archives: Gamine

The name of the Img.ID of the Bold Beauty

When Transitions Take FOREVER

keep goingIt’s Memorial Day Weekend. A lot of preparations have been happening on Cape Cod to prepare for the start of our busy season. Many businesses have reopened, restaurants have restocked and summer homes have been completed. 

Yet, as the tourists arrive, the excitement is clouded because the warm weather has not yet made it’s full transition. Our beach parties and backyard barbecues will likely need relocating out of the cold, wet wind.

Confidence and expectations

Life is full of delayed transitions. Consider the times you have worked hard to accomplish something  but one thing after another interrupts the progression and stalls the grand goal. Maybe it was your graduation, certification, the permitting of your business or occupancy of your home. Some goals we only have partial control over, like training our children, healing relationships, or motivating change.

Some transitions will never come without our conscious effort. Others we have no influence over.

Like the weather.

I’m quickly approaching fifty and I have experienced Summer each year of my life, haven’t you?

We can find confidence in consistent transitions. 

I feel bad for the people arriving “on Cape” right now. This may be their only weekend to visit our beautiful area of the world. Yet, in reality, the damp weather doesn’t change the beauty of our beaches.

Expectation does.

Unrealistic expectations clouds our vision of beauty in the transition.

Those of us who are blessed enough to be here longer than the holiday weekend ought to find peace in knowing that this is not our only chance to enjoy Cape Cod’s scenic landscape.

Expecting beautiful days makes difficult ones easier to endure.
How you handle delayed transitions is a big indicator of your Img.ID, what do you do when you are disappointed?

C: Learn more, work harder 
N: Stay steady, wait 
D: Feel devastated... or more determined 
I: Feel insulted and insecure
R: Shut down, feel discouraged
G: Take charge, make it happen 

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

Confidence gives resilience in delayed transitions

As a new mom, I felt like a failure when my toddler took time to potty train. After  my own mom reassured me that my boy would not be in diapers forever, I began to relax and enjoy the process.

As a wounded divorcee, I was anxious about dating my future husband, until he reassured me that if our relationship was God’s will today, it would still be God’s will tomorrow and we should take one day at a time.

When I was writing Confident Beauty, I was also running my business, being a bookkeeper for my husband’s business, leading a women’s ministry and raising three active children. I wasn’t sure if I would ever get an agent or a publisher; but if I didn’t expect it to, I wouldn’t have continued writing. It took me four years to complete my manuscript.

If you are you running hard after a goal and experiencing Confidence Conflicts because of delayed transition, I encourage you to  find the strength  to keep going. There will be dreadful downpours–they may even happen on the days you expected to celebrate–but if you don’t allow unrealistic expectations to cloud your vision, you will eventually see that every type of  beauty finds its strength  by persevering through the damp and dreary days. 

And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap 
if we do not lose heart. -Galatians 6:9

*****

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 FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

Do Ashes Cover your Beauty?

My nieces were leaning on the edges of their seats, intrigued by the age-old story of Cinderella. My daughter was playing the role of the mistreated orphan who didn’t give up when life dealt her difficulties. Watching her performance through the eyes of the children had me reminiscing of the days when Tori’s  dream of being a princess wasn’t a performance in a play.

Little girls aren’t ashamed of their desires.

Deep within every female heart is a desire not only  to catch the eye of a prince, but to leave behind their meaningless, unappreciated lives and live an adventure.  Remember when you once thought you would  play an irreplaceable role in a most wonderful life in a far away place?

I remember my daughter’s first “princes dress.” She loved to twirl around to show her daddy how  full and beautiful it was on her. It made me panic.

I was afraid my little girl was becoming vain, so I did as most people who witness such behavior would: I talked her right off of her high and mighty horse and back into reality. Modesty is a golden virtue, right?  It’s our job to train our children in the way they should go, and the chances of my kid  becoming a princess is quite slim, so as a mom I thought it wise to protect her from life’s disappointments!

Surely that’s what Cinderella’s stepmother was thinking as well.

As we grow up, we reason that our desires are childish.

I love that my teen still freely enjoys “twirling” for an audience. She has a gift for acting and singing. When I was young, I was embarrassed by my love for the arts. I guess I was more like Cinderella that my daughter is.

“Cinderella, your are so SELFISH! Mend my dress!”

As her family demanded she worked for their dreams–while throwing insults at her’s–Cinderella was forgetting who she was designed to be. Like the filthy soot that covered her beautiful face, she allowed her burnt-out dreams–the cinders–to cover her identity. Her real name was Ella.

We cannot accomplish big dreams with squelched desires

We are all tempted to give up on our dreams. We also  have the option of pressing through life's oppositions  toward success. The way you respond to that second option is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C: Get the education; do the work (The Classic)

N: Stay optimistic and loyal; don’t give up (The Natural)

D: Creatively make it happen (The Dramatic)

I:  Tenaciously hold your ground (The Ingénue)

R: Considerately continue on; quietly accomplishing (The Romantic)

G: Work hard; fight to get it done. Now. (The Gamine)

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

Whether your dream is to  rule a nation or to have a happy family, you will only have the strength to accomplish it if you do not allow  the desire for it to burn out. Whichever way you or I respond to those who try to squelch our desires, we would all be wise to listen to the advice of the fairy god-mother, who says there are two morals to the story of Cinderella’s Glass Slipper:

  1. Be kinder and life will go well for you. Don’t act out of jealousy or be demanding like the stepsisters. You were dealt a certain hand; play with the cards you have. Forcing others to play your hand or to give your their’s is wrong. In the end, no one who cheats wins.
  2. If the shoe fits, wear it. Don’t cover your beauty with ashes. BE who you were designed to be.  A princess cannot lead well if she feels guilty for (or embarrassed by) her gifts, privileges and abilities.  Remember where you came from, or pride will  rob you of the joy of using your blessing to  bless others.

In the end, Cinderella figured out she was only beautiful when she became confident, so she washed off the ashes and put on her crown. Are you ready to do the same?

For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.  -Luke 12:48b

*****

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 FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

How Rhythm Affects Confidence

Consider the weather patterns and the cycles of seasons. The ocean’s tides ebb and flow aw the moon waxes and wanes. We literally schedule our lives around by the rhythm of nature. If there were ever a pause in the rising or setting of the sun, we would all panic.

It’s not just your surroundings that has rhythms. So does your body. Your breath and heartbeat have patterns; so do your physical needs, such as eating, sleeping and… getting your hair done.
When I worked in the salon, I was always fascinated by the different responses my clients had regarding scheduling their next appointment. I could always count on the Classic and the Gamine to fill my book six weeks out. The others, not so much. The Ingénue and Romantics were concerned someone else might need them and they did not want to say, “no” to anyone (or cancel on me!), so they would  shy away from rescheduling. The Natural doesn’t like to spend money and, to her, haircuts are a frivolous expenses. Besides, they do well with “wash-n-wear” styles that don’t need as much upkeep. The Dramatic, on the other hand, wants another appointment–she loves beauty treatments, but her spontaneous nature doesn’t like being committed to something that might keep her from another opportunity.

Yes, I may be generalizing. Your Img.ID is not the sole factor in how often you get your hair done–life is far more complicated than that–but, still, let’s consider why it’s so hard for most women to schedule time for themselves.


The way you feel about self-care is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C: It’s necessary, professional and a private matter (Classic)

N: Haircuts are only worth the time or money when it’s necessary and practical (Natural)

D: Style and hygiene are important. Hair is a creative tool of expression. (Dramatic)

I: I love to be creative with my hair myself. There’s no need for someone else to fuss over me. (Ingénue)

R: I’d love to get pampered and made beautiful, but it feels selfish. (Romantic)

G: Maintaining a clean-cut appearance is vital to my identity. I like to have fun with my hair. (Gamine

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

Find your rhythm

As professionals, most hairdressers will suggest another appointment before you check out of the salon. (It helps us to keep working, but more than that, it ensures that the client will be able to secure her favored stylist.) I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a clients shocked that she needed me exactly when I wanted to schedule her.

If you have long, one length hair, you may be able to stretch out the time between your haircuts, but if you wear your hair with any kind of a style, I would recommend you figure out how often you will need a trim and plan accordingly. Most women need their hair cut every six to eight weeks. If you wear very short hair, then you may need two cuts within that time.

Hair grows. You may not be able to set your clock by the  rhythm of your follicle growth, but you can count on it enough to put some maintenance time in your calendar.

If you struggle with taking time for, or spending money on, your hair, I challenge you to consider your thoughts. Do you also feel guilty when you need to sleep or eat? I hope not! A woman with Confident Beauty knows her needs and takes responsibility for meeting them (including when that means asking for help). I think we could all learn from the rhythms of nature.

We all  take the time to sleep every day. We all buy groceries  every week. And we all have some things we need to take care of every month or so–like a haircut.

Think about it.

When we find the rhythm for taking care of our hair like we do our other cycles, we don’t have to go through the emotional torment of trying to decide if we need or deserve a little salon time  or not. Instead, when our hair starts to frizz or flop, we can rest assured in the confidence that we already have an appointment

No guilt. No shame. No need to justify, excuse or explain. Just pure and simple self-care.

*****

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 FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

The Influential Bold Beauty

By definition, a gamine is a feminine example of a mischievous young boy who typically cares little about his appearance, yet has enormous charm. The french term for this boy is gamin, thus the term Gamine for the Bold Beauty, a  girl (of any age) with great passion for inspiring fun and enforcing justice.

Gamines have a way of persuading others to join in on their strong convictions. Whether her passion is over a razor blade or a political movement, if a Gamine is hot on a topic, you may very well be inspired to join her ban wagon, simply because Continue reading The Influential Bold Beauty

New Year, New You… Or Not.

Before the clock sticks midnight, how many goals and resolutions will you have set?

The pressure’s on. There’s a fresh, clean calendar in your hand; a chance to start over, reset, begin again. So, what’s your plan?

For many of us, as much as the new year represents a clean slate, it also embodies the unorganized, messy, out of control, old slate of years gone by. Every year we set new goals, and we start the first month with great ambitions and high hopes only to quickly return to our typical MO (Modus Operandi–or default-mode). I cannot tell you how many times I have quickly filled my new calendar with intentions and ambitions only to stress myself out with too much to do. If I did it all I would feel resentful toward those who had an easier schedule. If I didn’t do it all I’d feel the guilt of not accomplishing what I said I would (often only to myself!)

If I am not busy I feel as if I am not important.

The schedule was always a big one for me because a lot of my identity was wrapped up in my busyness. How about you; what’s your “big one”? What makes you feel important, successful, valuable? Chances are it’s more than one thing that drives you–popularity, achievement, appearance, health, strength, financial freedom, these are all areas we all want to do well in–but is there one or two that trip you up?

The core desire of your New Years Resolutions is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

agenda-1928416_640C: Success (The Classic tends to be driven by achievement; her goals often reflect her great ambitions with work or education.)

N: Practical (To the Natural desires simplicity, her goals may not look any different now than they did six months ago, but likely she is slowly and consistently still going after them.)

D: Relational (The Dramatic typically wants to be surrounded by people, but her private nature makes it hard for her to feel close to others, making relationships an important goal)

I: Personal (The Ingénue is often hard on herself and her goals reflect great ambitions to improve her already beautiful character.)

R: Compassion (The Romantic is often so focused on others that even her goals are about helping someone else.)

G: Fun (The Gamine is a high achiever and already ambitious at work, her goals are often about loosing up and having fun for a change.) 

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

It took me a long time to recognized that the way I handled my schedule was actually a major Confidence Conflict. I would literally become anxious when  something would cancel in my schedule. Instead of pausing to catch my breath, I would hustle in a panic. I wanted to use my time wisely but there was so many demands I couldn’t decide which to do. It wasn’t as obvious when I had children at home, but once I was alone in my anxiety I couldn’t deny that I was afraid to slow down. I began to ask myself why free time stressed me out.

Sometimes we play mind games with ourselves. 

No matter what we value, if we feel we do not deserve it, then we may subconsciously sabotage our chance to achieve it.

I began to plan out every minute of my day–even down time–yet wouldn’t follow the plan because, in reality, I valued a balanced life, but felt I could never do enough to actually deserve it. I was manipulating my own mind in order to feel like I was going after my goals but in reality I was only frustrating myself.

As we start this new year, would you join me in laying aside resolutions to do better? Yes, looking good, having friends, being successful, enjoying down time, these are all valuable ambitions, but if we do not feel we deserve them, we will never allow our heart to want them. And in the end we really only do what we want. This year I don’t want to do better with my schedule. I want to do better at being honest with myself because I know now that in order to change my ways, I need to understand and love myself better. In doing so, I will understand and love others better, and what can be a better resolution than that?

*****

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 FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

3 Rules for Dressing Up

“Tis the season for family gatherings and celebrations. With all the parties to attend, Image Issues easily arise. In order to feel confident at the festivities you attend, here are three general rules for What2Wear:

  • Know the formality

girl-775342_640Perhaps you have faced this Confidence Conflict: You thought the party was formal, so you show up all decked out, only to find your friends in jeans and tees. You feel like a fool, as if you were trying to demand attention; a show off. A Drama Queen. (Yea, this happens to the Dramatic, the Exotic Beauty, quite often.)

Or perhaps it was the other way around, and you under-dressed for a more formal event. This is just as awkward (this is more apt to happen to the Natural, the Casual Beauty or the Gamine, the Bold Beauty).

To avoid the uncomfortable feeling of not fitting in, know the formality

Continue reading 3 Rules for Dressing Up

The Nasty Nativity

I wonder if Mary was in nesting mode about this time 2000 years ago? I imagine that the innate desire to prepare for her baby was strong in the young mother’s heart as she traveled along the dusty road to Bethlehem.

Classics (like Marry)  desire orderly lives (even when it’s not); add the responsibility of a new dependent and they can become intense. We all can. Our babies need us to take care of certain matters like a clean environment, warm clothing, proper nutrition, comfort and compassion. As women, we are designed to meet those needs and when our hormones are completing the process of producing a newborn, our emotions follow suit. We start “nesting.”

When I had my first child I was disheveled and displaced, trying to make a home in my parents’ unfinished basement. I remember returning from the hospital to find my dad putting in a bathroom for me. At the time I didn’t appreciate his sacrifice of love as much as I should have. I now understand how much work that was for him and appreciate that he chosen to do it while I was away for a few day in order to spare me much of the mess. I certainly was grateful to have my own facilities but as a new mom who wanted her baby’s environment to be clean and calm, I’m afraid I focused more on the chaos than the blessing. The ironic part is that even if there was no construction going on, and my nest were perfect, the environment I gave my baby boy was far from “calm” because of all the chaos of my broken marriage.

Inner turmoil cannot produce a peaceful environment, no matter how perfect our exterior.

donkey-534906_640With the birth of the Christ child, we see that a peaceful spirit can, however, produce a perfect environment even in the midst of total chaos. I allowed all my stress to rob my peace, but Mary started going into labor while traveling on a smelly, boney donkey with dust stirring up in her face. When she arrived at her destination there was crowds of people too busy and concerned with themselves to even notice her desperate need for a place to give birth. I was ignorant and unappreciative to my generous parents, but I would have lost it on Joseph! The best he could provide for Mary was a bail of hay and a feeding troth! How would you respond if that was your hospital bed and the crib for your kid?

Most women want a "perfect little nest" for their newborns, but at other times in life, in order for you to be at peace, what is important to you?

C: Organization, respect (The Classic)

N: Comfort, simplicity (The Natural)

D: Excellence, esthetics (The Dramatic)

I: Creativity, compassion (The Ingénue)

R: Comfort, compassion (The Romantic)

G: Productivity, justice (The Gamine) 

Your desire is a big indicator of your Img.ID, click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

Mary (a Classic, who typically plans her future with detail) got through her chaotic entrance into motherhood and shared the experience with those who came to visit her. Classics are typically well educated and gain great social status. They are also very private, independent people who don’t always find it easy to be around those they do not relate to, so the fact that Mary even allowed nasty, unwanted social outcast (shepherds) to come into her space to visit her showed that she had a profound peace that surpasses all understanding.

That’s the love and grace of God.

That’s what makes the nasty nativity story so beautiful.

If you find yourself struggling with a chaotic life right now, I encourage you to seek peace and pursue it. There will always be times when things don’t go as we wish, but if we allow God to be involved, He can turn it into something beautiful.

*****

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 FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

The Secret to Decorating your Home for the Holidays

As you surf you social medias for ideas and inspiration to decorate your home, are you feeling pressured an overwhelmed by all the alternatives? Dressing your home can be just as intimidating as creating a beautiful wardrobe.

It can also be just as empowering.

Like Goldilocks, we may not know exactly what we want, but once we try it out, we are certain if it is “too hard” or “too soft.” It takes most of us many years of testing and trying before we find the style that is “just right” but once we do–wether it’s the style of our home or our clothing–we discover a certain peace and power that can be summed up in one word: CONFIDENCE.

You know when you meet a woman with confidence. She isn’t shy or timid, but she isn’t threatening or condescending, either. She isn’t showing off, nor is she hiding because she isn’t concerned with your thoughts about her. She is simply at peace with herself and that makes you feel at peace around her.

You know when you enter the home of a woman with confidence because you feel the same thing: peace. As you look around at how she has decorated her personal space, you understand her more. Whether it is open and inviting or quaint and intimate, her home (just like her wardrobe) should indicate her personality. If her style contradicts her character, her guests will not feel at ease in her home.

The secret is knowing who you are.

As you have been scrolling through Pintrest, how many times have you said, “I love that. But it’s not me.” You know you have found a style that suits you well when your heart jumps and you say, “oh, wow, that’s nice! I want to do that.” Once you find that perfect fit, the feeling of overwhelm drops and confidence rises up in you, empowering you with a peace that is able to enjoy other styles because it has found its own.

 

The style that makes your heart jump is a big indicator of your personal Image Identity:
imagejpeg_0-2C: Elegant, traditional (The Classic)

N: Rustic, simple (To the Natural)

D: Extravagant, exotic (The Dramatic)

I: Sentimental, sweet (The Ingénue)

R: Welcoming, nostalgic (The Romantic)

G: Fun, festive (The Gamine) 

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear, also, find me on Pinterest (I have one board for each of the 6 Img.IDs).

As you prepare to decorate your home for the holidays, remember that it takes time to discover your personal style (or “Img.ID”), so enjoy the process. We all start out like Goldilocks, testing and tasting everyone else’s style until we find our own, but we don’t have to be invasive or obsessive like she was by trespassing (thanks, Pinterest!). As your personal Img.ID is being slowly unveiled, be careful not to let your heart be stressed and striving. When you go to a house party this season, enjoy getting to know the host by observing the style of decorations. As you understand yourself more, you will be released from the trap of comparison. After all, if a rude and critical intruder can fall asleep in the home of three bears in the woods, then you, too, can let your guard down and rest in the home of another confident woman, because you will be one as well.

*****

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 FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

 

Acting Out Life’s Drama with Confident Faith

Whenever we face a personal crisis, it will become a public matter. The bigger the crisis, the broader the audience of eyes watching our drama. This is part of living in a news-driven, gossip-seeking society.

It’s also part of being human.

When I was going through my divorce, I hated this fact of life. It felt like criticism and condemnation. Human nature tends to feel the need to judge our mess, choose what they believe and pick a side, often without reconsidering the first story they heard.

When I lost my daughter, I eventually embraced the idea of having so many people watching our story because I knew that they loved and supported us. There was no judgment to be made–except by those who wanted to blame God, but few spoke to us that way since it was so obvious that God and His people were the ones carrying us through and giving us strength.

When my son’s addiction first came to light, I feared the fact that others were talking about it and watching us. Fear is not healthy or empowering; it is destructive and disabling. In may ways, the fear made the problem even worse.

Critical eyeToday’s drug issues are not as much of a stigmatism as they were five years ago, but the fear still runs rampant. Last week I blogged about the various ways we handle life’s ugly pits. Because of the responses I got, I know I need to continue on this scary journey of being vulnerable with my mess so that We all remember we are not alone.

People will always judge.

Don’t let the fear of someone else’s opinion rob your strength; choose to let it empower you. Consider what people say. If you see any truth in it, then bravely deal with it. Have a grateful heart; someone cared enough to speak up. No matter what their attitude was, their vision can broaden yours–if you chose not to allow pride blind you.

Let go of all the parts that are not true.

If they are completely wrong and rude, do not waist any more time or strength on their opinion. Let your frustration empower you to do what you need to do to deal with your crisis.

People will always watch.

Don’t let your audience give you stage fright, choose to keep preforming. Not to say that you are putting on an act, but there are times when life is so hard that you must simply keep going through the motions. That can be extra difficult when others are observing your every move.

Be confident and do it anyway.

When we first found out that Rebecca would not live long, we were helping to lead a youth group. The kids and their parents were devastated, of course. We understood their horror at our news, but were confused by the response we received.

What do people say when they watch you in a crisis?

C: “You are so in control.”

N: “You are so calm.”

D: “You are so strong.”

I: “I am so sorry, can I help?”

R: “Are you ok? Please let me help.”

G: “I’m sorry.”

Click the letter of the response you typically get to see if it may be an indication of your personal Img.ID  For more, search your Img.ID on my website.

Some of our messes are so ugly that those watching are uncomfortable.

Because of the innate nature to judge others, it’s only natural for people around us to try to read how we are doing and respond accordingly. The most common response my husband and I got with the news that Rebecca had Trisomy 18 was, “You are handling it so well.” Which was actually quite frustrating since we felt as if we couldn’t handle it at all! (I didn’t quite understand then that, as a Dramatic, I looked stronger than I actually was.)

 

I remember pouring out my frustration in prayer one day and feeling as if God literally spoke to my heart, “Catrina, I know it feels like they are judging you again, but you are judging them as well. They are not excusing themselves from helping you by assuming you are fine. They are misreading you. Show them your heart; and judge only their heart–not the awkward words they use to try to express their desire to be a part of your crisis.”

Embracing the stage.

If you are struggling with the fact that others are observing your personal drama, I encourage you to turn to the Director. God understands all the details, including what you (and others!) are feeling. If He has allowed a crisis into your life, then I have to believe that He thinks you can handle the stage. Don’t loose focus of your part in the play for fear of the critics.

Let’s not put on an act for those watching our crisis. Instead, let’s put on the garment of Confident Faith and BE and LET BE.

Are you in an Ugly Pit?

How I have longed for confidence and beauty this past couple of weeks while ensnared in so much ugliness. Death, destruction and disappointment have presented themselves to me in so many ways and fear has grasped ahold of my heart stifling my ability to blog or even reason.

A mamma is only as happy as her most miserable child. 

I was really hoping I would never have to live the miserable-mamma-mode again. I spent too many years of my life in obsession over the details of my children’s lives, but I suppose it’s just part of the territory we gain with conception.

Obsession: It’s not a bad thing.  It is a good and necessary thing to be consumed with the life we are responsible for. After all, if a mom isn’t obsessed about her baby’s needs, then how will that child survive? It’s only natural that our very identity can become wrapped up in our children.

A mama is who we are.

Our children are our pride and joy. As they learn to communicate and care for themselves, their dependency on us slowly weans away. Eventually they learn to make their own choices and even support themselves financially. A mamma’s responsibility to her child is naturally weaned away as well. Her identity, however, doesn’t just dissolve. We must choose to let go of who we were with each progression our dependents make–no wonder that there’s so many difficult seasons of pushing and pulling!

A mama is not all we are.

boy-1149957_640 Throughout my son’s addiction there have been many power struggles, especially before the actual problem came to the surface. Raising kids is confusing enough, but add the mind-altering, emotional rollercoaster that drugs bring to it and it’s extra difficult to decipher between meeting true needs and enabling the demanding manipulation. I personally shut down. My body literally became numb as I tried to convince myself that this could not possibly be my reality. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I began neglecting myself, my family and my relationships. It took me a long time to wake up to the fact that I, too, was acting dysfunctional.

It’s painful to see our children make bad choices, but like the pain of childbirth, we must push through it. In the beginning of my son’s love affair with heroin, I was very naive to what was going on and the fact that I simply couldn’t believe it only gave it more power over me. I fell back into the ugly pit of despair two weeks ago when my boy returned to his habit, but I don’t want to stay there! This is why I am finally blogging about it. There’s too many of us mammas silently striving to survive. We need each other.  If I have learned anything from the past several times I have been in this crisis, it is that I am of no use to anyone when I’m an ugly mess. I must be strong and confident. If I expect my boy to get out of his trap, I must get out of mine.

How do you cope when your kid makes poor choices?

C:  Reason with him, lecture him; Classics wants others to be in control, like they are.

N: Keep the peace, stay neutral; Naturals tend to make problems no big deal.

D: Shut down, take it personally; Dramatics appear to be unconcerned, but are very sensitive. 

I: Comfort him, believe in him; Ingénues are very empathetic.

R: Feel his pain, try to fix it; Romantics are very sympathetic and self-sacrificial.

G: Discipline him or the one you blame; Gamines tend to take charge of any problem. 

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Know Who You Are. If you are a mother in despair it’s important to first remember that no one can take your identity away. You will always be your child’s mom. We must be careful not to allow outside influences (Including our child’s manipulative ways) to pressure us to step outside our role. There will be times when our kids don’t like us. That’s ok. We are not called to be their friend. They have plenty of friends; we are their only mom. No one has more vested interest in them than we do. We must be strong and balanced in our role of nurturing, guiding, disciplining and encouraging. Let’s not let our concern for them get in the way of our responsibility to train them in the way they should go.

If your years of training have past (as mine have), then let us remember that we each have our own identity and the right to make our own choices. Our adult child’s choices are not our identity. This week, let’s all put on the garment of Confident Beauty, which trust that God is bigger than any ugly pit we are in and He is able to change it for our good and His glory!

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart;
yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 

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As an “Image consultant without the shopping obsession,” Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts by unveiling the power and purpose of their personal Image Identity (Img.ID) and teaching them to accentuate their authentic beauty so they can forget about their appearance and think about others. Please consider having her as a speaker for your next event. You can find her on FacebookTwitter, PinterestLinked InGoodreads.