Tag Archives: peace

Are you Influential?

Ambitious. Hard-working. Multi-tasking–these words describe most  women in today’s culture. Dreamers, with great desires for ourselves and our families. We are strong and courageous and are willing to give up so that others can get.

Women are influential

As emotional and relational beings, our mood sets the atmosphere around us. When we are peaceful, others relax. When we are joyful, others enjoy themselves. We should not underestimate the power of our presence because, when we recognize our influence,  we can make a difference in our world.

We have the ability to  create a beautiful environment in our homes for our marriage to flourish and our children to blossom. We have it in us to become self-disciplined, and to discipline our children well and train them in the way they should go. When we build on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses, we increase our sphere of influence (as big or small as that may be) because women who are confident enough to bless others are women who people want to be around. Continue reading Are you Influential?

Do You Accept Rejection?

In every conversation, every glance your way, each test you take or act you perform, there will always be the nagging questions about your identity, purpose, power and value:

Who am I?

Why am I here?

Am I enough? Am I too much?

Does my life even matter?

These questions about our significance may be subtle and somewhat silent or they may consume us with their torment. The intensity of their demands for answers may ebb and flow, within certain seasons of our lives. Without a doubt, they are strongest when we are suffering with low self-esteem, but even on days when we highly-esteem ourselves, our nature is to solicit confirmation of our worth. Continue reading Do You Accept Rejection?

Are you More Confident in Stilettos or Sneakers?

With Texas facing such unfathomable devastation, I find it hard to blog about beauty today, but since the media is so concerned with Melania’s choice in shoes right now, I suppose it’s not too inappropriate to discus the topic.

Appropriate footwear

It’s true, what we wear on our feet shows how committed we are to the activity or occasion we are preparing for. If you say you are going to the beach, yet you are wearing boots, I might not take you seriously. If you are going to play backyard tennis, you may get away with wearing any sneakers, but if you are serious about playing, you will wear tennis shoes.

Don’t wear any kind of sneakers, however, if you are going to the courthouse or you may be condemned by the  judge. There are certain times when formality is expected.

Typically, formality is expected every day for the FLOTUS, (or for a model for that matter!)

Except when it is not–then she may be condemned for dressing up, even if she planned to dress-down before arriving at the disaster area.

A lot of beautiful women face this problem of being judged harshly for dressing up–especially Dramatic & Classic women, who tend to be more formal in nature. Personally, this is one of my hot buttons. I hurt for the girls who are criticized and snubbed because (ironically) the “mean girls” think the  pretty girls are snobs. Of course, it does go the other way as well, and pretty girls can be mean, but everyone sees the wrong then. Doesn’t anyone see that some women are simply more confident and comfortable in stilettos? Continue reading Are you More Confident in Stilettos or Sneakers?

Making Peace with your Image

Glance at a flower and it will amaze you with its beauty. Take a deep look at the details of each pedal, the leaves and it’s stem and you may not be as impressed. I mean really, what is this?

Flowers wilt; they fall over or break, and very often they have many deformities. No flower is perfect, yet only a fool would dare to criticize the details of that which was presented to them for sheer pleasure. I’m not saying that no one rejects the bouquet of flowers given them (Actually, I’ve personally witnessed an ungrateful critique insult the generosity of their flower-giver’s heart.). I am saying that those who are critical of beauty are foolish. Continue reading Making Peace with your Image

5 Checks for Confidential Beauty

It’s inevitable, whenever I speak to young ladies about beauty, that someone asks me to address the topic of modesty.  Personally, I prefer to use the term dignity, since the word “modesty” is often interpreted as stale, legalistic control that only spurs on rebellion in those who love fashion. In a recent discussion on the matter, a young man, who had overheard me talking with a group of girls, told his friend that we were discussing “confidential beauty.”

Immediately, I felt a blog coming on….

Modesty is not old and ugly; it is dignified and commands respect, like confidentiality.

Continue reading 5 Checks for Confidential Beauty

Do Ugly Mistakes Define You?

I recently heard a recovering addict refer to herself as a dandelion: ugly and annoying to most but beautiful and useful to those who know her.

Her analogy has me thinking.

As the mother of an addict, I’m often baffled by the way my son returns to his drug of choice even though it makes his life so much more difficult in so many terrifying ways. I do not see him as ugly and annoying, but his behavior indicates that this is how he believes most see him. My new friend, however, recognizes that some people see her worth. She recognizes the stigma her past has put on her, but is beginning to shift her focus away from her shame and toward her worth.

Part of “recovering” from any ugly past is overcoming the stigma

As moms, we  see our children as beautiful and useful–even when they mess up or become rebellious–because our hopes and dreams for them are strong. We believe in their potential. Unfortunately, it is hard to recognize your own beautiful potential when you are trapped in a lifestyle of ugly mistakes. The ramifications of bad choices make it hard to see what could be.

It’s hard to imagine a field full of beautiful flowers when at the time all it boasts is ugly and annoying weeds.

People are compelled by convictions.

When we mess up, we often allow our experience to form our opinion of ourselves. We experience a divorce and take the identity of a” divorcee” and a struggle with addiction names you an “addict.” I have a hard time with that, but  really, when we get married we become a “wife”; when we restrict our diet we become a “vegetarian” (or such).  I just hate this epidemic of people restricted by the stigmatism that their ugly mistakes have made.

What we experience does form our identity, and therefore we act according to who we are–in most cases it would be wrong not to. If you don’t act according to your marital status, its a moral issue. Your choice of diet, on the other hand, may or may not be a strong conviction, but each of us should BE true to who we believe we are.

Unless, of course, we are believing a lie.

A vegetarian who eats meat totally contradicts who she says she is. If she had no conviction about the matter, then her change in diet is not much of a concern. We might ask her what changed her mind, but it’s really not any of our business how someone else eats, right? If, however, she had strong beliefs on the matter and suddenly she was straying, I would try to encourage her to “remain true to herself,”  wouldn’t you?

The only thing truly ugly and annoying about someones identity is hypocrisy.

It is upsetting to witness someone take on an identity that contradicts who they really are. I may never really understand why does my son keeps going back to drugs, but this one thing I am sure of: I still believe in him, but my convictions will never change his identity, only his will.

Dandelions have the potential to be beautiful or destructive.

As a little girl, my daughter loved to pick the bright yellow dandelions in our back yard. When their season of bright beauty past, and they turned to seed, she loved to blow the beautiful puff off into the wind. They started multiplying like crazy! When we told her that the flowers were actually weeds, I think we broke her heart, but once she understood the truth, she stopped the behavior that was causing an epidemic in our lawn.

Are you a dandelion?

Yes, the beautiful flowers  are weeds, but they have worth. I hear you can even eat them! They are adaptable and able to grow even in cracks of pavement where their is very  little soul. Try to pull them up and you will learn that they are extremely strong. Unless you succeed at pulling out the whole root, they will likely grow back. Most of all, dandelions are highly influential. They may go through an ugly season, but their beauty only multiplies as they fully recover and start all over. Why? Because they were designed with the potential to experience a Supreme MakeOver.

So were you.

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. -Romans 6: 16 NLT

Do you see yourself as ugly and annoying or beautiful and useful?  Recovering from an ugly past is a process, but it is a possibility. There is a Supreme Stylist–God, your Creator, who can make you completely new again if you simply ask. It is what He does. It’s what He loves to do. 

Don’t let your mistakes–or the stigma they have caused–define you. BE who you were designed to be: Strong, adaptable, highly influential, beautiful and useful.  After all, weeds may go through an ugly season, but they multiply a lot faster than other flowers do!

*****

get Catrina’s books on amazon

As an author and speaker, my passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, I love to use my profession, along with my experiences and training as a Biblical life-coach to help others struggling. If you want to make difference, too, would you become  part of this movement and connect with me on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  or consider having me speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

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.

Are You Confident in your Parenting Style?

There is no other role like that of being a mother. What an honor and privilege it is to mold the life of a child. There are a lot of powerful things we can do as women, but no accomplishment, position, friendship, or success could ever hold a candle to the power of the influence we have  over our kids (whether we gave birth to them or not).

I’m in the transitional years of motherhood, with one child on his own, one child still home and a middle child half-way there as a college student. He just returned home for the summer, which has me keenly aware of the fine line that we must walk between nurturing and nagging.

When our kids are little, the things we did for them were nurturing, but as they grow independent, those same acts of love–like making their meals, washing their clothes, tucking them in–could be considered threats. Their growing independence doesn’t want to be told what to do anymore and if we are not careful to respect that, we can easily lead them into rebellion. I know; I did that with my first child. I did not recognize when my role was changing. As he was “testing his oats” I was taking responsibilty for his choices. Instead of allowing experience to help me guide him as a young adult, I allowed fear of failure to send me into panic when he made poor choices. In fact, because his choices were so drasticly dangerous, I went into a bit of a crisis as a mom and as a woman. Honestly, I was the one who needed to grow up.

Every mom has her strengths and any strength out of proportion becomes a weaknesses. Recognizing the power of our influence over our children is key to becoming a confident mother who can truly nurture her child throughout each stage of their lives. If we lack confidence, we are more likely to try to force on our children what we see is best for them.

The strengths you have to offer your children is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C: wisdom, independence, education (The Classic)

N: Support, acceptance, encouragement (The Natural)

D: Inspiration, motivation, discipline (The Dramatic)

I:  Encouragement, compassion, inspiration (The Ingénue)

R: Love, comfort, cookies  (The Romantic)

G: Protection, provision, motivation (The Gamine) 

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

The difference between nurturing and nagging is confidence.

This morning as I was making my college kid’s lunch, I found myself walking that fine line. I’m concerned about his health and want to “nurture” him while he’s here, but I know that my suggestions can become “nagging” and he won’t hear a word I say. He survived nine months of school without me constantly suggesting he make “good choices” and “eat healthy” yet I still felt compelled to nag him, “take your lunch, honey…”  I know, now, however, that  my loving concern for his diet, would only be rejected by his frustration at my apparent lack of confidence in him.

The truth is, the place I really lacked confidence in, was in myself.

I’ve lost a child; the fear of losing another can make me very insecure. I’ve been ensnared with the devastation, disfunction and fears of having one child choose drugs; the desire to control all them has made me obsessed. It’s hard to have confidence when things have gone so drastically wrong; but it’s even harder to strive for confidence.

Confidence is a choice.

I almost didn’t make that lunch this morning, because I still fear rejection, but I made it anyway but I left it  on the counter and let him know it was there if he wanted a home cooked meal. I think I found the fine line because I have a peace that isn’t concerned with what he decides. My confidence is not in him or in my parenting style. It is in the fact that God has carried my family through extreme difficulties and He will take care of us no matter what else comes our way.  Maybe I have finally  grown up.

No matter how old our kids get, they still need love and nurturing, but we must respect that they receive it differently. This Mother’s Day let’s be confident in the influence we have over our children , being careful to use our strengths as an  encouragement not a frustration. If your child is in a rebellious season, I encourage you to remain confident that  you have taught them well and that  God will complete the work He has begun in them. He is able to  make even the ugliest of circumstances beautiful. May you, too, find the joy and peace of letting go.

For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught. –Proverbs 3:26 NKJV

*****

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.

Easter Changes Everything

Imagine how the friends of Jesus felt the day after His crucifixion. They were so sure He was the Messiah, the One sent to become their king and free them from Rome. He called Himself the Way, the Truth and the Life, yet in the reality of that moment, it looked like His “way” was to suffer brutal judgment and death!

Faith: the substance of things hoped for

IMG_2089Reality is sometimes rocks our faith and twists our beliefs with doubt and confusion. Perhaps you, too, have had a dream suddenly become a nightmare? Has your hope ever turned to despair? Maybe your future was looking bright but then crisis hit, confusion came or tensions arose and now you’re not sure what is true anymore.

I am a mother who has grieved the loss of a daughter and suffered the emotional turmoil of having a son ensnared in addiction. I know this dream-gone-bad feeling.

As difficult as life gets, the most painful seasons are the times when the truth gets twisted. Continue reading Easter Changes Everything

When Looking Good is the Last Concern

fullsizeoutput_1541If you ever want to find out if you have Image Issues, go skiing in extremely cold conditions and see if you care how you look.

Last weekend’s fierce winds brought the wind-chill factor down to a negative twenty-five degrees, but that didn’t take into account the wet snow on my exposed cheeks. It was literally painful; an adventure I would never have even considered years ago when I was young enough to handle it (and dumb enough to only have cute ski gear!).

I wasn’t brave when I was young. I didn’t take risks. Somehow I got the impression that the comfort-zone was where i’d find peace. I didn’t find it there.

There is no peace in taking the easy way out of a challenge; there is only disappointment and the stress of trying to change the circumstances. When I was on that mountain too cold to cope, all i could focus on was the weather and, at my skill-level, it is not safe to think of anything other than navigating the slopes. i couldn’t just quit because the only way back to warmth was to take another lift and ski there.

Keep going.

We cannot always get out of fierce and frightening situations. Sometimes we must find a way to conquer our mountain. I heard from a lot of you regarding my blog last week and I know many of you are facing very difficult mountains right now. You feel like you are on a slippery slope in a nasty storm with no proper equipment and no knowledge of how to ski. Some of you have also lost a Trisomy 18 baby or are dealing with a loved one’s depression or addiction.

You are not alone.

We may be far from our comfort-zone, but we can still have peace. When we can’t move the mountain or change the weather, we can still bundle up and enjoy the ride. When I was losing hope skiing, I decided to stop pushing through the pain and let my husband know I couldn’t take it anymore. I was so grateful when he patiently adjusted my equipment and strongly assured me that I could finish the run.

The funny thing is, once he fixed my face mask and I was properly protected, I was able to enjoy the experience again.

And we skied all day.

Yes, it was still bitter cold, but I was no longer rawly exposed to it’s danger. I had the upper hand. I was prepared, which disarmed my fears.

When I got cold again, we stopped again.

Most of all, we enjoyed the adventure of conquering a challenge.

If you are freezing and fearful as you face your mountain today, I encourage you to stop a moment and share your heart with someone who can help you adjust your gear. Maybe you could help them with their’s, too, because more then likely they need to figure out the mountain, too. Life is not a comfort-zone; it’s an adventure and it’s the difficulties that make the greatest adventures. Be brave, take care of yourself  and enjoy the thrill of conquering your mountain. You can do this!

After all, skiing is simply falling gracefully.

*****

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.