Tag Archives: peace

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.

Finding Purpose in Pain

I had just laid my newborn baby down to rest and knew I should close my eyes until she needed me again, but I couldn’t resist the overwhelming urge to write the thoughts that were running through my head. It was strange, the words I was hearing were directed to me, not from me. It was  as if the voice of God was thundering a very personal message and I had to capture it.

Once my pen hit the page, the words kept coming faster than I could write.

I knew Rebecca would not live long, the doctors were adamant about  that; and her physical impairments  were obvious, so I felt foolish doubting them,  but it felt so wrong to believe she would die!.  There were so many  questions and such confusion causing fear and anxiety. I needed a “word from God.”

When the student is ready the Teacher speaks.

I can’t help but wonder if this is why God allows difficulties in our lives. It makes us ready to learn. Writing down “God’s Comfort”  empowered me, like the embrace of a warm, soft blanket  in front of a beautiful fire His voice was protecting me from the fierce storm outside. I felt His love and wisdom and it brought certain peace, which is  still hard to explain, even eighteen years later.

Every year around this time, I like to share those words somewhere. On March 5, 1999 (just a few weeks after I wrote them) we shared them–unedited–at our daughter’s funeral. Today, I want to share them with you. My prayer is that you, too, will gain a new perspective on the goodness of the heart of God, even if goodness seems far from your reality. Continue reading Finding Purpose in Pain

OVERCOMING FEAR WITH BOLDNESS

Today I share with you a special guest blog that I wrote for my friend Rachel Britton, who asked me to testify about becoming bold in the journey of life.
My son's addiction had a way of training me in boldness. I hope this story is an encouragement to you. 
Please share with anyone you know facing similar struggles.

Some women are strong and naturally bold; their journey to maturity includes becoming more sensitive. Others, like me, are sensitive and by nature far less bold; our journey to maturity involves finding courage.

In the years of helping women dress according to their personal image identity (or Img.ID), it has become obvious to me that we must first understand our authentic clothing personality–there are six of them. Three of them are strong, while the other three are sensitive. While many of us are a combination of two styles (being both strong and sensitive) none of us really mature until we discover our true nature.

Photo-Jan-31-12-11-09-PMTO BE BOLD, WE MUST KNOW WHO WE ARE

If you are uncertain whether you are strong or sensitive, consider…     to read the rest of this post, please click here to visit Rachel’s blog at  https://rachelbritton.com/overcoming-fear-boldness/

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

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.

FREE Giveaway this Giving Tuesday

It is “Giving Tuesday,” a lot of wonderful organizations receive a great part of their funds this one day of the year. (I sure got a lot of requests, did you?) I know that giving is a great way to start the Christmas season and of course I want to support the many wonderful causes, but honestly, I struggle with stinginess. After all, there’s shopping to do–gifts to buy–what if I run out of money and don’t get to spoil my kids the way I want to? I am reminded of a time in my life when I wrestled with God over my attitude.

Financial fears were robbing me from enjoying my abundant blessings.

I was sitting at my kitchen counter having a quiet moment of reflection. Looking around at my new house, I was overwhelmed by all the shopping that needed to be done to make the big, empty space into a home.

I needed some encouragement, so I opened my Bible and found this:

The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. Proverbs 11:25 NKJV
The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. Proverbs 11:25 NKJV

“You need to become more generous.”

“Ouch! Really, Lord, more generous? My husband already gives more than we should. We have a mortgage now. I don’t want to risk loosing what we have worked so hard for!”

“That’s what I’m saying, my daughter. You are benefiting from your husband’s generous heart. I love to bless people who, like a vessel, gratefully receive and willingly shares what they have been given. Through an open vessel my heart is revealed to others, not a closed one. Do not cling to what you already have or the fear of loosing it will engulf you and hide my heart from others.”

Stinginess is not beautiful.

There are some lessons in life that we may have to learn over and over before we really get them. I’m not sure I’ve got the generosity thing down yet, but in honor of Giving Tuesday, I thought I would practice what I’m learning (again) by giving away what I feel is one of my best accomplishments, my book.

Click Here to Submit your request for a FREE copy of Confident Beauty

Of course there’s a catch…

I will give you a copy of Confident Beauty, Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, but I want you to give it away to anyone in your life who has or is facing some kind of Image Issue (and yes, you can make it a Christmas gift). Deal?

What are Image Issues?

An Image Issue is any physical, emotional or spiritual Beauty Battle that challenges your confidence and makes you feel ugly, ashamed, invisible, unwanted… It could be a birthmark, an inability, or disproportion that makes you HATE, HIDE, or get HUNG UP on your appearance. It may show itself as weight issues, skin problems, eating disorders, addictions, social stigmas or OCD. It may drive you to act with disgrace, or strive for perfection. It may look like popularity and dress like a diva or appear humble, care free or completely grunge. Others may see it as an over-concern for fashion, makeup or piercings, or it could be a total lack of concern for body image.

Beauty out of balance is not beautiful.

Confident Beauty is a balance of caring for self and for others, and that’s what my book is all about. The greatest thing I could give you or the one you love is the insights I found and share in Confident Beauty. Image issues show up in a number of ways, but they all come down to one thing: beauty out of balance is far from confident. Truth is what sets us free.  Do you have a woman or girl in your life who could use some help understanding herself and the emotional (and spiritual!) battle she faces?  If you want to give her something that can help her become a Confident Beauty–inside and out–then please click the button below.

Tonight I am giving away 10 audiobook 3 paperback books for FREE. Just click the button below to tell me where (and which type) to send your copy.

Click Here to Submit your request for a FREE copy of Confident Beauty

Cover ConfidentBeauty CVR-LGNote: there is also a QR code to get a FREE ebook in the cover of every paperback copy of Confident Beauty (on any day of the year).

Sharing is caring!

*****

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 the Beauty of Autumn can Help Us Survive Change

Change is hard.  In fact, most of us struggle with any major alterations in our lives. It is especially difficult when it’s unexpected, unwanted and we have not yet had to make extreme adjustments in our lives before. This is evident when we see how difficult this election has been for so many millennials.

Consider the first major change in your own life. Perhaps it was a change in schools, a move, a death or divorce that had you stressed about your future. Do you remember the fear, frustration or panic you may have felt? (If you are a Natural, then you don’t have to answer that because your calm and casual nature is very strong when it comes to Confidence Conflicts, but keep reading–and please share–because you are the girls who can help the rest of us with this.)

Having been brought up in a safe and secure family environment, my first few major changes only strengthened me for the devastation of my divorce. I remember moving into my parents basement pregnant and alone and having my mom (a Natural) remind me that I had been through other difficult times and I would make it through this, too.

img_3996When my baby died, it was my pastor who knelt at my rocking chair and reminded me that I would survive that extreme adjustment. I remember his words like yesterday, “Catrina, we are not human beings living a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings living a human experience.” I was still holding Rebecca in my arms when he told me to look outside at all the barren trees. “Their lifeless branches look dead, don’t they? But you know Spring will come again and those ugly, grey trees will once again bear their beauty. Imagine how scary it would be to watch the entire landscape around you loose it’s color and fall to the ground, withered and dried, if you had no idea that this was part of a cycle. Don’t allow the fear of your reality to keep you from the peace that comes with having faith in the future.”

When we believe there is life after death, that God is ultimately in control, that He is trustworthy, generous and kind; and that He knows what He is doing, it changes everything. Faith chases away fear.

Whether it’s the political changes that have you fearful, frustrated, or in a panic, or if it is your private life that is unsettled, I encourage you to look around at the extra-vibrant colors in our landscape this Autumn, and consider it a Holy Hug. God has surrounded us with evidence of His ability to make all things beautiful in His time. None of our drama is a surprise to Him. Let’s rest in this peace that surpasses all understanding and put all our nervous energy into enjoying the process. I don’t know about you, but I used to be blind to the beauty of Autumn for dread of the Winter. This year I find its beauty is only strengthening me for the barren season. I am up to the challenge and have high expectations for Spring and Summer to return once again in our Country and in my personal life.

Call me a fool, but I have seen God’s faithfulness too many times to doubt Him now. After all, when’s the last time you didn’t survive a change?

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.      –Romans 8: 37-19

*****

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.

 

You are the Apple of God’s Eye

If there is anything that can frustrate a person and draw out their truest character, it is misjudgment. Tell a friend you think they are being so kind and generous because they want something from you, discipline a child for something their sibling did, challenge a professional with the accusation that they don’t know what they are doing, and you will see the heart of that person right away.

We all have a desire to be accepted. 

Misjudgment is often interpreted as deep rejection. Especially by those of us who are sensitive beauties. Let’s take Hannah for example.

You find the story of this Dramatic woman in the Old Testament, when it wasn’t uncommon for a man to have more than one wife–especially if his first wife was infertile. Well, that was Hannah. Her husband loved her, but I can’t imagine she didn’t have to fight a huge Beauty Battle to believe that.

Infertility alone will challenge any woman’s confidence. Add to this girl’s challenge Continue reading You are the Apple of God’s Eye

Confidence vs. Independence. 

One of the greatest Confidence Conflicts a woman faces is in witnessing her children’s growing independence. A mamma’s heart is knit so closely to her child that with each stage of his maturing her heart feels a painful tearing as he needs her less and less.

This heartache don’t only happen with our children’s independence; it could be any relationship. It feels good to be needed, but if our significance is built on someone else’s dependency, our confidence will be crushed when they no longer need us.

Without Independence, we lack confidence.

Think of the pride that beams from a child when he can say, “I did it myself!” Independence creates confidence for the one maturing, but it can challenge the confidence of the one who isn’t needed as much. You know you are bing challenged if you feel you must remind your loved ones that you taught them everything they know, or that they wouldn’t have made it this far without you.

Without confidence we lack independence

When a child learns to walk, a confident mother will help him get his balance and release him to step out on his own. If she is lacking in confidence, she will hover over him with every step. Our own insecurities can rob our children of the joy of independence and create a fear of stepping out on their own… or a rebellious determination to achieve independence whether we like it or not.  Continue reading Confidence vs. Independence. 

3 Methods of Managing Stress Confidently

Summer is officially here. School’s out, kids are home, trips are being planned, company is coming… there’s more daylight in our busy days, so why not do more, right? As a Native Cape Codder, I always keep a bathing suit and towel in the trunk of my car during the summer–just in case there’s a moment between work and errands to grab some quick “beach therapy.” It doesn’t take long to get my “fix” a 10 minute walk or 20 minutes of gauzing on the beauty of our shores refuels my fire like nothing else.

How about you, how do you find peace when you are overwhelmed or stressed out?

Some women take charge.  Continue reading 3 Methods of Managing Stress Confidently

5 Lessons from a Boat Wreck

We were enjoying a beautiful brunch overlooking the deep Caribbean Sea when suddenly the cruise ship began to shake with the force of an unanticipated change in speed and direction. It seemed as though something was wrong, but as we looked around the other guests didn’t seem concerned.

“Is that a buoy out there?” I asked my husband regarding the rather large white object out in the middle of nowhere. “Perhaps we did have to make a turn after all.” That’s when the Captain’s voice came over the intercom telling us that we had just navigated around a boat wreck, that the Coast Guard had rescued all the passengers and that our voyage would continue as planned.

Yikes! We weren’t crazy, but I wanted to know the details! It was a beautiful, clear day, what on Earth caused a boat wreck? Was anyone hurt? What happens to that family now? Did they loose everything? Were they blaming each other, or were they celebrating their rescue?

Of course, without any involvement in the situation, there was no way to know. So we continued with our romantic get away.

let it go

If you have ever experienced a tragedy in life, you know how curious people get. It’s none of their business, but they want to know the details. This can be hard to accept when you are hurting, but it does no good to be offended by it. Nor does it help to be hurt when others continue with their lives while we are a wreck, because although they wonder (and may even talk about us), most people don’t know how to ask or get involved.

As I watched that big, white “buoy” sink into the deep blue sea, I couldn’t help but think that there is a lot we can learn from a boat wreck:

  1. It doesn’t matter what caused the problem, if you are taking on water, it’s time to deal with it.
  2. No matter whose fault it is, everyone onboard is affected, and it’s best to help each other.
  3. There is only so much you can do yourself, if you are starting to go under, it is time to call out for help.
  4. Forget about who is watching or how other vessels may be affected; they each have a captain, and he will get them back on their merry way. Deal with the important issues.
  5. Let it go. After you have done what you can, relinquish the regrets and results. You will always have your story to tell, but what was lost to the ocean floor should not have the power to control that which was not.

It’s not everyday that we enjoy the luxury of a cruise ship. But no matter how we are navigating the sea of life, it is important to remember that there is always a professional at the helm when we relinquish our will to God’s and we are wise not to panic, but to trust Him to get us back on course.

*****

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 Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads and consider having her speak at your next event.