Tag Archives: priorities

What Not To Wear

imagesI’ve said it, and I’m sure you have too: “I have nothing to wear.”

My husband responds to my whining like he does when our teens say,  “there’s nothing to do!” He laughs and says “oh, of course not.” After a number of changes in attire I immerge from the closet and Ron will respond, “I see you found, ‘this ol’ thing’.”

Putting an outfit together can be a dilemma, and I’m afraid it’s just hard for our husbands to understand. It’s not that we don’t appreciate our luxurious American closets; it’s just that… well, honestly, we just don’t want to wear most of what is in there. Why?

  • The items stand alone, with no complimenting garment
  • The color / texture / style drains us, and zaps our energy
  • We lost (or never found!) the accessories to finish the outfit
  • They are uncomfortable
  • They are too big, baggy, bulky
  • They are too tight, short, revealing
  • They are stained, stretched, worn out
  • They are missing a button, have a snag, broke a zipper

Or how about this one, which no husband seems to understand:

  • “It’s just not me, I love it, but I feel [phony, old, boring] wearing it…”

imagesAs an image consultant, I love to do wardrobe assessments; it’s kind of like doing undercover marriage rehab. I know it seems a bit shallow to say that an organized wardrobe could help a couple get along, but like cleaning house, there is a certain liberation that happens when clutter is removed. Sometimes less is more. Less to choose from can bring more power if all the choices are good ones.

If you are looking to have a more simplified wardrobe, and are willing to let go of things that need to be passed along or thrown away, then follow these simple (but not necessarily easy) steps:

  • Look through all draws, shelves and hangers for what not to wear. Pull out anything that robs your confidence or breaks the guidelines for your personal image identity. Don’t forget to go through your accessories.
  •  Physically remove these items from your closet. Yes, even those comfy sweats that you don’t want to be caught in, but somehow think your husband doesn’t mind seeing you in. Make a “give away” pile and a “throw away” pile and then do just that – and do it right away before you decide to wear it one more time.
  • Put together as many complete outfits as you can with what is left. Make sure you have adequate attire for your lifestyle. (How many casual outfits do you need? How many professional? Dressy?)
  • Document the missing pieces (i.e. “If I had a white tank top, this could be another outfit.”) Sometimes it helps to take a picture of the incomplete outfit so you can look at it when shopping for what it needs. (This can help you find the right color too.) Other times a list is all you need.
  • Shop. That’s right, I give you permission (sometimes we need that, don’t we?) Seriously, check your budget and go out on a mission to invest in your marriage (ok, I am being obnoxious here, I know, but just play with me.) Remember the saying “if mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? Well if your wardrobe is all about what NOT to wear, and it is robbing your joy, then please, spend a little money for your family’s sake! Do not worry, a woman with a list is not nearly as damaging as a frustrated one who only knows she has nothing to wear.

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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.

 

God’s Comfort to our Friends and Family

 What an honor it was to be interviewed by talk show host Kellie Peterson of  Everyday Wisdom for Families this morning. Whether you got to hear it or not, I’d love to share with you the poem I read to her listeners.

This is a word God gave to me one night after laying Rebecca down to sleep. We shared it at her funeral less than three weeks later. Please feel free to print it and share it with someone you know who may be going through a difficult season. 

The Joy of the Lord is our strength.

This child is my gift to you, like a delicate flower.

Do not expect her life to last like that of a carnation.

Her purpose here is a quick and powerful one.

Enjoy each moment.

Do not waste time in meaningless comparison,

And do not get caught in the trap of self-pity,

Or you will miss the blessings I have in store for you.

I love you and long to bear this yoke with you.

I want to ease your pain; I do not want to take it away.

Because if I did, I would take away all the victories, the lessons,

The character being created in you.

I promise, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.

I will bear this load with you, if you just draw near to me.

Trust in me, and tell of the wonders you will see.

There are great riches in store for you,

But if you only look at the pain and sorrow, that is all you will see.

Look unto Me and my Son.

When you want to find comfort in the sympathy of others

When you feel as though no one understands,

When you are tempted to sit and compare your circumstances with others,

Look at the cross, look at the life of my Son.

He understands.

He knows what it is like to anticipate great trials and great pain.

He understands rejection and betrayal.

He knows misunderstandings and false accusations.

He understands what it is like to be raised by a father who is not his own.

He has felt every physical and emotional pain.

He has felt separation from Me,

And I have felt the great pain of losing a child I so dearly loved.

Let me bear this cross with you.

You have honored me as Creator and Master; right now, let me be your “Daddy.”

Climb into my lap, and I will give you rest.

Wait upon me and I will renew your strength.

Trust in Me, and I will provide all your needs.

But if you turn from Me, and blame Me, How can I reach you?

I will wait, and I will welcome you back when you are done with your fight,

But I will not fight back. I am a gentleman.

I will stand at the door and knock, but you must open the door.

Only then will I enter in; and you and I shall dine together.

I will be your God, I will provide for you, protect you, comfort you and counsel you.

I love you and My grace is sufficient for you.

My power is made perfect in weakness.

Give to me your challenges, I find that to be the greatest gift of all.

And you will know my peace.

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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.

Clean and Beautiful

Matthew 23: 25- 27 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.”

Jesus’ words are strong, and may not be considered politically correct, but they are full of truth and bold love. We live in a society that cares more about who they appear than how they are. I suppose I should blog a great image message here, you know my heart is to help women be confident and sincere. I love to teach each Img.ID how to dress according to her physical stature and personal preferences; but my true desire is to bring that message even deeper. I believe our Lord is addressing so much more than our wardrobe in this scripture, and I don’t know about you, but I need His strong words right now.

I’ve been guilty of craving “self-indulgence” lately. I think about making a spa appointment nearly every day! Why? Because I am running on empty. I have not allowed myself the things I crave, like that full body massage, (which is a whole different blog…) but “as a gal thinketh in her heart, so is she,” right? I kinda feel like a whitewashed tomb… and I am well aware that I am not the only one feeling empty and numb.

Women who are hurting are a bit like a wounded animal. We may know how to look beautiful on the outside, but Jesus is right: inside we are full of “dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.” Stress is eating away at our very souls. Life and love have disappointed us, and we tend to respond with a bitter determination to just “do it myself!” In our desperation to survive on our own, greed takes over. All that is left is pretense and evidence of a life that was.

 

It’s especially hard around Christmas time, isn’t it? All the shopping, and so many sales tempting us to charge our own wish-list instead of the family’s. I suppose spending our own money on our own needs is not really “impure,” but for me: I know what’s in my wallet, if you know what I mean.

I believe Jesus wants us to have an abundant life, not one without peace and passion. He desperately wants to meet our needs – that’s why His words are so strong. A life that doesn’t need Him is lifeless and selfish. This season, let’s be careful not to focus on how we look, let’s not go through the motions of caring for others, let’s take the advice of the One we celebrate: let’s first empty ourselves and let Him cleanse us, then our beauty will radiate inside and out.

Dear God, would you cleanse me today? I do not want to live a life of pretense, and I am tired of trying to fill my own needs and desires. Fill me with your Living Water, and give me your passion to live life to the fullest. Amen. 

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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.

The Law of Balance

Can we talk a little bit more about “Jesus the Time Manager”? It seems to me that knowing we need to engage more in other people’s lives is not enough; we need to know how to develop the skills it takes to listen and care for them. Not that I think caring for others is simply a skill, actually, I believe it is more a mater of an unselfish attitude more than anything else.

It is hard not to be selfless when we are hurting and overwhelmed with our own lives, but when we put our confidence in Jesus’ love and concern for us, we are more apt to hear a friend’s complaint and not compare her difficulties to our own.

The root of all unhappiness is comparison. How helpful is it to tell a friend who is complaining that she has no time that you have even less? We are all given 24 hours in each day and how we spend it is ultimately up to us.  So, when a friend needs an ear and her words are only a sounding gong, what should we do?

When I was raising my boys, moms would work together to get the chores done. We had routines of running errands together and taking turns sitting in the car with the children so that checking the mail wasn’t a major event, and we had the time in transport, with children restrained by seatbelts from interrupting us, to listen to and encourage each other.

Now, as I raise my daughter, I find that moms don’t want help, and they are full of anxiety if they are ever asked to help someone else. It seems that vulnerability has become a very ugly thing. It’s a shame, because it is when we are weak that others are allowed to be strong, and when they are weak and let us be strong, that true friendships are formed. The kind of friendships God intended.

Galatians 6:2-5 is a great example of God’s heart on the matter.

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

Call me old fashioned, but I think it’s time we got back to living life together and not being so proud.

Thank you, Lord, that you are a God of balance, and that you give us the formula for living a balanced life. Help us to be responsible for our own lives, but also to be vulnerable when we need help with those responsibilities. Keep us from fearing commitment, or of being used. Teach us to help others when their load is too heavy to bear alone, but restrain us from taking their responsibilities for them. Help us Lord, to live a balanced life with your Joy being our strength. Amen

I’m running out to do errands, anyone need to go up town?

 

 

Jesus the Time Manager

With the current economic times it seems to me that the American lifestyle is no longer burning the candle at both ends. It is now a frantic relay of lighting match after match to try to set fire to the middle as well! Making both ends meet is taking all our energy and straining our relationships leaving us feeling empty and alone.

Life is stressful when it’s all off kilter, but is it just economics throwing us out of balance? Or could it be that perhaps we:

  • Have too many goals that are in conflict with one another.
  • Have no goals and are letting our lives be swept along by  … ?
  • Have hearts cluttered with other people’s agendas for us.

Or maybe we haven’t truly settled our heart’s attitude toward God and others

  • We think that in order to please God we must do more for Him.
  • We resent others because we believe we need their approval.
  • We feel guilty because our family wants us to do less for others, and more for them.
  • We believe that being busy = being important, spiritual or valuable.

One way to consider if your life is out of balance is to look at how much time you spend enjoying your relationships. In the beginning God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) Loneliness is still not good. But who has time to engage in relationships when life is so full of demands? It’s not that we don’t have time with people when we are stressed, it’s just that we don’t have time for them.

Don’t you just wish you had a personal time-management consultant?

I believe Jesus wants to be that consultant. He has much wisdom to offer us on how to put our life into balance. Think about how He modeled His life:

  • He was full of peace, compassion and unconditional love even when under tremendous stress.
  • He was often walking and talking w/ friends about things that matter.
  • He was always giving of Himself to feed, heal or teach others.

It seems to me that His secret was in the fact that He consistently took time alone to pray and seek God, even if it meant getting up early, staying up late, or giving up food; He always found time to sneak away from the crowds which, by the way, had legitimate needs that He was willing and able to meet.

Perhaps the greatest secret was that He wasn’t so prideful to think that He had to do it all…

Lord, help us to cast our cares over to you and to keep our relationship with you the highest priority. Teach us to give more of ourselves to others, because it is in seeking you and in blessing your people that we find our peace and satisfaction. Guide us in knowing when it is our pride that is pressing us to do more, and make us able to find the balance between striving and sitting. Make us more like Jesus. In His name, amen.