Tag Archives: relationships

3 Ways Women Seek Significance

They say there are two types of women in the world:

  • the ones who walk into a room and say, “Here I am!”
  • the ones who walk into a room and say, “Oh, there you are!”

Of course we would all prefer to be the second type, but in reality, most of us are not.

When I think of the woman who says, “Here I am!” I feel embarrassed for her–you may feel something stronger. How childish to demand attention! How vain and selfish! We don’t want to be like that. Yet if we are honest, we must admit that deep within us, there’s a little girl’s heart that would also love to be noticed.

Instead, we feel invisible.  Continue reading 3 Ways Women Seek Significance

Confident Boundaries with Children

Picture a white picket fence around a beautiful home, this is the analogy Henry Cloud gives In his books about Boundaries to create an image of our responsibilities in life. We each have a home. We may share our home, but within our common space there are times and places of privacy. Our lives are not easily separated from our family’s lives and often the responsibilities of life are ours to share.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ…. for each one should carry their own load. -Galatians 6:2, 5 

Giving up our time and possessions for our spouse and children is not poor boundaries; it is bearing their “burden” as long as we are each taking responsibility for our own “load.” My daughter’s homework is not my responsibility, for example, but helping her get the material she needs to do it is, since she is still dependent on me for rides and finances. She is still living within my home.

It feels good to be needed. 

The younger our children are, the more we need to sacrifice on their behalf. Our infants need us to sacrifice our needs in order to meet theirs. It doesn’t matter how tiered we are, we must get up in the middle of the night if they need us. As our children grow less dependent upon us we would be wise to adjust our boundaries. While it is proper boundaries to stop everything to care for the child who cannot even burp on her own, it may not be healthy to Continue reading Confident Boundaries with Children

To Be Bold on the Journey, we Must Find our Voice.

balancedI have had the honor of writing a guest blog for Rachel Britton. I thought it only right to share it with my friends as well. God knows, we all need a little encouragement in order to be bold on the journey of life. This is the theme of Rachel’s blog, and it was a joy to speak into the lives of her audience. I pray that you, too, are encouraged to be bold on your journey.

In order to be bold we must have a voice.

We must be confident.

We must be balanced.

We must be assertive.

Please visit http://rachelbritton.com/finding-bold-confident-voice/ to read more.

 

 

for more information, visit me at www.CatrinaWelch.com

How New Year’s Resolutions Can Kill Your Confidence

There is nothing like a fresh start, a chance to begin again, an opportunity to make changes. Tomorrow we celebrate 2015, take a good look at the past and then, with the sticking of midnight, we put another year behind us. New Years Day we will dream of what’s to come, aspire to new plans and make some resolutions:

“I’m going to work harder, eat smarter, play more, lighten up, work out, loose weight…”

New Year’s Resolutions give us a good feeling–like we have regained control. Goals rejuvenate our ambition, like a fire under the feet, motivating us to run harder. It’s all good… right?

I’m not so sure any more. Continue reading How New Year’s Resolutions Can Kill Your Confidence

Celebrating Christmas with Confidence

As you wrap up the last of your Christmas gifts, do you wonder if maybe you didn’t do enough? I do! There are some people that I wanted to bless this season and didn’t even find the time to shop for. There’s others that I wish I could have done more for but the gift giving is restricted by yankee swap rules and price limits to keep things “fair.” The cheep side of me loves that someone else set my budget, but the generous side of me wants to just give abundant gifts to all my favorite people.

Giving beyond what is expected can cause a Confidence Conflict.

I don’t know if I have ever really overcome the cheep side of me and been overly generous myself but my husband has and by nature of marriage I have been given credit for his good heart. I’ve seen people get awkward and embarrassed because they felt unworthy of such generosity or ashamed that they could not recipicate. I have also been the recipient of his extreme generosity and personally experienced these emotions which conflict with the joy of receiving. From this I have learned two important lessons:

It takes a confident person to give a big gift without expectations. Continue reading Celebrating Christmas with Confidence

When Words Crush Your Spirit

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Injuries can crush the body.

When someone strikes us, we hurt. The stronger our physical body, the less likely the damage, of course, but there is no question that sticks and stones can break our bones. And when we are injured, no one ever questions our need to take care of ourselves or to get the help we need. In fact, even strangers may jump up to assist the wounded with something that is obviously challenging (like opening a door for someone on crutches). Good people don’t treat an injured person like a weakling or misfit. They see our cast, bandage or sling and it’s obvious  we have been hurt, but seldom will they label us a “reject,” “basket case,” “disturbed,” or “emo” like they do when words (or actions) inflict our heart and leaves us  emotionally wounded.

Broken bones seldom become a person’s identity because we all know these injuries don’t last forever. Emotional wounds, however can easily become our identity because we are less apt to nurture them into healing properly and they become an intricate part of who we are.

It is foolish to keep doing things that intensify any injury (or sickness), whether it is physical or emotional. Yet most of us tend to care for a physical wound with love and attention while we dismiss emotional wounds as if they are shallow, immature or self-centered. Any wound  that is well cared for will heal far better than one neglected or provoked, yet we easily accept our broken heart as our new identification.

When I broke my back in 1999 I had two small children at home and often felt it was “necessary” to do what the doctor had ordered me not to (like lifting my toddler), and when I did, it set back my healing. That’s the thing with a physical injury: it doesn’t go away, it “speaks up” and makes us deal with it no matter how hard we try to deny that it hurts.

Emotional wounds “speak up,” too.

My physical injury happened only six weeks after my daughter’s death. I had not healed from the emotional injury that grief had inflicted on my heart. For awhile I was pretty much bedridden and dependent on others. It was very difficult to be so needy, but the physical rest was part of my emotional healing. Instead of staying busy and avoiding the issues of my heart I was restricted with lots of time to think, cry and pray. My physical neediness also gave others reason to come and help me and that, too, brought healing to my heart.

Words can crush the spirit.

Emotional wounds aren’t always as intense as grief (just as physical wounds may be as simple as a paper cut) but they still need to be dealt with. Perhaps you have been called fat, ugly, stupid, slow, (or whatever!) and you feel embarrassed that such a simple thing hurt you.

Even small insults, like paper cuts, need to be washed, or they may get infected.

IMG_1563.JPGWhen someone hurts us as children we run to mom and cry on her shoulder. She hugs us and tells us the words are wrong and that she loves us just the way we are. And she means it, because we are a part of her. So we believe her words over the insults and our heart survives. Of course, if she does not have a healthy self-image, she may not be capable of helping us with our’s and if we have no one to help us wash the wound, we may accept those words as truth.

My mom helped me a lot in 1999 as did all of my (and my husband’s) family of origin as well as our family of faith. They made meals, did errands, changed diapers and, most of all, they cared. Even when their words were awkward, their actions helped me believe the Word of God, and that was the key to the survival of my crushed spirit.

If you feel wounded or crushed, I encourage you to take some time to heal. You are not alone. Let others help you and let their concern (even if it’s awkward) speak to your heart. Most of all, cast all your cares on the One who cares for you. Tell God how you feel and ask Him what He thinks of you. Don’t get distracted by the “necessary” until you have heard His answer and then believe His Word over anyone else’s because you were created in His image and there is no greater love than His. 

How Critiques and Crowds Build Confidence

I love hanging out with teenagers. You may think I’m crazy, but you’ve got to know the kind of kids I’m hanging with.  

800px-Flickr_-_moses_namkung_-_The_Crowd_For_DMB_1Youth groups from all over America have traveled to Orlando to participate in a National Fine Arts Festival and I’ve had the privilege of witnessing their amazing talents. There are ten thousand kids here who are stepping out of their comfort zones, using their gifts and abilities and encouraging each other to do the same. During a time when so many teens in our society are defeated and discouraged, it has been rather refreshing to see so many of them excited and enthusiastic.

But this isn’t a utopia. I’m sure that when these kids separate from each other they will be back to stressing and striving, but without a doubt, this week has strengthened their character.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

We become like the people we hang around and although this powerful truth is sometimes quite devastating to a person’s character, it is also one of the greatest keys to building confidence.  

One of my favorite parts of being here is walking through the halls of the convention center where the various artists are warming up for their turn on stage. It is an amazing comparison to the crowded streets of Downtown Disney where we spent some time last night. Both places offer entertainment with the pause in your walk but the atmosphere in the convention halls is very different then the beautiful, waterfront streets where the “magic happens.” Don’t get me wrong; Disney also offers good, healthy fun. But the dream that is inspired there is really Walt’s, more than his patrons. At this National Fine Arts Festival, the kids are building their own dreams.

I feel so blessed that two of my own kids are here having the flames in their hearts fanned by the approval and inspiration of their peers as well as the critiques of their judges. Of course I wish their performances were rated as perfection, but I  know that the judgment and advice given them will help them continue to develop their gifts because they are witnessing success and failure all around them.

They know that they are not alone.

It’s often said, “When iron sharpens iron, sparks fly.” For the performers receiving
their rating, the sparks may be tears of disappointment, but that’s part of the character-building. Tears make their experience real and lasting because they refine the dream.

The desire to do better is only proof of the value of that dream to that person. 

I am impressed with the courage these kids have to stand before their peers and offer their hearts. I know many grown men and women who lack the confidence to share their talent around a campfire at night, yet these kids, during their most sensitive years, step out in front of each other and risk it all. And their courage becomes confidence wether they rate “superior” or not because there is a camaraderie being built amongst them as they cheer each other on and they are learning that they have something to offer this world and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective.

Witnessing others achieve a dream creates confidence that you can too.  

Our society is full of people (myself included) with hurts, hang-ups and habits that have destroyed the dreams within us. Perhaps there’s something we all could learn from hanging out with teens who still believe they can do anything.

If you, or someone you love, is feeling defeated or discouraged, I encourage you to reconnect with your dreams by practicing the gifts and talents inside of you and then risking your heart by sharing it with someone who just might be encouraged by it. 

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No One Should Experience Devastation Feeling Invisible

Every one of us has felt invisible at some point in our lives or another. Whether it was at a party full of strangers, in the middle of the grocery store or in the privacy of our own home when our brothers got all the attention or our husband is distracted.Our lives may center around our needs and desires but not everyone else’s does and unfortunately that can be a difficult reality.

We all want to be seen, but it’s not just about image.

We feel invisible when our words, works or worth is not perceived as valuable. Which, of course, is complicated because our perception is filtered by our love language. For example, if we desire words of affirmation yet no one speaks up, we may feel worthless even if we are given a gift of gratitude.

Allow me to go back to the example of Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb (last week’s blog). When John tells this story in chapter 20, he doesn’t mention the other women who were with her. The other gospels do. I can’t help but wonder if Mary’s friends were invisible to John?

Consider this with me:

John must have been a sensitive man. His gospel is full of stories about relationships and the heart of the people involved. Do you think that perhaps John references only Mary because she was the one he connected with? Maybe they spoke the same love language. Maybe they were both sensitive. Maybe John just couldn’t relate to the other women. Perhaps they stuffed their feelings and he wasn’t even aware of how much of what he was going through was affecting them too.

I’m not sure why John doesn’t mention Mary Magdalene’s girlfriends, but they were there because Matthew and Mark refer to the “women” of the same story and Luke records the names of some of them.

Luke 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
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coffee-830422_640Have you ever been left out of a story or treated as if you were not part of something significant? I have, and it used to bother me a lot until I realized that I do the same thing to others. Just the other day I bought a coffee at a drive-through and as I drove away it dawned on me that I was so pre-occupied in my mind that if someone were to ask me to describe the window server I wouldn’t be able to. Not because the server was invisible, but  because I was blinded by my own self-obsessed nature. Most often it’s our own issues that keep us from connecting with others.

We recognize and remember those who we connect with.

When my husband and I lost our daughter we made a conscious effort to allow each other to deal with the grief in our own ways. We had been told that 90% of couples who lose a child end up divorced and with the way our coping mechanisms would fluctuate we realized how hard it is to see each other’s heart when our own is so broken. But dealing with a crisis is enough; how foolish it is to become offended by the people we need so desperately. I believe our decision to BE and LET BE is the reason our marriage not only survived but was also strengthened.

Our connection to one another’s pain not only increased our intimacy, but it also opened our eyes to all the invisible people whose lives were also affected by the loss of our child. It wasn’t all about us.

We were all in this life together and together we can make it through.

If you are in the midst of a crisis, I encourage you to become aware of those around you. It may be obvious that other people are hurting, like you are; connect with them, encourage them and allow them to encourage you. Others may be less demonstrative and may be stuffing their pain or trying to be strong for you; acknowledge them, appreciate them. Allow their strength to sustain you, but also allow them to be weak in a moment when you do have strength and enjoy the experience of true connection.

for more information, visit me at www.CatrinaWelch.com

The Power of an Introduction

We’ve all been in a situation where we feel uncomfortable.

You arrive at a gathering at a new location and, looking around, you don’t see a single familiar face. 

Age does not seem to discriminate against the desire to fit in. Young or old, we all want to belong. We can be completely comfortable with one person, but if person is going to be busy with all her other guests, we are not going to to be comfortable with her friends until we find a common ground with them.

I guess that’s why introductions are one of the most powerful tools for building–and displaying–confidence.

I remember the day my aunt taught me how to introduce my friends to her. She was a teenager sunbathing in my yard when I ran by her with my friends like she wasn’t even there. She called me back and taught me the proper way to do an introduction.

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  1. “Auntie, this is my friend, so and so”
  2. “so and so, this is my auntie….”

 

As much as I appreciated learning this important social skill, it scared me to death! My aunt was obviously insulted by the way I had treated her and I didn’t know what to do with the strong emotion. I felt like a total fool. From that moment in my early childhood until well into my adult years, I would panic whenever I had to make an introduction. A situation would arise where I was the one who knew two parties and the feeling of foolishness would instantly overwhelm me and (of course!) the names would escape me, making it that much more awkward.

I was set free of that stressful feeling the day I was doing haircuts for a family with eleven kids. I was so impressed with the way this amazing mother would bring one child at a time to me and not only tell me the child’s name and tell the child mine, but also stand there with us telling me all about this child as if he or she were her only one, while the other ten played quietly in the other room. After hearing about each child’s gifts, interests and abilities I felt included in her family and I fell in love with them all.

That one experience challenged me in many ways. It made me want to explore the possibility that perhaps the secret to discipling sibling rivalry is to make each child feel as important as she made her kids feel. And it helped  me let go of my old fears of feeling foolish giving introductions. Since then I have tried to embraced the challenge of not only sharing my friends’ names, but I also now try to tell something about each person that the other might be interested in. Although I haven’t mastered it yet, I do feel my aunt would be proud to know I now enjoy the powerful moments of helping friends feel acknowledged, included and important in unfamiliar places where they might have otherwise felt uncomfortable and awkward. That’s the power of an introduction and everyone of us has that power should we decide to be confident enough to use it.

for more information, visit me at www.CatrinaWelch.com

Are you Confident they Love You?

When my little boy was acting up, I would often ask, “Do you need a time-out or a hug?” I was learning the ropes of parenting as a single mom and I was never really sure how to discipline correctly. Sometimes kids act up because they are hungry or lonely. It’s hard to know what they need unless we really study them. After all, sometimes I act up and I don’t even know what I need!

A time-out please. In the tub. Continue reading Are you Confident they Love You?