Tag Archives: stress

Let Him In Your Boat

Christ_in_Storm_on_Sea_of_Galilee_Ludolf_Backhuysen2There are three accounts in the Gospels that tell the story of Jesus walking on water. Matthew (in chapter 14), Mark (in chapter 6) and John (in chapter 6) each give their viewpoint of what happened that amazing day.

The disciples were in a boat in the middle of the sea during a raging storm attempting to row to shore. They were struggling against the wind when they saw the shadow of Jesus coming toward them. Assuming He was a ghost His followers were frightened, but once they knew it was their Rabi, they gladly took Him into the boat with them and the storm calmed down. Immediately they arrived to where they were going.

Here’s the thing: Before Jesus got in the boat with them, when He told them not to worry, Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, if that is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Talk about faith being inspired! Wow. I love to see people do amazing things; it encourages me that I can, too. But I’m not sure I would have even thought of trying that one. I mean really, there are times when other people’s great accomplishments are not an inspiration to me. I may be impressed but if its over the top or out of my giftings I simply applaud and let them enjoy the fame.

Finding the faith to act out of our comfort zones can be too much work.

Honestly, I think sometimes we choose too much work trying to prove ourselves, don’t you? I mean, if Peter’s attempt at walking on water was so amazing, why is it that only Matthew mentions it? If this part of the story was so important, wouldn’t all the gospels mention it? Don’t get me wrong, I am not ditching Peter; I applaud him.

Jesus did invite Peter to “come” but remember Peter had asked Him to tell him to come out of the boat. Jesus didn’t ask anyone else to attempt what was unnatural to man. It’s normal to want to have super abilities, and I do believe our Lord is please with our attempts when our heart is to please Him, but I also believe that we sometimes put more on ourselves than He expects us to.

Maybe it’s time we stop trying to be amazing and just invite Jesus into our boat so we can be amazed at Him. Perhaps the storms in our lives will cease and we will swiftly and safely get to shore. Who knows? We, too, could end up where we have been struggling to get to immediately. I get the impression that Jesus was more pleased to be asked to get in the boat than He was to ask Peter to get out of it.

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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 confidence conflicts; 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 Losing 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 in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at www.CatrinaWelch.com

If you are interested in having Catrina come speak to your friends, colleagues or ministry you can contact her on facebook or by email at catrina@catrinawelch.com.

Walking on Water

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Oh, what I would do to have the kind of faith it takes to step out of this boat I’m in, onto the crashing waves…

 

Maybe you remember the popular Christian song, “Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns? It was always one of my favorites, especially after watching two of my children do human videos (two separate ones) to the powerful lyrics years ago. The tune has been running through my mind for days now, and I simply must share my thoughts with you.

This is for you if you have ever wished you could be better, stronger, more successful. Especially if right now you feel like life is tossing you to and fro and you can’t catch your breath, never mind handle the storm you are in.

The churning seas I face right now is joyous, but still disrupting to my usual life. Confident Beauty has just been released and I am on the move to figure out book signings etc. My daughter has been performing with an elite group of artists and her dreams are soaring with mine. All the men in our lives are being amazing supporters and are helping with all the details that we should be handling-you know, like cooking and cleaning… oh, and decorating, shopping, wrapping…. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, yes, and for us Welch girls it’s the most wonderful time of our dreams, too.

Maybe your storm isn’t so fun. Maybe the waves causing you stress are finances, relationships, employment, weight or hurts, habits or hangups. Is there something you want to get under control, but The waves are calling out [your] name and they laugh at [you], reminding [you] of all the times [you’ve] tried before and failed. The waves they keep on telling [you[, time and time again, “boy[girl], you’ll never win!”?

I want to encourage you today that you do not have to listen to the waves!

of all the voices calling out to [you]… choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth which (Who) says, “do not be afraid” and “this is for my glory” Trust Him who is able to make all things work together for your good (Romans 8:28)

But there is more.

I’ll share that with you tomorrow.

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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 confidence conflicts; 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 Losing 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 in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at www.CatrinaWelch.com

If you are interested in having Catrina come speak to your friends, colleagues or ministry you can contact her on facebook or by email at catrina@catrinawelch.com.

 

Women’s Issues

I have heard many sermons about the woman with the issue of blood. Usually the preacher awkwardly explains her 12-year ailment the best he can, and effectively gives an encouraging Word for anyone listening–male or female; but it seems to me that this is a topic for us girls to really dive into.

  Proverbs 14:10 

The heart knows its own bitterness,
 and a stranger does not share its joy.

A woman’s heart lends itself to different issues than a man’s does. This doesn’t make any man’s preaching less valuable to those of us of the opposite gender, but it is a factor. I imagine it was a huge factor for this woman found in Matthew 9, Mark 5 and Luke 8. She had spent all her money trying to get the help she needed, but her health was only deteriorating further. It seems everyone had given up on her.

Jewish people were commanded to separate themselves from anyone or anything “unclean,” and a woman’s menses made her and anything she touched “unclean.” If anyone touched her, or something she had touched (like her seat or bed) that person became unclean as well. This term didn’t mean that she needed to wash her hands or that others should wear rubber gloves around her. It meant they had to take a full bath and do their laundry. Then they had to wait seven days and go to the temple to make a sacrifice for their impurity. (You can find all this in Leviticus 15)

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Understanding this custom brings depth to this woman’s “issue”–it wasn’t just pain and sickness, this woman was suffering from twelve years of being an untouchable outcast.

Have you ever been in that kind of a place, where you felt helpless, hopeless and unwanted? Shame comes in all sorts of packages. It may be brought on by a habbit you have, something you did, or something that you were born with or was done to you–but generally shame makes you feel disqualified for society. Maybe you have sought help for your “issues” from doctors, rehab or therapy, but you only find yourself getting worse and worse. Glean from the experience of this woman who sought out Jesus for her healing.

It is often said, “check the fruit on the tree” before taking advice from someone. That’s just good wisdom, right? If a man is stressed out and in horrible debt, it may be better to leave his financial advice on the table. If a woman has never lost a child, it may be best not to take offense to her clueless console. This doesn’t mean that if a pastor has never had a period he cannot preach on it, nor does it mean that if he has never lost a child he cannot help you (Trust me on that one!). It does mean, however, that if the people all around you make you feel outcast and ashamed and all the help they have to offer you only drains and discourages you, then maybe it’s time to use what little strength you have left to crawl through the muck and mire to get to the One who can heal you–inside and out.

Jesus didn’t have a menstrual cycle, but He understood exactly what this nameless woman needed–physically, spiritually and emotionally. She was bleeding internally and externally and He cared very much about both sides of that. Read all three accounts of the story and you will see that after she touched His robe, He sought her out and had her speak about her problem. I don’t believe His questions were a casual concern for where His power went. I believe He not only cared deeply, but He knew she needed to be heard. She needed to speak. Too often we try to fix our own problems; we seek help from professionals or priests, but we don’t expose it all–we hide the details of our shame. We keep our issues silent. Perhaps we fear more rejection or no validation or that the one we are sharing with will not come through for us. We guard our hearts and try to pretend it is no big deal. But it is.

And Jesus cares about your issues.

He might not have suffered the same way you do, after all, He never fall into the shame that comes with addictions and sin–but He felt the weight of it when He hung on the cross to set us free from ours. He certainly knows the shame that comes with someone else’s sin. Maybe He wasn’t raped–but He was betrayed with a kiss, His clothes were ripped off of Him and He was beaten badly and then put in a parade for all to gaze at His shame. Yea, He has fruit on the tree, and He welcomes you to partake of it freely. The woman with the issue of blood did, and after twelve years of suffering, she was healed instantly. Instantly.

Sometimes it just takes a word from the Master to be set free from our issues. Take time today to listen for that life-altering Voice.

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Jesus, you understand my issues. Please help me with them. Others have let me down, but I believe you can set me free. Speak to my heart and show me what I need to share with you. I don’t even know what I’m feeling sometimes, but you do. I am so glad I don’t have to find all the words because you know the depth of what little I do say. God, this is what I’m feeling right now…. 

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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.