Archive for July, 2016

Egos That Require Boundaries For Your Health And Sanity

Why . . .


Why do some people feel the need to argue or challenge people over everything in an attempt to manipulate, control, or one-up everyone else. (They’ve been everywhere, they’ve done everything, they know it all . . . they know what you should do, become, think, act, and even like. Why?

It’s simple: It makes them feel important and feeds their tiny, little ego, to have such answers stored up for all the world to need–one commandeered conversation at a time. It happens, because they have such low self-esteem and too-little respect for others, especially for those who may have more authority, maturity, knowledge, or life experience. And to those who are younger and more inexperienced than this type of individual, they make themselves an idol or a god with all the answers they can pull out of the universe at their own discretion.

What it does: It creates an atmosphere that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to have an in-depth and meaningful conversation with others. Not only that, but it truly sucks the life out of the gathering, because the only one gaining anything is one-upping, ego-tripping, people-challenger, at the expense of others. How fun is that? It’s not. Add liquor to the aforementioned person, and it’s a conversation if recorded that could be looped as it’s the same thing over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.

The solution: There are several options (here are a few), and they’ll depend upon you specific situation.

1. Move to another person or group to join or start a different conversation. Each time this toxic person enters that conversation and attempts to hijack it, continue to move. When there are no other conversations to enter into or places to go, it might be time to call it a night. “My, would you LOOK at the time! Gotta run!” Sadly for the guests hosting the gathering, people leave, because there is nothing faster at clearing a room than a self-centered and obnoxious person.

2. Call them out on their b/s (bologna sandwich) and ask them to kindly refrain from one-upmanship and to respect the opinions of the others present. If they cannot, try #1 or simply revert to leaving. You have the right to be respected and do not have to be someone’s door mat. It’s likely that one time you see them, they’re super friendly, but don’t buy it for long . . . they’ll cycle again and get on their high horse only to knock you into a mud pit, because their ego is running on empty. There are meds for mental illnesses such as this. It does NOT have to come at your expense. In addition and depending upon the circumstances/dynamics of relationships, it may be time to stop inviting this individual until they get their behavior under control. Why should your other guests and relationships suffer? They’re not the one with the issues.

3. If it is a person with an alcohol problem or other addiction, or they abuse and manipulate physically and mentally, they may be in denial or simply unwilling to admit they know they have a problem. Until they decide to get help for themselves, and people stop ignoring the fact that they have a problem, you may need to set some hard boundaries to protect yourself and your children: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Again, you are not a door mat. You do not have to give your life to such abuse or allow life to be sucked out of you in such hurtful and destructive ways whether it comes from a stranger or someone close to you.

4. You can speak with the individual, but it’s likely to be quickly turned into your problem where it is said that YOU are the one who needs to change your attitude to accommodate their antics. At this point in time, pray, immediately set boundaries, and limit your contact with this type of individual. You do not need to be friends, and you don’t need to worry about playing their games. Don’t stoop to their level of name-calling and hurt no matter how they threaten to hurt you. Don’t get sucked into it, because they are master manipulators, and once they suck you in, they’ve got you right where they want you, and once again, they are in control with you responding to the very games they play. Take the high road, act maturely, preserve your integrity, pray for the person, but live your properly aligned priorities and take your relationship without them seriously. You’re not called to be their doormat or an enabler of such things.


, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

My Beauty Arsenal: MakeUp, Hair Clippers, And My Bible

This first started out as a Facebook post, but as the length grew, I cut and pasted it to my blog as a faith-based post about my spiritual journey, personal growth, and passion for the simple. Anything that gives me more time and energy for Jesus . . . I’ll embrace it.

I know I’m writing a lot this morning (multiple Facebook posts), but it’s because I was busy yesterday, and I didn’t take a moment to do it. Because of several conversations lately, I realized there are still times in my life when I consider doing things for other people, over doing what’s right or best for me, because I know it would be pleasing to them. Doing this, though pleasing to others, creates a hardship or as I should call it, a hurtship, and that’s not a good thing to allow to creep in my life. Hurtships suck life and love out of us, and we need to recognize them when they start inching their way toward us.

For example, in the three days alone, I’ve had at least five people stop me–and I mean

Untitled design (1).jpgphysically stop me– to tell me how much they LOVED my hair and wish they could pull it off. My response: “It’s fun! And easy. Getcherself a pair of clippers at Target and go for it!”

I usually get a horrified facial expression in return, but that’s part of the fun. In fact, I remember when I first thought about buzzing all my hair off.

I was scared. But, I was also excited, because pulling it off would be the ultimate “Take that!” for all the times a man in my life didn’t like my hair despite my spending hours and hours and hours and hours and hours, did I say enough hours? trying to make it look model perfect.

But, what should I have expected? I married in the world, and it was definitely of the world on both parts. I didn’t know what a Christ-centered marriage was at all. And now I do. So, I pray that someday I get another chance at that “I do” and it be for His glory and ministry. Hope abounds! And it abounds with super short hair that would be perfect for spending more time doing Kingdom work than primping my impossible head of hair. Just thinking ahead here . . . you know, in case God sees this, and thinks, “Now, why didn’t I think of this?” (HAHA! That’s me being funny. VERY funny. 😉 )

In those moments, when people exclaim their love for my shaved head or ULTRA SHORT shaved hair, I am reminded of why I cut my hair in the first place. My excitement for my boldness takes me back to the hurt and reason I cut off. I cut it because I couldn’t please my ex-spouse with it No. Matter. What. I. Did. A hat wasn’t even sufficient.

I remember in those victorious feeling moments, when I get compliments on my now short, short hair,  that I DID THIS. It was my choice. It was my way of finding something that worked for me and it made me feel bold, beautiful, confident, and like a woman who could rock the impossible.

I got to a point where I was tired of fighting the emotional scars those memories left in my head. Your physical self will heal MUCH faster than your emotional self, so give yourself plenty of time. That’s just a friendly word of advice, because I’ve been there. Give yourself plenty of time to heal.

Being in a relationship is NOT a requirement, it doesn’t bring you happiness and fulfillment and fix everything if it’s just to ward off loneliness and is not the right person (try it that way and you’ll see soon enough–like me), and sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is give yourself the time you need to heal while waiting for God to bring you to the right, godly man. He’ll pursue you, because He’ll see the treasure. And if not, let it be. Move on.

Give yourself time. Create space. Use it as an opportunity to see yourself as God sees you. Get closer to your Savior, and savor what He teaches you about who you are and what your worth is. You’ll stop making the same mistakes (with some practice), and learn why you made them (wisdom), so you can become a stronger and healthier person: mentally, physically, spiritually with a life built on God’s foundation. All that said, you’ll learn not to repeat the same mistakes.

For me, it meant shedding a lie. Your hair is not your foundation, and if it is, you’re standing on your head, and you’re doing it backward. And when you’re with someone who claims to love you and your hair is their foundation? You need to run or find the right foundation if possible.

Anyhow. Back to my point. I was looking at older photos of my long hair. I missed my wild,

Gift of Gab BTR Image 2corky, spiral curls. I missed them a lot. I missed being able to twist it up and play with it as I’d do on those occasional Pinterest hairdo nights. But, then I also remembered a longing to get rid of that mess that never quite measured up. No one really knows how long it took to style that mess, because that’s what it was.

My hair is super fine, thin, and it was a constant battle to make it look good, especially when you live in a place like Kansas. The longer the day, the higher the wind speed, the greater the heat and humidity, and I began to resemble a Chia Pet. Not only that, but I remembered how it never satisfied someone who was to love me despite the superficial. And that hurt enough to remind me of why I bought my clippers and got bold enough to shave it one day. My hair was a beauty liability, and it was stealing my focus. Well, Mr. Clippers helped me get my focus back. I found my buzz buddy. And he’s sharp. 😉

I remembered how I saw a photo of a woman with a shaved head and thought about how beautiful she looked—without a huge head of hair. She wasn’t bald, but she sure had shaved it short. I watched Youtube videos of women shaving their heads. I really looked hard at these women who’d found a freedom that I needed, because I felt that going without what hindered me so much would help me heal. And it did. (Note: Not every woman needs freedom from her hair, so you don’t all have to run out and shave your heads. Some women need freedom from other things.)

Christine Pechstein smiling because she's Kicking 'Buts'!

March 2014. I DID IT. I buzzed my hair off! BOLD. COURAGEOUS. I love it!

I wished I had that freedom of hair expectation, and a few moments later, I found myself at Target purchasing my first set of clippers. I took my purchase home, CLOSED MY EYES, and started buzzing. Five minutes later, I couldn’t believe my now opened eyes. There I was. Naked on my head with nothing to hide behind. And I loved it. I flippin’ loved it! 

I loved it because I finally found me, and I finally felt beautiful. I discovered I could rock a shaved head. Yeah, buddy!

It wasn’t my hair or lack thereof that made me anything special. It was my heart. And if my heart had been cared for in a Christlikeness, maybe my hair would be different today. I don’t know. All I know is that in that moment, I found my freedom to look a certain way that I couldn’t measure up to. I learned that I didn’t need to measure up. I found something on my own that made me feel pretty, unique, and I had a style of my own that truly fit my personality.

Women hide behind things all the time: Hair- to hide our faces. Makeup- to hide our imperfections. Clothing- to hide our bodies. We’re constantly held to a standard most of times that is impossible to achieve without attaching some sort of cover up on it, editing it with a super heavy photo filter, and then calling it “real.” But it’s not really us. It’s a version of us that we think others expect us to look like, and they’ll love it.

I got sick of it and shaved my hair off and have never looked back (well, I’ve never looked back for long). In a relationship, it’s ME that needs to be loved and cared for. NOT my hair! Glamour is not what or who I am. It may be what I’m capable of producing over my original exterior, but what I really needed was to be loved and cherished for what was under the hood. If you don’t love, respect, and take care of that, the rest doesn’t matter. The underneath falls apart, and instead of increasing in value, your loved one decreases.

Yes, there’s a lesson here, and I’m slowly getting there. The standard of living, for me, a follower of Christ, IS NOT FOUND IN MY HAIR. It will never make me more worthy of being loved by my Savior. Where human love fails and tells us we must look a certain way, my Savior’s love embraces me without the worldly expectations for me. I could have no hair. No make up. No skin. And my soul is still cared for, protected, and valuable. It’s valuable because it is His, and He cherishes that love.

What I learned:

I can wear my hair ultra short and super funky. And Jesus loves me. What

Image of Christine Pechstein making a funny face.more could a girl want than to be loved and adored in her spirit of freedom where the hurt, pain, and disappointment doesn’t matter to the One who rescues her and places value back into her? Not much. It’s everything I’ve ever needed. And it was truly that simple. Thank You, Jesus.

Another lesson: When we look at who it is we’re trying to please by living up to specific standards of the world, our hearts will be revealed. If they’re worldly standards, we need to look at who’s setting them, because they’re likely being set by idols. To correct this, we need to create Godly boundaries and look at godly examples found in God’s Word. We need to ask ourselves: What’s the God standard? And we need to stay in God’s Word to know what it is that makes a woman truly beautiful, valuable, by spending time with the one that will first steal your heart. And then every suitor after that will be measured accordingly to the way of life that God has given us. Men, this just makes it harder, but the pursuit of a Godly woman is a treasure to find. Valuables are worth such an effort.

You’ll know your value. And, here’s a little secret: It’s not just hair (or a body, or superficial features) that makes a human valuable. It’s their worth from their Creator God. Human beings are gifts. Men and women. Gifts to each other.

They are treasures to behold.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

I no longer fear what people think of my hair. In fact, there are many things I don’t care about what the world thinks about them: my hair, the fact that I am aging, my choice to be a Christ-follower and not participate in the things of this world that I shouldn’t. It’s the   world I’m over, because it’s Christ-likeness that I’m after.

Proverbs 31:10 ESV 
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

Why? I’m free from all that. The day that Christ went to the cross and shed His blood willingly for my sins, my freedom was purchased, paid for in full, and I no longer have to live up to anyone’s standards but His. I’d rather be a woman who fears the Lord than a woman who had perfect hair, a perfect body, or a perfect and easy life. Shaving off what the world expects . . . it’s an expression of my freedom from this world. And I thank Christ every time I look in the mirror. What ailed me so much is now gone and not in control.

I am free from what hurts. I am free from where I failed. I am free for where I couldn’t measure up. Bottom line, because of Christ, I am free. 

Now, it’s time for a buzz. I’ve got some freedom to tend to. (I need a haircut.)

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Episode #83 Whittling Your Crazy Life

Priorities . . . 

Who needs them? Everyone!

One of my greatest faults is this: There is so much to be done for the Kingdom of God, the world, my family, that I would try to take it on all by my lonesome. There were many years of trying to do that, but I learned the hard way, that I must refrain from trying to do it all myself. It’s not healthy for any one person to be or make themselves a superhero. It eventually catches up with you.
So many things need to be done that are all important; it will take more than one. That’s why God made many, and the spiritual gifts were distributed according to His will. Christine will not do all. She can’t. And thank goodness, because I run around and frazzle myself out way too much as it is. So, I’m being transparent here, to prevent me from doing too much and making myself even more frazzled with the “Oooh, I wanna dos,” I’m choosing to limit myself to just THREE things, and they’re not all three for ministry. I mean three things TOTAL, in my life, that I’ll allow to take my time, energy, and resources, because that’s all I’ve got in this season, especially while I’m conquering my health issues.
There may be others who can do five, six, or eleven things, but that’s not effective or healthy for me. For my sake, I need to choose three and do those three things well. That’s what’s great about life and priority management. It’s NOT just one size fits all. That’s why, when I started coaching and training, I chose to specialize in life and stress management. Coaching people on reaching goals alone wasn’t enough, because they could create all the actions plans they wanted; they still didn’t have the time, energy, or resources necessary to reach them. I could see people had good intentions, so I decided to specialize in life and stress management to help the too busy person whittle their goals down their most precious priorities, and create the life they really wanted with much of what they already had.
The same principle applies with our careers, families, and other things. At certain times in our lives, we need to step away from too much in order to specialize and do well. What we choose to do will change as the seasons of life change. And that’s to be expected.
So, knowing what you do about your life, your season, and your priorities, do you think you need to add or remove something to refine your focus or expand it?
Something good for everyone to ponder regularly, especially as our seasons of life change. On that note, I hope you had a fantabulous Thursday. I focused on one of my three and got just enough done. Now it’s time for some Rest and Relaxation . . . an often overlooked life area. Don’t overlook it!!

, , , , ,

Leave a comment