Posts Tagged Faith

Episode #88 Health Update and Ministry Changes

So, I thought I had it all worked out. <insert laughter here>

BUT, life continually shows me that I have little control over many things–such as my health–still. I had the “joy” of meeting the rudest neurologist (physician), I’ve ever met in my life, and I survived him, thankfully, and in the midst of all this that has me stuck and in limbo, I’ve had my version of ministry (Americanized ministry) turned UpSiDe DoWn. And it’s actually a really good thing.
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Listen now and see why, because this involves YOU, too. #FMS

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No Pretty Sin

Preach This . . . Live This

“Clean Sin –a man deep in wickedness will invent pretty names for sin.”
(Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1834-92, British, Baptist preacher *

Proverbs 16:2 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

All a man’s ways seem right to him,
but the Lord evaluates the motives

*Quote from Charles Spurgeon taken from What The Bible Is All About, Bible Handbook, by Dr. Henrietta C. Mears

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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.)

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At First Glance I Am . . .

I’m a woman with issues. Haha!

Most days when I think about what I’m all about, I think of many really good and fun things.

I love music and I love to dance. I love to be spontaneous and silly. I love to converse and talk about wild, weird, and great things of wisdom that often times are way above my head. Not always, mind you, but some times. I love my kids, and pets, I love cake, I enjoy flowers, and I am probably the one person you’ll meet that is not a huge fan of ice cream. I hate seafood and fish, and I will stay 5 miles away from a spider.

Those are a few fun facts. They seem pretty normal.

And then there are the physical attributes that I possess such as my ultra short hair that I just happen to love. Yes, I miss my head of curls, but I love the simplicity and funk of the short. Add the blonde color, and I feel fabulous. Give me my favorite lipgloss and I’m feelin’ fly –so Toby Mac! I love to dress up, I have fun dressing down, I like to be creative with fashion while keeping it simple (see a simplistic and organized theme here), and that makes me happy to be me. I’m comfortable (becoming so) in my own 40-something skin. Mainly–it’s not about the make up. It’s about great skincare and wearing clothing that covers but compliments me. After all, I want more than anything, to be a Godly woman. Oh, and that struggle is REAL! I’m still growing and trying. And I know God has much more work yet to do. My goal is to be available and obedient.

So, on top of who I am, there’s also the spiritual me. If I could be a person out of the Bible, King David hits it for me. To be a person after God’s own heart—that sure does fit. Like I said, I have so much work to do, because I continually fall short. The gifts that God has given me are important. Teaching is when I find myself in the zone. And not just any zone. The. Zone. There is such passion and fire, and it’s an excitement that comes with teaching and evangelizing that I can’t put words to at the moment, because that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about knowing what qualities I have but fearing sharing them.

My prayer for a very long time is that God would allow me to have a ministry partner. You know. Someone to love, and live life with, and build a ministry together serving in community as He calls. And this is where my fear comes in, because not only do I have the above mentioned qualities—I have some I didn’t mention.

Photo of Christine Pechstein taken in the hospital August 2015.I have health issues without resolution. Currently, we’re still searching for a diagnosis. Or at least I believe we are. One doc gives the impression that it will be written off, but I’m fighting hard to find out what’s going on neurologically. If Multiple Sclerosis is in fact what I have (and I’ve heard it can take from 10-23 years to diagnose), I’m learning to live with the symptoms, and it’s a challenge. It’s such a challenge that my entire life has been turned upside down. That doesn’t mean I have a terrible life, it just means that I have limitations (fatigue, exhaustion, balance issues, memory loss, cognitive issues, and oh, the list goes on and on and on and on . . . and I’m learning to reprioritize and rely upon life and stress management tools.

So, if I pray for a ministry partner, if I pray for just the right guy, and God grants that prayer, what then? What on earth do I really have to offer him?

And that’s where I get stuck.

Family is no help, because they’ll say the things they think they should say to make you feel better. Friends are the same–they all want you to feel better, so they say all this mushy, feel-good stuff which is OK, but it’s superficial. I guess for me, it’s much more than that. It’s a question that I find myself asking God. And I’m waiting for Him to answer. Maybe His answer will come through the right godly guy. Maybe that’s what it will take to make me see that medical issues are not a big deal. Or maybe I’ll learn that it IS a big deal.

I think this is why I’ve waited so long to date. To consider the possibility. Because most often when people say it doesn’t matter, you find out that it really does. I have friends that I haven’t seen for what feels like forever. Illnesses, surgeries, and diseases can change things. I know it’s changed me. I wonder what kind of ministry I can do and keep up with. I wonder if having a life partner and marriage would be fair to the other person. I wonder if God keeps me separated and single, because of that, or maybe because it’s just better that way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not sad. I just wonder. Because when that guy glances your way, at first glance what he sees is just the beginning. And then you find yourself wondering if he’ll stay once he understands the depth of who you really are beyond that first glance.

Just one glance can create a hope, and a hope can be a nope. I guess the best thing to do with such uncertainties is to leave it up to God as I’ve done with my medical uncertainties.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds. He does. So, I’ll just let Him hold me and then I won’t miss anything: godly guy or not.

Having a neurological disease is risky. You could lose your balance and hit your head. But, if it meant that Mr. Right would be there to catch you, it would be worth the risk. And, hey. God can work miracles like that. So, maybe there’s hope for this dizzy (balance challenged) blonde. 🙂

Never lose hope, but allow God to do what’s best . . . whatever that is.

Until next time—XOXOXO

Christine

 

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Surrender To Healing

Here’s the link to the article I wrote that has been published in The Yoke.

When health issues and scares seem to take over our lives, it can leave us in a lot of pain, uncertainty, and turmoil. With our faith, however, we don’t need to be there when we remember who it is that saves.

I hope you enjoy the lessons about health, healing, and Jesus that have been the forefront of my year.

Click here to read the published article: Surrender To Healing

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Episode #65 The “No Strings Attached” Commitment Epidemic

What holds you people back from committing fully?

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  • Loyalty
  • Trustworthiness
  • Steadfastness
  • Faith
  • Fidelity
  • Dedication
  • Devotedness

These things help us commit fully. What happens if we only want to commit with a “no strings attached” mindset? We don’t fully commit and set ourselves up for failure. It’s called self-sabotage.

Think about wiring as you listen to this episode. A wire has several strands and strings inside. In order for it to provide a steady current, all those strands of wire must be connected fully. If one string is missing, it is weakened and will compromise the commitment. This is where solid commitment and foundations are imperative in our life areas where commitment is concerned.

THINK about it.

Listen to the show now.

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And, don’t forget!

THINK DRINK Maintenance Coaching starts January 5, 2015!

Register now! Get your first 4 weeks for just $7.

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My name is Christine Pechstein

I facilitate energizing atmospheres. Are you ready to create yours?

 

I’ve been best described as the Roman Candle of creative ideas and solutions to help people get beyond complex life problems. My specialty is facilitating energizing atmospheres in people’s life areas through coaching, training, preaching, and teaching. Through life and stress management coaching, I help people clear chaos from “too much” activity to quickly restore peace, organization, and focus in their life areas resulting in more time, energy, and resources for the things they value and cherish most. Are you ready for positive changes guaranteed to recharge your life?

Want more?

Get Happier. Live healthier.

Stop glorifying your crazy-busy life!

Download On Demand Life Management Tools and Videos Now!

See all Christine’s books, training, coaching, and tools for organizations here.

 

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The Gift Of Gab! Episode #53 The Mountain In Front Of Small Business

I love my business.

And I live out my faith in every area of my life.

Lately, the success of small business largely depends on your support of an agenda. If you support it, you’re cool, and you survive. But if you don’t, they’ll boycott you, call you names, sue you, and hit you where it hurts.

Have we become a business and commerce unfriendly culture in America? It sure feels that way! The freedom to build a small business and become successful in it is tied to the support of an agenda. If you adopt it, you’ll survive. If not, you’ll likely face penalties, lawsuits and hate-charges that will ensure you fail.

This is a mountain facing all small business owners, yet it conflicts with the right to religious freedom. Where we once bought into the American Dream to create the impossible with the freedoms we had, we now have to fear being put out of business because of the the same freedoms we’re losing. There is a mountain in the way of small business.

If someone is offended, you can easily be put out of business:

No shirt, no shoes, no service. Someone doesn’t like it—look out! You must serve everyone or face consequences.

You don’t bake a cake for a same-sex couple?

You won’t rent out your facilities?

You won’t support us?

You’re a conservative Christian and hold onto certain religious beliefs that prevent you from serving everyone?

You’re being discriminatory. Watch out…you’re an easy target.

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The following was copied and pasted from the ACLU:

Visit their website to learn more and take action now.

WHAT IS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM EXACTLY?
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that everyone in the United States has the right to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all.

Our country’s founders — who were of different religious backgrounds themselves — knew the best way to protect religious liberty was to keep the government out of religion. So they created the First Amendment — to guarantee the separation of church and state. This fundamental freedom is a major reason why the U.S. has managed to avoid a lot of the religious conflicts that have torn so many other nations apart.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits government from encouraging or promoting (“establishing”) religion in any way. That’s why we don’t have an official religion of the United States. This means that the government may not give financial support to any religion. That’s why many school voucher programs violate the Establishment Clause — because they give taxpayers’ money to schools that promote religion.

The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment gives you the right to worship or not as you choose. The government can’t penalize you because of your religious beliefs.

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It just blows my mind after reading the above statement, “The government can’t penalize you because of your religious beliefs.” Everyday people who own businesses are being penalized. These are no small penalties either. Here’s just one example. Religion is not something you box and live separately. It’s not what you do on Sundays. It’s who you are always. Our religion and faith can carry over into many other parts of our lives. Are they really asking us to believe one thing and live out another knowing it completely goes against our faith-based foundations? It sure seems that way! And we’re being penalized for standing our ground, firmly in our beliefs, as we live out our life areas: at home, at work, and in many other areas. There needs to be protection for all to live, work, and play freely. These protections should not exist for some; they stand for all.

Please note: This is not about being prejudice or racist against any person or group. It is merely about holding onto the rights and freedoms of people and their businesses, and their “protected” religious freedom.

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