Thursday Tip: Vulnerable

Yesterday was certainly a surprise for me. I wasn’t anticipating such a strong response to my post about letting go. By noon it was the most trafficked post I’ve seen since April. After picking my jaw back up off the floor and mumbling… “wha?“, I quickly opened the post to read what I was apparently missing. And that’s when I realized I hadn’t actually read the post the FIRST time before hitting publish. Spelling errors, missing words – if you read the post before 8:00am MST I apologize! HAH! Only you know that I attempted to use cagaries as a word. (It’s not.)

Not two minutes after I cleaned up the mess and had a little laugh, but also some self-punishment: “Ginger! WHY didn’t you use spell check? THINK. Let’s not get lazy!” I poured my off-brand honey nut cheerios and heard the familiar ding from my phone. I wandered over to the counter and discovered a text message from one of my favorite lovelies, Meredith. I’ve known M since she was in 8th grade and I was a sophomore in college. I was her Senior Counselor at summer camp and she has been a faithful pen pal ever since! Here’s what greeted me when I opened her note:

“Thank you for your blog posts and thank you for allowing others to see your imperfections… Your post sincerely encouraged me today and I appreciate them. I just wanted you to know I am thanking God for you.”

At this point I put down my spoon and closed my eyes. Two minutes ago I had been agonizing over my imperfect post about coming to grips with imperfections. Y’ALL. It’s a disease. I have this need to control every bit of information about me. Even as I share my struggles I still want them to be wrapped up in the prettiest package possible. Photo edited: check. Spell-check: check. Relatively decent sentence structure and grammar: check. Sharing enough without sharing too much: check.

I quickly responded to M: “Thank you so much for taking the time to write. Perfect timing. I had just realized I never spell-checked the post OR reread it. OY! Your text brought grace at the right moment.”

One text and suddenly I realized how humanizing vulnerability is for the soul. It’s good for the writer and the reader, the speaker and the listener. When we are willing to share our imperfect skin, homes, wardrobes, hearts, and stories, we offer something better than perfection. We offer ourselves. We are essentially saying, “I don’t have it all together, but I’m willing to share myself just the same.”

As I sat thinking another text came through from M: Haha. I didn’t notice those imperfections, just saw all of the truth.”

Aren’t those words to live by? There’s no point in faking perfection. If we live in truth, the imperfections take a backseat to God’s purpose for our lives.

So here’s the tip: let your guard down. Allow your friends to walk into to your messy house. Honestly answer the question “How are you?”. Stop competing on Social Media. I’ll start. Here’s my perfectly messy living room as of right now. Laundry, baby clothes, bags, shoes, it’s everywhere. I have to step over my junk to get to the kitchen. I should put a really cool filter on it and Instagram that. ;)

living room“Authenticity occurs when real people say real things about real issues with real feelings. When you’re authentic you live what you are.” Chuck Swindoll

Following and failing… and then getting back up again,
Ginger

Thursday Tip: Bathroom Mirror

thursday tips

I don’t know if it’s true for you, but I feel like the reoccurring theme of my life is: “I am not in control.” This truth is most evident when I allow myself to verbalize doubts, fears, and worry. Anxiety creeps into the areas where I feel out of control.

This might look like:

-an unknown future
-unresolved conflict
-unmet expectations
-guilt and shame
-waiting for answers
-uncertain next steps

Need I go on?

Wouldn’t you know that this latest season of life (pregnancy) continues to show me just how much control I do not possess. Who would have thought? ;)

Prior to pregnancy I struggled through my fears of life-change. I’m selfish. I like freedom and I really like sleep. No one has to remind me the potential situations and challenges that are headed my way.

But once I discovered that I was pregnant I began to worry that it might not be true. I kept expecting a doctor to tell me that they had made a mistake. The waiting between appointments was agonizing. I’ve never felt so completely out of control.

Then I started wondering why I wasn’t feeling the baby when everyone said I would. On top of that, I wasn’t showing and growing the way my other friends were. My head seemed ready for me to believe that this was all a dream… that someone was going to say, “I’m sorry, but something has happened.”

And then we discovered that this little one is growing, a girl, and ready or not… coming in July.

I have not been in control for one tiny second in this process. It’s going to be like this always, isn’t it? This is yet another reminder that (thankfully) He is the one calling the shots.

So how do we relinquish control? How do we entrust to Him that which we hold dear?

I know that for me it starts with believing the truth about who has the control. As Emily P. Freeman says, “I first believe the truth is true, and then I wait to feel it.”

I’ve started memorizing Psalm 139. I’m not sure how long it will take, but I know that I need a steady diet of truth if I want to make it through the anxiety that pops into my mind at 4am when I’ve woken up for the 3rd time. (Awesome.) He has been in control from the very beginning, and He will continue to be in control through this little one’s entire life.

And so I will write it, memorize it, claim it, and recite it.

“I praise you because [she is] fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

If you need a starting place when it comes to memorizing, I’d love to share this tip that’s been helping me for over a decade. It’s cheap, simple, and guaranteed to hang in front of your face at least once a day. Check out the retro video tip.

Marker Memorization from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

Thanks for walking through the ups and downs and lefts and rights with me.

As always… learning and following,
Ginger

Thursday Tip: Don’t Feed The Bears

Today’s Thursday tip: Pick your own blackberries and don’t feed the bears. Watch and listen…

“Do as the Israelites did in the wilderness. Gather your manna fresh every morning. Choose your own seasons and hours. Do not scramble over and hurry your reading. Give your Bible the best, and not the worst part of your time! But whatever plan you pursue, let it be a rule of your life to visit the throne of grace and God’s Word every day.” -John Charles Ryle

Following,
Ginger

Good Treasure

Yesterday we talked about how our center of gravity should be God’s Word. It’s important that we fill up on the good stuff. Check out Luke 6:45 in the New American Standard Bible:

“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evilman out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in evil treasure.

Let’s talk about filling up on the good kind…

Filling Up. from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

Here’s to filling up on the good and true-

Following,
Ginger

*A Retro Video Post from April 5, 2011

Thursday Tip: Transition Lenses

“There is a time for everything, 
       and everything on earth has its special season.
  There is a time to be born 
       and a time to die. 
    There is a time to plant 
       and a time to pull up plants.
  There is a time to kill 
       and a time to heal. 
    There is a time to destroy 
       and a time to build.
  There is a time to cry 
       and a time to laugh. 
    There is a time to be sad 
       and a time to dance.
  There is a time to throw away stones 
       and a time to gather them. 
    There is a time to hug 
       and a time not to hug.
  There is a time to look for something 
       and a time to stop looking for it. 
    There is a time to keep things 
       and a time to throw things away.
  There is a time to tear apart 
       and a time to sew together. 
    There is a time to be silent 
       and a time to speak.
  There is a time to love 
       and a time to hate. 
    There is a time for war 
       and a time for peace. ” 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NCV

Today’s Thursday tip is all about acknowledging the varying seasons of our lives…

I hope you will process today’s tip with a grain of salt: emotions are helpful but they are not what we should use to guide our lives. God’s Word must be the ultimate lamp to our feet and light to our path!

“If I choose to live out of my emotions, not telling what might happen or where I might go to salve my depression, dissatisfaction, or discouragement. Feelings fluctuate with the day, the wind, my hormones, circumstances, and human relationships. But because God told me he doesn’t change, I can choose to believe Him no matter how I feel…

I’m not denigrating the feelings and desires that cross our minds. Feelings aren’t what do us in, thought they constantly demand satisfaction. We are done in when we live out of those ever changing-feelings.”

– Luci Swindoll

My hope and prayer in taking time to acknowledge feelings and emotions is that we might take those very things to the One who brings joy out of challenging situations. Let yourself acknowledge your pain, but don’t let yourself stay in that place for too long. The hope is that in time we will move from grief to joy.

“…Crying may last for a night, 
       but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5, NCV

Following,
Ginger

p.s. A gentle reminder that while there is a time to cry… there’s also a time to release. More on this topic HERE.

Thursday Tips: Take Notes

Fact: While I can handle addressing a room full of thousands of people I am NOT the person you want in an emergency situation.  I’ve learned this about myself in spades.  Like most things in life, hopefully I’m getting better.  The minute I become emotional my decision making abilities are shot.

Enter the rational people in my life.  (Thankfully!)

Take a gander at todays’ Thursday Tip…

List out your tasks, fears and thoughts and commit them to prayer.  Remember that God is for you during this whole process.  If He has provided you with multiple opportunities, then trust that He will walk through this season with you!

Following,
Ginger

Thursday Tip: Make a list…

This Thursday Tip is also in response to V’s question about practical advice in preparing for a future spouse is going provide us with a few choices.

Make that two choices…

1. Spend your time hunting for Prince Charming.

OR…

Making a list. from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

2. Live your life and become the heroine of your story!

I would caution you against clinging to a list of your perfect idea of “the one.”  The One has given you a life to live and love to give right here, right now.

Following,

Ginger