Thursday Tips: Transitioning Transitions

thursday tips

“We have no idea what lies ahead or how God will open doors of potentiality when we consciously choose to get out of the ruts we’re in and start moving down new paths about which we can be excited–even passionate.” 
― Luci Swindoll, I Married Adventure

Today I wanted to share one of my favorite video posts with you. I wrote about shaking knees in the midst of big changes and this clip was a reminder of how life is one transition after another. I hope you are embracing uncertainty and running full speed toward opportunities on the other side of possible.

Thursday Tips: Transitions from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

Here’s to transitions!

Following,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Hiding It

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“How can a young person live a clean life?
    By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
    don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
    so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
    train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
    all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
    than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
    I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
    I won’t forget a word of it.” Psalm 119:9-16, The Message

I love the phrasing in this translation. “I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart.” We’ve spoken at length about combatting worries, fear, anxiety, negative self-talk, doubts, and the like. Over and over I’ve mentioned filling up on the good stuff for those desperate moments. Replacing negative thought patterns can come from community, reading, music… but I believe one of the strongest tools we have is memorization. Today’s Thursday Tip is all about banking those promises in the vault of our hearts. Check out the brand new video below.

Memory from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

Do you have any memorization tips to share? How do you stay accountable and active in this journey?

Following,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Soul Searching

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“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you…” Psalm 42:5-6, NIV

When the Psalmist wrote this, he was doing some genuine soul searching. I’ve been there. I have every reason to live with joy and hope and yet at times I feel the weight of worry or fear pulling down my thoughts. Dark and difficult emotions seem to take over without warning. Perhaps my soul could stand a good questioning.

Why are you still harboring anger?

Why is your fear based on numbers?

Why does failure leave you anxious?

“When you are confronted with a circumstance that challenges you, you have two choices. You can say to your soul, ‘Get depressed.’ Or you can say to your soul, ‘Hope in God.’ Place your expectation in the goodness of God. That’s what the psalmist did. He attached his hope in God to a promise from God.” – Jennifer Rothschild, Me, Myself, and Lies

That’s the idea behind today’s Thursday Tip. When we feel weighted by an untruth we attach our hope in God to a promise from God. Watch this retro video clip and I will catch you when it’s done.

Truth vs. Lies from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

As I said, I highly recommend “From Head to Foot” by Annie F. Downs, but you should know that since the creation of that video she’s come out with a NEW version of the book entitled “Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot.” I highly encourage you to check it out if you are a tween or teen gal. But more than anything, I encourage us all to continue to exchange those beat up playlists for a different tune.

Following,
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 Tips: Heart Checkup

We’ve been talking about awakening our passive hearts this week. I want to recognize that the transformation of our hearts isn’t something we can put on a to-do list or make into a resolution. Heart change comes from God alone, but I do believe that we also have a part to play.

Road

I was driving to an appointment last week and something just felt funny about my car. I turned off the radio and tried to listen hard. I’ve had a few friends traumatized by blown tires and I wanted nothing of the sort. I made sure I was in the far right lane of the freeway and then took an exit and pulled into a parking lot. Sure enough, the tire pressure in all four of my tires was low. After living so many years as a single independent woman I had prided myself on my car maintenance. But now that I’m married, it’s become easier for me to slack off responsibility and just think, “I’m sure he’s checking that.” But I’m the one that drives this car. Had I not been paying attention or listening while I drove, I could have experienced a worse case scenario. Thanks to a portable air compressor, the tires are now full and I’m back to driving with confidence.

Cue the metaphor.

We must keep checking on our hearts. We are the ones driving with them each and every day. I know from experience how easy it can be to just stop caring and fail to notice the state of our hearts.

The strength to fill, to revive, to replenish – that comes from an outside, greater Source… like the air compressor. But along the way we’ve got to be listening, asking and watching. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a blow-out to get me on course. Watch the retro video below for more…

Checkup from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Checkup. Fill up.

Following,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Let It Go.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:1-2, NLT

In today’s Thursday tip we talk about letting go so we can keep moving forward. Too often in my own life I have grasped at things I thought would make me happy or fill me up, only to realize that they had kept me from the real source of joy. Join me and my favorite shirt as we talk about letting go:

Let It Go. from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

 

“Here’s the truth about telling stories with your life. It’s going to sound like a great idea, and you’re going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it. It’s like that with writing books, and it’s like that with life. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain.” Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

Letting go so we can move forward…
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Truth for the Road

Yesterday we talked about K’s question and the proper way to respond/steward our emotions. Here’s a snippet…

“I know God gave me emotions and the ability to feel deeply, but He also gave me a head on my shoulders and oodles of truth in His Word.  As much as I don’t want to admit it or live it- my reaction is my choice.  The feelings will always be there, but hopefully I’m allowing them to be interpreted by a Master translator and guide.”

God does have tons of truth for us to claim in His Word – but the power comes when the Word is in our hearts and not just on our shelves.

Thursday Tips: On the Go…

Thursday Tips: To Go from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

Thankfully, “I don’t have to live in a state of reacting to whatever my emotions tell me. I can make choices based on the truth and watch my emotions change.”

Let’s fill up on truth!

Following,
Ginger

*A Retro Post from July 2011

 

Thursday Tips: Make it Stick

H asked a great question on Monday about seeing ourselves through God’s eyes.

I struggle like everyone else, feeling like I’m a yo-yo of emotions when it comes to my weight and looks. But do you know what I’ve discovered that helps more than anything? God’s Word.

I know, I know. I talk about it all the time, but really, God’s Word has the power to ground my emotions and pour peace on my worries. I don’t have a magic drug to fix my own perceptions, so instead I memorize Bible verses that see me through even my darkest of days.

Here’s a retro Thursday Tip that’s all about hiding God’s word in our hearts…

Spaghetti from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

 “The mouths of those who do what is right speak words of wisdom. 
      They say what is honest. 
  God’s law is in their hearts. 
      Their feet do not slip.” Psalm 37:30-31, NIRV

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11, NIV

May His word be in our hearts…

Following,

Ginger

True You: Thursday Tip

Last week I made it to my garage before looking down and realizing that something was out of whack. I was wearing two completely different pairs of running shoes. I should have felt the difference. These shoes really are as different as can be. While they are both built for stability, they are different sizes, brands, and have totally different histories. The pink Asics pair has only seen me through some off-season running this summer. The New Balance pair joined me as I trained for and ran my first half marathon in January. I’ve worn holes into the sides of the pair. And yet, in my effort to get out the door, I didn’t recognize my error. The colors finally caught my eye before I stepped into the car and I had a nice loud laugh at myself!

I started seeing a counselor this summer. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to one, and it’s about the best thing I’ve ever signed up for. It refreshes me more than working out, getting a pedicure, sleeping late, or even a Sonic Route 44 beverage. I don’t consider myself to be a liar, but my counselor pointed out that I certainly live my life as a full-time actress. These sessions have been the “AHA” moment that I experienced looking down at my shoes. I am so good at pretending to have everything together that I often don’t even notice that something is out of whack. I FOOL MYSELF.

The Greek word for actor is ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis), which means “Jealous” “play-acting”, “acting out”, “coward” or “dissembling”.

I think a lot of us are pretty good at acting and pretending. We smile through pain and maintain the image that we want the world to see. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision and sometimes… it just happens. That’s why today’s Thursday Tip is all about awareness. How do YOU answer this question: “How are you?!”

Check it out.

Do you struggle with fine-itis too? What would happen if you were to answer that question honestly? What if you let yourself feel AND be vulnerable with those feelings? What then?

“…If you are anything like me, then you know the fine art of how to be vulnerable enough so people believe you are authentic, but not so vulnerable that all your mess hangs out. You know how to be vulnerable with boundaries… We may be able to hide some of the mess with each other, but we have a God who sees and knows and loves no matter what. He is a generous, patient, compassionate God and his expectations of us are not the same as our expectations of ourselves.” (Emily P. Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl)

Even if you still struggle with sharing all of your mess with those around you, I would encourage you to allow yourself to be honest in your time with the Lord. Nothing will surprise Him… He knows and LOVES the True You. Find freedom in being totally honest without any pretending.

Following and learning,

Ginger

True You: Self-Esteem

I think self-esteem is broken. I’m not talking just about MY self-esteem, but the concept behind self-esteem in general.

Here’s the definition of self-esteem according to Dictionary.com:
–noun
1. a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect.
2. an inordinately or exaggeratedly favorable impression of oneself.

Now compare that with what we read in Philippians 2:3,“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” In humility we are to consider others, everyone else, as better than ourselves. This doesn’t say to have a poor view of yourself, but merely a right view of who we are in God’s eyes. We are His, but we are not better than each other.

But even if we totally ignore God in this equation and what He wants, I believe that we still have a problem!

Here’s the issue I take with self-esteem. Although I often times have zero trouble discovering an exaggeratedly favorable impression of myself, most days my self-esteem fluctuates almost hourly. The way I identify myself is directly connected to my emotions and feelings. Emotions change quickly. What we are feeling for a period of time (unless depression is involved) tends to change countless times throughout the day. That means I can be on cloud nine in the morning because I receive an encouraging text before lamenting a quiz I forgot to study for. And then I might just walk out the door in the morning full of joy only to trip in front of a crowd of people and find myself in the pit of despair.

My self-esteem is so high maintenance that I just decided to ditch it.

Here’s what I mean…

My perception of self-worth shifts and changes all the time. (Wait, it just did again. Awesome.) But God’s perception never will. Self-esteem would have me working hard to feel better, but I now know that until my worth is centered upon God’s redeeming act of love, my feelings will fluctuate like a washing machine out of balance. Our center of gravity must be the truth found in God’s Word and not human emotion.

Truth to soak up this week:

Jeremiah 1:1-10

Psalm 139

1 Peter 1:3-4

Psalm 45:10

We are esteemed and treasured by the King of Kings! I’m praying that truth would be real in our hearts today.

He LOVES the True You.

Following,
Ginger