I was… Productive?

So, I’ve never been one to enjoy cleaning. At least not starting it. When I got into it, I do find it somewhat therapeutic. I’m more of a sanitary cleaner, than a “make it look pretty” cleaner. Though, I do have to say there is something about seeing the clothes folded Marie Kondo-style that “sparks joy”. It is a lot tidier, and I can see my clothes, so I don’t have to pull everything out in order to see what I have. It was also a relief getting rid of old clothes that no longer fit, or that I did not want.

I’ve learned this week, that a lot of my sadness, feelings of guilt and dissatisfaction came a lot from some serious flaws in my character. The biggest one: I procrastinate. I have put off doing my laundry, cleaning my room, organizing my drawers for essentially a year. In that, I found myself growing more tired, weary and just plain sad. It was not a happy time, and rather then getting up and doing my chores, I kept trying to find ways to fill the sadness. Drawing, knitting, writing and while each of these put a bandaid on the void in my life, they didn’t fix it.

It’s not perfect, but neither am I

So, through the process of Authentic Living I made a commitment to my friends, and to God that I would get my clothes tidy before Tuesday, and I did it. My pants were actually really difficult because, I have so many different styles, textures and sizes. But basically, from top to bottom are my casual pants, fancy pants and my “I have my period, so I don’t care” pants.

For obvious reasons, I won’t show my underwear drawer, but it’s also sectioned off into thirds. My socks which have no particular assortment. My socks are actually still messy, but they’re matched up and put away and that is what matters. My bras are divided into “bras I don’t care if I ruin” and “sports bras I like, so I don’t want to ruin” Then my underwear, which are in thirds, also. “too nice, so only wear when I go to nice places”, “kinda nice, so everyday wear” and “butt-ugly period panties”. I don’t know if you can imagine, or if I even want you imagine. I don’t even know who you are, but let’s move on from this topic.

Next, are my shirts, which get really complicated for some reason. I did not realize the abundance of the shirts I own and wear. I actually found organizing them to be difficult. I guess because what shirts I wear, depends on my mood, the occasion and how I feel about my body that day.

So, in the first image with my little toes poking out, are my sweaters. there’s no method to them, I love all my sweaters equally.

Next are my inside shirts (ft. two shorts). One of those, don’t belong to me, but you can guess which. Then, the second row are the shirts I will frequently wear at home and the third row are the shirts I will most likely only wear when I feel extra lazy.

Then there are my outside shirts. The first row from the bottom are the shirts I will most likely never wear, the second row are the shirts I will often wear – usually to work. And, the top are my functional shirts – so what I wear for church volunteer and what I wear when I’m going to go run errands.

This is my husband’s read. I still refuse.

So, I have had a blatant refusal to read and even watch anything to do with Marie Kondo, because both my mom and husband adamantly swear by this, and they suggest it to me – a lot – which is more a reflection of me and how messy I am, not really their character. I do agree being productive and tidying up, did give me a sense of relief and joy. It’s also a lot of this dredging and learning more about me, from not just my persective but other’s and God’s. It’s not the funnest process, but it is eye opening and has taught me a lot about myself.

A huge reason why I avoided cleaning up and trying Marie Kondo’s style, is I am a perfectionist. And to me, if I cannot or do not do it perfectly, what’s the point. If you watched the first 45 minutes of my folding, you would have seen that I folded, unfolded and re-folded (and repeat x 3 or 4x) the same two shirts over and over again, until i remembered I made a commitment to not trying to be perfect. I cannot run away and avoid chores or activities or even relationships, because of perfectionism. But, there’s more to say about that another time.

It’s just been nice feeling like an adult who is capable, competent and functional, after having felt useless, purposeless and stupid. And these negative feelings did not come from God. Yeah, they kind of came from the devil, but more so, they came from within me. From my fears and insecurities and unwillingness to own up to my fault and failure. But even something so small, has really made me feel a connectedness to God, to myself and even to my husband. I’m honestly not trying to brag as much as I want to remind myself, God didn’t make me stupid. He made me deliberately, intentionally and purposefully. I just have to accept that, reach out and be productive, be diligent and be active.

one day down, 89 more to go.

God Bless
w/ love

ari

Trust

It is crazy how God shows up in big and in small ways. One of those smalls ways is how in Authentic Living, a follow up course to Freedom Session. I currently do not doubt His presence, nor in Him being alive, but sometimes I have moments when I do.

It is in these moments that, I will definitely be looking to this blog to just remember something so small, and so simple to reveal where and how God is always present and always weaving His plan and His people together. Today, we talked about triads – a group of three go whom are accountable to one another.

In my authentic living group, only four of my freedom session group came, three were there tonight and I thought to myself of how I would love to be in a triad with them. For many reasons, including I trust them, they know me and my story, and I trust myself with them – I know I can be honest with them, without fear of conviction and honesty back.

As we discussed triads, I wondered if they would want the same, and when group was dismissed the three of us came together and started talking, and I eventually lost myself in the conversation. I also had a bit of hesitation, wondering if God would possibly want me to open up more and invite someone else into this triad. But, I brought it up to them that I did not know anyone who I trust with my faith and who I felt knew my story and life enough to guide me, and be willing to guided by me. So one of the girls openly asks, “do you guys want to be a triad?”

We had a laugh admitting to each other, we had one another in mind, did not ask out of fear of rejection, out of doubt and out of being unsure; in the end it turns out God had indeed put it in all of our hearts.

It’s safe to say, I feel like – although, I love my freedom session group, and wish we were all together still, I get this sense that there is a reason it was the the three of us who committed to the group and chose to see it through. I do not know what God’s plan is for us, nor will I try to anticipate and predict. I will let God guide and lead me. I will submit to His authority. But, I truly get this sense that this was God and His intervention. That, as much as it was our choice, God put that in our hearts.

I am so excited to do life with these two girls. I have shown them a side of me I do not like, the secrets I wanted to keep buried and never undid. And now, I am ready to walk on a path to a God lead vision that I am very excited to see through.

I hope, when future me sees this, you remember the joy and comfort. Remember feeling God there with the three of you, as you made the “Kiwi Three“. Remember feeling God as you prayed in the driveway. Remember being confident that God is there, He always is and He is always moving.

God Bless,
w/ love

Ari

Time and Surrender

I value my time. A lot. If I have nothing to do, I will usually dedicate it to just myself. But today, I had to take a moment, just five minutes to meditate. I clearly heard God telling me, I need to surrender. And in order to do that, I need to give Him my time. I need to deliberately and intentionally make time, time for Him to be with Him and and in that He will teach me how to surrender.

I don’t want to be who I was once. I want to be who He wants me to. I want to learn and know how to worship in Spirit and in truth and be sincerely emersed in. What does it mean to love God for God as God? Not just because He died for me, not because He will bless me. For no reason, but to love God. Because, I know Him and to love Him for all that He is. What does that all mean? I believe He will show me. I just need to surrender.

Busy, busy, busy

I have been so busy. It’s a mixture of just making myself busy, but also being busy. I think that is definitely a drug of mine. I like to make myself busy. But, I have been trying to take a step back. My husband has been very supportive of this, and has encouraged me to be more creative. I think it is such a big part of my personality. Wanting to create, explore and imagine. It is also something I suppressed for far too long, because it made me feel left out. It made me feel like the weird one, odd one out. I felt like I did not belong, but I realized, it helped me. I realized it too late.

I have been so sad and dreary without any outlets. But I have taken up writing, blogging, knitting and my husband bought me a tablet to draw digitally. I still sketch in my notebooks, but now I have more control over my drawings which is nice. I can’t wait to share them.

As for my faith, it took a bit of shunt for a while, but thankfully, God is still good. God still wants me and thank the Holy Spirit I still want Him.

This one will be a short one, but I hope to update more and more throughout the year, and take a step back away from making myself busy.

God bless
w/ love

Ari

God moves

You just have to trust Him.

faith is following directions and trusting you’ll get there

I lived a really long time saying “I trust God” but still took matters into my own hands. It is a method that is easier, but not wiser. It’s so easy to fall into temptation that “I know better”. I guess, it’s kind of like back roads? Google maps may tell you one thing, and because you see it it’s easier and better. But, if someone has grown up in an area and knows it like the back of their hand, you sometimes just have to trust them and let them guide you. It’s so much harder to trust someone. You can’t see the map they have in their head. It’s kind of the same concept. You can’t see the big picture of everything, that God sees. But, sometimes you need to let him, take your piece and fit it where He knows is best. You don’t see how you fit in, you don’t see how it works, but you trust Him and somehow, it works. Not somehow, He sees it all. His hand is moving.

I know I need to keep trusting Him. There’s a lot going on that scares me. There’s people – one person, specifically – that keeps popping back into my life and I really do not want him to. I hope he isn’t forced back in, but I can’t do what I did before and manipulate and try to gain control of the situation cause I made things worse.

Right now, I am letting God be God. Which sounds weird, He doesn’t need my permission. Crazily enough, God wants my permission – more like an invitation. He wants me to invite Him to be Lord of my life, and here I am. Not being impulsive. Shoving all the plans and thoughts I have bubbling in my head and putting the to silence, to listen to Him. To trust Him and to let Him do His work. John 6:6, says “He Himself, knew what He would do.” God already knows what to do, how to make things fit and I will let Him do what He will with my life.

I trust God will guide me to where it is best for me. Even if it’s not necessarily the safest, nor easiest.

I ask Him continually for the grace to accept the situations that I may not like. I ask Him to bless me with a heart of gratitude, so in the times of hurt and pain, I can be thankful and seek comfort and joy in Him. I won’t lie and say I am facing this bravely, I’m not. But I am facing it in trust. I know God is working. I trust that whatever happens on this earth, He has plans and He is doing it for my good. For the Kingdom’s good.

Sometimes, trusting God is scary. It’s confusing and sometimes you go in blind. But, He will lead me to still waters.

God Bless
w/ love

Ari

Friendship

Yamato (Matt)’s Badge of Friendship from Digimon Season one and Digimon: Tri

Ahh… nerdy reference aside, I really wanted to write this huge positivity post about some of my favourite people on this earth. These are people who have truly seen me at my absolute worst – really, I have done truly regrettable things to them – and taken me at my best. They’re the “in the thick of it” kind of people. I just love and seriously appreciate them to pieces.

It’s easy to forget to appreciate people, at least, I know I do. I really cannot see how my life would be. If not for some of these greats, I would not be the person I am today. So I’m especially grateful to God for these amazing people who He has placed in my life.

My husband is my very best friend ever.

Not everyone in the photos will be people who we hung out with today, but they’re people I can fully be myself around. People who don’t judge my sometimes on the nose sense of humour, my vulgar words or my harsh statements. They’re people who know that sometimes my tone and vocabulary don’t match what I mean. They’re people who can take what they dish out.

I’ve tried to guard my heart a lot throughout the years, but again, the things I’ve done to these guys, they have proven they are worthy of being vulnerable. They’re worthy of bearing my all. Other than my family (immediate and nuclear) these guys are people who mean the most to me than anyone in the whole world. Like, really that whole “7 years of friendship” thing, I thought was a bunch of fake news, but when I think about it… that’s not true.

For the sake of privacy I won’t say their names but, on the off chance they read this, I will use initials.

Pardon the silliness

ACL (omg, her initials are Anterior Collateral Ligament LOL) or KACL? She and I go way back to getting bullied by the same girl – who denies it to today, but whatever – and hiding out in washrooms stalls together. We used to run to the back and climb trees together, and as we go older we stopped. I started talking smack about her behind her back. I listened to the lies and the rumours and even spread some myself. And when I came to my senses and apologized, she loved me. She took me back. That is just beyond crazy. And now, I see how she is so full of joy. She is so eager to have fun, and live. She is so happy to just be herself and share who she is, and be real and intentional with me and I just love her so much. Also, thank God for SV, because he is so good to her. He makes her so happy and makes her so fresh. It’s so wonderful for me to see her with someone who breathes life into her already so joyful personality.

LKF LOL WE DATED – kind of, we were like… 13 but he technically asked so we technically… did? – so you can guess what I did. We broke up, and after a while of taking space from each other that friendship mended and I am so happy it did. Cause he is one of the realest most honest people I know. There’s no BS with him. He’s so honest with mw about really whatever I ask him. I know if I need someone to really tell the truth he is someone I trust. And he is not judgmental. I have said some terrible, awful things about people to him and he has just accepted it. I have maybe shocked him, but in the end he just took it as “thats how [I] feel”. I like having people like that around. Honest, true and non judgmental.

Again, pardon the silliness. I don’t know if I have permission to post faces.

AJD we used to have so many sleepovers and we shared so many secrets. I missed her so much in the years that we were apart, but instead of telling her or showing her, I distanced myself. It’s probably one of my biggest regrets. When we got closer again, it just reminded me of why I loved her – and still do. The support she shows to her man as he pursues music, how she genuinely loves his work and wants to share him with the world. The way she is so genuine. Like, you just know what she says and gives, is who she is. There’s no lies, no secrets, no ulterior motives with her. It is so amazing to have someone like that. And RG, is so great for her. And, through her, having him in my life is really great. I have never met someone so truly passionate. I’ve met a lot of people who wanted to share their art and craft, and I support them. But RG, i don’t just support. I really, genuinely believe in him and I want to see him succeed.

finally DLVB – my boy-version. Really. I seriously cannot write enough about him. We have done some awful things to one another. Ranging from backstabbing, ignoring and avoiding, to down right dirty talk. But, ultimately, he has taught me forgiveness and love. He has taught me that, the people who are worth keeping are the people who fight to stay by you. He has taught me the real meaning of through thick and thin. He has showed me that people change and friends drift, but if you care about someone and want them around, you’ll put in your effort to make that work.

These are just the people I hung out with today, but there are so many more I can and will speak about. I think the common factor for these guys is I’ve known them since the ages of 4, 11, 9 and 4 respectively. There REP and YAJ but, I think I’ll save it for another time.

I guess I write this to remind myself, there are people who are absolutely worth my effort. People who earned my trust and I will continually work for theirs, whether I have it or not.

So here’s to friendships and here’s to love.

God Bless
w/ love

Ari

p.s. next post gets kind of raw so…

It’s been a while!

Hey, how’s it going? It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Honestly, I wish I could say I was busy, but I was distracted. I think a lot of us like to use “busy” because it sounds productive, but in truth I have simply been distracted. So, here is a small update.

I am taking a fast from social media. I started on Wednesday, and will not be using twitter, tumblr and Facebook (this post gets linked to said accounts, without me logging on). This fast has come up at a good time because my parents and sisters have gone to Philippines for a good half of the fast. With them being gone, and fasting from social media, I am going to have to learn to rely more on God and my husband. I am going to learn how to be still and know He is God.

This is actually such a hard concept, cause I don’t really know what it means to “know He is God”. Am I supposed to contemplate? Meditate? Silence my mind? I think He has been impressing it in my heart that I need to quiet my mind. My mind is always on overdrive and I think so much. I tend to bite off more than I can chew within my own thoughts, then I get too far into my own head and this leads to questions. I wonder how is my faith different than others? How is what I do different? How do I know my God is the right god? I think it boils down to 1). believing. Just believing in Him, trusting in Him ad rather than trying to experience Him, allowing myself to experience Him. and 2). in this fast, letting Him answer my questions. I’ve already asked them, and He has said “it shall be given” (Matt. 7:7), and in this fast I am practicing and learning to be sensitive to His voice, so I do not miss the answer.

I won’t lie, I cried a little bit. I cried out to God and asked for peace over family, peace in not knowing what the future holds, and peace to trust Him and trust that He has good plans and good intentions. I also cried just… feeling Him. It was not big and sparkly, it was not particularly profound, but it was so tranquil. Still. These are two things I often run away from and avoid, and I am not totally sure why. Perhaps it is due to a fear that I will get too much inside my head. Perhaps, I am unsettled and scared of what might happen in the silence. Maybe. I don’t honestly know. I do know, that I wanted write this, not to brag but for my own recollection and memory. So I can look back and reflect.

I will speak more about it another time but Freedom Session was a lot of getting to know myself, and letting God show me who I am in Him. I think this is a season where now I get to know who God is, and honestly that fills me up with so much joy and excitement. If this is the season I get to know my saviour and experience Him, then come what may, I will receive it with a glad heart.

God Bless

w/ love
Ari

Valentine’s Day

This has always been a weird thing for me. I grew up in a fairly Filipino household, but my parents wanted me to be culturally mixed. They let me play around with the cultures I was to be a part of and never questioned too much of it. This includes Valentines Day. I remember growing up Valentines day was this odd day to make a bunch of heart shaped cubbies and stuff them with Valentines. I remember writing obvious notes to my crush – who I believed I would grow up to marry. I remember writing love notes on my friends’ behalf and stuffing their object-of-affection’s cubby.

Then I moved schools, and it all kind of came crashing? I got really jaded to Valentines day. Maybe it’s cause my friends in my old school were far more fun and a lot more playful. In this school, everyone was stuck up and took themselves far too seriously. Anyways, I got pretty embittered and realized that Valentines day was some childish game. Though, I did learn one of the many variations of St. Valentines, ultimately I figured: Valentines Day is a stupid holiday.

It’s not the best attitude for a nine year old. It’s not like I outwardly retaliated against it. I didn’t run around shoving it in anyone’s face. It just turned into apathy. I didn’t care for the holiday, the cute cards with the stickers or kisses. I didn’t care for passing around cookies or cup cakes in festive enthusiasm. It was just another day to me. It continued like this, even when I had my first… boy friend. Quick digression: Depending on how you look at it, this would have been my second boyfriend… but he was not. Anyways, when we were dating, Valentines day came 9 months into our relationship. I was well aware of the day approaching. It was hard to be oblivious to a well-advertised capitalist holiday. I will admit some part of me was somewhat excited over having a boy friend during Valentines Day. But we were in high school. I got box of chocolate and a teddy bear, which was exciting I suppose.

The following year, I wasn’t expecting anything and I don’t remember if he did anything. I will say this, in grade 11 my high school did flower grams. Basically, students order flowers from other students. They can send a small message attached to one flower – remember in mean girls? You go, Glen Coco. Except… flowers and not candy canes. Anyways, I remember the student council released the announcement and some girls had started chatting. Some saying, “I don’t think will get one“, as they beat their eyelashes at their unsuspecting and oblivious boyfriends. My boyfriend turned to me and asked if I liked pink or red, because the carnations were pink or red. I specifically said, “Look, I know other girls are hinting and stuff, but don’t get me flowers.”

“Suuuure.”

The following day, he again asks if I prefer pink or red and which class was my period 3 class. Again, I knew he was asking so flowers would be sent my way. Again, I told him. “Seriously, don’t get me flowers. I don’t like flowers. I have allergies”

“Okaaaaay. Aaaallergi-i-ies

A week goes on and no questions about flowers comes up. My cousin approaches me and asks if he can drop something off at my period 3 class. You can predict what will happen, yeah? Well, he actually did drop something off for me in my period 3 class, so I let my guard down.

February 12, 2010 arrives. I dismiss it. My cousin really did hand me something in period 3, and my boyfriend had since stopped pestering me. The Friday goes by. With the way my class rotation worked my period 3 class happened in block 2, so right before lunch. The student council cupid arrives, and hands out the flower grams. Eager students run up, receiving their flowers. Some girls walked up with a confident strut. Some shocked, mouth agape, before allowing a beaming grin to stretch ear to ear. The room was filled with rosy-cheeked girls. Groups gathering to ask about the flowers. Had this happened nowadays, I’m sure snapchat and instagram stories would be flooded with whatever stupid filter, and girls showing off their flower grams. Occasionally, a boy would be called up and he would either be surprised, then laugh at the joke his friends had sent or be pleasantly smiling to himself at whatever his note would say. I look at the clock, relieved to see cupid was running out flowers and relieved that I had to wait a mere 15 minutes to lunch. “Aaaaand, the last one goes to…” All eyes are on me now. I hate it. My boyfriend and I, at this point were together for 2 years, voted cutest couple the year prior. We were well known for being… I don’t even know, I guess the 2018/19 term would be we were a real OTP, a major ship in the school. We were not the “it” couple, but we were just really popular. I think it’s because we were two cute little asian nerds who had our straight-out-of-a-kdrama romance, and stayed together. I honestly could not tell you. Deep down everyone else believes, is confident, that it’s for me. I keep my head down. Anticipation building in us, for different reasons. Finally the name is called, my classmates look up and watch the quiet girl stand up and stumble to the cupid, trembling hands reach out. I sigh a sigh of deep relief, and a smile paints across my face. I did not expect him to listen. I’m not sure if my classmates pitied me, or were embarrassed for me, but I was honestly happy.

The bell rings and the teacher gives us a dismissal for lunch. I hear some classmates asking if they should check on me. I hear some girls gossiping about if we broke up or not. I turn around and flash a quick smile, waving to my classmates wishing them a happy valentines day. I don’t know if that was believably happy, but it was genuine. I remember running to my locker. My cousin calls for me, joining me and we chatter happily. He hadn’t received any, but he hadn’t expected it. He seems genuine. He asks me, “X (my anonymous boyfriend) didn’t get you any flower gram?”

“Nah, I didn’t want one.”

Of course he asks why, and I reply, “I’m really allergic to some flowers. They swell up my eyes and congest my throat.”

We continue our merry way onwards. Our other friends approach, one girl carrying a bunch of flowers all bought by her boyfriend. The other two had one flower, each. One of our friends – who I will call Nick – hands me a small box of chocolates. “I remember you didn’t want flowers, so I got you this.” He had gotten the other three girls a flower, but not wanting me to feel left out he gave me a small box of kisses. I turn back to my locker, to glimpse around. No sign of X. I finish the combination and pull the lock, then unhook it from the lock handle. Before I can open my locker, X comes out with balloons and greets me happy Valentines day, I smile and tell him he didn’t have to – not the cordial, surprised ‘you didn’t have to’, but the ‘seriously, I wish you didn’t’ – he holds onto the balloons for me, knowing I have to grab my stuff. Finally I open the door to my locker. To my surprise, pink and red carnations fall on me. X is grinning, turns out he had the flower grams delivered to himself, then stuffed them into my locker. I remember turning to my cousin and asking him to take me to the nurse. He and Nick help me stumble over. X is confused and I hear my girl friends telling him I’m actually really allergic to most flowers.

Anyways, to shorten this already long story, I went home and spent the rest of Valentines day in bed. The weekend rolls in and X is calling me apologizing profusely. I won’t sugar coat it, I was pissed off the whole time, fuming and just unforgiving. It was bad. I didn’t forgive him until like, the Tuesday after and even then, I held it over his head for a long time. It was a pretty bad time, and overall it did not help my already pacifist outlook on Valentines’ Day. Eventually, I went from being bitter and resentful back to just not caring and letting it be another day.

TL;DR, you can be in a relationship and still really disdain Valentines day.

If you read this, I hope you had fun even at the expense of my real life experience. I can only wish I hadn’t made all this up. But, hey, it made a great story.

Happy Valentines’ Day!

God Bless
w/ love

Ari

Character Development

I’ve definitely held back on this post for sometime, because I feel it is a bit of a downer, Maybe not a downer, but it is one of those truths that people don’t often like, and I kind of hesitate to write about it. However, it is now past the pushing point of going from ranting or venting to something I have mulled over since the end of December. It’s on a topic we often focus on of fictional characters, be they from movies, TV series and books. We also focus on these when watching the life and story of some of our favourite celebrities, and those we admire and raise on a pedestal.

Character development.

It’s something I see many people pay close attention to in fantasy and fiction. It’s something I see many people try to work on in themselves, but in the wrong way. That is to say, what I perceive wrong – I, myself, could be wrong.

But anyways, my real point is character development. It’s so important, that in movies and TV shows if a character does not change or grow as a person from start to finish for movies, and season to season for TV shows, they’re generally a flat character. It’s kind of the same thing in real life. You have to develop. You have to grow up. That doesn’t mean you go out and get yourself really educated – though it is helpful. Sometimes, I see really smart and rousing debates occur on Facebook, where two people fling facts and sources at one another. All it really does is prove they are educated. In this specific scenario character development would be to allow your opposition to educate you. After all, the best essays are the ones that can argue against themselves as well and see the other point. Or, for some the best thing to do which shows good character is to simply accept, you’re probably not going to change your opponent’s mind and to stop. Or you see your opponent is not looking to educate you, but change you and you’re not willing to change either, so again, you stop. At least, that is what I think the wisest options are. I acknowledge, I could be wrong. This is a pretty bold statement coming from someone who rarely engages in online discourse.

This is a really specific answer, only because I see a lot of arguments occur on twitter and Facebook. I think this a really specific example. Too specific. When I say character development, i mean growth, maturing, wisdom – not knowledge. I’m going into full rant mode here, so apologies if this is no longer eloquent and intellectual sounding.

You cannot say, “I have a bad temper” and “I’m really sensitive” as a cover for these flaws and choose not to work on it. You can’t. It’s almost the same as playing the victim card. Using your trauma as a way to make people sympathy you and never put pressure on you to grow is not okay. Similarly, you can’t use “I’m just like that” as a reason. It’s like saying, “Sorry if I sound ignorant” and then proceeding to say a totally opinionated blast on someone, without opening the floor for dialogue and inviting this person to help you grow. It’s like saying, “No offences, but…” then going on to say something offensive.

Acknowledging your flaws, is only step one.

A bold opinion from someone who does not engage in a lot of discourse.

And it is true. First of all this is an opinion, and more of a self-reflection than it is a critique on others. Who am I to criticize when I have a plank in my own eyes, after all (Matt. 7:5). As I said this is a rant, I see a lot of people excuse their personality flaws as traits and then walk away with no intention to change. I wonder, don’t you want to become the hero that God has designed you to be? Don’t you want to be a better person? And not the better person like “a nicer person” the “socially conscientious” person. I mean a better person for yourself. So you can be happier. So you can radiate joy, and other can feel and absorb that from you, without taking it from you. You’re mature for being able to see and acknowledge where you fall short, I admit. However, it is not enough. When a child pulls another kid’s hair or hits them with a toy, we often make them say sorry, and they do, but they proceed to hit or pull again. It shows they have not grown, they have not changed. We realize when kids are maturing when they seek to change their behaviours and become a better person. They make a good decision to grow up, and get over this flaw. They don’t always have fun doing it. I see it my kids ministry classes all the time. I see a little boy in the three year old class, throw a toy at another child in his anger. I ask him to say sorry, and he does but he repeats the behaviour. Whereas the kids in the four year old class now know to exert their displeasure in other methods rather than tossing a toy across the room. They might pout, but hey thats step from throwing. These are the kids we call “big boys/big girls” and the ones who still throw we often ask them to follow the example of the big kids.

All that to say, if kids can change adults can and should too. I think the wisest thing I heard, was once on the radio the radio jockey was talking about their passing grandparent who said, “I want to keep growing, to keep changing until i breath my last breath.”

The world keeps turning, time goes on and we all have to keep maturing.

You might say “heavy words for someone who is also flawed”. And I agree with you, wholeheartedly. I excused my flaws, my temper, my anger and my hatred as just being a part of my personality. I did not acknowledge that I had to change and grow up. Now, I’m not any more perfect that another person, I have my flaws. However, I did and am working on my temper. I am working on my hatred. I’m letting god of my bad self-imaging and redirecting my eyes from the mirror to the Altar and looking to see what God says about me, not what I say and not what others say. What does God want me to change? Even in my faith, I am not perfect. I get highs and lows, too. It’s part of the battle. I’m doing better than where I was last year, in that I genuinely look forward to church and ministry again. I push my husband and I to pray together and individually every night, we do a devotional once a week and I do my best to do a short devotional nightly, with the goal that it become meditation, devotional and contemplation.

In terms of my personality, I think I am far more joyful than I used to be. I am checking my temper and my words, praying before I yell. If my temper gets ahead of me, I seek out to amend it and apologize. I have told my husband if I lose my temper on him, he has every right to correct me, lovingly. I’m also a very lazy person, so I am pushing myself to prepare for the day. I fail a lot, and I get disappointed. Still ” for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity (proverbs 24:16 ESV)”. My husband and I have a meal subscription and I used to cook one out of the three meals, wasting the other two. So far, I have been able to finish all three these past few weeks. This blog also pushes me to update on at least a biweekly basis. In terms of friendships, I am striving to put less pressure on people to like me and fulfil me and get my satisfaction from the Lord. I seek out others to enjoy them and their company, not for my own gain but to celebrate and uplift them. I want to develop community. I want to get to know the friends I already have and be someone who is there to support and celebrate them, to love on them and pour energy and effort into them, rather than absorb all theirs. (This is a checkpoint for me, hopefully I read this again sometime later this and next year and see if I have made progress. I apologize if it sounds like one big huge brag). Again, I am not perfect. I get insecure in my place with people, I overthink actions and still have a fear of missing out. I still take things personally that should not be taken personally, but I am trying. I invite any and everyone reading this to follow me, after all I named this blog GrowingUpwithAhri.

I acknowledged my flaws, I figured out what I need to change, I made a plan (with God) for how to change them and I am putting that plan into action – seeking the grace and humility I need to keep changing.

I hope you do too.

God Bless
w/ love

Ahri