Leadership?

I’ve never particularly viewed myself as a leader. At least, I haven’t for a long while. I suppose it’s because I used to, as a kid. And no one seemed to notice that, or I did not interpret it in that way. I don’t know, who thinks that abstract as a child? I was rarely noticed, growing up. I was usually in the background, second to someone else. Someone else would be thought of the be the leader or to be the head. To be fair, it is because they always stepped up. In a vicious cycle, I shied away from the leadership role, and when no one noticed my attributes, it affirmed my insecurities. Interesting how the spirit of insecurity can really drive that deep.

But I renounce that and give this to God. I’ve recently taken up a leadership role in my church’s children’s ministry and I am excited. I cannot wait to have my gifts and talents be used for God. and I cannot wait to see how He grows me and changes me. I can only pray for strength, because being leader means taking responsibilities for others, and taking care of my team, watching and shepherding them, and being someone who is there to support them. It’s kind of scary, too. It’s a huge responsibility.

I also have so many dreams for this team. It’s a small part of a huge ministry of a huge church, but even the eardrum is a small part of the body. I want to be a support for parents, be able to help them and guide them through the complex system of our Children’s Ministry. I want to be able to support other teachers, and be a member they can reach out to. I have so many ideas, so many dreams and maybe, that’s why God has placed me here.

It was so encouraging to hear that the Head of the Children’s ministry and someone who was once her assistant both thought of me right away for this position. It was affirming. And, hearing that really helped solidify my belief that this is where God has taken me and is guiding. This is where I am meant to be, and this is where He wants me to do His works, for His glory. In Him, with Him and Him through me, I can be a leader. I can be the leader I once thought I could be. I hope in my leadership, I am humble like Jesus and love on my team the way He loved on his disciples. I pray that my dreams and goals line up with God’s and through me He can execute a part of His glorious plan.

All in all, I am so excited to serve Jesus. I am so excited to be used by Jesus. I am so excited to be a part of this plan- this masterpiece. I cannot wait to see His plans unfold and fall in love with him. Love him deeper, love Him harder and to feel His great and immense love for me. This place in my faith, I am so happy. I am so overwhelmed and excited to have God and have a relationship with Him. I have not desired God so much in so long and it feels so good to yearn for Him, His love, His presence, Him again.

Father God,

thank you for choosing me. I am not worthy. But by Your actions, Your blood I have merit. Please use me, in anyway you can. If it scares me, help me to lean in You and trust in You. Help me to walk in faith through the fear. Show me a truth today, tomorrow see me do it.

Ariana

Thank you for reading. I am in this place in my faith where, I feel so close to God. I really want to reach out to Him, be with Him.

God bless
w/ love

Ari

Friends.

It’s such a blessing to have those friends you know may go, but never stay gone. They may go off on their own and have their own adventures and go through their own journeys but never forget you. I have my own friend like this. We grew up together, watched each other fail, rise, struggle and win. He watched me fall in love and fall apart. I watched him grow in faith and rise in leadership. I’m watching him and his relationship with God and He’s seen me in my own. It’s this friendship I have taken for granted, often listening to the whispers of the devil, my own self doubt and feeding my own insecurities. I chose to focus on how he was invited to things, and I was not. I focused on how he was picked to be a leader and I was not. I focused on how he chose other friends over me. Each choice led me deeper and deeper in a coward spiral towards rock bottom. I fell so hard.

I will not be going to deep into that aspect of my story, not now at least. I will say, I was so wrong to see all these aspects. I forgot to realize, at one point, I was invited and said no. I was the one who wanted to be a follower, and player in the sidelines. I’m the one who chose to pull away and withdraw, avoiding him and many others. And, we since mended our relationship, but something felt off. At least, on my end and on my part. I felt something was incomplete.

I first had to forgive myself. I had to forgive myself for my mistakes. For prioritizing my opinions, my thoughts, my pride over his. Over God’s. I had to forgive myself for my fall, and my failures. And most of all, I had to receive God’s forgiveness and let Jesus die for me. Because, as a Christian, I do believe that Jesus is God and came down to live on earth to die, crucified, for my (and all mankind’s sins). But, I believed it in thought. This year I finally believe that I am forgiven and accept and receive God’s forgiveness. I know I am accountable and responsible for my sins, but I also know they are paid. I do not have to pay anything or any one back for what I had done. After all, what’s done is done. What I did is in the past, and Jesus had already breathed, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Though He lives, my sins stayed dead with His death. And as He lives He vouches for me, He speaks on my behalf. I can go on, and be free from my past and let myself lower my standard of perfection. I am not perfect.

Anyways, I’m not here to convince any one I am guiltless. I have faults. And I had to own up to my responsibilities in the problems I had caused. Maybe the problems were a two way street, but I had to cross mine. It felt so good. and for the first time in five years, I truly feel that weight, that burden, that pushback lifted. It was always me. I was the one who erected the shield and in an attempt to stop myself from feeling, in an attempt to ignore my failure and guilt, I had strained our relationship. At least my end of it.

Praise God, that I have overcome this battle. Praise Him for guiding me, to feel again. To feel the guilt and process it, and to let myself express it. To Apologize for what I had done. I was able to fully take responsibility for my pride, my withdrawal, my hurt and anger. It was amazing. And finally, the friend I had from 5 – 19 was back. It was like all those years that I had lost, God brought back.

Truly, I can say I love the way God is working. I love the way God is moving and I am so thankful for this friend. This friend of a lifetime. I am so blessed and my heart is truly full.

God Bless
w/ love

Ari

Movie Review: Dragon Ball Super: Broly

I think this will be a short review, for now. Partly, because I want to go back and watch Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan. As best as I can, I will keep this moderately spoiler free.

I just want to start of by saying, I loved Dragon Ball Z as a kid. I wasn’t allowed to watch it, because my parents felt it was too violent. But, they installed a TV in my room and I watched one episode and was so instantly hooked. I’m not saying I’m a fan of violence, but I really enjoy martial arts and fighting. I also like the adrenaline I get from constant yelling, screaming, explosions. I love action.

Can I start of by saying, during the fight sequences of Dragon Ball Super: Broly (DBSB), my first thought was ‘Michael Bay would love this’. There was an inexplainable amount of explosions. If you’re not a fan of the series, this might be nonsensical and a tad over dramatic, but as someone who has watched this since she was 8, it brought back a lot of old memories. On the topic of fight sequences, I really enjoyed the choreography. Yes, there were moments when the fighting animations were a sequence of blurs, exaggerated lines and a lot of mouth close ups. That being said, however there were slowed down moments of well choreographed fights, flips, round houses, moments that were not just slow motion, but just simply fluid fights. I particularly enjoyed Vegeta and Broly’s first fight. I’m not a fighter, so I cannot make too much commentary on the moves and techniques, but i can tell you I paid attention to the refined movements. It was a lot more than the blurry fast paced punches and kicks that Dragon Ball Z once offered. It was nice to see that there was a bit more thought into the animation and actual technical movements.

Which goes into a point I did not care much for. What is Dragon Ball without super saiyans? Not much, but within the first 15 minutes of the movie we already see Vegeta go through Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan Rose and Super Saiyan God. I understand timing is an issue that limits the movie, but they really plowed through it fast. I suppose maybe it is also to emphasize the sheer raw power of Broly. Even so, it took me out of the movie for a brief moment.

Now, something I can talk about is characters. I loved how the first 8-12 minutes of the movie we get a back story. We get to see the mass saiyan genocide. We get to see how Goku is basically anime’s super man, how Broly came to be and we even see a brief bit of Vegeta’s previous personality. There was not much character development, but considering this a movie from an anime series that is long established and already developed its characters. That being said, I loved Broly and his backstory. I liked the way his character was portrayed and almost tragic. From what I remember, in Dragon Ball Z: Broly – LSS, I really wanted Goku to just win and kill off Broly. Not so much this one. I also loved Vegeta. He was … just everything I’ve loved about him. Gruff and tough on the outside, wanting to be a great warrior, but really just a big softie, especially regarding his daughter and wife. There was also some moments of humour, that played on the character’s personalities, not just some… forced in thrown out humour, in hopes of making it funny. I also liked that Goku was just not ridiculously OP and in some trite deus ex machine moment, he some how over powers everyone and wins.

Another thing I really enjoyed was more Vegeta equality. This is 100% bias, because my favourite character in the whole series is easily Vegeta. I felt that he was not just thrown around and tossed about, just to prove Goku is the strongest. He actually held his own. And he was needed for Goku to have some hope of winning and I greatly appreciated that. I had felt before and in previous movies, Vegeta is generally quite strong and holds up, but eventually gets over powered and just destroyed. In this one, while he does get beaten, and Goku intervenes, Vegeta isn’t tossed like a sad rag doll with a giant “GOKU IS BETTER” sign on his back. I hate when characters are used for this kind of stupid emphasis on the main hero. Which comes to another point, the useless Z fighters – I’m really just looking at Yamcha – aren’t standing around useless for exposition to explain the power levels, battle stances and basically omnipresent narration of the main fighters thoughts.

I watched the dub. I can’t watch the Japanese, because I can’t handle Goku’s actual voice. But I loved the voice acting. Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat and Vic Mignogna did great. They real nailed the anime yell. This might sound confusing, but hear me out. A lot of shounen anime is abundant in yelling. Most actions anime, arguably, has a lot of yelling, screaming. Whether it’s powering up, swimming a punch or sword or just yelling because their frustrated, there is so much yelling. But for whatever reason the japanese voice actors, put their feelings into the yelling and when english voice actors yell it’s… forced. rehearsed. It’s not convincing. At least not in newer dubbed anime. but Schemmel, Saba and Mignogna did great. When they respective characters were in pain, it sounded like it. When Broly was frustrated, angry and losing his sanity, I really felt Mignogna portrayed that amazingly. I can’t even speak about Sabat, because he is my favourite good-dad Vegeta. (Brian Drummond, was a great evil Vegeta). But for my english-dub loving audience, this is not a disappointing dub. It doesn’t take you out of the movie experience.

I really, cannot go into much detail, without delving in spoiler territory. In a time to come, I do want to watch Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Legendary Super Saiyan and Dragon Ball Super: Broly and have a more detailed spoilerific comparison, but for now… my two cents.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly is an excellent film. If you are a fan of the DBZ series or maybe you enjoy DBS, i highly recommend this film. It had a real plot and story line, amazing fighting scenes and the characters – old and new – were enjoyable to watch. I give it two thumbs up, and super saipan god tier marks.

thanks for reading!

God bless

w/ love,

Ari

Game Recommendations

Full disclosure, I am not a good gamer. I’m not particularly smart, not am I particularly dexterous. That being said, I am also too easy to please – in the sense that, if it has good art, I will probably like it.

I also only have a few consoles on which to play games, so I can’t be super thorough, with games that are only available through X-Box and Playstations. Final disclosure, again, I won’t be describing anything because I hope to eventually review these myself

Switch Games

  • Breath of the Wild
  • Smash Ultimate
  • Stardew Valley
  • Little Dragon’s Cafe
  • Will: A Wonderful World
  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Super Mario Party
  • Mario Odyssey
  • Octopath

PC Games

  • This War of Mine
  • The Letter
  • The Counsel
  • Life is Strange
  • Life is Strange 2
  • Broken Age

Board Games

  • Tokaido
  • Sushi Go
  • Odin’s Ravens
  • Discovery
  • Takenoko
  • Masquerade
  • Resistance Series
  • Avalon (stand alone Resistance)
  • Deception: Night in Hong Kong
  • 7 Wonders series
  • Legendary

TV Series Recommendations

I actually rarely watch new TV Series and I lack the commitment to see a lot of them through. That being said, some of these are also on the recommendations of my husband, which be marked by a strike through

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Modern Family
  • Fresh Off the Boat
  • Kim’s Convenience
  • Schitt’s Creek
  • Bob’s Burgers
  • Daredevil
  • The Punisher
  • Jessica Jones
  • This is Us
  • Merlin
  • Narcos
  • You
  • Stranger Things
  • Arrested Development
  • Galavant
  • Terrace House Series
  • Altered Carbon
  • The Alienist
  • Final Space
  • Samurai Gourmet

“Kids” Cartoon TV Series

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Castlevania
  • Hilda
  • Steven Universe
  • Dragons: Race to the Edge

Movie Recommendations

I won’t be providing any descriptions just from pure laziness and lack of recall ability. Hopefully, I will be able to make “reviews” (Loosely, labelled reviews as lack of a better word. Just opinion pieces), for most if not all of them. Again, these will be growing lists, and is completely subjective. I am in no way a proper reviewer, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Anime Movies

  • Spirited Away
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Grave of the Fire Flies
  • Your Name
  • A Silent Voice
  • The Boy and the Beast
  • Sword of the Stranger
  • Ano Hana: The Movie
  • Ame and Yuki: Wolf Children
  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
  • Bunguo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple
  • Mirai of Mirai
  • 5cm per Second
  • Summer Wars
  • When Marnie was There
  • Miss Hokusai
  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Movies

  • Literally any pixar movie
  • All the MCU titles
  • Aquaman
  • Split
  • Moana
  • Frozen
  • Mulan
  • Any Disney Princess movie really

Anime Recommendations

Here are a few recommendations I can think of. This List will be eve growing as I watch more and more anime. On occasion, I may review and share my opinions, which I will add links to this list.

  • Inuyasha
  • Eureka 7
  • The Flowers We Saw that Day
  • Erased
  • Kokoro Connect
  • Blue Spring Ride
  • Your Lie in April
  • Tiger and Bunny
  • My Hero Academia
  • Akatsuki no Yona
  • Snow White with the Red Hair
  • Kakegurui
  • Violet Evergarden

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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This is the generic opening to my adventure. I’ve always wanted to start a blog, but I’ve been far to shy and wondered why anyone would want to hear about me, anyways. I’m not particularly interesting; I don’t cook, I’m not a mom, I don’t travel enough. I like memes and I play video games, but I’m not particularly good.

But, I don’t think that makes me anything bad. I’m average, and I like it at that. At some points things might get more interesting. But my intention isn’t to gain a bunch of subscribers, I’ll be impressed if I get one.

A few of my blogging goals include:

  1. Introspection. I’ve grown a lot these past few months. I’ve done a lot of introspection and learned a lot more about myself. I want to keep doing so. I’ll talk about it another time, but letting god teach me more about me and what He designed me to be like has given me a lot to think about.
  2. Palpable. Palpability? I don’t know if that’s a word. But I learned, I have so many thoughts and I think a lot, whether I want to or not. I think writing is a medium which definitely helps me understand my thoughts. It also helps me organize my thoughts. I don’t have to go off tangents and I can think more clearly as I try to get the words out that my brain sees, but doesn’t necessarily understand. It makes my thoughts something I can see, process and understand.
  3. Accountability. I always have these big plans and ideas and goals. But, I never tell anyone. Sometimes, I tell my husband, but even then, he’s not super strict with me. Again, something I’ll talk about another time. But, maybe if I place my goals and ideas on here for all the internet to see, I will be able to reach some of the goals for the year.
  4. Comfort. I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone with this one. I rarely share what’s going on in my head. I often share what I think others want to hear. I definitely want to start working on coming out of my shell and stepping out in comfort. I want to share my thoughts, my opinions. even my stories.
  5. Memories. There is so much wonderful things that happened to me in 2018, and sadly the greatest times were often these small moments. I really want to start remembering the small moments that made my life so great.

This is an absolutely personal blog. Most of what will be on here will be random opinions. Opinions on movies I have watched, games I play, places I ate.

I may include sharing some moments of my life, talking about the people i shared these moments with and how I felt – safe keeping the memories on the internet, where things don’t disappear.

I might include stories. I always come up with short stories or ideas, so nothing will be completed stories. Just little drabbles, vignettes or even a journal of a dream that I would have loved to create a story about.

So, here you have it. Whether this is future me reading; or some passerby who is bored, perhaps a friend who clicked the link i dared to share? Welcome to my story.