Wednesday, October 7, 2015

30 Days of 30: The Last Days

Well... after spending 10 days in Orlando, wrapping up my #30daysof30 took some effort. I was exhausted, but every second felt worth it and I'm so glad I had been able to go. And while not all the remaining days were as exciting, they were just as meaningful in helping me start out this new year of life in the best way possible.

Day 23: Coke Float


I had just flown back in from Orlando the night before and had to go straight to work. I had barely slept the whole time, so I was dragging just a little bit. But of course, there was a surprise on my desk. From sweet Jess again. And it was Inca Cola! My favorite drink from my trip to Peru last summer! And later that night, I went to my favorite ice-cream place for a coke float. All-in-all, it was a good way to come back home and keep on celebrating.


Day 24: Got My Hair Did

Goal... look good as a 30-year-old. So of course that means getting my hair done. My cousin came over and worked her magic on me.



Day 25: When Plans Change

I was supposed to be heading to Dallas on this day. The plan was supposed to be dinner with my family and friends that evening, and then the next morning tackle the State Fair before celebrating my aunt and uncle's wedding anniversary/vow renewal.

But sometimes, things don't work out as you plan. I missed my MegaBus (slightly my fault since I went to finally renew my driver's license and then traffic ended up being horrendous), all of my friends seemed to be too busy to actually make plans, and I felt... sad. But then I went to go hang out with my sister and cousin, we ordered some pizza and binged out on TV... and I had a plan to redeem the weekend. I felt better.

Finally getting a new driver's license! With a much better picture! Great way to start out 30!
And how can pizza not make everything better?
Day 26: Surprising Natalie! 

So initially, the plan was Dallas for the 25th and 26th, and then take a flight to Amarillo to spend the day with Natalie and Cheryl before heading back to Houston. But with the Dallas plans falling through and me missing my bus to Dallas, I rearranged my flight (with some help) and decided to head to Amarillo a day early. I didn't tell Natalie this, just Cheryl. We both had our layover in Dallas, caught up for like 5 hours and then flew to Amarillo together.

Nat was just expecting Cheryl... and her face when she got both of us! It was the BEST!

We pretty much just hung out and talked a lot. Went shopping, got our nails done, ate dinner.

These two ladies were some of my closest friends during college, and life has spread us out a bit and the three of us hadn't been together since about 2008.

Day 27: Amarillo 

We went to Nat's church and she preached (it was so good), and then we went to watch Nat's son's football game, before getting some ice-cream and making sure I caught my flight back to Houston.

It was a good weekend, and we just relished in the fact that no matter how much time passes, and no matter how much distance is between us, we will always be the best of friends.



Day 28: Called to Change the World

Over the days I was in Orlando, a Bible Study started at my church called "Called." So I planned today to go to this Bible Study and learn. Start out this 30th year with some clear perspective on who God is and what He has called me to do.

My friend, Serena, met me there and caught me up on the weeks I missed. And then she gave the sweetest gift ever: A map of the world on wood. We had seen a painting of this on a wall in IKEA and she had mentioned she could get a friend to make it for me. And she did.

It sits on the entertainment center in my living room, in place of a TV. It represents my love of travel, and the fact that I teach World Cultures. But I think it also serves as a reminder of The Great Commission: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."



Day 29: Just one more day left... and I'm sick

I think I ran myself into the group trying to celebrate for 30 days. But Day 29 started with me feeling horrible, and by the end of the day I just wanted to find my bed.

I had bought myself some books that came in the mail that day, so I counted that as the birthday gift for Day 29. And then a friend ordered me some dinner and had it delivered to my home. So I spent Day 29 in a calm and quiet way. Alone, coloring in my new adult coloring book, and eating some good food.


Day 30: Last Day

#30Daysof30 officially ended with family. I started the month celebrating with my siblings, but didn't get to see my brother-in-law or the kiddos. So we all met up for dinner at a Thai restaurant, and they got my a cupcake from Oh La La (which is becoming our new family tradition on birthdays).



I couldn't have dreamed of a better ending.

Monday, October 5, 2015

30 Day of 30: Days 8-22

It's so hard to blog when you are having the time of your life!

The month of September was AMAZING! I literally celebrated turning 30 for all 30 days.

I felt a little silly doing it sometimes. Like how self-absorbed could I be? But honestly, each day reminding me to have joy in this life that God has granted me. To be thankful for the relationships and opportunities that have been given to me. To live without abandon and enjoy both the big and the little moments.

I have no clue what the rest of 2015 will bring. Or even what this 30th year will bring. But celebrating my 30 days of 30 was a great way to start it out, and I'm glad I did it.

Here's the recap of what else I did!

Day 8: Peter Pan Date

My sweet friend and co-worker Jess started the day out with a surprise on my desk! I am not big on flowers. But purple is one of my favorite colors, and this little bouquet was such a great start to my day... which I remember not starting out so great. I remember starting the day feeling down and a bit out of sorts (I can't remember why now) and when I saw the flowers and note on my desk, my day was instantly made better. My spirit was lifted. I actually still have the flowers... all dried up and reminding me to look for beauty even in dark moments, and that I can count on friends to always make things better.

Anyway, she had asked to be a part of my 30 Days and got us tickets to see Peter Pan 360. It was an amazing play! The theatre was in a tent, and hand a round stage. They used video and graphics to change scenery and give the feeling of us traveling through London and to Neverland. The acting was great, the few songs were fun. I loved it.

And as always, Peter Pan reminds me that growing up is a little bit overrated ;-)


Day 9: The Simple Things

I actually didn't make plans for Day 9. When I decided to do this, I didn't want each and every day to be a big production. I more just wanted each day to be a chance for me to indulge myself a bit and remember to be thankful and have some fun.

So today, all I did was buy some books from the Scholastic Book Fair happening at our school. Anyone who knows me knows that books are my greatest material love. And I especially love Young Adult novels. They might be for "kids," but honestly have just as much, if not more, truth and insight sometimes that many adult novels. I always look forward to Book Fairs--ever since Kindergarten.


And then to make Day 9 just a little more special... my Africa charm was returned to me!

While I was in Rwanda this summer, I bought some jewelry. Jewelry serves kind of like my own little tattoos, my "stones of remembrance."  I tend to buy and wear pieces that keep me grounded and reminded of some message I want to hold dear. I went to Rwanda with IF: Gathering, and during the first IF there was a spoken word performance called "The Esther Generation" that I loved. So, I bought a set of "Esther bangles" in Rwanda, and attached to one set I bought was an Africa charm.

I've worn these every day since, and then one day I looked down and the charm had fallen off. I was heart broken. So on Day 5, when I was hanging out with my neighbor Jess, we walked to 19th St and went into this cute little store in our neighborhood and I bought a new charm. One one side it said "Find Your Passion," the other side had a picture of a compass.

I was still a little heartbroken, but posted a picture of the new charm and told the story of how while it doesn't replace my Africa charm, it means just as much. Well, a co-worker messaged me after I made the post and was like, "I think my son found your charm in the hall! I'll bring it to school for you!" And sure enough... it was my Africa charm! Of course I took it as a little birthday gift! :-)

Day 10: Dinner with Friends


The whole point of celebrating anything is to celebrate with those you love! So of course, I planned a dinner with some of my sweet friends. Not all were able to come out, but I was thankful to those who did. We had a great dinner at Pondicheri (a place I discovered after I went to India last summer).

Day 11: The Little Mermaid... on Broadway

Okay... not exactly Broadway. I couldn't afford New York this year. But, we did go to see the Broadway play of "The Little Mermaid." As much as I'm obsessed with books, musicals/plays and Disney are close seconds to my heart. And so when it was announced that The Little Mermaid would return for a short engagement, and it was happening in September, of course I added it to my #30daysof30!

First, we had dinner at Coltivare. I had never been and it was delicious! And then we headed to see the show! The play was pretty much just like the movie. Just with some extra songs. It was no where as good as "The Lion King" was, but I still enjoyed it.






What I loved about the day is that I was also able to celebrate with a slightly different group of friends that I have done other things with so far this month. I realize that while I don't have a lot of super close friendships, I do have a lot of friends who I appreciate and always enjoy spending time with... but those times seem to get fewer and further way. So I loved having my birthday as an excuse to get people to hang out!


Day 12: #Sydco Wedding

Here's another day that wasn't really about celebrating me. I was initially supposed to be spending this day road-tripping to Orlando for IF: Lead, but when Sydney sent me her Save the Date for her wedding, I knew I had to change my plans.

I love weddings. But I love friends more. And I love being able to celebrate with them if it is ever in my power to do so. And considering that Sydney is perhaps the sweetest person on the planet, who I bounded with over Chimamanda Adichie and Arundathi Roy during our Seminar English class as Seniors at A&M... Day 12 was for Sydney.

Road-tripping it to San Antonio! The 3-hour drive was filled with good tunes and some good conversation!

Sydney and Marco made a BEAUTIFUL couple. And the location couldn't have been more perfect. Vineyards are like a little piece of heaven on earth. And it was also great to run into a friend from HS and college (we both knew Sydney from college, but we didn't know we both knew her. And we had lost touch really since HS, and only ran into each other once during our days at A&M).

Day 13-22: The BIG Orlando Splurge

I was in Orlando for 10 days celebrating BIG! First, I got to be involved with the IF: Gathering's conference for local leaders called IF: Lead. And then I spent 4 days at DisneyWorld and 2 days at Universal Studios. I will blog about both of those separately because they were just too epic and honestly the highlight of anything that could have happened to me during my 30th birthday celebration (well... Pentatonix was pretty amazing, too... but DisneyWorld has been my dream for FOREVER, and was supposed to be my 25th birthday celebration, but yeah...)

10 whole days of BLISS... that's all I can say about that time! Sneak Peek Below! ;-)




Friday, September 11, 2015

30 Days of 30: The First Week

Eight days left of my 30 days of 30... and I have NOT been good and blogged about it as promised. But it's not over yet, so... let's start with the first week!

When I came up with this idea last year, it was really just a dream. And then I started to really envision it and in August decided I'd make it a reality! And it has been so much fun.

Day 1: Sept 1st (My actual 30th birthday)
I woke up and wore blue (a tradition I began when I turned 13. My birthstone is a sapphire, so I always wear sapphire blue on my birthday). Got chauffeured to work, received tons of cards, notes, flowers, cupcakes, an edible arrangements... and then ended the day at the Pentatonix and Kelly Clarkson concert!!!!! It was sooo much fun. And I stayed out way too late... but I was happy. 


Day 2: Absolutely exhausted and was a zombie at work, but somehow I made it through. I got more notes from kids. Wednesdays are our short day at school, but I had to go to Course Leader PD afterwards. And they had CUPCAKES for me and another co-worker whose birthday had also just passed. 

And then I went to church and celebrated with my Singers family with some cupcakes and a CAKE that someone sweetly got me :-) And I had two new gifts to open! 

Day 3: Open House at school. But I wasn't going to let that stop me from celebrating. Visitors came to join me in the fun, and it felt really good to have parents and students wish me a Happy Birthday still! And then since it was Houston's Restaurant Week, right after I left school, I had dinner with family and friends. 

Day 4: Headed to Miller Outdoor Theatre and enjoyed some 'Motown and More.'



Day 5: First weekend of being 30!!! So of course, I kept it real chill and spent the morning exploring the Heights with my sweet friend and neighbor, Jess! 

I spent the afternoon with my sister, because September isn't only Bunmi's Birthday Month, but it is also Sickle-Cell Awareness Month. 



And I wrapped up the day watching 'War Room' with some sweet ladies, catching up with friends and having my car attacked by a cockroach in the parking lot (that part was not fun, but did lead to lots of laughs).


Day 6: Houston Restaurant Week is still on, so a good friend took me to lunch to celebrate. And although he protested about taking pictures... I eventually got him in one :-)

Day 7: It's Labor Day! And I went to Dallas to hang out with my loves up there! Houston has grown on me... but Dallas has my heart because of some of these people! 





Saturday, August 29, 2015

3 Days to 30

In three days, I turn 30.

The Big 3-0.

I used to dread approaching that number. It would mean I was old. I was past my prime. All the fun in life should be over and done, and I should be a settle, responsible adult with a husband, at least four (of my imagined six) kids thriving and absolutely no pets.

And not that I imagined that life would be bad--it would still be an adventure. But not the same fun, flirty and free type of adventure that your 20's are for.

It also didn't help that as I approached 30, I was still single with no prospects, still had no clue what I wanted to be when I "grew up" and just felt lost in general.

Twenty-five was the year I was most excited for. In reflection, I'm not sure why. It's not like 16, when you can finally drive a car by yourself (even if it's a hand-me down from your cousin). Or not like 18, when you become an "official adult." Or even 21, when you can finally drink (which I actually waited to do, discovered I didn't really care for it, and so rarely bother). But for whatever reason, 25 is a big deal and I was pumped... until I lost my job. And spiraled into a legit "quarter-life crisis."

And each year, I got older. But life didn't seem to fall back into the well-laid out plan I had for myself. Each year, another dream got deferred.

But... somewhere over the last 5 years, I was slowly getting excited for 30. There was a lot of moments of reflection, and just growing in my faith, being more who I wanted to be. I fell in love with Valentine's Day and felt comfortable with being single. I've been able to travel to Europe, Africa (other than Nigeria), Asia, and South America. I've had little adventures as I built new friendships.

And while life at almost-30 isn't what I imagined it to be years ago... I realize this: I have a GOOD life. And I love it. And I am happy living it. And I plan to keep living it. Turning 30 doesn't have to stop that.

So here's my plan for 30: I'm celebrating for 30 days.

Birthday is September 1st. September has 30 days. I'm turning 30. It's perfect.

Not every day will be a big production (although I have a Pentatonix concert, a few shows/plays, IF:Gathering Leadership conference, Disneyland, Universal Studios and the State Fair packed in there), but every day will be a moment for me to be thankful for this year and celebrate who I am and who God is molding me to be.

I can't wait to begin this journey!

And I'll try to be good and blog about it so you can join me on the ride!



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dreams and Fears

I've started to think about them often--Beatrice and Scovia.

They are the two Esther Home Girls that are sponsored through IF: Gathering and who I'll get to meet when I'm in Rwanda in July.

I don't remember if I gave to the campaign that allowed their dreams to go to college possible, and so I've browsed through the small profiles/update we've been given, hoping to come up with gifts that can bring with me. Maybe a scarf? Or a set of my favorite colored pens?

Maybe those things would be too small, too trivial? I don't know.

And then I hear insecurity whisper: Maybe everything you have to offer will be too small, too trivial. Not just to the girls, but on the whole trip.

And I tremble with fear.

By nature, I am a pretty cautious person. I don't like to take risks, and any adventures I embark on are generally strongly vetted (or are only adventures because I finally decided to actually step outside my home).

But God has been nudging me to get out of my comfort zone a bit. Or maybe a lot. This is simply a continuation of my story, another step in the direction God is leading me.

And within the last four years, a lot of things I only dreamed about as a kid are starting to bud to life and become reality. And new dreams and passions are budding along side with those old ones.

And a lot of anxiety and fear buds, too.

What if I don't raise the money? What if it is a waste of money? What if I get sick? What if this isn't really what God wants from me? What if... what if... what if... what if I have nothing to truly offer?

I've been thankful to those who have come alongside me and encouraged me. Who have spoken life to me and help dispel these lies. And I'm thankful for the Bible and prayer. How they speak peace and bring comfort.

But it still is a daily (hourly?) battle with fear.

And so I think about Beatrice and Scovia. And how excited I am to meet them.

And how ultimately, I chose to surrender, to trust, to be obedient, which means I can't ignore the stirring that's in me.


*********************************************************************************

How to Financial Support Me on This Trip... 
Thank you very much for contributing to my service in Rwanda. I value your investment in our team as well as your prayers during our time in Rwanda. Below are two ways you can contribute financially:

  • Mail checks made out to African New Life Ministries to the following address:
    Africa New Life Ministries
    Attn: Team Trips
    7145 SW Varns St. Ste. 201
    Portland, OR 97223
    It is also advisable to place my name on the back of the giving envelope.   (Please do not write my name anywhere on the check).
  • Giving online through the website: Go to www.africanewlife.org
     Go to Donate in the upper middle of the home page.
    Under Giving Options, scroll down to Team Trip Donation and follow the directions through the process of online giving.
    You will then receive an email receipt for your donation. Reply to the email receipt and state that the donation is for a team member. i.e. ‘This donation is for Bunmi Ishola’s team trip.’
Africa New Life Ministries is a nonprofit 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law, so far as no goods or services were exchanged. You will receive a receipt recognizing your donation in January following the year of donation.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Heading to Rwanda in the Summer!

Dear Family and Friends,

In February, I participated in a women’s conference called IF: Gathering. The theme this year was all about faith—if God is real, then what? If I believe in His word, then what? If I trust that He is good, how do I respond? At the end of the week, we were asked to think about our “next step of faith” and offered different ways for us to actively live out our faith.

One of those ways was through a mission trip to work alongside Africa New Life Ministries in Rwanda. Rwanda is a small but densely populated country nestled in East Africa. During the 20th century, Rwanda reached a height of violence in the 1994 Genocide. Now, over 20 years since the Genocide, Rwanda has and continues to demonstrate to the world the power of reconciliation and forgiveness. Africa New Life Ministries is a child sponsorship organization that provides a comprehensive level of care to the students, ministering to both physical and spiritual needs as well as focusing on the communities at large. Their goal is to stop the cycle of poverty that continues to exist in Rwanda.

I heard the founder of Africa New Life speak four years ago when I first moved to Houston, and over the last year have been following IF’s involvement with the organization, as well. I took a step of faith and applied to go on the mission trip and recently found out I’ve been accepted onto the team! I’m excited about this opportunity for a lot of reasons, but mostly because of where it will lead me on my faith journey. For those of you who followed my blog when I went to India last year, or even know about the two trips I’ve taken to Haiti, you know that I’ve felt especially called to give and serve out of the abundance I feel God has given me. Right now I’m blessed with a lot of freedom and time, and so I’ve been willing and open to go wherever God might lead.

And this summer, God has opened the door for me to travel with IF to work alongside Africa New Life in the communities they serve. My trip dates are July 5th-14th, 2015. We live in a world that have vast needs—both physically and spiritually. And I strongly believe that God calls us all to show compassion on the widow, the orphan, and the poor. I also believe that when done right, short-term mission trips create an opportunity for people to not just be hearers of the Word, but doers. It’s an opportunity for us to better understand how Christ is working in the Global Church.

I invite you into this experience with me. Please join me in prayer both for the ministries in Rwanda, as well as my team. Pray that we may be good listeners and learners, that God will use us in whatever ways are needed, and that we would be changed ourselves from the experience. I also invite you to prayerfully consider financially supporting me on this trip. I’m looking to raise $3,350. Your support would mean a great deal! (I'll post details below and I’ve also included the details as an attachment).

I recently found this quote that I love, “Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life [or education, or freedom, or whatever]. Let us be outraged, let us be loud, let us be bold.” Going to Rwanda is me being loud, me being bold. Whether it is in ministry here or in ministry overseas, my prayer is to bring my life in alignment to God’s will, or as the Psalmist says, “…show me the way I should go, for to YOU I entrust my life.” Psalm 143:8.

Sincerely,

Bunmi

P.S. The quote above? … it was said by Brad Pitt. 

How to Financial Support Me...
Thank you very much for contributing to my service in Rwanda. I value your investment in our team as well as your prayers during our time in Rwanda. Below are two ways you can contribute financially:

A check made out to Africa New Life Ministries mailed with the attached form.
·       Mail checks to the following address:
Africa New Life Ministries
Attn: Team Trips
7145 SW Varns St. Ste. 201
Portland, OR 97223
·       It is also advisable to place my name on the back of the giving envelope.   (Please do not write my name anywhere on the check).
Giving online through the website.
·       Go to www.africanewlife.org
·       Go to Donate in the upper middle of the home page.
·       Under Giving Options, scroll down to Team Trip Donation and follow the directions through the process of online giving.
·       You will then receive an email receipt for your donation.
·       Reply to the email receipt and state that the donation is for a team member.
§  i.e. ‘This donation is for Bunmi Ishola’s team trip.’
(When giving online there is no need to mail anything into Africa New Life.)

Africa New Life Ministries is a nonprofit 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law, so far as no goods or services were exchanged. You will receive a receipt recognizing your donation in January following the year of donation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ponderings...

I fear that I am not a good enough witness for Christ.

I fear I am silent when I should speak. That I don't make the most of every opportunity to share His love and His truth.

In some ways, I am proud of the strides I've made. In the last two years, starting with that first trip to Haiti, I've grown bolder in my faith. I feel more and more unashamed. I no longer shy away from speaking up about God's faithfulness and goodness in my life.

But is that enough? Am I actively running the race God has called me to? 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Art of Living Intentionally

Thinking about my #OneWord365 and I found this old blog draft that I never posted. It's still incomplete, but it makes me feel that much more excited that I chose intentional as my word! 

Since I've come back from India, I've felt the huge challenge of living an intentional life. I'm the classic, go-with-the-flow kind of girl, and while I don't think I've necessarily been simply a follower, I know I am more reactive in my choices than proactive.

India showed me the power of what it looks like to intentionally give of your life and your time to others. And I've really been wanting to make sure that my life just isn't there, but that it's a life of impact. That I'm not wasting my days or my resources, but I'm making the most of them for the glory of God. And that takes some serious intentionality! 



I just finished the book Notes from a Blue Bike, and she goes through how she and her family live intentionally when it comes to work, school, travel, relationships and... there was one more that I'm forgetting. While the book definitely felt more for moms and at times felt a little bit redundant, it was a good example of how being intentional can make for a better life and it can look differently for each person. I hope that I can begin to be more intentional in everything I do. 


Not the best start to living intentionally! :-)



I totally wish I finished this blog... I have a vague idea of where my mind was going when I started this. I think I was planning to go through each of the topics she tackles and discuss my thoughts and how living intentionally in that area might look for me. But eh... that was months ago. Just be on the lookout for #intentional and #oneword365 hashtags on my Instagram instead! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

#OneWord365

Happy New Year, guys!

It's crazy to think that 2014 is over and 2015 is here... and yes, I am quite aware that it's been here for almost a full month and I'm just now acknowledging it (well, on the blog at least).

Let's do a little bit of catch-up like we did last year, shall we...

1.  I still live in the same place (no new moves, yay!)... although there might be a new move in June. It's the cutest place I've lived in since moving to Houston, but the landlord is a bit crazy. My neighbors are amazing though... we all hold false hope that we'll find another triplex we can all move into at the same time (we can dream, right?).

2. I still teach and I'm still a course leader. And I still love both... but I'm also beginning to think about what might be next.

3. I can no longer call myself a runner, but I did buy a bike!

4. My family got A LOT bigger... my niece was born last April and my sister got married in December! The niece is the cutest and my new extended in-laws are so much fun.


So... what's in store for the New Year? 

I've never been one to make New Year Resolutions... they just seemed so binding. And it's depressing when you don't complete them. But I did start out the year looking at Jennie Allen's Dream Guide and thinking about what I dream for this year. It was a good exercise and really got me thinking about what changes I'd like to see. 

But then I also heard of this whole idea of choosing one word to define your year. It started also with Jennie Allen (whose word is "Fun") and then I heard about it also from Annie F. Downs (whose word is "Sabbath") and I've been inspired to pick a word of my own: Intentional. 



Not a fan of this dictionary definition because I feel it creates a negative connotation to the meaning of being intentional, and I definitely am not thinking about wrongdoing or contamination or anything sinister. 

When I think of intentional, I think about being proactive. Actively going after something, actively making a effort to seek change or whatever. All my life, I've been a very "go with the flow" person. While I wouldn't call myself passive, I am definitely very reactive. I do things because it fell on my path and sounded like a decent plan so... why not? I want that to stop. 

I want to take time to be intentional with friendships... actively spend time with people, call them, check in on them, show them I care. I want to be intentional with my job... I want to choose the projects I work on, speak out about things that excite or bother me, try new things on my own. I want to be intentional with my relationship with God... actively spend time in the Word, and pray, and seek out opportunities to serve and grow and stuff. I want to be intentional about life. 

I love the idea of picking a word because it's a great lens to sort of drive every decision you make throughout the year. And if you have friends or a community who you're accountable to, they can help encourage you to live out your word which is awesome. 

So far my word has been good for me and there are a lot of new things I've taken on or tried, opportunities I wouldn't have seized in the past, because I've chosen to be intentional about them. I just feel more connected to people and feel more purposeful in general. 

And who knows? Maybe it's some sort of placebo effect or something, but I feel great about this new year and I'm excited to continue to be intentional! 
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