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The #PassionChallenge celebrates the passions of phenomenal women and how they infuse their current passions into everyday living. I've been fortunate enough to sit down and get all the tea🍵 from a vast array of creatives.

Meet Azia Raju

Me: Azia!!!! I'm super excited about this interview, simply because you're fabulous!!!

Azia: Kiylise, I'm more excited than you! Thanks so much for all of yo creativeness!!

Me: Ok so let's get it poppin! What are 2-3 things you currently obsess over?

Azia: Ooooh now you know I have a few things I'm loving right now. Nerd Alert! A.) Planners. Specifically DIY planners. The stickers, the different cut outs that help express a particular thought I'm having, all make me want to plan! Planning helps me maximize my time and it forces me to manage my time. Decorating my planner just makes me giggle. B.) The idea of doing some vlogging about Children’s Ministry. There are some pretty amazing dreams I have about teaching kids and empowering kids and I just haven’t seen many people talking about those things with excitement. I’d like to add to the buzz around that.

Me: Yass!!! You better preach Mrs. Raju! Your obsessions are ❤. I love a good ole decorative planner! More importantly I'm already living for your vlog series!!! I need a launch date so I can tune in and support all that greatness. I certainly can see you creating a buzz around all the wonderful things kids are doing. Now that's dope content. So tell us some fabulous things you currently dream about?

Azia: I dream about a society that embraces the idea of children and teenagers as current day, real time (not just when they’re old enough to vote or run for office) leaders in our communities. I think we talk about their education and the state of it, we tell them they can be anything when they grow up, but we don’t give them the opportunity for them to show what they can do RIGHT NOW. Children and teenagers are gifted. My dream is to see more kid entrepreneur classes, more youth panels on politics, more youth led community initiatives with adult support teams. Kids are more than capable. They need adults to equip them, provide them opportunities, and encouragement. I’m grateful that we live in a time where people are willing to protest impediments and roadblocks for kids. We’ve got to do more of that!

Me: I absolutely agree. Our youth are so brilliant and full of life that its only right that we pave a way for them to lead in that. Let's chat soon about these movements you have in mind. Youth play a major role in empowering my creativity. They literally give me life, how do you think you channel you inner creative?

Azia: Truthfully? I channel my inner creative with Makeup (which has nothing to do with anything connected to my dreams, its just fun). It helps me get really creative. The colors, the textures, are all different. You get to create shadow and glow, drama and subtlety, on your face! I love that!

Me: Fun, fascinating and addicting. Makeup is definitely in a girls toolbox. I'm the girl who's willing to try everything, thanks to YouTube. Speaking of trying new things, what's something new that you're just dying to try?

Azia: I love trying new things also. You know we've already talked about my makeup shopping excursions. I'm currently dying to try a Diva Light. It’s a circular light (ring light) that adds amazing light enhancement to your videos and pictures.

I ‘ve also been really interested in the idea of vlogging about encouraging Children’s Directors, Children’s Ministers, Teachers, Facilitators, etc. and creating some videos about tools and outlets for kids to use their spiritual gifts.

Me: I can't help but notice more vlog talk!!!! I'm here for it all! I recently heard someone say that it's no longer about who you know but about what someone knows about you, hence this passion challenge and dream movement I'm building. I want the world to know what wonderful human beings are doing, thinking and working on. I'm so inspired by your vlogging desires. Speaking of inspiration, where's one place you go to be inspired?

Azia: The library is one place I go to be inspired. The smell of books just does something to my brain. There’s just enough noise to keep me focused (if that makes any sense at all). The keyboards make that clicking sound on the desks when people type. Book pages make that, SWHIP sound when you turn them. And the smell, did I mention the smell? It smells like History and Science and Art and laughter and suspense and imagination…no, like fa’real!

Me: You know what I love most about the library!! It's my childhood memories that are resurfaced. The days when good ole books were enough, no social media, or text messaging or streaming internet, just you and a book. And yes you mentioned the smell...ahhhh!!! So Azia, If money was no object what's something you would totally try out right now or in the future?

Azia: If money were no object, I would travel to different countries, trying different types of cuisine. Because food is better in its own original cultural context. And who doesn’t like good food and good scenery?

Me: One key component to travel is definitely FooD! If you haven't already, please make sure you check out my "Low Budget, Caviar Travel Lifestyle" post to see how I manage to still get my trips in even on a budget. It's all about planning and food again is major 🔑. Good food, good scenery, empowering kids, vlogging resources and playing in makeup! I mean now that's a life of passion!!! I'm super excited that you've allowed me to sit down with you to share all this with the readers. With all of those things twirling and swirling in your life of passion, what's one thing we can expect to see from you within the next year?

Azia: Kiylise, Kiylise, Kiylise...I’ll be self-publishing my first Children’s Picture Book about a little boy named Sam who follows his very busy dad around church and gets into a very frightening situation. He learns an important lesson about who his father is and how he can be just like him, but not without first scaring a room full of people. You see Sam empowered and given the opportunity to share his gifts in a meaningful way. I’m excited to have people see that children are capable, with the help of adults who believe they can. It’ll be on paper, but I hope one day soon, people will grab hold of that idea in our everyday lives. I'm amazingly excited to begin this journey.

Me: Well Azia, you know I'll be front row for Sam and patiently waiting on that vlog series to drop. Your book is gonna be so bomb, I can't wait. Thanks so much for completing the #passionchallenge and sharing with us how fantastic your inner creative really is. I'm sure there is something everyone can take away from this chat. Thanks so much for your time and please visit us with all of your updates on your success.

Azia: Yess! I definitely will. This was amazing and cool. Thanks for allowing me the space to share.

Until next time

Peace & Sweet Dreaming,

Kiylise Crutchfield, Chief Dream Engineer


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