Why Bother?

Dear Friend,

Let’s get real.
Because life is too short to be anything less than raw.

To whom it may concern;

This is for you.
this is for me
a letter.
a letter written to remind us
when we are at our ugliest.

If you’ve never been at this point
Congratulations! I genuinely applaud & respect you.
truly <3

But for those of us who struggle,
This ones for us.

Often I compare.
It’s quite an ugly habit.

U G L Y

It’s not a constant, but rather it happens in ebs & flows.

This strange mix of ungratefulness& comparison.

Sad but true, these thoughts invade my mind:

She’s more  rich.
She’s more famous.
She’s more successful.
She’s better at this then me.
She’s more ________.
Etc.

So why bother?
Why bother cooking?
Why bother writing?
Why bother taking pictures?
Why bother _____.
Etc.

It’s a miserable thought process,
a yucky down word spiral,
that I’m not proud of,
because I know better.

But it happens.

 So this entry is an attempt,
  at a counterattack if you will.
To confront the UGLY & knock some sense into this mind of mine,& maybe yours
for times when its marinating in insecurity & defeat.

For you
for me
 for us
who have so many blessings
& too often finds ourselves comparing.

I’m trying to really convey the depth of this ugly attitude.

Wondering why does this person get a, b, & c & not me
I’m just as kind
I’m just as lovely 
I’m just as compassionate

But really the yuckiest part about it
is  when I am so disoriented in the deceitful lies
that I have the nerve to say

” Well what is it God?
Do you love this person more than me?
Why do they get all that?”

I told you it gets pretty ugly

& thats when I realized God saying,
“My love for you isn’t based on what I give you
& how DARE you think I love you less than your sister
 just because I bless them differently”

This is a beautiful truth to face,

 I am loved on the basis of WHO GOD IS, not what He gives to me,
yet  having Him is more than enough.

A much needed wake up call, only scratching the surface of this issue.
So I continued to dig…

” Comparison is the Thief of Joy”- Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve known that quote for a while
& completely agree with it
So surely, according to this quote,
 once I was grateful & content this whole internal struggle of mine, would no longer be an issue.

But yet the issue remained.

You see for myself I’ve found…
A huge portion of resolving this internal struggle is absolutely found in gratefulness.
but it also consists of the need to keep in perspective why I live.
Because by keeping in perspective why I live  I have an answer to why bother?

When did the notion of needing to be the best at something in order to do it become a necessity?

I will never be the best writer, photographer, or chef.
But I will write, I will capture, I will cook.

What’s the point then, if not to be the best?

At first,I thought I do these things because I enjoy them & they enrich my quality of life.
To create is one of the best gifts man kind has been given.

But the truth is, that  reasoning is only a perk not a purpose.

I will write.
I will cook.
I will capture images.

Not to be the best but so that I may boast.
 That I would boast in the Lord and make his name known.

That when people -if anyone- should read, see or taste my creations
they would in actuality be reading,seeing, and tasting the goodness of my Lord.

Because though I’d like to think so
” because it makes me happy” isn’t a sufficient reason to keep doing what I love
because I could easily chicken out of doing those things
sadly out of fear of not being the best or being made famous.

BUT when it becomes about “making His name known”,
I do what I enjoy wholeheartedly because my perspective is off of me.
When I redirect the why bother to the why I live,
I do what I enjoy – cook,write,photograph,etc. – knowing full well I’m not the best

BUT I choose to not coward out of using my gifts
 because it would be a complete disservice to making Jesus known,if I were to not do them.

So when I  or you or we find ourselves buying into the why bother?
I shouldn’t cook or write or photograph or ___________because someone else is better
GET A GRIP!
You don’t have to be the Top Chef, Maya Angelou, or _____________

You just have to bother to dare to create,
even if we’re not the best
 because you matter.
 
& we matter to boast in Him.

Because we must not define ourselves by
who does what better
who has more
who is more .

Because we are worth somuch more than we could ever imagine,
& to not use the gifts we we were given would be doing a huge disservice to the true BEST there is.

” Watch Out ! Be on your guard against wantingto have more & more things.
 Life is not made up of how much a person has”- Luke 12:15

“Let he who boasts boast in the Lord”

So please my friend DON’T LOSE FOCUS & get distracted with the enemy’s nonsense.
DON’T let Him trip you up comparing yourself to the lives of others.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE& not what you don’t or didn’t have.
God has blessed you IMMENSELY with His GREAT ALL CONSUMING LOVE FOR YOU
REVEL in that.
It is your greatest romance, accomplishment, & adventure; BEING LOVED BY HIM.
May you find your identitiy & BOAST in his love all the days of your life.
Don’t allow the lies of insufficiency & ingratitude contaminate your thinking & motives.
” Guard your heart with all diligence for it determines the course of your life” Proverbs 4:23

Why bother ? Why bother trying if theres always someone “more” or “better”?
When you find yourself lost as I did, flip your perspective from why bother to why do I live?
& here it is;
 
I live
You live
We live  
not to be the best
 but to use our life 
to BOAST of Christ.

& that has been and forever will be more than enough
 
Rooted in Love,
Mrs.Dreamer Irving



107 days

As the years of spending Christmas’ together go by,
        I like to the think back to the Christmas of 2012.
        If you know anything about our relationship,
        your probably familiar with the fact that  2012 was a big year for us, for several reasons.
     
    For starters that’s when we reconnected,
     when I called him on February 23rd to confess my sudden epiphany that I liked him,
    when we had our 1st date all around the stunning capital that is Washington D.C.,
    when he asked me to be his girlfriend on April 10th 2014 
    (thus doing long distance for he was still in Nyack,NY),
    when we spent the entire summer together in Bushkill, PA
     (through the privilege it is to serve Jesus through loving the kids at Mont Lawn Camp),
    & when we were stripped from one another for a solid 107days.
     
    Everything was reevaluated for me.
    Everything I ever wanted at my finger tips available;
    education, travel, exposure to different lives, serving those in need…
    it was all provided for on a silver platter.
    In 3 words : Semester at Sea.
    It was an extraordinary experience
    to which I am forever grateful, & oh how I grew.
     But this is article is about life,love & Christmas 
    and if you’re patient enough to read through to the end you’ll see how.
     
    Many people know my cliche stories of Belgian Chocolate consumed on Belgian Waffles,
     or the delicious Greek Gyros devoured  in Santorini after a stereotypical donkey ride
     or the Tapas I shamelessly indulged in after watching a Bull Fight in Cordoba,Spain.
     
    The experiences were incredible,
    the sunsets on the ship over the ocean breathtaking,
    the countless interactions from different people from different walks of life priceless,
    but what I learned of life and love on that trip were unparalleled.
     ***************************************************

          Somewhere in the middle of the ocean, on the way back from Africa to South America,
           we encountered a major storm.
           Not a physically , but relationally.
           In this sudden storm that swept in the seas got rough & the waves high,
           neither of us had any assurance of what was to come ,
          nor did we know if our relationship would be able to make it through this transatlantic storm.

          That’s when I knew; I loved this man.

           Despite the exposure to travel, serving ,education, and exposure to different peoples
           the reality of doing life beside him serving Jesus was exponentially sweeter.
           And as heartbreaking as it was, if I had to surrender this man forever,
           for him to have a better life, I would.
         
       
          So in the middle of that night, I cried out to God,
          shifting my focus back and forth between the roaring ocean & starry sky.
          I sat out that night for hours realizing that this silver platter,
          without the right people & without the right setting
           wasn’t so silver after all.

          I had yearned,wanted, COVETED desperately for this platter of silver, 
          when all along – if I had opened my eyes -, I would’ve seen I had a platter of gold.

         We learned, Greg & I, a lesson in waiting, in not knowing, in abiding to our words.
         We learned about the beauty of surrender, honesty and trusting God through the storm.
       
         Separately, worlds apart, we learned the deep lesson of what mattered most in life
         But again this is a story of life , love , and Christmas.
                  ***********************************************
         
           That Christmas morning at his parents house,
          after Christmas Eve with my family as our tradition holds,
          I decided to go all out.

          I had spoken with my mentor about how I felt towards Greg
           and  regardless of whether or not his love for me was reciprocated,
          I had decided to expose myself, & bravely take the step to say I Love you.
        
         Now its essential to note we had previously referred to liking each other as little l .
         It was more for me than for Greg,  ” I l you ” meant I liked you.
         We texted it , spoke it , wrote in in letters, I like you or I little l word you.
         Cheesy I know but the intent of course was saving,
           I big L you ,
         the obvious & ever so scary I Love you.


        This is it. I thought to myself.
        I had known since the storm on Semester At Sea, 
        but knew I had to wait for a less tumultuous moment.
        As 2012 was a white Christmas, I took advantage of the pure peaceful white snow.
        My polish-less, glove-less index finger began imprinting in the snow
       ” I L you” encompassed by a big fingerimprinted heart.
        Of course, I brought Greg outside eager to share, utterly terrified of a new level of vulnerability,
        but pretty confident and expectant that he would return the sentiment.
      
         ” Greg your gift is outside” I said to him , 
          he was puzzled but followed me without hesitation as he does to this day, 
         knowing full well he often wont understand everything I do.
        So I ask him to close his eyes & then open his eyes to look at the snow.
        I’m utterly nerve racked but eagerly anticipating to hear, on this peaceful white Christmas morn.
        “I love you too ”
        Nope.
        Nothing.
        He looked at it, he looked at me, he looked at it and then hugged me.
        HUGGED ME. HUGGEDME?!?! What ?
        I released myself from the hug, grinned,  and swallowed my tears.
        
        I retreated to my phone to tell my mentor how it didnt go as plan, it totally backfired.
        I was holding back tears as she reassured me
        that I said it because it was true for me & not just so I could hear it back.
        As I thanked her for her encouragement, 
        Greg looked over my shoulder, rolled his eyes,and brought me rightback outside.
        
         ” Thressa how was I supposed to know you were saying I love you?!?!”-Greg
         ” Because I used the big L & we only ever say like using little L”- Thressa
          ” THRESSA! How was I supposed to know that? I didn’t know what you were doing “- Greg
         ” It’s fine okay because I didn’t say it to hear it ba-” – Thressa
          ” Thressa STOP of course I love you ” -Greg
          ” wait what you love me tooo =) ?” -Thressa
        
          “No I LOVE YOU & you love me too” -Greg
          ” nu-uh I said it first” -Thressa
          ” No you wrote it first & I had no idea what your plan was”-Greg
        “But I wanted to be brave & say it 1st to you! Can we rewind& replay the whole thing” -Thressa
        
      
         Why this long winded story? 
         Why an account of life lessons, & our 1st “I love you” experience?
         Because I was thinking about this Christmas with Greg.
         Our first Christmas as husband & wife.
         So naturally my mind wandered and I thought about Christmas’ past,
         and our comical confusing I love you experience on our first Christmas together ever.

        Looking back 107 days isn’t that much at all.
        Yet that one experience,changed my life in so many more ways then I could have ever expected.

       
          Just thinking about our 1st Christmas as husband and wife
         my memory lets me not forget of our 1st Christmas,
        our 1st storm,  and our 1st I love you.
         
          As promised this is story of life, love, and Christmas
        Technically separate yet altogether intertwined.
        Jesus is life.
        Jesus is love.
        Jesus is Christmas. 
   
        For even when its not Christmas, 
        Christ finds ways in everything 
        that I may see, that we may see
        that HE is life & HE is love 
        Filling our 107 days , our messy, our confusing,
        our insightful excursions around the world to capture our attention.

         In 107 days,he exposed me to my nothingness & meaninglessness without him.
         I hope it takes you less than 107 days to get to that point.
         To revel in the wonder, the history, and the joy of it all.
          That our attention may be so abnormally fixed on him,
          that in simply trying to contemplate on the past few days your mind wanders
          and cant help but say;

 “PRAISE BE TO YOU OH GOD! 
Thank You for all that you’ve taught me, 
all that you’ve brought me through.
Thank you for enabling me to see the supernatural,
 through the natural act of remembering.”

          This is a portion of our story
          because our story
          is to always point back to His story.
          Because his story is life, his story is love, his story is Christmas.

 
     Rooted in Love ,
     Mrs. Dreamer Irving

P.S. enjoy these series of ordinary photos from yet another extraordinary Christmas

Look at these dapper young men
Christmas Eve Dinner: Arroz, Paella, Bacalhau, & Frango
Bubu wrapped in his gift!
To the King !
Dunkin run before our 3 hour road trip to Christmas part II in PA.

Monkey Bread & Mimosa Breakfast
The Punjammies that support freedom that Greg got me that brought tears to my eyes.
Sister. Sister
We love our Grandma!

She blessed me by blessing others, with TOMS & to the Dressember Foundation  !
   

    The MOST Wonderful Time of the Year

    *A post in tribute to the many recent suffering’s nation & worldwide, that have been brought to light.

    The MOST wonderful time of the year? Where did that come from?
    A little bit of  marshmallows for toasting & carolers out in the snow,
     and suddenly Christmas is the MOST wonderful time of the year?
    Why not Thanksgiving or Valentines day ?
    Let me tell you, if Christmas were a sibling,
    all his/her brothers/sisters holidays ( as well as days other days of the week)
     would be real upset they were getting overshadowed.

    Don’t get it twisted, I am all about:
    celebrating,
     rejoicing,
     relishing in the love of family,
     thoughtfulness,
     Being thankful that Jesus was born,
    enjoying people,
    being kind & charitable

    But WHY?
    Why is this seasonal?
    Why only this time of the year do we give lavishly, gift creatively, gather with loved ones intentionally, taking time to be and laugh heartily .

    A bit of a thanksgiving tradition that has begun with my family
    is singing the lyrics to point of grace’s how you live

    “Wake up to the sunlight with your windows open
    don’t hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
    wear your red dress, use your good dishes
    make a big mess and make lots of wishes
    and have what you want but want what you have
    and don’t spend your life looking back
    Turn up the music
    Turn it up loud
    Take a few chances
    Let it all out
    ’cause you won’t regret it
    Looking back from where you have been
    ’cause it’s not who you knew
    And it’s not what you did
    it’s how you live
    So go to the ball games and go to the ballet
    go see your folks more than just on the holidays
    kiss all your children, dance with your wife
    tell your husband you love him every night
    don’t run from the truth, ’cause you can’t get away
    just face it and you’ll be ok”
    We sing this song & my prayer is to live it out.
     In the words of MaryJean Irion, “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are”.
    It’s not a new notion,
    to not wait for Friday or to not despise Monday’s
    yet we do.
    NEWSFLASH if we continue with that thought cycle, we will only add to our misery & discontent.
    The beauty of this most wonderful time of the year
    is the giving, the singing, the creating, the resting, the loving, the enjoying, the celebrating.
    Our MOST wonderful time of the year should not be limited to Christmas.
    Snow,hot cocoa, and presents have a VERY special place in my heart
    but they don’t make life wonderful.
    For even in my comfort in my moments of joy,
    someone else is suffering or struggling,someone is in despair.
    That’s not to take away from our ability to love our circumstances,
    but to maximize our appreciation for them
    and perhaps ignite us into serving, loving, acting and praying for the suffering.
    Maybe humanity truly having the most wonderful time of the year
     is thinking of how to make someone else’s miserable, desperate, and painful just a little better.
    No more lives torn apart
    That wars would never start,
    And time would heal all hearts
    And everyone would have a friend
    And right would always win
    And love would never end
    This is my grown-up Christmas list
    Revel in your wonderful time of the year
     but PLEASE extend the mentality you have this season all year . 
    THE WORLD IS IN DESPERATE NEED of W O N D E R F U L  year round<3
    wonderful giving
    wonderful celebrating
    wonderful advocating
    wonderful creating
    wonderful praying
    wonderful gratitude
    wonderful conviction to care about those suffering & acting to alleviate the pain
    Please note I am not making light of the day to day struggles we all face,
    we’re all just learning how to live this life as best we can.
    I am saying that life is far to big a gift to only attribute the MOST WONDERFUL to one season a year.
    May the MOST wonderful time of the year,
    be every moment you’re alive,
    every moment love is being spread & the enhancing of someones quality of life, achieved.
    Because of a dreamers love for words, a realists love for music, 
    and our love for each other…
    we’ve decided to sing this aforementioned song, as holiday treat.
    We’re no sonny & Cher, or insert awesome singing couple here _________
    We’re just a dreamer and a realist,
    seeking to make known the atrocious load of those in suffering,
    and our part in alleviating that pain.
    May this video break you heart for those in pain & compel you 
    to not just be in the most wonderful time of the year when it’s Christmas but in every moment your alive.

    Our prayer is that you would thrive in serving others.
    Seek,with all that you can, to provide healing to another human soul
    and doing so, realize each day, that
    It’s a wonderful life.

    Enjoy:

    Come On In

    As we were packing up this weekend,
    preparing to bid farewell to our humble abode
    -this blessing of an apartment that was our first home-
    I was contemplating how much Mr.Realist & I love having people over.

    It’s such a sincere joy of ours,
     to welcome people into our lives,
    and no matter where they come from
     or how long they’ve known us,
     to be able to provide them with an escape out of unfamiliar & into the beauty of  H O M E
    is our privilege.

    That’s when the idea struck me.
    As I picked up the camera to capture stills of these rooms
    that were once filled with warmth, peace, and laughter
    I realized in the span of the next 11 days,we’re only gonna have 2-4 more guests here.

    Which bummed me out only for a split second,
    because  I realized,
    even though we couldn’t manage to have everyone
     -from near & far- that we would have loved to invite over into our home in 11 days,
    we could invite them over via this blog.

    So come on in, the doors open.

    A simple prayer for our home & our guests
    Kick off your shoes & stay a while =)

    First stop, the make shift foyer, to make a 12 ft X 3ft hallway a bit bigger.

    The site where Greg tackled the feat of doing dishes upon dishes & our Cafe Bustelo woke us up
    Limited kitchen space makes for maximized teamwork <3, but it’s here in this petite – where we have to cook with the window open- kitchen where the delicious meals our guests ask for 3rds& 4ths of are made.

    Since our honeymoon we’ve managed to sleep under a fan, so from now on I’ll be partial to ceiling fans in the bedroom.

    The view we treasured overlooking the Hudson River.

    Our Reading nook, where we set up our record player & reminders to continue traveling.

    As you can see  I got this idea^ mid packing. In any case this was the backdrop for our dining space, where we thanked God for our lives, our food & all our guests we had a privilege to serve and welcome into our home.

    Our Kitchenette for storing the drinks, snacks, sweets, & tea for guests and ourselves.
    The very well lived in living room, complete with 6’2′ ceiling- yes Greg has to hunch over to fit.

    Our Lovely tree; filled with childhood memories & advent ornaments.

    Some photo albums & games b/c in the wise words of Rich & Suzy “A couple that plays together, stays together”

     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Oh &of course last but not least, our spare oom .

    This is our lives compressed into one room

    Now you see why having you coming over via blog was a must, because with all this going on, there would be no other way.

    SHOUTOUT to special guest Kristy who lovingly – as usual, she does everything with so much love – kept Greg & I focused on the task at hand.

    Them laughing at my nonsense, and for exaggerations sake throwing my life away
    1.”T,What are you gonna do with  ____” -Greg  
    2.”Garbage“- Kristy
     3.”Nooo, I can um____” -Thressa
     4.* Item gets tossed* ( Repeat X’s 100)

    After a whole lot of tossing,wrapping,& storing we finally reached  this point.Furniture ready to go. Our bags are packed.

    Hallelujah, a 24 hour project complete,we’re ready to move out today!

    Tchau gente! 

    Thanks for stopping by our 1st home as Mr.Realist & Mrs.Dreamer Irving
    This was the first time we’ve had the pleasure of hosting via blog ( feeling pretty techy not gonna lie), but we can’t wait to have you over for real in our next humble abode…
     wherever that is !

    Rooted in Love,
    Mr. Realist & Mrs. Dreamer Irving

    The Things We'll Leave, & The Things We'll Take With Us.

    Early yesterday morning before Greg left for work, he asked me if I could start packing.

    Though a naturally excitable person about moving- and life in general –
     the early bird in me was nowhere to be found,
     so naturally I rolled over, pulled our duvet over my head, and drifted off into a deep sleep.
    I woke up to a beautiful thing, 
    the inescapable truth that our two worlds had collided , 
    the dream had become real and in the words of Billy Joel,
    that we shouted out with glee – and perhaps a bit off key 😉 – upon hearing the news,
    we’re MOVIN’ OUT !!!! 
    So  I sprung out of bed, grabbed my coffee, 
    and walked into our wardrobe-less spare oom.
    Let filling moving boxes upon moving boxes begin
    and may the odds of not breaking anything be ever in my favor.


    As I laugh to myself suddenly I begin to recall something.
    I can’t shake the feeling of something …someone …
     a muffled instruction I heard, just before entering that deep sleep, …what wa-
    SNAP CRACKLE POP
     it was Greg’s voice… ru-roh,but what did he say??
    As I tried really hard to backtrack & to remember the words he spoke,
     I reached that moment where I just had to give up trying to remember, 
    then just like that, it came to me, as it often does,
     immediately following the instant you stop trying. ( sidebar: the human brain never ceases to amaze me)
    ” Remember to only pack what we really need,
     and throw as much as you can away
    This can be a tricky feat for a woman married to a man, much more simple & practical then she.
    A man who would be quite content to live off of PB & J alone.
    Now I’m no hoarder but I like things & the memories attached to them.
    Who’s to say what fits the quota for what is “necessary”, 
    isn’t measuring ones “need” rather relative.
    In any case the task was assigned, so I did what I do best when I procrastinate: I ponder.

    So what do we leave behind, what do we take?
    Think like a realist; what is essential, beneficial, and useful?
    What are the things that contribute to enhancing our quality of life?
    Doesn’t sound half bad this beloved realist of mine perhaps has a method to his madness
    ( it is not only the dreamers who are mad)
    and by saying so little, he has said so much.

    For I can’t ask myself these questions & remain in the realm of materialistic things.
    As much as it can exist now in the 21st century, 
    I teleport to a realm of memories,experiences, & lessons we’ve learned in our 1st home.

    Filtering out 

    The Things We’ll Leave Behind ;
    •  fear
    • worry
    • pride
    •  frustrations 
    • doubt
    • control
    • anxiousness
    • miscommunications
    • insecurity
    • stress
    Remembering our moments of frailty & humanity, having to cling onto our roots
     – our Unshakable Love – 
    when we found we had ran ourselves dry & cold.
    Remembering our Unshakable Love; is our supply, light, and nourisher.
    Remembering instances of provision, joy, and relentless hope.
    The Thing’s We’ll Take With Us 
    •  instances of provision
    •  love
    •  kindness
    • gratitude
    • trust
    •  forgiveness
    • laughter
    • understanding
    •  hope
    • prayer
    •  friendship
    • adventure
    I wonder what life would be like if we were as intentional on what we pack into our hearts each day,
     as we are to pack when deciding what we’ll take and leave behind for the move.
    So I’m still here .
    As are the boxes, 
    some now filled; with pots, pans, tupperware, dishware, and all kinds of kitchen tools.
    Yet some boxes remain to be filled, 
    because the clock doesn’t slow down, life doesn’t stop, we keep changing & learning.
    Sometimes the easy way, sometimes the hard way
     ….and maybe you’re really living each day 
    when you’re figuring out more of the stuff to take with you
     and more of what to leave behind.
    We’re meant to constantly grow
    Our final two weeks here; we’ll be living.
    We will find some last minute throw away’s that tried to sneak their way in,
    as well as making last minute memories that will keep us young for years to come.
    Some boxes empty, some full….
    Our hearts full of the memories made, lessons learned, thing’s we’ll keep.
    And the trash bin…
    overflowing with the things we’ll leave behind.
    Rooted in Love,
    Mrs. Dreamer Irving