Curveball

We’ve been living in PA for 27days now.

In the words of Destiny’s Child
“I’m a survivor (what) I’m gonna make it (what) I’m a survivor ( what) Keep on survivin'”.

I know how to properly say Lancaster, how to deal with a bat flying in your home in the middle of the night – yes that happened & yes I was terrified, and that the only teams worth rooting for are the Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers and Pirates.

Okay so obviously that last bit is partial to the man I married and his family’s roots, but in any case, this entire blog would have never existed were it not for the realization that we were to move to PA.

It began out of obedience to a conversation I had with the Lord; to record our journey, to keep track of all the change & a simple way to publicly praise God.

But I am getting ahead of myself .
Let me backtrack a step real quick.

If you know me at all, you know that moving to PA would not be my first choice.
If your nosy at all, you’re wondering what caused us to move out of NY.

So chances are if you’re reading this you either care for us OR  are nosy… OR both, but either way I love you & I pray you are blessed by the words I say, as I am about to quench your curiosity.

In early November on our way back to NY from an extraordinary unforgettable surprise birthday weekend getaway to Niagra Falls, Greg + I had a lot of time on our hands. We had 6 hours of driving to do, so naturally we  did everything from jamming to Billy Joel at the top of our lungs, to sitting in silence, to eating spicy snacks to keeps us awake & alert,  to unintentionally doing the most simple yet most life changing thing: talking.

T A L K
To your spouse
To family
To friends
To God
But REALLY talk to them because it radically has the ability to change your whole life.

So as we conversed, we started talking about areas in our life where we felt so… lackluster. Areas that we felt were just completely draining us, depleting us of our drive for life , stifling us from utilizing our talents , and basically restraining us from becoming our most alive self.

We were in agreement : somehow it was our workplace & somehow we were to relocate  .

As we arrived to our then home, our 1st apartment as husband and wife, we decided we would pray individually and together for God to give us some understanding & direction. We prayed that within the next day, God would specify what was the issue & where we were to go.

So we prayed individually and together, that night, the next morning, afternoon,& into the evening.

When we reunited after work that day, we spoke yet again, in what I like to call the bat mobile (no relation to the bat incident I mentioned earlier) also known as our Mazda 6.

We reported to one another that God, in his grace, had quickly responded to our prayers.

On the count of 3  we revealed to one another the word that had explained what was bothering us about work
1…2…3…
He gave us both the same word !!!
Of course we heard them at different points of our day, but none the less this word  accurately helped describe what the issue was at the places we were working .
What an AWESOME God we serve,
but then again we weren’t surprised because He was just staying true to His character as always.

We carried on to explain to one another specifically how this word was a description of how we were feeling & how God was calling us to live a more alive life.

But then where?

He then in the abundance of his love guided us where we should go very bluntly.

Looking back I should’ve said  KAUAI or AUSTRALIA, but that’s not quite what I said nor what our omniscient God had in mind.

But instead sarcastically I said “Well where do you want us to go God LANCASTER ”  & sure enough Greg said “Thressa the only words that were  coming to my mind before you even opened your mouth was Dorcas & Wes” ( friends of ours from college who love in the heart of the town of Lancaster)

At that moment as trivial as it may appear, we knew.There was no turning back. I could wish all I want for Kauai or Australia, but in that moment we knew we were PA bound, specifically near Lancaster PA.

Little did we know a season of WAITING was right around the corner.

Greg applied to Water Street Ministries in Lancaster , and within weeks he had his in person interview, where they shortly there after offered him the position.
Upon accepting the position Mid December , he gave his previous job his 2 weeks notice.

I applied to Milton Hershey School to be a Transitional Living Assistant.
& Greg woke up one morning saying he had a renewed sense of patience.
GREAT if Greg has a renewed sense of patience I KNOW it’s gonna be a while & worth the wait.

After 7 weeks of waiting ( fingerprints, child clearances ,& background checks)
yesterday I went in for the Milton Hershey interview ☺️.
For the first time my prayer was different,
 of course I would have loved to get the job
 but really my only prayer was that I would just be myself & praise God in the process,
because He deserves it.

Sure enough CURVEBALL the stomach bug (I had most certainly contracted from the 1year old’s at the daycare I’ve been working for ) symptoms hit me like a ton of bricks, within the first hour of the overnight interview process.

How could this be? Suck it up I thought this is the moment you’ve been waiting for the past 7 weeks.
At the first round I thought it was just nerves,
 but after round two I knew I would have to leave this overnight interview,
 for the well being of the girls, staff, & myself.

I was honest & loving; they were gracious & understanding.

It was decided that my interview would be rescheduled.

My in-loves picked me up & cared for me until my husband got home, 

and all I could think about- as I laid there curled up with a blue “just in case” bucket before me –
was how we got here and how far we’ve come.

How life can change so rapidly through one conversation,
 how waiting for the right thing – curveballs and all – feels like forever but is always worth it,
and through it all He lavishes His love upon us ;refueling us, recharging our drive for life,
  encouraging us to utilize our talents, and freeing us towards becoming our most alive self.

That’s where this blog began, while Greg & I were praying + waiting for direction, God instructed me to utilize this talent  of writing He gave me to record our journey, to keep track of all the change & to publicly praise our God.

Is there something your praying for ,waiting for ?
Keep praying, keep waiting, & even when the curveballs come,
 keep praising.

Destination Family

As we began our drive down to Virginia to visit some fr-amily ( friends turned family),
 Greg & I joked that “on the road again” has very much become the story of our lives.

 
There always seems to be places to go, people to see, & things to do.
Dr. Seuss was onto something with his whole “Oh the places you’ll go”
and Oh how we love to go places, to see the people we love. 
Because the place’s we go are far more about the people we’re with 
Because we all know it’s the people that make a space, a place. 
So what is it about these people?
 Naturally so, if you’ve heard us talking about them, 
without having ever being around them the question remains;
 What is about these Sylvester’s that you just can’t get enough of?

See for yourself:
 

Okay so my photos  are sub-par
they’re  nowhere at the level where they can convey the; 
beauty, liveliness, & home this place exudes.
Very simply it’s the supernatural in the natural.

It’s the intense capture the flag-esque family nerf gun wars 
that left us sweating &breathless, 
 
 
 
 
it’s the early morning rising to be awestruck at the sight of farm fresh eggs,
(Tuck wanted Greg to match him )
(like father like son)
 
it’s the practice of family supports family in every way {yep the icing on the cake, Mr.Rich is Hudson’s coach & sappy as it may be watching him intentionally encourage these boys,instill their worth, stressing teamwork had me tearing up},
it’s the lack of partiality; to welcome you into their home.
Whether they know you 10 years or 1 summer, 
they take you in like you’re one of their own.
They believe in you, they value you.
They set an atmosphere that echoes:
 here you are free to be yourself &we love who that is.
.
it’s the why not / “don’t get used to it boys, but enjoy every bite” spontaneous visits to hole in the wall delicious donut shops with not so delicious coffee for lunch
it’s the sending our friend off thousands of miles away smiling at the hope of being reunited soon,

 it’s the let’s enjoy to the fullest every moment of this life we’ve been given, in the form of; Risk-ing it all, riding bikes feeling the fresh crisp air fill these lungs, & interacting with these beautiful creatures we’ve played no part in creating, but play our part in praising their Creator with a simple stroke of their mane.

it’s the hanging out with a 5 year old 
and being reminded what imagination + compassion feels like, 
it’s the intrigue at our ability to make fire

& getting our hands dirty wanting to contribute to watch its mesmerizing glow and feel its warmth,
it’s the simple fireside talks
that erupt into uncontrollable laughter that gives you a sore stomach for all the right reasons,
it’s the “winners or losers good attitudes all around” street hockey

it’s the being with my husband as we take it all in (thank you Virginia for being for lovers),

it’s the place where a simple weekend visit
 inadvertently transforms into a retreat

 where you experience the presence of God;
 this is what it is to be at the Sylvester home. 

That’s what it is about them.
 God’s love, peace, freedom, joy, understanding, creativity, & rest ABOUND in their home. 
It refreshes the soul, to abide in a home 
where the urge to revert to your natural & best self, is irresistible + uncontainable. 

The self that God intended us to be
– that we often neglect or forget exists, that’s yearning to be awakened –
bursts forth in this place, with these people.

Whenever we’re around them we soak up every bit 
of their extraordinary example of a Christ-centered family lifestyle,
that they’re too humble to admit they set.

For they know full well,
the single most important component in making a group of people a family,
is that Love abides there. 

 & as Love so evidently abides as their foundation,
they know it’s not about what’s being done,
it’s the being together every step of the way
 in the words of Rich & Suzy it’s about “Destination Family”.
For wherever you’re with them 
& for however long you’re there
 your always at the same place:
 Destination Family. 



 

Open Invitation: You've got a friend in me

  Moving to PA has it’s perks,
 one of the most significant for me
      has been the increased proximity to a beloved friend from college 
 Dorcas.
I met her on my first week of college, & our connection was instantaneous.
She had a free spirit, a love for Brazil, Jesus, others, and adventure.

The thing with college friendships –
& in actuality a majority of friendships we establish

– is discerning who’s only meant to be present for a season & who’s there for the long haul

Looking back to the many different seasons of life where friends were acquired;

childhood friendships, 
church friendships, 
“family friend” friendships,
highschool friendships,
Nyack College friendships ,
DC friendships,
Semester at Sea friendships, 
work friendships, 
MLC friendships
Some have sunk & some have swum.
& some at a fault to no one, for one reason or another, have simply disconnected.

I admit I haven’t always had this understanding mindset.
Sometimes I was going all in, so I was confused why certain friendships didn’t last. For a while I contemplated,”What am I doing wrong”? “When am I gonna have lifelong friends”?
Or even just a very basic thought, that we’ve all come to “Who are my real friends” ?
 Sometimes the multitude of options combined with how fast life was going – for me at least – was just overwhelming.There were just so many different people/places I was involved with, 
I couldn’t keep up.
Sometimes life happens & in the middle of it all, you’re just trying to figure out who you are,
 what you believe in, & what you’re living for…that before you know it you forget, or at least I did 
about maintaining contact, keeping in touch, the effort & rewarding commitment of being a friend escapes you. And self discovery takes priority.
Sometimes we run for cover, avoiding the intimacy &transparency that’s required in being a friend,because we don’t want to take the risk.
Whatever the case may be, I quickly discovered that friendships
 would remain an ever so curious phenomenon for me.
As a child,friendships came so easy .
Sleepovers, birthdays, and spending hours that turned into weeks of our lives 
imagining,eating,creating,running wild, & laughing together.
As I grew, friendships changed & fast.
Some friends I’ve explored the depths of the seas with & others the depth of their hearts.
Some we hid under yellow tables,danced to Zoe Girl, snowboarded.
Somewent through day to day life with, prayed, cooked, created & laughed till dawn.
Some were crying shoulders, daring adventurers
Some spoke truth & bravery to me when I was lost in a desert of lies & fear,
Some spent days on the beaches of either Cape Cod or Rio.
Some friends made me cry & just question what kind of ” friend ” is this?
( fitting the cliches of peer pressures that became all to real in middle school. 
It’s okay no hard feelings here, I’ve long forgiven you, & you are so loved ! )
Some, oh some, how we thrived !
 We camped, we won cabin of the week, we slid down hills, we went to concerts together, 
we pranked each-other without reservation, 
we sang, acted, listened, worked together, were hurt,& were healed together.
F R I E N D S H I P S
it means so many different things to so many people.
When you become friends with someone,true friends, for however long
 your life is filled joy
& your faith in humanity is restored.
And that has always been a dream of mine in life:
 to show people joy & faith in humanity.
So as ridiculous as it may sound,
that afternoon with Dorcas 
in Lancaster ( of all places )
guzzling coffee, 
talking husbands hopes hurts & healing 
I began to toy with the idea of somehow relaying one message
either the final, the 837,458th, or the 1st 
to all who were, are, will be
– this special brand of people in my life-
a friend.
So without further adieu 
here’s my official unofficial letter to YOU;
 

Dear Friend of my Past, Present, or Future;
Thank You for being a part of my life.
I don’t know how long you were/are/or will be a part of it,
but for whatever the time frame you were/are/will be a part of my life, 
and I am grateful.
Some during diaper days,childhood, awkward preteen years,
 teenage years, high-school, college,present day, or yet to be.
Things have radically changed in my life & yours.
As it should, because this is life.
Change is inescapable.
So friend of past present or future.
Thank you for being a part of it.
Thank you for hours of phone calls back when home phones were a thing,
for laughter, for running, for playing ,
for face timing while it’s a thing
 for creating ,for exploring, for teaching me, 
& for “whatever the future main form of communication is” -ing.
Friends of past,present, & future.
I used to wish our friendship could have lasted much longer 
& that I could have been a much better friend
& now I’ve just come to peace with the fact  that of the millions of people in this world,
I was enchanted to meet you.
To some extent, for some reason, for whatever the season ; 
you were / are / or will be my friend.
Whatever the experiences, however long,
 they matter (+ed)(will matter) for shaping me into being a better friend
& what I understand friendship to be.

So along with thank you, I’d like to publicly say I’m sorry for any offense I’ve done to you.

For the longest time, F R I E N D S H I P S have intimidated me
& though I’ve improved at it in some areas, I’m still figuring it out.
If you were expecting me to keep in touch & I fell through the cracks & disappeared
from the bottom of my heart I am so sorry
 Or if I said or did something that deeply hurt you,will you forgive me?
Because the long & short of it is;
I’m a flawed human being, I’m a work in progress and it wasn’t intentional. 
Friendship requires so much of us,  sometimes the bar is set high,
 and we’re simply not at the right maturity level to reach that bar.
But oh how I’ve learned, oh how I’ve grown, 
& I’m so sorry it took you being the hurt vessel, to teach me a lesson.
So thank you for being a friend for whatever the time frame,
& sorry for any of the sadness I’ve brought your way.
But most of all life isn’t over & I am still here.
Still here to connect with, pray with, & laugh with.
Still here to listen to you, explore with you 
& go into the depths of your sea or heart.

Please understand I am not writing to rekindle & savor every friendship that was ever flamed.
For some friendships already fully served their purpose, I know that full well,
 &I’m simply taking the time to be thankful for them.
 & saying hey you were great
or you taught me something
 or sorry for hurting you

or wow when I think back I realize I had such a good friend in you…

I’m writing this because as I spent the day with my dearest Dorcas

 & we guzzled coffee
 reminisced 
& dreamed together 
as we often had in college
 I thought to myself
oh how sweet
what a treasure
a friend for 5 years
who despite nearness or farness
I’ve felt supported, loved, & wanted by her.
There were moments we thrived together 
moments we clashed
 but I knew w/out a doubt that she was my friend & she cared.
That is one of the most beautiful gifts we receive in life;
 a friend who genuinely wants to be present to care for you in whatever way possible,
 So dear friend of past, present, or future
 this post/ this letter is an open invitation
for some an open invite to rekindle ; 
for others an open invite to kindle for the first time
Because sometimes we can get so caught up in our own lives,
we become blind to those around us who are in desperate need for someone…
 a friend who genuinely wants to be present to care for you in whatever way possible.
And I don’t wanna be blind to you, I see you.
You are supported, you are wanted, you are loved.
And if you’d like, to the best of my ability; You’ve got a friend in me.
Yes I am well aware of how pathetic this may come across
truly I do
but people are worth taking the risk of looking pathetic for
Sincerely ,
Mrs.Dreamer Irving
Thressa.Irving@gmail.com

The One Where We Moved to PA

Saying our ” see you later’s” to dear family & friends
 
 who have; spurred us on to travel & explore…
 to spend more time with family…
         to realize we have family in Christ wherever we go
& to kick back, & crack up.
 Thanks for being a part of these past four months
 by helping us keep our priorities & our sanity !
      so this one goes out to our cheerleaders
  – people who’ve loved  REALLY LOVED on us from near & far-
 for praying 
for waiting 
for packing
 for laughing
for eating
for dreaming
for realistic-ing
for hurting
for cleaning
for teaching
for living
for hoping
 for being
for running wild
 with us
            CHEERS TO YOU for your obvious & deeply appreciated love for this dreamer and realist,
    you make our hearts FULL !
So here’s a glimpse into the day we’ve been anticipating;
MOVING DAY!
These upcoming photos fail to completely capture the 
coffee consumed,
sweat released,
the tetris-esque packing strategy of my husband & father in-love,
the chilling of our fingertips,noses,& toes, 
the lifting of boxes upon boxes, up &down flights of stairs,
the T I M E invested- minutes that became hours-
and the relief when we safely arrived 
to this state
to this place
we now call home.
Enjoy these snapshots of The One Where We Moved to PA
Had to start our day off right by getting breakfast at this gem!

As usual there was a line for these delicious fresh NY bagels

The in-love’s enticed by the yummy possibilities, decisions, decisions.

This bagel right here is everything ( haha no but really my favorite is the everything bagel)
Fueling ourselves up for the big day ahead.

Picking up our U-haul

Our Master Packer, & Master Pastor  just happens to be our Dad.

Father Son teamwork, makin the dream work !

Not many newlyweds are blessed to have had such a scenic view,but we were, & we’re so grateful

So thanks for the view you beautiful- yet polluted – Hudson River You.

The Strategizing was no joke,

& as you can see it was well worth it because we needed every inch.
The time came to hand over our key to the first place we’ve ever lived in as Mr. &Mrs.

crazy how fast these 4 months-ish came and went. Tchau Chave !

 Officially closing the door to this chapter of our lives.

Packed up & ready to hit the road.

Tchau Casa, thanks for the shelter, warmth,& memories !!!

Living here daily reminded us 2 crucial things: Our God as provider & wherever we reside we’re missionaries

Praying for traveling mercies,& thanking our Creator for our 1st home.

Only God knew this campus would be where we 1st met in 2009 & where we 1st lived as husband & wife in 2014.

” We launch our bark into the unknown waters of this move, with You, O Father as our harbor”

Tchau Nyack, Rockland County, e NY! Foi o nosso prazer!

So he drove…

…and drove

…and drove.

Typical annoyed face at NJ drivers

The most handsome gas pumper there is

Oh Pennsylvania be good to us. May we increasingly see your beauty, adventure, & value.

And sure enough…

as we prayed…

despite traffic…

Greg began to see…

…as

…did

… I .

The rustic beauty….

The prospect for endless adventure…

oh The breathtaking

value as

rich as a golden sunset.

Oh Pennsylvania if you’re trying to win us over,

you’re off to a great start.

And just as the night fell,

we approached our new home.
Exhausted after a long day of lifting,cleaning,carrying,driving,and unloading.
 WE ARRIVED
& though it’s wild to ask;
.
we’re at peace,
because it’s a pretty sweet thing to not know what will happen next,
 but to know that God leads us 
and with Him 
as we’re side by side as husband + wife
 we’ll forever be at home.
Rooted in Love,
Mrs. Dreamer Irving

We Don't Have To Wait

In January of 2005 I made a New Year’s Resolution to not drink soda for a year,
officially a decade later I’ve remained soda/pop-less.
( though I may miss you from time to time querido Guarana,
I prefer you in your natural fruit form anyway)

That was the last time I made any sort of New Year’s Resolution.
Knowing I was fully capable of self improvement & self control,
I didn’t find a need or any appeal to reserve the chance to begin anew to this one day.

For the most part I really enjoy the New Year’s Cliche’s.
The balldrop.
The fireworks.
The kiss.
The champagne.
The reflections.
The resolutions .
All well & good in moderation.

The brief second humanity pauses to reflect on their lives
– the good & the bad-
celebrating together,
 & ever so hopeful to begin anew.

But I intentionally am posting this 3 days after New year’s celebrations,
because of a quote I read from SheReadsTruth that inspires me to begin anew every day.

“Because we believe God’s word is true
the fresh start we’re aching for isn’t determined by the date.
Jesus is the beginning of things good,& we’re found in Him.
Since He is the life that is the light of humanity,
we don’t have to wait for the calendar to turn, to begin anew.
The fresh grace & mercy we’re looking for is ours every time the sunrises

May this simple & relatively short blog post,
from a relatively short & loquacious writer,
remind you that
we don’t have to wait for a new year,
to begin anew.

Cliche 2015 selfie, w/some people who love life & the Privilege to Serve

Irresistible photo op with Ollie
The guys…

…with a splash of me

& ladies who we celebrated the end of 2014 & beginning of 2015 with !

Got Beef?

Eu e o meu amor, depois do nosso primeiro beijo em 2015 !!!

August 9th marriage twins; who just happen to be our role models

People who’ve taught me we’re no better than anyone & we all are loved by God.

Two young ladies who are all about spontaneity,down to earth conversations & making Jesus famous.

My answer to prayer .

The ISTJ to my ENFP

Feliz Ano Novo

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