I feel so blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to interview Sylvia Leontaritis. She is a mom, wife, writer, artist, knitter, teacher, speaker, and an amazing Orthodox Christian. She has two extraordinary sites, one sharing her fun and thoughtful experiences as an Orthodox Mom and the other about her wonderful books and writings. I am so thankful she took the time to do this interview, for all the work she is doing, and for the love she has for our Orthodox families and children.
Hello my Name is: Sylvia (Sevasti) Leontaritis
My patron saint is: St. Sevastiane who is celebrated on October 24. She was an amazing and inspiring disciple of St. Paul. You can read her story here.
What’s it about? My blog, Adventures of an Orthodox Mom, is a place where parents can share in the triumphs and mishaps of raising children within the Orthodox Faith. I share everything from diy projects, crafts, recipes, writings of the saints and my personal experiences raising my children. Most of all, I work hard to put Orthodoxy on the cyberspace map by creating a place of positivity, encouragement and motivation to live and share Orthodoxy with the world.
My other site, SylviaLeontaritis.com, is my author page which basically only gives information about my book(s) and upcoming events I’ll be speaking or signing at.
As a child, my favorite children’s book was: I’ve also been a bookworm, but a few that I really loved were A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I’ve always been attracted to eras when women wore long beautiful dresses and lived with rules of propriety. Even as an adult, I’m still drawn to those types of stories.
My jobs are: Orthodox Mom and wife (these are more privileges than jobs), Children’s and Freelance Writer, Blogger
The greatest blessing God has given me is my family. I am blessed to be married to my best friend, a man who stands beside me in my struggle, who always encourages me to press forward toward Christ and keeps our family on the path. My three boys are the sparkle in my eye, the center of my world.
They’ve taught me not to take life for granted, to savor every moment no matter how chaotic it might be, and that joy can be found in the most ordinary moments.
I’ve always been a writer. From the time I could hold a pen, I have been infatuated with ink, paper and words.
What I love most about those jobs: Both Motherhood and my love of words are what encouraged me to write my first children’s book, A Pocketful of Seeds, and start my blog. Both have opened doors to some amazing opportunities. I love watching the way God works in my life when I follow the road He has laid before me and not the one I so often try to create myself.
What I love most about my work is that it allows me to do something I truly love to serve God. (1 Peter 4:10) It doesn’t get much better than that. The feeling I get when I receive an email or a comment thanking me for recommending a certain book, or posting a favorite quote, is overwhelming. I am so humbled to have the opportunity to help others through my own struggles and experiences. The worldwide community that has developed through my blog over the past five years is incredible, and was totally unexpected. My readers are truly my sisters and brothers in Christ and I am so thankful for their support and love.
What’s something you love to do? Serving others. I love to serve others and wish I did it more often. There is something about helping those less fortunate that reminds me of what life is really about and that ‘need’ is a word used far too often for things not really needed at all. That all worldly acquisitions are temporal and insignificant. It helps me refocus my attention on what’s really important in life.
If I could tell our youth one thing it would be: Only one? I’m not sure I can be so brief, lol. I have so much love for our youth! I could talk to them forever about the things I wish I would have started doing at a much younger age…
First, you are not the future of Orthodoxy. You are the here and now of Orthodoxy. Saying you are the future somehow implies that your work lies ahead and it doesn’t. Our work as Orthodox Christians began the moment we were baptized into the Faith. You will certainly carry that torch into the future, but your actions today will determine what Orthodoxy looks like in the future. Carry that torch with love and pride in the spiritual heritage you’ve been blessed with. “Do not neglect the gift you have been given.” (1 Timothy 4:11-14)
Pray. First and foremost, the Jesus Prayer. Pray without ceasing. (1 Thess 5:17)
Read. Learn about our Faith. Read the lives of the saints and strive to mimic their lives in Christ. Read the Bible every day. Always dig deeper.
The Orthodox Church is a lifelong journey. You will hit dead ends, stray off the path, and come to many crossroads. But never stop traveling, never give up. Pray for Christ, Panagia and your patron saint to guide you. Fight the good fight! (1 Timothy 6:12)