I wish I had more time to blog about all of this, but I have a feeling that even if I did…no one would want to read it all. So I’ll try and do some quick updates:
Things I’d Like To Blog About:
1. The concept of calling. I’ve settled into my calling. I’ve bucked it for awhile. I don’t want to have a sad, poor, trial-filled, unglamorous, unimpressive life. And yet I think this is what God has called me to. I’ve fought it at every turn and decision, but again and again God has convicted me that I need to choose what He wants, not what I want. He has made the decision clear. My calling has never seemed ambiguous. So I went to a school that isn’t prestigious, pursued a career that won’t make me wealthy, stayed in a place that isn’t beautiful, gave up a life of freedom and ease, accepted a job where the work I do is seemingly insignificant. I’ve given up a lot of what I naturally like, am drawn to, and desire. It’s not a life that’s impressive to most people. I’m okay with that now. This is what God has called me to. The road has been hard, but worth every step of the way.
2. How and why my nephew is changing my understanding of Salvation/God/Christian Living. He is possibly the first person I’ve loved that I am confident a) I will always love more than he loves me; b) Serving him and caring for him is so far from a burden that it almost seems selfish because I love him so much; c) I cried and cried and cried when I had to leave him and dreamed up ways to get to see him again. There’s more, but this is how we should be with our entire family of believers. If I loved the Body of Christ the way I love that little guy, man what a irresistible place the Church would be!
Memorable Moments of the Summer:
1. I became an aunt! Timothy Indiana Noble “Indy” was born June 19. I am incredibly, crazy, almost embarassingly in love with the little bugger. Can’t get enough of him!
My mom, sister, nephew and me at a picnic in the park!
2. Esther, Rick, and Jackie came to visit me at my parents house and I gave them the official “Beth Catron Tour” of San Francisco. If you don’t love the City, come with me. I will show you why it’s worthy of love and adoration. It was great to see them! It was a hilarious day (but what is to be expected?). A bird pooped on my hair (first time ever!), I suggested going on the elevator at the Westin St. Francis (an absolutel must) but got scared and jumped off at the 12th floor, Rick got his first limo ride which sounded glorious until the driver kept telling us how drunk and high he was, and Jackie beamed through her entire first cable car ride.
Jackie and Amy getting bird poop out of my hair. What are the chances?!
The group of us in the Marin Headlands across the Golden Gate Bridge. R to L: Amy (Jackie's ex-RA), Jackie, Rick, Esther, Joshie (my cousin), and me!
3. I fullfilled my lifelong dream of milking a cow. I have a cousin named Kenny, and it seems that any time I mention anything, he takes it as a direct order to get it done. For instance, I say, “My lifelong dream is to milk a cow.” Kenny takes that, talks to his dad, figures out where I can milk a cow, arranges all of it, invites me down for it, has me stay at his place, and goes with me to milk the cow. He is so precious. I LOVED IT! It was more than I hoped and dreamed it would be.
Me and Guitar, the Jersey Cow.
Things I’m Thankful For:
1. I feel back to my old self. Happy, laughing, goofy, confident, free. RD retreat this last week showed me how different it is from who I’ve been! It feels so great. It’s times like this that I am very thankful for who God made me to be and see how joy-sucking it is to try to be something different. By God’s grace, I am who I am.
2. I have really good friends. It occured to me over the summer that I have friends who walked with me through this past year when I was sad, cynical, complaining, joyless, and not funny. Bart & Amy, Laura, Rick & Esther, my parents and sister, my girls Amy and Kim, Ona, and Ben pulled me out of myself and walked with me. They didn’t give up on me when it got hard, when I wasn’t fun for them anymore, when I wasn’t benefitting them any longer. Yesterday I was telling Ona this and he said, “Because people really care about you. Do you question if people care about you?” I answered him with this, “No, I don’t question if they care. I know they do. I just don’t know why.” I feel very very blessed to have such wonderful friends.
3. My family. I love my family now more than I ever have before. It is an amazing gift to have a sister. My love for her grows and grows and I can’t believe there is someone who has known me so long and walked with me through so much, who is my own flesh and blood, that I get to have in my life. I love her son. I love my parents. Through all of our ups and downs, the downs just bring us closer together. I am so thankful for them.
4. Love. I typically associate love with hurt and pain or joy and good times. In my mind, love only hurts when you are wronged or mistreated. Relationships are hard. That’s true. But when I left my nephew last weekend I cried for a good 6 or so hours straight (I know, I know, I told you it was getting embarassing!). Not because I was hurt, not because I was wronged or mistreated. Because I just loved him so much the thought of being away from him was unbearable. That’s a pleasant kind of pain to love someone that much. I’m thankful for it.
5. The lessons I’ve learned over the past year. The Lord took me through a year where He showed me the glaring errors in my faith, caused me to love Him and His gospel more, to long for Him and Heaven more, to distrust my own strength and rely on Him, to use the good and bad in human relationships to learn more about him, caused me to see some massive failures and sins in my life and repent of them. It was a good year. I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am for it. Sanctification is freeing.
6. My bosses and colleagues. I work with phenominally godly, hilarious, gospel-minded, others-centered, enjoyable, servant-hearted people. It’s convicting, humbling, and encouraging all at the same time. I am very thankful for them.
Today I returned from my first retreat of the new school year, RD Retreat at Three Rivers. More on that to come….