Where I’m From

My sister is probably the longest standing hero I’ve had. For as long as I can remember I’ve looked up to her, emulated her, and sought her advice. She’s a successful business owner, the best hairstylist I know, a phenomenal mother & wife, interior decorator, shopaholic, stand up comedian, singer, and now guest blogger.

She sent me this poem today she was asked to write about her story. It brought me to tears as I thought of our childhood & family, so I decided to pass it along. Thanks Care!

Where I’m from

I’m from sponge curlers, Melaluca oil, and the original Zack Morris phone.

I’m from the house with the basketball hoop, where the front door was always unlocked.
From the palm tree and the pool and jumping on the diving board to see if soccer practice had started.

I’m from wild goose chases, home videos, and bursting out in song.
From laughter, sarcasm, and surprises.

I’m from a Dad from the City and a Mom from the Sea.
From “Life is hard, then you die”, and “I like it better that way”.

I’m from the “Two Paths” sermon, and church every Sunday.
From grace and the Gospel.

I’m from the patchwork quilt of adoption, from Burmese Stacky Uppy and Buttermilk Apple Pie.
From a brother who taught me how to throw a baseball and a punch, and a sister who was the baby but taught me what it means to be brave.

This is where I’m from: pictures hang, prayers are heard, and wisdom is written in journals and on my heart.

-Caris Noble

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Sadly Neglected

Alrighty, so I am here to fess up to the sad truth. I saw other friends stray and go in this direction long before I did. It made me sad for them. I never thought I would be one of them. But now I see that I am.

I’ve left this blog sadly neglected.

In the past few months since I last blogged (in April…to my shame) I’ve:

  • left my position as Resident Director at The Master’s College
  • accepted a position as Student Ministries Coordinator at Santa Cruz Bible Church
  • dined at The Melting Pot for the first time (with Cindi Gundersen)
  • gotten my nose pierced
  • said goodbye to everyone & everything I loved down in LA
  • moved my entire little 1 bedroom apartment into my sister’s garage
  • moved in with a nice family in Santa Cruz who were willing to take me in while I settled in here
  • explored my new city and surrounding areas looking specifically for: my favorite coffee shop, the best mani/pedi in town, cute restaurants, and good shopping
  • had a delightful Memorial Day Weekend with Siona, Benjamin, Philip, and Scotty G up here to visit
  • been warmly welcomed by the church & people here — such an amazing blessing
  • made new friends (but kept the old)
  • started my new job after just a 2 week break (which sounds like a lot to the normal person, but to an RD, sounds like suicide after working 24/7 for 9 months straight
  • gone home to visit my family approximately 4 times
  • had a visit from one of my best friends, Esther Ko Dennis
  • planned & done a jr. high all nighter, pancake breakfast, high school pool party & bbq, jr. high crud fest, and high school houseboating trip
  • celebrated my nephew’s 1st birthday!

So it’s been busy, okay?

More posts to come…hopefully. I’ve seen many a friend not be able to come back after leaving the blogging world for a few months. I hope I’m not just another failed blogger in the end.

Looking Forward

I realized tonight that I have a lot to look forward to in the coming week. I hadn’t put all the pieces together until now and all of the sudden it hit me! It’s gonna be a good week.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

1. Tonight I’m going out with my friends Bart & Amy to celebrate Amy’s last day of work! She is scheduled to have a little boy in November so her life is going to be dedicated to preparing for that these next few months. I’m so excited for them & to meet baby Clive.

2. My best friend from my freshman year of college, Monica, came into town last night. Seriously, we were ridiculous in college. She is one of the most fun, hilarious people to be around and I think the last time I saw her was my senior year of college. Tomorrow we are headed to Santa Monica for some bike riding and fun in the sun.

3. Sunday & Monday my old friend Ben is coming back into town so hopefully I’ll get to see him and spend some time with people from our old Bible Study (why so many “olds” in this description, was it really that long ago?)!

4. Tuesday is Kenny’s birthday (the one downside of the week is that I won’t get to spend it with him in Disneyland)!

5. Tuesday I leave with chapel band for Outreach Week to go up to the Bay Area. This means: A) I get to laugh and play with the band (not musically play, just play play); B) I get to go up to North Creek church and see what they are about, which I’m excited about in case I ever move back up there & want to get involved in the church; C) I get to stay with my family so I’ll get to see them all week, too!; and D) One of the days we are up there I promised my sister I would go shopping with her so she can spend her birthday money which should be el blasto; and E) I get to hold precious Indy again!

Can life get any better?!

I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes.

Quick Updates

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!

Mom. Caris, Indy and I

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.

Bird Poop #1

Jackie and Amy getting bird poop out of my hair. What are the chances?!

Group in San Fran

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.

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….

I Think I Just Found Myself A Hobby

Incessant self-improvement projects has just kind of become a way of life for me. I’m constantly trying to work on something. This summer it is: learning to like salads (which means, preparing healthy salads in hopes of finding some I like), meal and menu planning, and cooking healthy and tasty meals (I can cook tasty no prob, or healthy when I’m in the mood, but the two often don’t go together).

I’ve had a lot of opportunities to do all of these since I’ve been up visiting my parents in Pleasanton for the past week! I was anticipating this so I brought with me some of the latest cookbooks I’ve been wanting to try — Cook Yourself Thin, Simple But Perfect Salads, and the latest copy of Real Simple. I arrived on Sunday and Monday afternoon my cousin Jen, along with her husband Chris and five kids, came to stay with us. Monday morning I busted out my cookbooks and planned the menu for the week. It was an awesome experience to get to plan, shop for, and prepare so many meals for such a large group of people.

It also helped having 14 extra hands around to help do everything. Those kids are seriously so helpful. Chris & Jen have done a really wonderful job raising their kids. I only wish I had a picture of Emma standing on her little stool next to me helping me cook everything on the stove!

Here is precious little Emma and her sister Katie (also precious) proudly wearing their strawberry shortcake. I've been so sad not to get to wake up next to these two little girls since they've been gone!

Here is precious little Emma and Katie (also precious) proudly wearing their strawberry shortcake after they helped me dish it all out and serve it up.

This is the Greathouse Fam after our final breakfast by the outdoor fireplace (Emma insisted on eating our meals out there).

This is the Greathouse Fam after our final breakfast by the outdoor fireplace (Emma insisted on eating our meals out there).

The day they left my sister’s mother-in-law (affectionately referred to as “Mil”– M-I-L) came into town so we’ve been busy cooking since I got here. Last night was particularly fun, all of us in the kitchen getting everything ready together. I’ve missed being part of this.

Anyways, last night I threw together something I concocted in my mind (which is exciting, I think being able to “throw” something together is the sign of a truly great cook) — Whole wheat cous cous, spinach, and grilled fruit (covered in balsamic vinegar which caramelizes during the grilling….DEE-licious). We had it with tri-tip kabobs, sweet potato spears, and watermelon. Here’s the final product:

Cous Cous & Fresh Fruit Salad

This is quickly turning into a hobby — something I actually enjoy doing besides shopping! Can’t wait for Father’s Day dinner tomorrow night!