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CC21: A Reason

We were at a different mall tonight. Half just hanging out, half Christmas shopping. The decorations at the mall are beautiful! I was pretty impressed with some of their Christmas displays. There was a huge white-light tree . . . red and gold hanging tweed balls . . . and presents or Christmas decorations in almost every store front. Yet, despite all of that, the people still have no idea what Christmas is. Most of them think that it is on December 30th and equate it with New Years. It is funny that even with all of the displays, people still ask if I am buying birthday presents. The concept is just so blurred, even though they have a lot of the trappings.

That makes me really thankful that I have a real reason for celebrating Christmas. Yes, I know that the focus on Christmas can often become overlooked because of the shadow of materialism and man-made happiness, but beneath all of the wrappings and music and parties and cookies, there is a meaning and reason for Christmas that will never change and never die.

I celebrate Christmas because it signifies the time when Jesus, the son of God, gave up everything to become a man . . . come to earth . . . live, laugh, hurt, cry, dream, and eventually . . . die for me. Christmas reminds me of the love that God showed me by sending his Son in an attempt to ransom my wild and reckless heart. That’s sobering, and that’s exciting, and Christmas gives me the opportunity to celebrate this. Jesus’ birth must be celebrated, but it cannot be celebrated without also commemorating his death, for in the very act of his birth, he was preparing for his death. His death is what sealed my soul. His death opened the door for me to spend eternity in heaven. So, I must approach Christmas with bridled enthusiasm and hopeful somberness.

I love this time of year. It is full of memories and traditions. Exciting moments, fun music, movies galore, great food . . . but without a reason to anchor it to life, it is meaningless. I am thankful I have a reason . . . do you?

I know I have shared this before, but I can’t not share it again – this is the reason I celebrate Christmas.

CC22: Mışıl Mışıl Masallar

Okay, I know that I failed in my November attempt to blog about something that I was thankful for every day. So . . . part of me doesn’t want to commit to blogging every day until Christmas, but I watch youtube a lot, and there are a lot of people vlogging every day until Christmas, so it made me really want to try. Plus . . . I am only about 6 projects away from my semester break! Wahoo!!

So, not all of these posts will be necessarily Christmas related, but some of them will be. I realize that I missed December 1st, please forgive me. But, I blogged yesterday, and now here we go . . .

So, this morning Jeremy and I decided to practice some Turkish after reading Ephesians together, and we bought a children’s story book last year, but never had much success working through it. Well, we pulled it out this morning and read a story together with the help of our dictionary. It was encouraging to see the improvement from last year! Here’s a summary of the story, The Lion’s Palace:

Once there was a country full of happy animals with a lion king. Well, the lion had a son who wasn’t all that great, he was rather proud and boastful. When the lion king died, the young lion became king. He wanted to be the greatest king in the world, and he called the best “pure-brained” architects from other countries and had them come and build him a new palace. He wanted the palace to be better than any other palace in the world. After one year, the palace was finished and kings from all the other countries came to see it. Eventually, however, they got tired of looking at the palace and went back to their countries. Then, the young king’s country began to become poor because the lion had used all of the treasury on luxuries for himself. The people were not happy anymore. Then, the king’s wife (or daughter – there was some confusion on that) got sick. The lion king was very sad, and he called for anyone in the country who could help him to come and he would give them 1,000 varieties of gifts as a reward. An old camel in the desert heard of the problem and came to heal the princess/wife. He made her some mixed lamb stew with vegetables with herbs and gave her the medicine. This helped the princess/wife recover. The king wanted to give the camel gifts, but the camel told him that he didn’t want gifts, rather he wanted the lion king to be humble and just as his father was. The king realized his mistake and changed. He no longer boasted, but rather became humble and ruled like his father had before him.

poor princess

So, it was a great story. But, I have to say that there were a few things that must have gotten lost in translation. For example, we got confused when the kings came to see the palace and were walking around eating a variety of lamb stew with mixed vegetables. That just seemed a bit specific. The whole princess/wife thing threw us off for a bit. But, I think the winner of the whole story was when we found out that the princess was sick and had become a semi-solid molasses of boiled juice of grapes. No wonder there was a big reward!

On the technical side of things, I’ve recently heard some workshops on how translation can be extremely beneficial for language learning. So . . . perhaps you’ll be encountering some more interesting stories like this. But, I do promise that every day of my Christmas Countdown will not be language learning related!

Til tomorrow . . . some Christmas music for you . . . (this song always makes me think of my little sister, because this song is playing in the scene when Tim Allen and his son go to Denny’s for dinner on Christmas Eve and we used to watch that EVERY year!)