So often I take for granted all of the gifts I've been given. Sometimes I think that because I've never suffered, I can't be a true Christian, for all Christians suffer. But this just enables me to see all of my blessings as hindrances. I don't thank God for everything he's given me; I complain about my 'good' life. I'm glad that we have a holiday every year on which I am reminded of the many, many reasons I have to be thankful. It may be overly commercialized; it may have no real point; it may lie about history...

... but it serves to remind us, at least once a year, that we are blessed.

I celebrated Thanksgiving tonight with my small group from church here in St. Andrews. I was the only American. It felt wonderful to share a bit of my culture and a few of my family traditions in a different culture with new friends. As we sat around the table eating pumpkin pie, I felt overwhelmed with thankfulness. I am thankful that my dad could afford to send me here. I am thankful that my parents know the value of education and cross-cultural experiences. I am thankful that they love me enough to let me go. I am thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. I will always have a home, a family, in them.

I am thankful for languages (and having a knack for them). We live in a world full of special little histories. I am thankful that languages are the window into those histories.

I am thankful for the friends from all over the world who have taken the time and energy to get to know me, to care about me. I am thankful that Texas, Tennessee, Scotland, and Greece have given me those friends.

I am thankful that I hail from the greatest state, but that I have the opportunity to study in the greatest city. I am thankful that every place is different.

I am thankful for music and for words and for the ways that those mediums allow us to express our most intimate thoughts.

I am thankful for family, for their unconditional support and love. I am thankful that I have been blessed with the best nephews and niece there ever were. I am thankful that I have siblings to fight with and to trust. I am thankful for my large extended family and that they are intentional about seeing one another.

I am thankful for the countless examples in my life. Those people have influenced me in a very real way.

Finally, I am thankful for the cross. I am thankful that I have a God, a heavenly Father, who loved me enough to send his own son to die in my place. I am thankful that I have a Savior who was willing to go through no small amount of humiliation to be my scapegoat. I am thankful for the resurrection. I am thankful that the tomb was not the end. I am thankful for my Creator, my Author, my Redeemer, my Lord.

I am thankful for Thanksgiving, for how it reminds me of all that I have to be thankful for. I hope to spend more of my time being thankful and enjoying my blessing. The suffering will come.


"As the German philosopher Jean Paul once remarked, language is nothing but a 'dictionary of faded metaphors,' or in other words, our vocabulary is a treasure-hoard of worn clichés."
- Guy Deutscher, "Standing on the Shoulders of Clichés"


God's been pounding things into my head recently.

1. Through the renewal of my tutorials for my thesis, I've been thinking about language. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that linguistics is something I need to pursue. I'm fascinated by endangered languages and I want to single-handedly try to save them all by learning them and then forcing them upon my future children.
I learned last week that one of my professors' research assistant worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators in West Africa for two years at the beginning stages of translation. This is a person with passions similar to my own. It is missions, it is linguistics, it is Bible translation. Hello? That is me.
Last Sunday was Bible Sunday (in Scotland, at least). A man who also works in Bible translation spoke in church. He then prayed: for the 2000 people groups that don't have the Bible in their mother tongue, for the men and women in the field right now attempting to aid in that process, and for the people who feel God calling them in that direction. Hello? That is me. I almost cried.

2. I'm translating Philippians this semester. My church's evening service is working through Philippians right now. There are numerous allusions to the Suffering Servant Songs of Isaiah 52 and 53 in Philippians. Yesterday at Christian Union, the speaker presented just that topic and related it to Acts. Today it came up in Hebrew, where we were translating Genesis 37.

3. I'm also translating many of the Beloved Son narratives from Genesis this semester. My church's morning service is working through similar passages as well.

This is getting ridiculous. In some of these cases, I'm not entirely sure what God is trying to tell/teach me. But He has my attention and I'm listening, ears wide. It's been a long time since things have felt this right. He has me where He needs me. He's using my circumstances to repeatedly bash me over the head with these topics.

Keep 'em comin', God.