Skip to main content

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo: An old postcard pictures a cornucopia and an inset of a harvested field, with the captions: "Thanksgiving Greeting" and "The earth is the Lord's And the fullness there of."

Have you ever thought about the fact that Thanksgiving was established as a holiday in the United States during the middle of the Civil War? Abraham Lincoln delivered this proclamation:

. . . I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
In a year when political differences were so intense that some brothers were literally enlisting in opposing armies, the nation paused to give thanks. Despite personal pain, despite loss, despite grieving, despite the bleak future outlook, the recommendation was to give thanks. 

Did Thanksgiving impact the outcome of the war? I don't know, but I do know that the act of giving thanks can change one's own heart, and make one more apt to want to help people. 

When we gather around the table today, let's leave politics aside, and remember all the blessings for which we are thankful. If citizens could do that during the Civil War, we can, too.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Post-Thanksgiving Edition

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. I'll jump right in:

1. I'm thankful for cooperative return policies. Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I had to return a range that I had purchased, and I hoped that the particular range was just a lemon and that the replacement wouldn't have the same problem. Well, unfortunately, it did. On the bright side, the store quickly picked up the second range and refunded my money. I'm putting appliance purchases on the back burner (!) for the moment. 

2. I'm thankful for temples. I went one morning this week to the temple. I'm always amazed at how much insight comes in just an hour or two of reflection. 

3. I'm thankful for my sister. She and her family came to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with her in-laws, and I got a chance to see her and her family on Wednesday. The last time I saw her was in January at our grandma's 100th birthday celebration. We feel lucky to have two visits in one year! 

4. I'm thankful for my brother. …

Never Give Up Hope

Twenty-three years ago, a beautiful little girl was born. From the get-go, she was sweet, sensitive, and rather shy. She has grown into a young woman of whom I am so proud. She has worked hard to overcome challenges, and recently told me she is trying to face her fears, and asked me if I would write her story and share it here on the blog, in hopes she can inspire others through their own struggles. Although I offered to publish an auto-biographical piece for her, she wanted me to write her story from my perspective. At her request, and with her approval of this post, I share the following:
The phone rang, and the social worker on the other end informed me that a baby girl had been born 10 weeks early and drug-exposed. She wasn't ready to be released from the medical facility where she was currently staying, but would we be interested in being her foster-to-adopt parents? Of course! When John and I filled out our paperwork, we indicated that we were comfortable with a premature bab…

Ten Things of Thankful: It's Only January, but I'm Taking a Break

A new year often brings re-commitment, re-direction, and renewal of enthusiasm. A blank calendar shows possibilities: routines to be developed, and breaks to schedule in. While I know it's only January--the traditional "routines to be developed" phase--I'm shaking things up and starting with a break. I will be away from my blog and generally off-line for the next few weeks, but never fear, the Ten Things of Thankful link-up will go on. I will respond to comments and read linked posts when I return from my break. 

This week, I'm thankful for:

1. Book club. When I was a child, I had no problem at all living with my nose constantly stuck in a book. As an adult, I am trying to remember that it is OK to spend hours reading. Book club is a step in the right direction. I "have to" read, but I'm having fun, and have given myself permission to read other books, too. 

2. Thrift stores. I wanted an actual, physical copy of The Help (the book club selection for Fe…