Encouragement life lessons Me+Mine

Why October 3, 1863 Matters to You

November 26, 2010

I have a somewhat embarrassing confession.  I knew it wasn’t by accident that millions of people eat turkey the same day, but I didn’t know that we celebrate Thanksgiving as a result of a declaration made by President Abraham Lincoln.  The declaration is several paragraphs long, but the part most quoted is… 


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…


I’ve talked to my sister often the past few days.  After their recent move to Malaysia, she’s sojourning in a foreign land.  It’s more difficult to celebrate Thanksgiving in our customary ways.  Green bean casserole and chocolate pie are difficult to recreate in a culture where curry is much easier to find than pudding or cream of mushroom soup.  But in the heart of American tradition, Vikki, Zoe and AJ had a long-distance turkey day (minus turkey – also not easy to find).  We missed them dearly, and I will much prefer next year when we can sit at the same table and laugh over a game of dominoes.  There is still something heart-warming, though, in the knowledge that we spent today in the same way – being grateful that we have each other, that no matter the distance our family is bound in love.


But although the above is what most people quote, that’s not where President Lincoln ended his sentence.  The entire thought was that we observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.  It is impossible to be truly grateful and set aside a time to “thank” but not know Whom you are thanking.  President Lincoln wanted this day to be set aside to show gratitude and he was specific about who we were thanking – our beneficent Father.


The thing most interesting to me is that President Lincoln didn’t write this decree during a pleasant time in American history.  It was a time of civil war, a time of great sacrifice and loss.  He began this decree with his own list of things to be thankful for – bountiful crops and sunny days, law-abiding citizens and peace from outside our borders during a time when it was lacking within.  He thanked God for advances in science and technology, for the expansion of territories and industries.  He didn’t wait for things to be perfect to be grateful.  


I woke up yesterday with two main thoughts – 1) I had more to do than humanly possible because in the midst of all the moving stuff, I had not shopped a bit and family was arriving and 2) I felt like I might be sick.  The first didn’t happen – David and his mom shopped for me.  The second did – I got very sick.  It was easy at one point to wish we could postpose Thanksgiving.  But things don’t have to be perfect to be grateful…


I’m so thankful for…
*a husband who always makes my plate before his
*a little girl who needs to adjust to our return because she loves us so much it rocks her world when we’re away
*a relationship with Taylor that makes me smile to think of the woman she’s becoming
*my new table arriving in time for Thanksgiving
*a mother-in-law so amazing to take the reigns of this holiday so I could spend half the day in bed
*friends I call family
*the joy of pushing Brynna in a swing today and hearing her laugh
*the coat, scarf, gloves and Uggs that kept me warm during the aforementioned swinging
*Vonage, for letting me talk to Vikki everyday (or several times a day)
(because they each need a line all to themselves)
*Honey K, Pops, Yaya and Papa – who love Brynna just for being Brynna


*and so much more…

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  • Racine Fontenele November 26, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Nova mensagem postada – http://racinefontenele.blogspot.com/2010/11/quem-es-deixa-marca.html