Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Hope you have the most beautiful day ever! Hope your day is as stuffed with thanks and joy as your turkey will be stuffed with stuffing! And a big thanks goes out to Abe Lincoln! He's got a new movie comin' out today! We owe so much to him! Lincoln Logs, LMU, one country instead of two, and…Thanksgiving Day! He was the one who decided that we really needed a day for nothing but thanking God!
Actually, it wasn’t his idea…
Sarah Josepha Hale, editor (she liked to be called “editress”) of Godey’s Ladies Book (as well as the author of the epic poem, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”) thought that we reallllly needed a day to thank God for how much He has blessed us all. And she thought the idea needed to come from the top! So she wrote to President Zachary Taylor, saying, “Y’know, we really need a day to give thanks to God in America!”
She wait ‘til he was gone and wrote the next Chief Exec, Millard Fillmore. “We really should have a national thanksgiving day!”
He didn’t write back either.
So, she waited ‘til there was someone else in the White House.
Franklin Pierce didn’t answer either.
Her next letter was to…
“President James Buchanan
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC
(they didn’t have zips yet!)”
It wasn’t until the 6’5” Kentuckian from Illinois was sitting in the Oval Office, that she got an answer back! As he leaned back in his chair at the desk and propped those huge boots on the desk (as he usually did) he sliced the envelope open, puffed into it, pulled the letter out and read…
“Philadelphia, Sept. 28th 1863.
Permit me, as Editress of the "Lady's Book", to request a few minutes of your precious time, while laying before you a subject of deep interest to myself and -- as I trust -- even to the President of our Republic, of some importance. This subject is to have the day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.
For the last fifteen years I have set forth this idea before the Governors of all the States and Territories -- also I have sent these to our Ministers abroad, and our Missionaries to the heathen -- and commanders in the Navy…it has occurred to me that a proclamation from the President of the United States would be the best, surest and most fitting method of National appointment.
…Thus the great Union Festival of America would be … forever secured.
Excuse the liberty I have taken.
With profound respect,
Sarah Josepha Hale,”
So he did!
In his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation, he wrote..
“…It has seemed to me fit and proper that God’s blessings should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are 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. … In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
But, it wasn’t really his idea.
It was hers.
Actually it wasn’t her idea, either.
The Apostle wrote long before that…
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“I pray…that you will be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father…”
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I think those Scripture say our Lord wants us thankful every second! Even tho’ I’m super thankful this coming Thursday is one of my favorite days of the year, maybe one Thanksgiving Day a year isn’t such an awesome idea after all! Every day is supposed to be Thanksgiving Day! …(The menu can vary)
One wise person said,…
“If you’re so low that you only have one prayer, let it be a prayer of thanks. It is the easiest way to pray and often the most powerful…In some circumstances, thanksgiving, like forgiveness, is both the quickest and the only route to joy…Imagine yourself in a meadow gathering wildflowers-violets, let’s say. When you’re finished, do you have a fistful of stones or twigs? No, you have a bouquet of violets. If you’re looking for reasons to be grateful, you’ll find them! …Give God a standing ovation every day. It’s what He’s waiting for. It’s what you’re waiting for too…Years ago, realizing I needed to develop gratitude, I began the practice of saying thanks to God for five things before I went to bed. I still do this whenever I feel the least bit low. Looking for reasons to be thankful, instead of focusing on worries or fears, is like putting on a new pair of glasses. Life looks better through the lens of thanks.”
Being thankful…It’s God’s idea!
It’s the best idea!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
(By the way, we’re super thankful for you!)