A Humble Thanksgiving

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This week, our family had the privilege  to deliver Thanksgiving dinners to families in need. They are families from a school that I volunteer at in one of the poorest communities in Fort Worth. It was such a humbling experience when our family doesn’t even question that we will have everything we want to eat on Thanksgiving day…. and then some. When I went to the grocery store numerous times this week, my concerns were how pretty my centerpiece will be, whether or not I wanted a turkey that has been brined or not, and if six side dishes would be sufficient.

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It caused me to reflect on a conversation that I had had with a sweet student last week as I served at the school. The students were supposed to write a paper about their family’s Thanksgiving traditions. When I went to help him, I asked him what he enjoyed the most about his family Thanksgivings. His honest answer was “nothing.” So, together we changed the paper topic to “What things can we pray for to make Thanksgiving an ideal Thanksgiving for you.” His prayer requests were that he would get to eat turkey one Thanksgiving, that one day he would have a dog to join him, and for his family to  just be nice. I don’t know if that will be his Thanksgiving this year, but our family has prayed for this sweet boy and that one day he will have these basic things that we ourselves take for granted every year.

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So, I urge you all to truly give thanks for the thousands of things that we take for granted each day. To not take this holiday for granted and to remember that Abraham Lincoln created this holiday as a time to repent and thank God for all the mercy he has bestowed on us as a great nation. I’ve included Abraham Lincon’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving for all who have not read it before. I will be viewing my blessings in a new and enlightened way this Thanksgiving. Thank you precious Lord for the mercy you have given me when I don’t deserve it!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they 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 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, tranquillity and Union.

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 Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

*taken from abrahamlincolnonline.org