HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2014: WHY I FEEL BLESSED AND SO GRATEFUL / “ARE YOU THANKFUL?” VIDEO / A LITTLE THANKSGIVING DAY HISTORY…
“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
—William Arthur Ward
We’re all struggling with our own problems, but if we reach into our hearts and give thanks for even one blessing, we’ll find that our struggles seem a little lighter and our days seem a little brighter. I try and give thanks every day in spite of the chaos that surrounds us all on a daily basis. Every night at the dinner table, it’s a ritual that we say “Grace” and give thanks for God’s bountiful blessings, and you know what? Obstacles don’t seem as unsurmountable, problems seem to be more manageable.
On this Thanksgiving Day 2014, I wish to give thanks to Almighty God for blessing me with a loving husband who would do anything to make me happy, and he does. I am blessed because even though I was diagnosed with Invasive Breast Cancer in 2011, God has kept the cancer from returning. I am blessed because God gave me the courage and strength to get past my 7th breast cancer surgery just a few months ago. I am blessed because I know God has my back as I endure yet another surgery in the spring as a result of a side effect from my reconstructive surgery. I am blessed because even though I can’t stand what’s happening to this beautiful country, I know through prayer and faith, we’ll get back on track with God’s grace and guidance. I am blessed to be in a peaceful home where there is no stress. I am blessed with a wonderful family and good friends who enhance my life even more. I am blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law who treats me like a loving daughter. Today, I’m not going to think about what bothers me because today, Thanksgiving Day, I will only allow myself to focus on what’s good in my life and in this world.
Are you thankful for what you have? Watch the video and read a little about the history of Thanksgiving Day below. I chose this particular version of the History of Thanksgiving because today is a blessed day, and not a day for animosity and hate. May you all have a very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving…
To our Military: We pray that God protects all of you as you protect us so selflessly. We pray that you are always surrounded by God’s Light so you can see the evil before it sees you. May you all safely return home to your families soon. We thank you all for your brave service to this beautiful country. May your families also be blessed as they await your safe return home…
In Love and Light…
History of Thanksgiving Day
The Pilgrims who sailed to America were originally members of the English Separatist Church. Before going to America they had fled to Holland to escape religious persecution. Although, in Holland, they enjoyed more religious tolerance, but they eventually became disillusioned with the Dutch way of life. In the hope of a better life, they took the help of a London stock company to move out to America. Most of those making this trip aboard the Mayflower were non-Separatists. Only about one-third of the original colonists were Separatists.
They reached Plymouth in 1620. There, they had to face a terrible winter. Around 46 of the original 102 had died by the next fall. But fortune turned in their favor and the harvest of the next year was bumper. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast, including 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the natives. The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival than a true “thanksgiving” observance. It lasted three days. Governor William Bradford sent “four men fowling” after wild ducks and geese. It is not certain that wild turkey was part of their feast. However, it is certain that they had venison. The term “turkey” was used by the Pilgrims to mean any sort of wild fowl.
On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unanimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving. It is notable that this thanksgiving celebration probably did not include the Indians, as the celebration was meant partly to be in recognition of the colonists’ recent victory over the “heathen natives”. October of 1777 marked the first time that all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration. It also commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. But it was a one-time affair.
George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, although some were opposed to it. There was discord among the colonies, many feeling the hardships of a few Pilgrims did not warrant a national holiday.
And later, President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of having a day of thanksgiving. It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving. Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies’ Magazine, and later, in Godey’s Lady’s Book.
Finally, after a 40-year campaign of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, Hale’s obsession became a reality when, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln. The date was changed a couple of times, most recently by Franklin Roosevelt, who set it up one week to the next-to-last Thursday in order to create a longer Christmas shopping season. Public uproar against this decision caused the president to move Thanksgiving back to its original date two years later.
And in 1941, Thanksgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, as the fourth Thursday in November.