Thanksgiving Day 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 [sic], have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had 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 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, tranquility 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.
President Abraham Lincoln
October 3, 1863
Thank you good ol' Abe, for setting aside a day for national Thanksgiving, and thereby forcing us to do what so often does not come naturally.
In my childhood, Thanksgiving was often marked one of our favorite past times- gathering together with our dearest friends out in Indiana. As the house overflowed with members from both of our large, homeschool families, we would at some point congregate to share "thankfulness lists" compiled on paper turkey feathers. As each list was shared and then used to plume the paper turkey upon the kitchen wall, important lessons in thankfulness were quietly modeled by our parents.
Though I lack the artistic turkey and colorful feathers, I desire the Spirit would instill within me a true thankfulness of grace this holiday season. I leave you with this; a "thankfulness list" portraying a snapshot of the many blessings God has bestowed upon us this year. Whether or not you imagine them ingrained on a construction paper feather... is entirely your decision.
- a teaching position this school year
- weekends filled with family and friends
- another year with our "trusty old mac"
- ownership of a reliable vehicle
- a warm, cozy home
- the blessing of a fabulous church family
- discipleship from those older & wiser
- opportunity for affordable continued education
- hours of quality time as a couple
- sovereign grace
Blessings for a Happy Thanksgiving!