I’m convinced practiced gratitude changes how life is managed. My vision clears, allowing me to focus on the gift of the day, when I begin and end the day with gratitude, regardless of the amount of stress and strain that I’ve allowed into my life.
When the hard things of life occupy a good portion of my thoughts and conversation, consuming my time and energy, I need to stop and give thanks until I see the gift of the day.
That said, the transforming power of giving thanks only comes with intentionally giving thanks. It really doesn’t need to be complicated, giving thanks is simple; however, it’s an intentional choice to give thanks. So. Considering we live in an era of entitlement, it’s profound that the United States continues to set aside a day to intentionally give thanks.
The story of how the United States began the practice of setting aside a holiday to give thanks is profound. President Abraham Lincoln issued the proclamation for the national holiday of Thanksgiving on October 3, 1863 in the midst of the Civil War, a battle of the states, neighbor fighting neighbor. The outcome of the war would determine the fate of a group of people enslaved, oppressed, and horrifically mistreated. The inhumane treatment of men, women, and children sustained the economy and a way of living for a big portion of the United States. It’s difficult to think giving thanks would have been appropriate given the circumstances of the day.
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, tranquility, and union.
151 years later, despite the commercialized components of the national holiday, the observance of Thanksgiving continues to matter. I pray individuals across the U.S. and beyond will intentionally practice giving thanks, aligning and participating in the Divine purpose of healing, restoration, and peace, harmony, tranquility, and union for communities, families, marriages, and individuals. Despite all the challenging circumstances in this world, it changes you and I when we take a day to give thanks.
So. Regardless of the circumstances, give thanks:
Thank You for the new day.
Thank You for Your provision.
Thank You for fun moments.
Thank You for new life.
Thank You God.
This week: Intentionally give thanks . . . practicing gratitude . . . regardless of circumstances.
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2014 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)