Thanksgiving Day originated as a harvest festival. It was celebrated in the US inconsistently since 1789 when George Washington proclaimed that a day of giving thanks should be established. However, it was not declared an official Federal holiday until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of thanksgiving and praise to God. The “First Thanksgiving” celebration occurred in 1621 after the Pilgrims’ first harvest season. Edward Winslow recorded an account of this first Thanksgiving where 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans celebrated the harvest together. The colonists in New England have been recorded as having regular celebrations in thanksgiving to God where they prayed and honored their Heavenly Father for blessings in harvests, ending of droughts, and military victories.
I learned in school about the origin of Thanksgiving. However, I never knew that the colonists routinely set aside days of “giving thanks” to God. That is such an awesome thing that we can model in our own lives as we work at cultivating a lifestyle of giving thanks.
Thanksgiving Day has always been one of my favorite holidays, second only to Christmas. I enjoy the delicious meal, spending time with family, and taking an entire day to focus on giving thanks as a whole country. I’ve always tried to live my life counting blessings each day and focusing on God’s grace over me every moment of each day. However, life gets busy, problems arise, and we need to juggle many pursuits each day. Giving thanks can definitely get lost in those struggles.
So, in honor of Thanksgiving Day, I want to list some of the many blessings I am thankful for today.
1. My wonderful supportive husband who works so diligently to provide for our needs
2. My family and friends who are always there for me and my husband in encouragement
3. The ability to follow my dreams working from home as a copywriter & published author
4. The job my husband has that allows him to faithfully provide for our financial needs
5. The church that we attend and our special small group friends who keep us focused
6. That God has a plan for me and my husband that is perfect and timely with His will
7. God’s grace that daily covers us and models the mercy we need to give to others
8. That we may not have everything we want, but we have all that we need each day
9. God has provided daily food, a warm home, job security, and constant provision
10. That every day is a new start, where God’s forgiveness gives us another chance
What are you thankful for today?