(From Wikipedia... so you know it's legit...)
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, and has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well. Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God."
I love religiously founded holidays like Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. For those families that may not have their feet firmly planted in faith, it's a time of year that they stand still and recognize that religion, faith, and the belief in a greater power are still prevalent in the world, despite the fight to demolish those views by our society and our government. It's an opportunity to share with our children about "true meanings" of a season, and that while we can enjoy the secular spins on these holidays (ie; candy, presents, food) we always remember and honor their roots.
This year I am most thankful for my faith. Through every trial of life, my faith in Christ has kept me going. I've watched others who have little to no faith face situations that instilled in them some hope of a God that loves them and takes care of them - that's an awesome event to witness in a life.
The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. --George Müller
I wrote a book report on George Müller in high school, and his accounts of prayer and faith have stuck with me. George Müller was known for caring for over 10,000 orphans, as well as his education and missionary activities. Many times he could barely make ends meet for the orphanage, but he never solicited funds. He always prayed. Every need he ever had was met through prayer and faith. It doesn't get much better than that!
For many, faith is something that seems far out of reach. For others, faith seems silly and uncalled for - to depend on an "imaginary" being to provide for them. For few, a devastating life event will bring them to their knees and cause them to beg a God they may have never called on to answer a prayer, and they will find faith, and it will bring comfort and peace like they've never known.
I was raised in the church, but it wasn't until our experience when I was pregnant with Carter that I truly understood the power of prayer and the peace that faith brings to a situation. I'm thankful that my upbringing prepared me for that call to faith, where others may have been more likely to waver. You'll hear more on that subject in future thankful posts :)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. --Hebrews 11:1