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My Thanksgiving Post

November 28, 2013

On October 3, 1789, at the urging of both the House and Senate, President George Washington officially declared Thursday, November 26, 1789, to be “a day of publick thanksgiving and prayer”:

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me ‘to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:’

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation….

To read the full proclamation and view a photo of the original, click this link: George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

The word “thank” is a transitive verb; that is, it requires a direct object. When I “thank,” I thank someone for some purposive action from which I have benefitted.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I find myself asking Him to keep me mindful to be thankful– to both Him and to the scores of people in my life who show me numerous kindnesses. The quality of my life– my inner life– directly depends upon the thankful attitude of my heart.

Let me underscore this idea: The quality of my life is not determined by externals– by what I own, or who I know, or even by my public reputation. Yes, externals have their place, but they can be gone in a moment. However, the condition of my heart– my attitudes and motives– that is where my real “living” happens– regardless of what or who comes and goes in my life.

My prayer is to be steady, consistent, and reliable– to walk daily in that very love that Christ showed to me in his death on the cross for my sin– to truly value other human beings regardless of their behavior and regardless of their acceptance of me.

As I write my blog entries, I am able to forcefully confront behavior while respecting the humanity of my foes.

I cannot do so in my own strength.

My thankful heart, grounded in Christ’s love for me, enables me to also accomplish remarkable output while releasing myself from any responsibility for outcomes out of my control.

This is how I wake each day ready to continue fight for reform.

Many are fighting reform in the public arena, whether through blogging, or speaking, or formally protesting, or contacting legislators, or other means I have not mentioned. Yet we all have personal lives replete with myriad responsibilities and challenging issues, including those of physical health.

On this Thanksgiving Day, I would like to open my personal world to my readers in a manner that is out of character for me on this blog.

I would like to walk you through an experience I had this spring. To read it, click here: My Thanksgiving Story

Let me close this post by thanking you for reading my blog. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for emailing your concerns and information.

Thank you for your many involvements on behalf of American public education.

Thank you for being in this fight with me.

God bless you.

  1. Kimberly permalink

    Thank you for sharing your story. What a journey! So glad you are well!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! I am glad that you are well and still writing!

  3. Julie Shain permalink

    What a great story… Mercedes! You are a blessing to so many! May you have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving!

    Julie Shain


  4. Thank you Mercedes. Your story is extraordinary! I am so glad the tumor was benign. Thank you for all that you do for the cause of public education. You really give me hope! I am thankful for you!!

  5. Mercedes, what a beautiful, inspirational reflection….thank you for sharing. I am so thankful for you too. You, Diane, and Susan are tireless and relentless in speaking the truth. I have known of Susan’s work since 2009 and referred a couple of your pieces to her. I am elated that you two know each other!

    Have a blessed, relaxed, rejuvenating, healthy Thanksgiving!

    Francesca Blueher

  6. Michele permalink

    Once again, Mercedes, thank you for today’s post. You are an inspiration and a faithful witness of God’s work in your life. I find great pleasure in passing your posts on to others. Hope you don’t mind.

  7. Jeannette permalink

    Wow! What an inspiring story. I love to read your posts. I learn a lot from you. You’re an amazing writer and despite all the pain, your work never dulled. That’s for sure! Thank you for your commitment and hard work. Take care of yourself…between you and Diane Ravitch…your biggest fans worry about you both. xoxo

  8. Ang permalink

    You are one of the things for which I am thankful.
    Take care of yourself.
    And thank you a million times over.

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