Sarah Hale & our National Thanksgiving Holiday

I learned something new today. With all my education and then homeschooling my own children, I had never heard of Sarah Hale.

Sarah Hale
Sarah Hale –
Richard’s Free Lbirary

Sarah Hale is how we have a national holiday called Thanksgiving. Yeah, we have all learned about the pilgrims and the Indians getting together to share a meal after a very trying year in America.

But this tradition was sporadic at best until President Lincoln made a presidential declaration that we all stop on the fourth week of November and thank our God for all the many blessings we so often take for granted.

Thanksgiving: who's idea was it, REALLY? Click To Tweet

And who is Sarah Hale?

Well, she has likely touched your life more than you know. Sarah actually penned the words to the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. How about that for prestige? She wrote a lot of poetry, and published a book of them not long after her young husband of 10 years passed away.

She was fortunate in the late 18th century to have an education. Being a “girl”, this was not typical. After her 18th birthday, she determined to change that and started a private school to teach girls.

Sarah Hale – Poet and Editor

Dress 1851 fashion plate - Sarah Hale
Godey’s dress Fashion plate 1851

Her book of poetry led to an offer to be the editor of a women’s magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book. Again, this was a rarity for women. She hoped the magazine would promote “the moral and intellectual excellence of women.” As the editor, she was able to influence women in many ways. in the mid 19th century she encouraged brides to wear white dresses and recommend wrinkle treatments. But it didn’t stop there.

She used her magazine to encourage other specific causes. Strongly believing in women’s education and encouraged mothers to teach their daughter’s alongside their sons. She was also an abolitionist before the Civil War.

Sarah Hale – Activist

Sarah was also an abolitionist before the Civil War, fighting to abolish slavery. Shewas also active in preserving American History. She actively raised money for historic sites such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon home and The Bunker Hill Monument in Massachusetts.

She wanted to promote patriotism and for decades she urged Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving by publishing poems about Thanksgiving and recipes for roast turkey and pumpkin pie.

It took decades and myriads of letters to governors and presidents to acquire this life long goal. But finally, she wrote to Abraham Lincoln. She encouraged that possibly a day of Thanksgiving would bring people together. This is when President Lincoln declared a day for Thanksgiving.

Can Thanksgiving Change Our Things Today?

Sadly, it didn’t work then to stop the inevitable. But Maybe it could for us today. No matter ifi you believe in God or not, gratitude changes things. Even if we are being today to “cancel Thanksgiving, what if we still took the time to be thankful.

Let’s count our blessings this year. And keep it up every day in 2021. If we took our eyes off of what is wrong in our world and started celebrating what is right, we would probably find that there is much more right than wrong.

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Resources

Women I wish a Knew better

Three Women, I Wish I Had Known Better

We’re talking grief this month. And I want to start right off with experiences while attending a funeral service. Always difficult for many reasons.

Too Late to Know Pearlie Mae

Women I wish a Knew better
The pictures are not of the women I write about.

I sat in the unfamiliar sanctuary of an unfamiliar church attending the funeral of a woman I had never met. My newlywed pastor-husband was officiating the service. I felt ill-at-ease because I wasn’t sure what I should do. Honestly, I had attended precious few funerals in my life to this point. And now the one person I knew in this place was separated from me. I sat towards the back and wait for a cue from him on what to do next.

The Eulogy

People began to share about Pearlie Mae. They said she had a sweet and kind spirit. As a young adult, she married a widower with several children. This perked my interest because I had just married Michael, recently widowed, and became the mother of his boys, 9 & 14. Her children stood and shared how Pearlie had stepped in and raised them as their own and how much she loved them and they loved her.

Now I wished I had known her. It was too late for that but I prayed, “Lord, help me be a mother like this mother.” Now 30 years later, I believe my boys would be willing to say that my prayers were answered. I know for me, I love them as my own.

Lord, Help me be a mother like her. #funerals #inmemorium Click To Tweet

I Didn’t Meet Majel Soon Enough

Several years later, we pastored a church in Milwaukee. Right off, we met a couple that was dear to us and to everyone. They loved the Lord and served Him faithfully. But Majel was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. It wasn’t long before she was not able to know me and I was not able to get to know her well.

Everett was a picture of a loving husband. Caring for her tenderly every moment. He brought her to church as often as he could. He stayed by her side continually.

The day came when she entered Heaven and we had a funeral service for her as well. This time, I knew some about her faith but the things her children shared touch me deeply.

I was especially touched by the things her son said. He shared that when he lived at home Majel always loved others unconditionally. She would give their outgrown clothes to others who needed them. But she didn’t just stuff them in a garbage bag and carry them to the family.

Majel would wash and mend each item. Then she would tenderly wrap them in tissue and place each one in its own box as a gift. She said she didn’t want the family to feel degraded in any way. She wanted them to feel as if they were receiving a true gift and not someone’s leftovers.

Another one shared that Majel often invited people for dinner. People that weren’t Christians, or at least didn’t act like it. They would ask her why she would invite these undeserving people into their home and treat them like royalty. She would always answer, “Some people will only make it to heaven if we carry them.

Again, my heart was struck by the love this woman had for others. And again, I prayed, “Lord help me be more like Majel.”

Lord, help me be more like this women. #kindness #outreach #goodness #charity Click To Tweet

I Didn’t Take Time to Know Katrina

Unfortunately, I didn’t really learn my lesson about getting to know people better. There was an elderly woman, Katrina, in our next ministry. She was always prim and proper and kept herself looking nice. She was very personable, never acting as if she were better than others.

But I only knew her in passing. As we often do at church, we speak pleasantries as we pass them in the hall but we really don’t know too much about them outside of the church.

This was true for Katrina and me. I honestly, did not know anything about her… until her funeral. It was then I learned that her late husband was a diplomat to China. I have often thought, “Oh how I could have been visiting with her and learning so much.

It wasn’t long after that before I was taking my children to the nursing homes and sitting to chat with the people; soaking in the knowledge and wisdom they had gained throughout their years on earth.

Then I started taking all the church children to the shut-ins and nursing homes. I would take the church van and go around town and pick them all up at their various schools. Then we would head to the nursing home or the home of a shut-in. We would sing a song or two, but then we would sit and ask questions. I have a wonderful board game that is for this very purpose called Life Stories. We took the questions cards with us and each child got to ask a question. They would answer and then the elderly person would answer.


Oh, the things we learned about each other. And what times we had!

Don’t Wait Too Late

Friend, I share these stories with you first to honor these humble women who had no idea how their life affected mine. But also to encourage you not to wait too late. Take every opportunity to get to know the people around you. Really get to know them so you won’t have to grieve their loss when you are sitting at the funeral.

The next time you go to church, sit in a different place and begin a conversation with someone you don’t know. Invite someone for Sunday dinner and spend an hour or two learning about them. You might be surprised by what you find out.

Mandy Farmer

Legacy Link-up will open next Tuesday, October 15

Free Printable

I have created a scripture of the day calendar. Download and print your calendar for free and get a little “Word of Comfort” each day.

Comfort October calendar
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book review, lies, truth

Debunking the Lies that Confuse the Truth

I stood there confused before our two boys as they each wove their own tale about what caused their most recent altercation. New at this mothering thing, I acted on my own determination to always listen to all sides of the story before deciding on who received punishment. It was something I determined back when I felt I was being unfairly punished.

But I was fast learning that this plan led only to more confusion and lies. I wasn’t able to sift through their stories and find the truth at all. Their stories were not matching up. There was little truth to be found.

I don’t think I ever really figured out how to get to the bottom of things between the boys. They used both paid the penalty though sometimes the truth could be seen by looking in their eyes.

Oh, the Tangled Web

Today’s society seems to weave the same kind of tales to catch us in their web of deceit in order to have their own way and to justify the life they want to lead. It’s nearly impossible now to find the truth anywhere. Certainly, not in the media and sometimes, not even from smooth talking preachers who like to bend the Word of God for their own advantage. The Bible warns us against such.

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

So, where do we look for the Truth?

1. Turn to God


If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:15

King Solomon knew where to find wisdom. He was now the new King of Israel. And the first thing he did was ask God for Wisdom. God made him the wisest king ever and gave him much more for having his priorities straight. We need to follow Solomon’s example. Pray for wisdom.

“I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.”

– Ephesians 1:16-17

As Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus, I pray Christ gives you spiritual wisdom that you may grow in your faith and knowledge of Him. I pray your heart remains humble and teachable and that you always look to Jesus as your wisdom.

2. Seek Wise & Godly Counsel

These are the ones from whom we should be asking godly counsel. I’d start with your pastor, your parents. or church leaders and then from books written by godly leaders who won’t lead you astray.

Be careful about the books you read. Be certain that the author is credible in the area in which you need wisdom. Again, ask trusted leaders which authors they trust. Some author’s reputation goes before them and there is no doubt. For instance, I doubt that you would worry about being led astray by Rev. Billy Graham.

As you read and study, pray each time and ask God for His guidance. Ask God to raise up flags if there are questionable thoughts and attitudes. He will lead you in the right direction.

You Might Start Here to Find Truth

Book Cover Lies Women Believe

The Women at our Church began a study of Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth’s updated and expanded book, Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free. I would suggest that this book is an excellent resource to debunk Satan’s (and Society’s) lies.

Nancy wrote the first edition of this book ten years ago. But things have changed a lot and she wanted to speak on those changes and in some cases more clearly share her thoughts based on Biblical precepts.

45 Lies Exposed

Nancy exposes 45 lies that woman are accepting hook, line, and sinker today by bringing out scriptures that tell us the TRUTH. She divides them into several categories.

  • Lies about trusting God
  • Seeing Myself as God Sees Me
  • Understanding Sin
  • Setting Priorities
  • Understanding God’s Design for Sexuality (a completely new section written with the help of author Dannah 0resh)
  • Lies about Honoring God in My Marriage
  • Raising Children
  • Handling Emotions
  • Dealing With Circumstances
  • Walking in Freedom

Extensive Coverage of Satan’s Lies

As you can see, Nancy has covered it all rather extensively. And I would submit that the first topic of trusting God probably gets right to the basic problem. We don’t trust God with our lives. Do we REALLY believe that God is Good and that He loves us implicitly? Can we REALLY be complete in God?

Nancy will take you through the scriptures and prove point by point that Satan is a liar and the author of confusion. She will present to you the TRUTH and back it all up with God’s Word.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am not being paid to write this or being told what to say.

What Lies Are You Believing?

It’s likely that there is a chapter or two here for you. You may be surprised at which lies you have swallowed whole. I would encourage you to pick up this updated and expanded version of her book and start reading it soon.

Oh, and be sure to purchase the workbook along with it. This will help you go deep into The Word and Find the “Truth That Sets You Free”.

Finding the Truth in Him;

Mandy Farmer

P.S. Have you read my other Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth book review?

I loved this deep study of the Titus 2 Woman, Adorned. The best study of Titus 2 I have found. ADORNED: Living out the Beauty of the Gospel Together


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