Thanksgiving, Sarah Hale, and Being a Woman

Today’s blog is going to be a bit different than usual, but it still serves a purpose.  One of my problems with today’s generation is our need to do away with gender differences.  I worry that by doing so, we are also doing away with being able to teach people that differences are okay.  Differences can actually be good oftentimes.

I like being a woman.  I am proud to be a woman.  Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a girly-girl.  I feel dressed up when I’m out and about in a fitted tee and jeans.  Majority of my life is spent without makeup on.  Don’t even get me started on heels.  If God wanted me to wear heels, he wouldn’t have given me big feet.  I love working out, and even lifting weights.  But I love being the maternal one.  I love that I was able to nurse.  I love that my hands are smaller than my husbands.  I love that I read into things more than my husband, who takes things at their word.

I am a woman and I don’t feel the need to change that to be able to make a difference in the world.  I know my sphere of influence will never be anything great, and honestly, I’m okay with that.  I also know that I don’t have to “act like a man” or “hide my femininity” in order to do so.

That leads me to my main point of this post.  I have been reading to the kids about the first Thanksgiving before bedtime.  In our reading, we were introduced to a woman named Sarah Hale.  She was an editor of a popular ladies magazine in 1837.  She was determined that every state in the United States should celebrate Thanksgiving on the same day each year.  Prior to this each state celebrated a day of Thanksgiving whenever they wanted to.

She wrote letters to several politicians requesting that Thanksgiving be a National Holiday.  She even wrote a letter to the then current president Zachary Taylor.  He didn’t do anything.  Every time a new president was elected, she wrote them as well.  Then she told Abraham Lincoln, following the start of the Civil War, that making Thanksgiving a National Holiday would help to bring the states together.  He agreed.  In 1863, he declared Thanksgiving Day to be a National Holiday held on the 4th Thursday in November.  Her persistence won.

Obviously I’m sharing this because Thanksgiving is coming up.  I am also sharing because I believe this is how we raise children, of both genders, to grow up to be confident in who they are.  We don’t have them get rid of all distinguishing characteristics they may have.  We teach them about people who faced obstacles, people they can relate to.  We our daughters it’s okay to be a girl and face obstacles.  It’s not just woman who face obstacles, but overcoming obstacles is often where the growth occurs.  I think we would find that not many people who did make history had an easy go of it.

Happy Thanksgiving!