I promised my sister and mom I would wait until Christmas cards went out before posting more of our family shots we took over Thanksgiving, but thought I would just share this one. Because one thing I am really thankful for is my sister. Seriously, I’m the luckiest ever and I’m so glad my little Gabs will grow up with a sister too. Plus she is one beautiful lady and mama!
Abraham Lincoln, autumn, Bible, Civil War, faith, fall, Independence, Jesus, November, President of the United States of America, Proclamation, Psalm, Scripture, Secretary of State, thankfulness, Thanksgiving, William H. Seward
My 30th year of existence has been one crazy year, yet there is so much to be thankful for. So much. When I take a step back and look at everything my life is, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude. My hope and prayer is that you also can see the blessings in your life and be thankful. I hope your Thanksgiving is the best one yet!
Thanks to recently seeing Lincoln (one of the best movies I have seen in awhile and now I like Lincoln and Daniel Day Lewis even more), I’m in an Abe Lincoln kinda mood, so may this Proclamation read on October 3, 1863 by Lincoln, leave you with a thankful heart!
P.S. I wish I could write like this.
P.P.S. This was written in the middle of the Civil War, so history nerd self thinks its extra awesome Lincoln proclaimed a day of thanks during one of our darkest/hardest times.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
I love that my friends are having sweet little babies! I worked with Kyle and Racheal for a few years (before they moved to Houston ), so when they asked if I wanted to snap some photos of the fam when they were in Austin, how could I resist? I can’t wait to see this little girl grow! I know she’ll be cracking jokes left and right like her parents!
Kyle and Rach – move back to Austin please! And thanks for letting me capture this sweet little one! She is perfect!
As I work towards career goals and things slowly start falling into place, am I the only one who can get attacked by that little punk called fear?
It took me 30 years to really figure out what I’m passionate about, and that’s narrative. My main avenue of sharing narrative is through my camera lens, but also in words and writing. I’ve always loved reading, story, narrative, thus my love of photography and books. As I work towards those careers goals (in the photo world, the writing world, the book/publishing world), as I connect with authors, gain more expertise and experience my first thought of getting my “dream” job sadly isn’t “That would be awesome!!” or “Holler!!” but more along the lines of “Can I actually do a good job?” “Would I fail miserably and be forced to go back to a job that only pays the bills??” I don’t care how many awards have been won, encouragement received, fear always manages a way to creep on in.
After several years of holding back (I don’t exaggerate, I’m 30 and yet to be in my career), I’ve discovered there are two ways to handle fear:
1. Let it hold you back. Let it convince you that you won’t be able to do whatever it is and might as well settle now and just pay your bills.
2. Punch it in the knee caps.
If that’s not the best advice you’ve ever received, then I don’t know what is. I’m sure you’ve heard better, but you feel me right?
Am I there yet career wise? Nope, but I know I’m getting there and I know I’m following the passions the Lord has given me. Each step (whether a failure or success) makes you wiser and stronger. So I’m not gonna worry or let fear seize the spot in my heart where passion should be. I hope you join me too!
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
I was in California this past weekend celebrating the life of my friend Natalie. Nothing prepares you for losing someone so suddenly and so young. It was one of the hardest things to be at, but it was a beautiful military funeral and a time to celebrate a wonderful life.
Natalie and I met freshman year in high school playing soccer. We became instant friends. The first thing I think of when I think of Natalie is her laugh. Her hilarious, infectious laugh. And man, did we have some chuckles through the years. There were the crazy high school times with boys, heart break, homecomings, Proms, Mac makeup, hanging out at her house and mine until the wee hours, and surviving the next final. But more than that we had fun. So much fun!
I’ve been thinking about all of our inside jokes (who knew a sweat suit could be so funny?), the long conversations about faith, life, purpose and everything in between. The friendship that continued after high school, through college (for me) and the Navy (for Natalie) and through the rest of our twenties. Not only was she a part of my life, but she was a part of my family’s too. I could write so much more, but people who knew Natalie were blessed and my life is different, is better for knowing her.
Thirty is too young to say good bye. Far too young. Natalie, I’m so grateful you were a part of my life, even if it was too short. How I wish we had more time, how when I thought “I need to call Natalie” a week before your accident, I did that very day. I wish we could have had one more talk, one more laugh. Maybe I’ll go toilet paper a house and just for kicks get busted by the cops like we did on your 17th birthday, you know, for old times sake.
Nothing is guaranteed in life. It’s full of tragedy, sadness, pain. But it’s also full of hope, love and joy. Things that make every moment worth living. It’s been hard, that was one of the hardest funerals I’ve been too. But I have hope for things yet to come. For me, my life is rooted in Christ and the truth of the Gospel. A Gospel that doesn’t promise an easy life, but a Gospel that promises His love is enough. I know His love will sustain me through whatever life brings and I know that same Love was with Natalie.
Natalie, saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. You lived a life full of love and laughter. I’ll miss you for the rest of my time here on earth. I love you friend and till we meet again.