KidsView  | The Adventist Review for kids and those who always will be kids at heart | November 2014

Twice as Thankful

By Chantal J. Klingbeil

Ellen Harmon was born on November 26, 1827. Many years later, in 1863, something important happened on her birthday. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the last Thursday of each November would be Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving fell on her birthday eight more time in her life. Ellen White must have smiled when she heard about this because she had alreayd been celebrating Thanksgiving for as long as she could remember. To her, every birthday was her won personal thanksgiving day. You see, Ellen was very sickly as a child after she was hit in the face by a stone when she was nine years old. Many people believed she would die.

In handwritten diaries and personal letters, Ellen White sometimes recorded hwo she felt and what she did on some of those birthdays. Her birthdays were not celebrated with a big cake and lots of candles or, if on Thanksgiving Day, with a big Thanksgiving feast. More often than not Mrs. White was traveling on her birthday.

Here's an example of what she did on her birthday in 1868 in a ltter she wrote to her sons: "Your mother's birthday was spent in traveling on foot one mile across a rocky pasture and then a watery marsh, hopping from stone to stone and from knoll to knoll to keep from wetting my feet. We were on our way to visit Lou Curtis. . . ." Letter 23, 1882.

Mrs. White especially enjoyed her fifty-eighth birthday. She was in Europe, riding on a train bound for Torre Pellice, Italy. She wrote that it was a Thursday and Thanksgiving Day in America. The day was sunny, and she was thrilled to be able to see some of God's handiwork in nature as she traveled through the Swiss and Italian mountain ranges.

Her last birthday also fell on Thanksgiving Day in 1914. Ellen White turned 87. It was fitting that this 1914 birthday occurred on Thanksgiving Day. Many of her friends and family came to be with her for her birthday, and they all celebrated Thanksgiving together. Mrs. White was thankful fr reach year of life she could celebrate, and she wanted her life to be a blessing to others. 

This Thanksgiving Day, take a moment to write a list of al the things you are thankful for.