Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Will Your Words Have An Impact? by Sandra Ardoin

We’re a nation of people who have long expressed our gratitude for our blessings by celebrating those bounties on a special day.

From our youngest years, we’re taught the Pilgrim’s story and about various harvest festivals held throughout history to show our thanks for God’s provision. These celebrations took an official, national turn in 1789 when George Washington was urged to proclaim a day of thanksgiving for the successful end to the American Revolution. This celebration continued in some form and length until the early 1800s. Then it became a scattered event with states and cities setting aside their own holidays.

But along came Sarah Josepha Hale, writer (remember “Mary Had a Little Lamb?”) and editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. Though she wasn’t a suffragist or what we might call a feminist, she was an influential woman in a time when men were considered the leaders outside the home.

Sarah advocated for years for a formal, national day of Thanksgiving. Beginning in the latter 1820s, she wrote editorials and letters to politicians urging them to make one day standard for the whole country.

Finally, in 1863, President Lincoln signed a proclamation that set aside the last Thursday of November as a time of praise to God for all He’s given us. After almost forty years, Sarah Hale was successful in her letter-writing campaign. Part of that proclamation is below:

“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.”
From the proclamation written by William Seward and signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

And what is the writer takeaway from this history lesson? Perseverance and Hope. Never give up and never believe that your words can’t affect someone else’s life. Had Sarah Hale stopped writing her letters after the first year or two, tomorrow might be just another work day.

Remember, it only takes the right person to read your words to create an eternal impact.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Will you share an experience when you learned that something you wrote impacted another person's life?


Sandra Ardoin writes inspirational historical romance. She’s the author of The Yuletide Angel and A Reluctant Melody. A wife and mom, she’s also a reader, football fan, NASCAR watcher, garden planter, country music listener, antique store prowler. Visit her at and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Become a part of her email community to receive occasional updates and a free short story.

A Reluctant Melody releases January 2016.