On the agenda the last couple of days has been back-to-school shopping - yay (not!). My girls love to get organized for school early and even though it's a bit of a task, I'm always grateful to get it done early especially when I see all the crazed parents trying to find supplies at the last minute... that's not fun - I did that once and promised myself, never again!
Even though the summer is still a few weeks from its end, my mind is ever busy with thoughts of the year ahead of me. Recently I read a little excerpt of the life that Abraham Lincoln lived - I'll share it with you cuz sometimes we can all use a little reminder to feel gratitude for all that we have.
Excerpt from The Best Way Out is Through,
by B.J. Gallagher
Many people do not know that Abe Lincoln endured many hardships and heartaches throughout the course of his life - at times struggling with severe depression. Consider the following:
- He spent his childhood working on the family farm, with long days of back-breaking toil. Unfortunate circumstances forced his family to abandon their home in Kentucky and move across the river to Indiana, in search of better opportunities.
- His mother died when he was just ten years old, leaving his father to raise the children.
- He went to work for a none-too-scrupulous businessman, who ran the business into the ground, leaving young Abe unemployed.
- He ran for the Illinois state legislature and lost, finishing eighth in a field of thirteen.
- He signed a note to buy into a general store with a friend, but within a year they were out of business, overwhelmed by a better-organized competitor in the same town.
- He fell in love with Ann Rutledge, became engaged to marry her, only to have her die unexpectedly. He was heartbroken and severely depressed.
- He fell in love again and married Mary Todd. Together they had four sons, three of whom died before reaching adulthood.
- He was finally successful in getting elected to the state legislature and made two attempts to become speaker. He was defeated both times.
- He wanted to run for Congress but failed to achieve his party's nomination.
- He ultimately won a seat in Congress. But when he sought to run for the U.S. Senate, he couldn't muster the votes and withdrew from the election.
- He was selected as a Vice Presidential candidate, but due to late entry in the field, he couldn't win enough votes.
- He ran for the Senate again but didn't win the seat because his party failed to gain control of the legislature.
But despite all the struggles and setbacks, at no point did Lincoln ever give up; personally or professionally. He endured great pain and sadness, but he didn't let it stop him. He just kept going.
Finally, he ran for the highest office in the land and became the 16th President of the United States, at a time when our country was facing its worst internal crisis ever: the Civil War. Lincoln won the war, ended slavery, and unified the nation.
If ever there was a man who exemplified perseverance and the enduring of personal discomfort, it was Abraham Lincoln. If he could have such pain in his life and still achieve all that he did, how can you - how can I - let discomfort stop us from achieving our own goals?
As I am Canadian, American history taught at school was brief and so I didn't learn detailed accounts of prominent leaders. But when I read this, it reminded me that his is just one story of many, and when we are faced with adversity and all things that seem impossible we need only to reflect on those people who have seen and dealt with real struggle and kept on going.
So dear ones, if at times you feel a little overwhelmed with the tasks at hand, know that you are not alone - many have struggled before you, many will struggle in times to come. But it is in you, if you want it bad enough, to keep going and never lose sight of your dreams.
Love, Dawn xox♥