I’ve always admired Abraham Lincoln and not only because we share the same birthday. He was a true statesman, an honest man and a man of conscience. When I learned that he was the first president to officially name the fourth Thursday in November as a day to give thanks and declare it a national holiday, my admiration increased. (Although, it wasn’t until 1941 that it was declared an annual national holiday.) The fact that he did this in the midst of a brutal war dividing the country impressed me even more. It’s easy to give thanks when all is going well, but to focus on our blessings when under attack—that’s real gratitude. So today I will try to give thanks for the things I find difficult and the things with which I struggle. In hindsight, it is always those things that make me grow.