You might be shocked to hear that Thankful Tuesday did not begin as a somewhat piously disguised platform through which to list my kids’ accomplishments. (“Brooksie loves to sign ‘Thank you!’ August understands the theory of gravity!” *Insert eye-roll here.* Though, yeah, it’s a good way to talk about them and I can’t seem to stop, can I?) Also, Thankful Tuesday didn’t begin simply because it is cool to be grateful in the Christian women blogging community. (And, by the way, I’m totally okay with gratitude’s trendiness.)
Thankful Tuesday actually began in January of 1998 in the Behren’s Dormitory second floor (I lived on the second floor, I think?) hallway at my sweet little Baptist college. There, I met with Jamie and Michele every morning at 7 am for prayer. We made a plan. Every day except for Tuesdays we would pray through lists of requests or whatever (seriously, we probably said “or whatever”) but on Tuesdays we would only be Thankful! Why, you might be thinking did we choose Tuesdays for this task? Why not choose Thursdays and have some alliteration up in here? Because, friends, we were much too ironic for that, even as earnest 18-year-olds. Choosing Tuesday over Thursday made us laugh. So we chose Tuesday and I think God was really happy about that as well. We also decided it would be super funny and awesome of us to wish people a “Happy Thankful Tuesday!” every where we went on Tuesdays and insist that our friends tell us why they were thankful.
Well, our daily prayer gathering was short-lived. Come on! 7 am? That was seriously early and we were eighteen. So we stopped praying together but never ceased wishing people a “Happy Thankful Tuesday.” At one point, we almost made shirts (because that’s what you do in college). My brother designed a photo of two children circa 1954 holding up a lunch box that read: “Happy Thankful Tuesday.” The shirts were never made, but, amazingly, that design is printed on a sheet of paper and still hanging on the wall in my childhood bedroom.
When I started this blog two years ago, I was embarrassed about my life as a stay at home mom. I was guilt-ridden that I had left full-time ministry and I was lonely. I was just beginning to think about spiritual practices that would draw me into prayer and help me to see my life at home with some sort of joy. I didn’t know then what learning to be grateful would do for my soul. That was before I read One Thousand Gifts and began to realize that thanksgiving is a spiritual work that can be practiced at any moment, that it is, miraculously, an answer to scripture’s admonition to “pray without ceasing.”
But I did know that I could do this: I could be grateful. And, hearkening back to my silly college girl soul, I knew I had to do it on Tuesdays. And, the rest is blogging history, my friends.
I know other sites have grateful list link-ups. Even my girl Ann Voskamp has a “Multitudes on Mondays” link-up on her blog to end all blogs. Who am I to try such a thing on mine? But, the more I’ve thought about our community, the more I’ve felt drawn to make Thankful Tuesdays around here more of a conversation. I love Thankful Tuesday because it can be silly, deep, personal, vague. It can be a list. It can be a rambling reflection. It can be a prayer.
So, that’s what I’m inviting you to do. Imagine me in my Thankful Tuesday shirt running into you on campus. What are you thankful for?
I’m wondering if you’ll join me on Tuesdays around here: link up with your lists, your musings, the words you’ve been gathering. Let’s just meet here with our Thankfuls on Tuesdays and see where God takes us?