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Cultivating a Grateful Spirit at Home

I slumped in a pile of tears today.

My day started so crappy. The first thing my daughter says to me this morning is: “Mom, I don’t like my cereal. It tastes so plain.”

I was so mad on the inside. I know how much money that we spend on food every week.

I told her, “Well, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat.”

Her response was: “Oh, okay. I’ll eat it.”And this was just the start of the day.

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We go to the YMCA for swimming time. We get into the pool and my daughter pulls out her new swim toys that her GG (my mom) bought her at the aquarium last week. Her brother takes one of the sea turtle toys. My daughter pushes him into the water.

TIME OUT.

I sit down with her, explaining that people are more important than toys.

That the way that we treat our brother is more important than having the toys that we want to play with. Then I asked her, “Is this how you want your brother to treat you?”

Of course it wasn’t.

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Then it was time for lunch. My daughter gripes about not getting enough pretzels, “He has more than me.” So I have to count every single pretzel until she is satisfied with the number that she has.

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Then it was nap time for my son. My favorite time of the day where I go down to one kid.

I become focused on filling out my tax return for this year. My daughter loses it. She is on the floor- full temper tantrum. “Mom, you are working all the time! You never play with me!”

My son wakes up with a huge explosion poop. While he is in the tub, I lose it. I start crying in a ball.

I felt that all day, my children were not being grateful for everything in the house. Grateful that I pay for swim time at the pool (very expensive), I pay for books, toys, clothes…

How do you cultivate a grateful spirit all year?

Honestly, I had no idea.

Until I started thinking about my day. Was I showing a spirit of gratefulness for my kids, my small little home, and my plain cheerios? Do my kids secretly see me tell their dad, “This isn’t the flavor that I wanted for the soup.” Or “I hate how these kids take up all my time?”

Maybe they get their ungratefulness from me. Maybe with all of my complaints, I "planted" negative seeds of ungratefulness unknowingly amongst my kids?

Maybe today was just a harvest of seed planting of negativity. The Bible says, "You will reap what you sow." What kind of seeds am I planting into my children's hearts?

I know that every day I have to get up and be grateful. Grateful that I have a family. Grateful for my health. Grateful that I have the ability to physically have children. Grateful that I can work from home.

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Lord, help me to show this grateful spirit around my kids more. Because, I know then, they will show gratefulness back through their attitudes- like a harvest of beauty in the spring time.

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How do your kids to be grateful?

I would love to hear from you!

Christal

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