I’ve probably been hearing the word “hate” at least 10 times a day lately. “I hate strawberry pop-tarts!” “I hate water!” “I hate this shirt!” “I hate this show!” “I hate walking!” “I hate green beans!” Being the on-top-of-it type of mom I am I of course lectured my kids a few times about starving children in Africa and little boys and girls who have no toys to play with or warm clothes to wear. It didn’t seem to make an impact on their 3 and 4 feelings, go figure. The last few times I was faced with this blatant ungratefulness I didn’t handle it very well. I got irritable and frustrated and snappy. How dare my children be so ungrateful? Don’t they appreciate all I do for them, all I give them? It was at about that point I felt God whispering in my ear about my own gratitude towards Him. Do I even notice all the things He does for me on a daily basis? How many blessings in my life do I treat as burdens? Of course I notice the big things. I thank Him for our house, our cars, food on the table, clothes on our backs, my husband’s job, and our overall health. But isn’t there so much more He does for me? Every breath I take comes from the Lord! Every good and perfect gift comes from above! He makes the sun rise and set, cares for every bird, flower, and blade of grass, and knows the number of hairs on my head! I realized then and there that if I expect my kids to be grateful, I need to show them exactly what it looks like. They need to know what to be grateful for, and I can’t just tell them (“Starving children in Africa would LOVE to eat your green beans!”) I have to show them! I’ve started a gratitude and blessings journal in a little notebook I can carry around with me. The goal is to come up with at least five things every day that I don’t normally notice or think about being thankful for. It’s been easy, so far. I think I’ve always known how blessed I am, and felt it, I just never stopped to consider the details and thank their Giver for them as I should. So, I hope this is the beginning of my kids learning to be grateful, the beginning is me!