what we're not good at - gratefulness

It's Sunday mid-morning and we've all hiked out to the beach. 
We're at our favorite spot, with our favorite people. 
Nick and I have coffee in red cups, Cannon is bouncing around in the stoller, and the kids were running like happy little wild animals. We'd told them to only get their feet wet, but you know. 

One of my precious boys rubs up against me as he runs to my side. I say, "Isn't this just the best? Can you believe we live here? I mean we live in downtown Charleston, but we can get here to this place in like ten minutes?". His response is less than enthusiastic as he processes audibly all of the things that are hard about where we live, even hating a little on our decades-old home. It too me so by surprise that I didn't know how to respond. I wanted him to be honest with me, but it was like the best day of the year in my book and I wasn't expecting his complaining. 

That conversation sparked my gratefulness tailspin. I started seeing that around every turn, we were not a family that exuded thanks and praise for what was around us. We occasionally list what we're thankful for, we pray and thank God together, but in general - we don't live in a state of overwhelmingly grateful hearts. And I want that to change. 

This week I'm starting with me. With mom. 
I'm taking stock of the little ungrateful, selfish, whiny thoughts that fill my brain. 
I'm replacing those with grateful thoughts and praise. 
I'm hold my thoughts and my hands open to see what is in them and praying he'd take the stiff fingers that are wrapped around my obsession with what I need, want, desire, deserve - and that He'd loosen those as I hold them up. 

What about you? 
How do you all cultivate gratefulness? 
I'd love to hear! 

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