My boys are constantly bickering.

Seriously, at this age, it seems never ending. No matter what is going on, there’s always something for them to pick on the other one about. And sometimes, it makes me feel like i’m at the end of my rope.

And know what else?

To be honest, sometimes they stink.

I know it sounds silly! But they spend all day outside together, wrestling, arguing, and when they get back in, they are all dirty and smelly.

And now that I think about it, they keep me on my toes all the time. With their motocross schedule, I’m constantly driving them everywhere, investing energy into their studies and extracurriculars, and teaching them how to be good sports when they lose (or win, for that matter.)

It can be easy to let these things discourage me sometimes. There have been times in my life where all the constant cooking, cleaning, emotional managment, dirt, smelliness, and constant bicker, have made me so frustrated at my boys that I lost my temper.

I felt like I was barely staying afloat.

But guess what?

It’s all about perspective.

Gratitude is one of the most important qualities we can foster, because not only does it help remind us of the good things we have it transforms trials in our lives into blessings.

So these days, when I look out my kitchen window and watch my boys wrestling and arguing in my backyard, I have a choice.

I could focus on how frustrated I am that they are fighting, that they are making a mess and getting on each other’s nerves.

Or I could choose to appreciate that they are in each other’s lives and that they love each other. I can choose to appreciate that we live in a safe enough neighborhood that they can play outside. I can choose to be grateful that they are out in nature, enjoying the trees and the sunshine.

I can choose gratitude.

That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t put my foot down, or not teach my boys to deal with conflicts well. It doesn’t mean I can’t get annoyed when they track mud through my newly cleaned house.

What it does mean is that instead of dwelling on the negative, I will dwell on the beautiful, vibrant, amazing human beings that my boys are.

And when I choose to dwell on how marvelous my boys are, I realize it in new and wonderful ways.

How are you going to choose gratitude today? Let me know, and I’ll let you in on how I started to shift into gratitude – body, mind, and spirit.