It’s an attitude of gratitude that’s been passed down through several generations. Grandma raised Mom with it, Mom raised me with it, and I’m doing my best to raise my daughter with it. Call it seeing our cups as half-full, finding the best in every situation, or looking on the bright side. We aim to do it!
When Mom was a young girl, she’d wake up every morning to the smell of homemade biscuits baking in the oven, freshly gathered eggs frying in the skillet, and the sound of Grandma humming in the kitchen. “Home on the Range” was her favorite. “Good morning, my sweetheart!” Grandma would say to her. “It’s going to be a great day today!”
Grandma had some good advice for Mom through the years. Positive sayings such as:
“Put worries on the back burner until they become a reality.”
“Worrying today takes away a fun day.”
“Enjoy the day and let it be a great one — because you can’t relive today.”
“You can only relive today in your mind, so make it good.”
My Grandma Elsie wouldn’t let anything get her down. When I was growing up, we’d visit her every summer and stay for a week or more. One particular summer, we had a fun day of outdoor activities planned. When my brother stepped outside and saw a clouded sky he said, “Oh no, it’s going to rain today!” To which Grandma quickly replied, “Danny Boy, don’t worry about those clouds — it’s going to be a good day regardless of the weather! So we’re not going to make it bad, are we? Wipe that gloomy look off your face — if it rains we’ll bake cookies!”
I never knew Grandma to be sick until she fell and broke her hip. Although she never recovered from that fall, she never lost the twinkle in her eye and the smile on her face. She chose every day to have a joyful heart.
The Mayo Clinic discovered the benefits of a joyful heart long after Grandma did. Physicians there list these health benefits of positive thinking: 
• Increased life span
• Lower rates of depression
• Lower levels of distress
• Greater resistance to the common cold
• Better psychological and physical well-being
• Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
• Better copping skills during hardships and times of stress
But even before Grandma and the Mayo Clinic, King David had something powerful to say about how we think: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
Each morning when we wake up, we have a choice to make: to choose to live the day with a joyful heart, or with a broken spirit. We can gather all the gloom from yesterday and worry about what might happen tomorrow. Or we can make a deliberate choice, in spite of it all, to have a joyful heart. We can mumble and grumble about life’s problems — or we can hum “Home On The Range.”
—Written by Nancy Canwell