I am learning that joy can be cultivated. It is the fruit of a life that knows it is loved by God. But it is more than that. Joy grows from a thankful heart. Sometimes we lose sight of how much we are loved because we take goodness for granted, or believe it is a right of ours.

Thankfulness is paying attention to the goodness we receive and responding to the One from whom all good things come. Position your heart in this way and you will find more and more to be thankful for. Give thanks, and you become aware of God’s great love for you. Give thanks and joy rises inside you. Thankfulness releases joy.

I have tried this round the dinner table with my kids. We each take a turn to say “Thank you Jesus for…” and pretty soon we have a runaway train – our list goes on and on. As we give thanks, smiles break out, the atmosphere shifts and we are joy filled. Joy is so much fun!