where a woman can build her strength and freedom

When we’re feeling discouraged, we can still give someone joy

When we are discouraged, someone else needs us, as this photo reminds us and shows a dear little brown-eared dog with loving eyes, standing alone

Everyone gets discouraged sometimes.

If anyone tells you they don’t, they are either manic or lying.

Sometimes something we are attempting to do is not going well.

Somebody we want to be with, doesn’t want to be with us.

We aren’t looking so hot–
thought we’re so smart but we’re not–
and when it comes to cash—we ain’t got.


what do we DO when we get discouraged?

Let me offer us a few ideas.

Are you with me?

Let’s DO this!

My Daddy’s jokes

I was blessed to have a father with a never-ending supply of jokes.

He’s been gone since 1972 but I still remember them all.

They were usually very brief.

Perfect for me when I was four years old.

I would giggle my head off every time he told them,
and they never got old even as I grew up.

The world might find them totally corny,
but they still kill me.

A few days ago I was feeling discouraged.

I was trying to learn to swim freestyle.

I was fighting back tears in the pool,
as I was attempting to put all the elements together.

Suddenly there was my Daddy saying:

Horse goes into a bar.
Bartender asks: Why the long face?

I burst out laughing and crying.

How could I continue to feel discouraged?

Somebody else needs us

A beloved joke can break the spell of discouragement.

But what else can we do?

One of the best things is to remember that even when we are discouraged,
someone else needs us.

Someone else is in a worse pickle.

And if we open our eyes and look around,
we just might see them.

A joyful reunion

One day my man and I are driving around town.

It’s getting close to Christmas and there is lots of traffic.

Suddenly I see a little dog in the bushes by the side of the road!

I exclaim “O please pull over! There’s a little dog right by the road!

He’s going to get hit if he comes another step!”

We pull off the road into a parking lot.

I go and find the dog.

He is real scared but I coax him to our car and he gets in.

He has a collar on, with identification.

We drive him across town, back to our place.

On the way, that dear little dog (turns out it’s a “she”)
snuggles into my arms.

She must have been lost for a while,
because she is so exhausted she falls asleep.

Our neighbors give us some of their dog’s food for her.

Our other neighbors take down and lend us the leash
that they had hung on the wall and had belonged to their beloved departed dog.

We call the number on her collar, and are given an address.

Another neighbor drives her all the way back to her home that evening.

Turns out she belongs to a young man who had a stroke and is in the hospital.

He had left his dog with someone, and they had told him that she got lost.

But when he got home before Christmas
his precious little dog was there waiting for him.

Can you imagine the joy of their reunion?

So let’s always keep our eyes open

We never know what we will see.

Was I discouraged the day I saw that little dog in the bushes?

Not that I remember.

But if I had been,
bringing her home to that young man for Christmas would have cured me.


Have you ever done something for someone that lifted your spirits
when you were discouraged?

I hope you will write and tell me!

Dr. Hall