How Gratitude Helped Me Overcome Discouragement

When my book (Pawz & Pray) was first released on January 31st 2020, I came down with a really bad cold. It lingered on and on, causing me to struggle with discouragement.

One day I was sitting on the sofa, congested, coughing, with sinus headache, just feeling miserable. It had been 2 weeks and I was worse, not better. My dogs were snuggled close, offering what help they could. Their presence is always a welcome comfort! Before me on the coffee table was my book. I picked it up and turned to the story titled, “Thank You, Lord.” In reading it, I was reminded that gratitude is often one of the most powerful antidotes to sadness and discouragement. Here’s an excerpt:

“There’s so much to be grateful for! But sometimes, our mind is on other things, like our pain. When life is tough, I don’t always “feel” grateful (at first). Tears have a funny way of clouding my ability to see a God’s blessings. But if I persist in giving thanks despite my circumstances, the feelings typically follow. Sometimes, when I find myself drenched in tears, I begin thanking God for whatever is closest to me, like the box of tissues or my cup of tea. I might give thanks for the honey in the tea, and then the bees that worked so hard to produce the honey, and one grateful thought leads to another paving the way to a deep sense of joy and gratitude for all God’s wondrous blessings.” (Excerpt from Pawz & Pray, page 54).

It took over a month to start feeling better. It sure wasn’t easy. I was tested to the core, physically and spiritually. Thankfully, a heart of gratitude helped me to overcome discouragement and I’m here to pass on the blessing!

If you’re struggling with illness (or any other emotional or physical pain) today, let me encourage you to give thanks. God’s blessings are all around us, even when life is tough. Find one thing to thank God for, and then another, and another… your spirit will be encouraged. And when the spirit is refreshed, the body is usually affected in a positive way. Hang in there, dear friends.

“No matter what happens, always be thankful…” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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For information on Pawz & Pray or to order click here.


“The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you

    and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

    and give you peace.”

—Numbers 6:24-26

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New Book Release!

Are you tired of running? Is your heart heavy with care? This revised edition of Pawz & Pray will inspire comfort and calm, and joyful living with sweet stories of hope, inspiring reflections, scriptures, prayers, and quotes! If you’d like to draw closer to God, and happen to have a sweet spot for dogs, this book is for you! Also makes a great gift for your dog lover friends.

“Leila’s book has been a true inspiration to me. It makes you focus on what’s really important in life!”— Holly Cornwell, Editor 2007 – 2014, The Royal Spaniels [Read more reviews]

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