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And UPGRADE'S Founder

   Dawn Wilson


Entries in Direction (2)


4 Steps to Dealing with Disappointment

I have no doubt Kathy Carlton Willis is qualified to teach us on the subject of disappointment in this Biblical Thinking UPGRADE. I was on her prayer team last year when she experienced what she calls, “back-to-back-to-back disappointments.”

"I started the year in the hospital for a post-surgical infection," Kathy says. "It required additional surgery, going home with a PICC line, and a change in plans to allow time for recovery."

I (Dawn) think most of us would struggle with just that, but Kathy's tale of struggle and disappoint went on and on. And so did her commitment to deal with those struggles in a "grin with grace way.

Kathy continues . . . 

I was so disappointed in how that impacted my year. I had to cancel contracts with clients and postpone a writer’s getaway.

My diet and exercise plans were on pause, too. Everything just felt off kilter.

Then, when I finally got back in the swing of things, I had four disappointments hit almost simultaneously.

  • I developed a urinary tract infection that wouldn’t go away.
  • The antibiotic I took for it caused a tendon injury.
  • Hurricane Harvey hit.
  • And if that wasn’t enough, it flooded a home we had in contract.

Notice I said, “had.” Harvey nullified the purchase.

Oh, and somewhere in all of that, I received a book rejection from a publishing house.

I’m not going to bore you with all the other commonplace disappointments, but these were the biggies!

You’ve had years like that, right? How did you handle the disappointments? Maybe you are going through a frustrating setback right now.

I’ve learned it doesn’t work to ignore the loss, and it’s not healthy to stay stalled out.

Each disappointment requires a process.

Here’s my 4-Step Process for Dealing with Disappointment.

1. Rightfully MOURN the loss.

Joy has left our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. (Lamentations 5:15 NLT)

Disappointments stem from losing something we had or not getting something for which we hoped. Either way, we experience sadness.

Grieving is a painful process, but if we try to avoid it, we only manage to delay healing. When we mourn, the sadness subsides, and we are ready to move on.

2. Receive more of God's COMFORT and peace.

Look up the words "comfort" and "peace" in the Bible and you’ll see it is the Holy Spirit’s role to soothe your soul. Don't feel guilty for needing it—we all do!

Will you invite God’s Spirit to embrace you, rock you, and sing songs of consolation?

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NLT)

3. Ask God’s DIRECTION for something new or something to renew.

Once you’ve received God’s comfort, it’s time to look around to see what God has next for you, rather than continue self-reflecting.

It’s possible He will use your story to help someone else.

God helps you gain closure from your hurt so the pain no longer blinds you from your purpose.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

4. Move on with a RENEWED passion or project in something bigger than yourself.

There’s nothing like a new project to keep me going despite the let downs!

I anticipate seeing God at work, producing lightbulb moments.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT)

These are my four steps to deal with disappointment. Which step are you ready to take?

God’s Grin Gal, Kathy Carlton Willis, shines the light on what holds you back so you can grow. She’s a speaker and author with over a thousand articles online and in print, as well as her Bible study, Grin with GraceShe’s a bi-monthly columnist with CBN and a devotional writer for Todd Starnes. She and her husband Russ live in Texas with Jazzy, their hilarious Boston Terrier.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Geralt at Pixabay.


Helping Kids with Their GPS (God Positioning System)

Some women, like Deedra Scherm, seem to have been born with a parenting creativity gene. In this Parenting UPGRADE, she offers practical counsel for building spiritual insight into children’s lives.

“I was driving in downtown Dallas, trying to find my way to have lunch with my cousin Cathy,” Deedra says, “when I had to pull over to call my husband.”

Like Deedra, I (Dawn) often get turned around in the car. (OK, I get totally, horribly lost.) I used to feel terrible about that until I read somewhere that Einstein, a genius, often lost his way too. (Maybe that’s a myth, but I’m sticking with it!)

Deedra continues …

“I’m LOST!” I said with great frustration. “And I’m already 10 minutes late for lunch!”

“Okay," my husband said. "Just tell me where you are.”

“If I knew THAT, I wouldn’t be LOST!”

Shortly after that my husband gave me a GPS (Global Positional System) to help me navigate the roads. Is it too much to say I love my GPS? Because I do. I no longer have anxiety when I have to navigate new roads. I just turn it on and enjoy the path I’m driving.

My spiritual life needs a lot of guidance at times.  Over the years I have learned about the importance of reading God’s Word, prayer, and wise counsel, because I’ve discovered, The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 NAS).

I wanted to start teaching my children at a very young age how to understand the importance of God’s desire to guide their lives. 

Their “God Positioning System.” Their own “GPS.”

I thought I’d share a few easy ways to help plant seeds in young children on how to seek God’s guidance for themselves. The hope is that as they get older, seeking God’s guidance will become a natural part of their lives.

1. RECORD family prayers.

It seems like such a simple thing, but it can have such a great impact when you take the time to pray as a family and write down the requests and answers. The visual of written requests and recorded answers can make a lasting impression on a child about how God listens and responds.

When you record family prayers, it not only shows kids the importance of prayer, but it encourages them to seek prayer for themselves as they face decisions in their own lives. 

2. RECALL the times God has personally guided you.

Find ways to share moments where God has guided you and your family to where you are now.

When the boys are enjoying playing at the park next to our house, I like to say, “I remember when we were looking for a place to live and we just couldn’t find anything. Then we prayed for God to open up a house near this park. What a wonderful blessing He gave us with our house.” 

When you recall how you sought God for a decision point in your life, it will encourage them to seek His guidance when they are faced with decision in front of them. 

3. RELATE your child’s story to the story of someone in the Bible.

The Word of God is one of the main paths of guidance for us as Christians. Whenever we can direct our children to find connections to scripture, it will help them be able to relate as they get older.

When your child is experiencing fear, tell them about the story of Daniel and how God will take care of them in the scariest of circumstances.  When they are worried about if they are good enough, tell them the story of the boy with five loaves and a couple of fish and how Jesus can take what you have and use it for His glory. 

When you relate your child’s story to the Bible, it will encourage them to seek the Word for guidance when they are faced with challenging circumstances before them.

4. REMEMBER to show God’s provision in the “less-than-what-I-hoped-for.”

I remember circling a parking lot with my three boys in the car when the “front row” spot opened. “It’s the favor of God!” said one boy.  

At first, I was a little proud at his response. But as I thought about it, I realized that if I only thank God for the good things, when things get tough the kids could believe it’s because God has no hand in it. 

The next time we got the back-row spot, I said, “Oh, it would have been great to be in the front row, but maybe God knew I needed some extra exercise. Or maybe someone who has trouble walking needed that spot more than we did.” 

After time, I saw the boys applying this principle to all sorts of areas in their lives … from when they didn’t win the prize in the raffle to when someone else at church got the starring spot in the spring musical. 

When you remember to show God’s provision in tough times, it will encourage kids to trust God’s plan even when things don’t go their way.

What a great gift you can give to your kids if you teach them to have their own “GPS.” Then they can stop worrying about being lost, and really start enjoying the journey!

Can you think of a teachable moment when you recently taught a child (or a mentee or a friend) how to trust God for guidance? Which of Deedra’s four points could you use in the days ahead?

Deedra Scherm lives in Dallas with her husband and three boys. Between homeschooling and writing, she’s on constant watch for “parents night out” so she and her hubby can get one of those things called a date night. You can find Deedra’s  bestselling book, The ABC Bible Verse Book, and other books and DVDs at or