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Cherri Williamson

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Debbie W. Wilson

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Jamie Wood

And UPGRADE'S Founder

   Dawn Wilson



Spring into a Healthier You!

Morgan Farr's passion and wise choices always inspire me. In this Health UPGRADE, she inspires us not only to better self-care, but also to consider how our bodies might better bring glory to God—and spring is a perfect time to make some fresh changes.

"God calls us to obedience and self-disciple, and your physical health plays a huge role in your ability to complete the task God has given you," Morgan says. “Is a lack of discipline with your body holding you back from serving God?”

A nutritionist challenged me (Dawn) with exactly that question more than a year ago. Then said, "How are you going to continue ministering when your body is falling apart?" It really got me thinking, and I came to the same conclusions Morgan did.

Morgan continues . . .

Many women spend a huge amount of time battling their bodies rather than bringing them under their control, and it doesn’t have to be that way!

Remember, God has given us the power of self control (2 Timothy 1:7).

God wants more for us than being enslaved to an unfit, sick, broken body.

Here are my top three ways to spring into a healthier you, and glorify God with the body you have been given.

1. Eat Real Food

Taking care of your body is going to start with what you put in your mouth.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

While we are not bound by levitical dietary laws, I do think we should be more discerning in what we consume.

God designed every intricate part of our bodies. He also designed what we should eat and how our digestive tract works. Did you know that roughly 70% of our immune tissue is located in our digestive system? Wouldn't it make sense then to show respect for our bodies by eating real foods rather than processed junk?

If you need an idea of what I mean by “real” foods, stick to the OUTER SIDES of the grocery store. If it can sit on a shelf for more than a week or so, it probably isn’t real food.

2. Move Your Body

Proverbs 31:17 says, “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”

This used to be true. But, the reality of modern life is that it can be very sedentary. We no longer have to spend hours to do basic things like gathering food and water. With the advent of household appliances life form many women has become a lot less physically demanding.

This means that we have to be intentional about moving our bodies daily.

It isn’t enough to count on chores to keep you fit.

This does not mean that you need an expensive trainer or a crazy gym membership. There are plenty of exercises that you can do at home, with zero equipment. (See note, below) *

3. Refresh Your Soul  

The final portion of your health that I want to address is your spiritual life.

Proverbs 3:7-8 says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones”.

There are two parts to this in my mind—fearing the Lord and shunning evil.

To fear the Lord, here are some basic questions:

  • Are you in the Bible every single day—not a devotional or a Bible commentary, but a real Bible?
  • Are you, every day, in conversation with the One who gave up his life for you?  

For shunning evil, let me ask you these:

  • What are you watching on television? Does it honor God?
  • What are you listening to in the car? Does it proclaim His glory?
  • How do you talk about other people when they aren’t with you?

Now, here is the caveat.

You have to understand why you want to be healthy.

What is the goal?

Being thin isn’t a fruit of the Spirit.

A certain size isn’t listed in the Beatitudes.

And believe it or not,

God didn’t list a certain body fat percentage as the 11th commandment.

Health and fitness can easily become idols if you are not careful. Make sure that you are doing these things for the right reasons and to glorify God.

We are called first and foremost to live out lives:

  • For God’s glory, and
  • To see His purposes fulfilled.

How can you spring into health and fitness this year to bring glory to God?

Morgan Farr is an Army wife currently stationed in San Diego, California, with her wonderful husband Brian and their children. Morgan is a homemaker who dedicates her free time to ministering to other Army wives through Bible studies, one-on-one mentoring and physical training. Morgan writes about her transition out of feminism and into biblical womanhood on her blog The Forgiven Former Feminist. You can find her training programs, nutritional information and meal plans on her blog, Farr Functional Fitness.

* At-home fitness is a real passion of mine, so I coach people in this everyday for free. If you need more help in this area, feel free to contact me personally, I would love to help you.

Graphics adapted, courtesy of Momental and OmarMedinaFilms at Pixabay


Declare Your Allegiance

In America, the most common time we hear the word "allegiance" is when we say "The Pledge of Allegiance" to our flag. In this Spiritual Life UPGRADE, Dawn Wilson reminds us Christians have another—even more crucial—Pledge of Allegiance.

I recently read through the Apostle's Creed. Dating to about 400 AD, the creed was ascribed to Jesus' apostles. It's not something my particular church regularly reads or recites. But I wanted to read it and think about what it says.

Matt Chandler once said of the early church reciting this creed, "it was simultaneously their greatest act of rebellion and their greatest act of allegiance."

When the early church spoke those words, they knew they might face persecution or worse. While Rome declared Caesar lord (and dared anyone to deny it), Christians bravely stood against their culture and said, "No, Rome. JESUS is Lord."

There is much in our present-day culture—many voices—calling out for our loyalty and time. We need clear discernment to know our responsibilities toward our government and our Lord (Matthew 22:15-22).

We need to determine what matters for Christian life and growth, and more importantly, for the Kingdom of God.

We need to learn to spot unhealthy, unholy distractions, and then pursue biblical, right choices with purpose and passion—to "walk in wisdom" (Ephesians 5:15-17).

To declare or pledge allegiance is to give our loyalty or commitment to a cause or a person. For instance, one who wants to become an American citizen must swear allegiance to the republic.

Here are some truths I've learned about ALLEGIANCE to JESUS.

1. Allegiance to Jesus is more than mouthing loyalty.

Allegiance speaks of heart-felt loyalty, faithfulness, devotion and obedience. Perhaps this is why we put our hands over our hearts when we recite America's pledge.

I remember saying two pledges, the "Pledge to the Christian Flag" and the "Pledge to the Bible," as a little girl in a a group called Pioneer Girls. The idea of loyalty to God, His Kingdom, His people and His Word stuck with me over the years—even before I became a true Christian.

I had a growing sense of the cost of complete loyalty to God.

Later, I would learn Jesus said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62); and Paul wrote about a man named Demas who forsook Paul and the ministry because of his greater love for the world (2 Timothy 4:10).

I knew there could be no sitting on the fence or wavering. Wavering would not please God. I needed to follow the Lord by faith (James 1:6; Romans 4:20).

2. Allegiance to Jesus is a decision.

In Sunday school, I sang, "I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back, no turning back." Yet I didn't know the Lord in a personal way. I only knew a lot about Him.

In 1971, an evangelist confronted me with the terrible truth. I had acted the part of the Christian for many years, but I did not genuinely know Him. I felt deep grief with that realization and the heavy weight of my guilt.

I had mouthed my loyalty to Christ, but I lived like I belonged to the devil. The only "fruit" in my life was self-planted and generated.

I could hear Jesus saying, "Depart from me... I never knew you" (Matthew 7:21-23).

I was saying one thing and living another, and that dissonance led to spiritual chaos in my heart and life.

But once I trusted Jesus to save me from my sin and transform my life, all of those words and songs about allegiance came rushing back.

And then some time later, I heard the lyrics to a song that reminded me of the great cost that might be required if I pledged my loyalty to Jesus. (View a powerful video with the song—it made me weep—here.)

"I pledge allegiance to the Lamb with all my strength, with all I am. I will seek to honor His commands; I pledge allegiance to the Lamb."

3. Allegiance to Jesus is a lifestyle.

I decided I didn't want to be double-minded (James 4:8), toying with the enemy. I wanted to be clean before God. I knew I had to stop listening to Satan's suggestions. I had to stop believing the culture's lies. I had to live in light of eternity.

Allegiance—loyalty to Jesus—isn't just a concept; it's meant to be a lifestyle.

  • It means taking up the cross of Christ, no matter the cost (Mark 8:34-35).
  • It means boldness to declare the Gospel (Romans 1:16).
  • It means obedience to the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 John 3:24).

Simply knowing who is in charge, the Sovereign Lord, has uncomplicated many of my choices.

I am to obey Him (Luke 6:46):

  • immediately,
  • joyfully,
  • and without reservation.

Once a Christian declares allegiance to Christ, every day is a continuing surrender process of saying “Yes, Lord”—even if it is sometimes challenging. And that surrender gives us direction and peace.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “You are Lord and I am not;” and each time I sighed, sensing the release of complete trust.

4. Allegiance to Jesus Means No More Rivals.

As I've become more like Jesus, bit by bit through the work of the Spirit of God, I've found  allegiance means no more rivals.

It's been disconcerting to discover big and little idols that compete for my loyalty to Christ.

  • My food idol—Gluttony
  • My money idol—being a Shopoholic
  • My pride idol—"It's all about me."

Shall I go on? The enemy wants to sidetrack me with all sorts of idols.

But the Spirit keeps whispering, "Is Jesus Lord ... or not?"

We all have idols—our own private and public expressions: unhealthy pursuits, success without God, leisure, money and power, sexual appetites.

But when we declare our allegiance to Jesus as the Lord of all life—the Lord of OUR life—He desires to expose and conquer the power of every idol that claims HIS rightful place to rule us, bless us and delight our hearts.

Have you declared your allegiance to Jesus? Do you know Him, love Him, and desire to serve and obey Him as Lord?

What are some of your "rivals" for His rightful place in your heart?

Dawn Wilson, founder and President of Heart Choices Today, is a speaker and author, and the creator of three blogs: Heart Choices Today, LOL with God and Upgrade with Dawn. She is a contracted researcher/reviewer for Revive Our Heartsand a writer at She and her husband Bob live in Southern California and have two grown, married sons, three granddaughters and a rascally maltipoo, Roscoe.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Robin Higgins at Pixabay.


Waiting Well

Wise and winsome Nali Hilderman calls Christian singles to seek and live for the Lord, but her words have often spoken to my own heart as a married woman. In this UPGRADE post for Single Christians, she once again calls all of us to consider life from a biblical perspective.

"Like most people," Nali says, "I really do not like to wait—I don’t like long lines, I don’t like sitting at the airport for a flight or in traffic. I get antsy and oftentimes anxious for things I cannot control."

I (Dawn) DO hate to wait. Waiting is "a waste of time," I say—except when God has us in a waiting pattern for His purposes. Nali reminds us of some lessons the Lord might teach us in this schoolroom of waiting.

Nali continues . . .

I’ll be honest and say I have an especially hard time waiting on God. 

When I wait for other things, I can at least cognitively understand the situation: there are 10 people ahead of me and as one leaves, then I move up. 

There are 25 minutes until my flight takes off, so I can manage that. 

But with God, it often seems like those cognitive “markers” are elusive, and waiting proves angstful and difficult.  This is especially true if, like me, we are waiting on God for a relationship, especially one that will lead to marriage. 

However, God has not left us in the dark regarding this; and I want to offer us some advice on how to WAIT WELL—to give some “cognitive markers” to hang on to in the midst of our waiting.

1. Remember You are in Good Company

Not only are lots of other people waiting on God right now, but the scriptures are filled with countless people who had to wait on God. 

Most of the heroes of the faith—the patriarchs, the kings, the Jewish nation—all had to wait years for God to fulfill the promises He had given them.

Read their stories and be reminded of how they waited (some well, and others, not so well). Visit Hebrews 11 for an overview of many of them, and note especially that some died before they received God’s Promise, yet they did not waiver in their faith that God would provide. What faith!

2. Remember It’s about the Journey, Not the Destination.

More than anything, God desires relationship with us.

Often God's provisions and withholdings are meant to draw us into deeper fellowship with Him. 

I once went through a whirlwind relationship and was convinced God had finally provided a husband for me. I was left in tatters after the relationship ended.

Only through a deep wrestling with God did I discover Him saying, "

This was never about the guy; this was about my relationship with you!”

That led me to an intimacy with God I never knew was possible. Romans 8 says God works in all things. Why? So we may know Him and be conformed into the image of His Son (vv.  28-29).

3. Get busy!

Follow the examples of those in the Bible who waited on God. Though there are some negative examples, most carried on while waiting, and God used that time for what was to come. 

David was a young man when he was anointed King of Israel, but it was a few decades before that promise was fulfilled. In that time, he fought lions and bears, killed Goliath, served another king—who taught him what he was not to do—and walked with God (I Samuel 16-242 Samuel 1-2). 

4. Trust God and His Timing.

The hardest part about waiting is feeling out of control in our circumstances, yet time and time again scripture provides examples of how God is in the most minute details to get His children right where He wants them in order to provide. 

My favorite story of this is the children of Israel in Exodus. They had left slavery in Egypt under miraculous means, only to begin wandering in the desert. The Bible says God did not lead them through the land of the Philistines, though it was shorter, but took them to the Red Sea and had them camp there! 

We know what happened next. The Egyptian army came to kill them, yet God miraculously provided AGAIN for their rescue. 

Notice the key point: 

God took them to the exact place where He would prove his power and protection, even though it seemed to make no sense to the Israelites (Exodus 13:17-18).

Dear friends, are you in a season of waiting on God for a relationship or for anything else?  Which of these four markers is most challenging for you? How can you actively pursue one of these this week as you learn to Wait Well? 

Nali Hilderman is a professor of American history and political science at San Diego Christian College. She also is currently the Acting Chair for the Leadership and Justice Department. She writes on the connection between Christianity and the public square, both historically and in the present.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of AD Images, Pixabay.


Your 3:20 Life!—a Breakthrough to Gain God's Best

When I first saw some statements by mega-author Pam Farrel about something called a "3:20 life," I invited her to share the concept with us. In this Spiritual Life UPGRADE, she suggests a simple habit that can change our entire perspective.

"What do you think might happen," Pam asks, "if you put feet to your faith and acted on the belief that God really cares about your hopes and dreams?"

Several years ago, I (Dawn) remember gazing at a wall in the Farrels' home that was covered with framed book covers of all the books they've written. I thought at that time they were already putting feet to their faith. But as Pam explains, God often stirs us up afresh, because He has new growth and new adventures in mind!

Pam continues . . . 

How would you live if you really trusted in the power of the God you read about in the Bible—but for YOUR life, on behalf of YOUR future? 

It was an ordinary day, but the extraordinary God challenged me in an unexpected way.

As I remember it, the Facebook post was simply a friend sharing that she was on her way to pick up her kids at school, and it was 3:20 and she was praying the verse her pastor had challenged their church to pray—Ephesians 3:20.

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us." (Amplified version)

That day, it was as if God pushed me off a high cliff and I dove into the deep waters of His Majesty with a rush of excitement.

  • Lord, what if I made the commitment to pray Ephesians 3:20 every day at 3:20?
  • And what if I put my whole weight into my commitment, and prayed believing for many of the hopes, dreams, prayers and secret longings of my heart that only You and I talk about?
  • What if I set my alarm on my phone and pray at 3:20—not matter where I am or who I am with?
  • What if I really took you up on your offer to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all I can ask or think?
  • How would my life change?

That was almost four years ago. At the time, Bill and I were in what felt like a deep, dark, endless, hopeless pit that was an excruciatingly difficult mix of an overwhelmingly heavy workload of responsibilities: ministry, traveling, writing and speaking accompanied with weekly commuting to care for ailing, aging parents which created a burden financially, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally.

I woke up daily dreading getting out of bed for fear of even more bad news. 

But this Ephesians 3:20 day, God was inviting me to become a more believing, praying adventurer with Him.

Too often we Christians allow the Word of God to become a nice book with a pretty leather cover that we might open for emotional comfort, or even for intellectual study. But rarely do we hunger for the Word to spur us forward in a “cattle-prod, get-out-of-our-comfort-zone, jump-from-the-plane-with-only-the-ripcord-of-the-character-of-God-to-save-us” kind of abandon. 

Seldom do we plunge head-first with only the bungee cord of the Word to rebound us to the safe center of God’s will.

It is an infrequent thrill to take the action steps of radical obedience when the full weight of your hopes, dreams and wild and wonderful imaginings will ONLY succeed if God shows up.

Powerfully. Supernaturally. Mightily!

So, what has changed in me and my life since I took God up on His offer to do “exceedingly, abundantly” more than this visionary, positive optimist can ask, think or dream?

First some things changed IN me.

1. Change in ALIGNMENT

Before you write this off as some “name it and claim it” prayerful magic pixie dust, dig a little deeper with me.  

The verse begins, “Now to Him who is able to do.” It is clear that I am NOT able—the power rests completely in GOD.One word that really wows my soul is the word “able” (dunamenō), because it is akin to the word we often use—DYNAMITE!

The power God will apply to your life and mine is EXPLOSIVE.

And it is CREATIVE.

God does the “do-ing”. The same Creator who designed and spoke the world and humankind into existence is the God who creates, manufactures, makes and produces His will in our lives. This spiritual “TNT”  is why Jesus can say things that make most of us very uncomfortable—but in a good way—like, Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20).

God wants to move our mountains. However, to see this kind of dynamite, earth-shaking power, it means me (and you) moving to see God clearer.

  • It is adjusting my sails to catch God’s wind.
  • It is aligning my heartbeat to match God’s.
  • It is putting on God’s spectacles to see my life from His heavenly perspective.
  • It is making the commitment to keep the defroster on and let the wipers of the Word keep the rain, fog, snow, and sleet off the faith windshield of my life so I have God’s vision for the path and plan ahead.

Praying Ephesians 3:20 keeps my heart in tune to God’s heart.


This Creator God then out does Himself when He promises to do “far more abundantly beyond all we ask or think.”

Get this: When God is trying to impress something on a soul, He repeats himself. That is what He does here—three times.

(1) “Far more abundantly” means superabundantly, immeasurably more. 

(2) “Beyond” is hyper, or to go above and beyond, or over the top for the benefit and betterment of another.

(3) “All” means “each and every part, the totality, the whole.” Yep, God goes all the way, gives the whole enchilada, carries the plan to the finish line, ushers us into the end zone, over the goal line and into the winner’s circle. God doesn’t pull up short on His plans for us.

Now we may not fully comprehend His timing or His methods but we can rest assured in His ability to bring victory in His way, using His methods, in His time.

His plans will be better, greater, and more wonderful than anything I can ask or request. His ways will be so much more than I can think, consider, ponder, perceive, or dream up! (And if you ask my husband, I can dream up A LOT!)

God is just infinitively, wiser, smarter, and grander! While I can create hopes and dreams, God can turn hopes and dreams that line up to His best for us a REALITY!

Praying Ephesian 3:20 keeps me living in humble awe of the God who elevates and lifts us to His best for our lives. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6).


This creative power to make hopes, dreams and awesome imaginings come into being is done “according to His power that is at work within us."

This dunamis power is the miraculous, marvelous, might of God that works within us. If we peek forward, we see that God’s ability and strength is given for our good (v 20) and for HIS glory (v 21). “To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”  

This dunamis term for the power of God is repeated 120 times in the New Testament. God weaves Himself and His power into our lives is through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8 explains, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” While I have always sought to walk moment by moment in step with God’s Spirit, praying Ephesians 3:20 has kept me ultra-sensitive to the tiniest whisper, course correction or prompting to pursue an opportunity.  

If we picture this God-powered plan in human terms, God builds our elite race car (us and His plan for us); He is the rocket fuel propelling us forward; and we are in the driver’s seat with the Spirit of God inside steering and guiding us in the most exciting race set out before us (Hebrews 12:1).

Our biggest (and sometimes the hardest) job is to yield enthusiastically to God’s leadership in our heart and life.

Praying Ephesians 3:20 allows God to live His best life:

  • FOR us
  • THROUGH us
  • to BLESS us
  • and BUILD us,
  • and to bless others through us.
  • and build His eternal kingdom using us

So, this is what God changed IN me.

What did God change FOR me in the process?

  1. God gave us the courage to sell our home. (It took about 18 very long months to prepare and find God’s buyer—a church planter and his family!)
  2. God challenged us to be compassionate enough to move nearer Bill’s parents (one frail of body, the other frail of mind), and be bold enough to sell and give away 90% of our belongings to move on to a live aboard boat!

The 3:20 life was very rigorous in getting us to this space where we are moored in a lovely marina, but God and His dynamite power was WITH us each step along the way!

We watched miracle after miracle unfold as God knocked down obstacle after obstacle.

We LOVE our simple beachfront 3:20 Life—teaching #biblefromtheboat, living a healthier pace while embracing a more physical active life where we kayak to get our mail and enjoy breath-taking sunsets of over the Pacific Ocean.

My husband, Bill, and I are writing a soon to be released workbook: Your 3:20 Life: Breakthrough to God’s Blessings to help build a life to look forward to living.

Are you ready for God’s 3:20 life for you?

Pull out your phone, set the alarm to ring at 3:20 each day; and if you are like me, you will wake up each day looking forward to the “exceedingly abundantly” moments God has in store for you!  

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of over 45 books including bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and her newest Your 3:20 Life (both co-authored with her husband, Bill) To learn more about Pam and Bill Farrels ministry and how they can help you live Your 3:20 Life, go to

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Pixabay.


How to Encourage Your Friends in Dark Times

Elizabeth Van Tassel cares about people who’ve faced loss, and wants to help individuals and families who are walking in the midst of turbulent times. And she has a big soft spot for teens and tweens. In this Spiritual Lifestyle UPGRADE, she focuses on helping ourselves or friends in the midst of a season of change.

“Living with intentionality after a loss is really critical for finding a successful path that not only leaves your family secure, but really gives you a sense of strength that exists despite our circumstances,” Elizabeth says.

“Whether you’re a writer, a busy mom, or a caring friend, it often takes time to really give yourself room to heal and find lasting joy again.”

It’s been a few months since some of the recent natural disasters, and I (Dawn) agree that it’s important we remain sensitive to what our friends—or we and our relationships—may need as time moves on. Perhaps we’re proceeding at a slower rate of healing.

Elizabeth continues . . .

This week I was at a writer’s conference in San Francisco, California, and met a lot of interesting people. I spoke with some survivors of the wildfires in Santa Rosa, Napa and Sonoma, and my heart was tender to where they are in their recovery process.

This year marked our own ten-year anniversary for losing our home in a wildfire in Southern California.   

It was almost like I could finish their sentences while we visited.

Me: Where are you in the process?

Them: Inventory purgatory. (Picture high stacks of paper around a desk.) Tears at having to relive losses so often, researching what’s gone.

Me: I know it’s more about memories than stuff.

Them: Yes, things that belonged to generations are now dust in the wind.

Me: What are you struggling with the most?

Them: Staying encouraged and realizing there is life beyond the constant insurance paperwork.

Me: What does your community need?

Them: Hope beyond circumstances.

Since there are so many areas of the country that were affected by devastating situations like floods and hurricanes as well as fires, I thought the UPGRADE we may all benefit from is how to find that encouragement in dark times.

The Psalmist is very intentional about focus during trials:

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber (Psalm 121:1-4, NASB).

Where we focus, or what we focus on, we give power to.

I can choose to focus on little things in the midst of my challenge or trial to keep a flicker of hope alive.

The Psalmist continues:

The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever (Psalm 121:5-8).

Although we wish the Lord would rescue us from adversity, sometimes in the midst of that weariness we can glimpse special moments of the depths of His love.

We may not be able to explain why something is happening, but just knowing He loves us, and focusing on that, is a balm and leads us deeper into relationship somehow.

Here are some practical points to apply if you—or a friend—is recovering:

1. Be sure to take time out of your surroundings, giving yourself a visual break from damaged areas.

Staring at loss constantly is very draining, so make times for a picnic or something RESTFUL to focus on.

2. Dwell on beauty.

It could be a pretty flower arrangement or driving by spring blooms in an area, but get a watchful mindset for something that brings BEAUTY to the forefront for a while.

It will give you a vision beyond yourself and your current set of challenges.

3. Play games with kids.

This may sound silly, but getting in touch with your child-heart is so dear and can REGENERATE your sense of wellbeing.

4. Offer to help with practical things like getting groceries, childcare or planning an outing.

People in recovery have been haunted by many levels of decision making and often just run out of “gas” for planning things.

Just the gift of planning something pretty or taking them out is really a RELIEF.

5. Sit with them while they make their inventory.

There’s nothing more lonely than dwelling all day on things that are gone.

A FRIEND helped type into a spreadsheet while I imagined each room. There was much coffee and tissues involved, but we’d laugh and take a break now and then.

It was super helpful to have her organizing while I recalled the details my insurance company required.

6. Plan a birthday outing, or other kind of celebration.

It will seem like every holiday should just stop and slink away, but what you’ll regret later is not taking each day’s joy and making the most of it.

One of the biggest losses is time—time away from kids if you’re writing for insurance, time from projects and dreams washed away, time from growing relationships and being thoughtful is spent on just surviving and getting by.

MAKE TIME for important things and relationships, too.

Which of these areas would help your friends or even yourself today?

Elizabeth Van Tassel writes compelling middle-grade fantasy and nonfiction to spark hope after loss. She brings her knowledge and expertise in the field of gemology to the page and infuses her love of folklore into modern adventures filled with mystery. A wildfire survivor who lost every possession and her home in the 2007 Witch Creek Wildfire, Elizabeth understands both the power of loss and the power of hope. She shares her story of resilience, and provides tools for rebuilding at public speaking events and on her blog. Learn more at Live a Resilient Life.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Geralt at Pixabay.