Elizabeth Trotter

“What are people there saying about Syria?” This question was posed to me during a Skype conversation with a friend back in the States. My answer? “I’m not talking to anyone about Syria. I’ve got things to deal with in my own personal ministry, and I’ve got things to deal with in my team ministry. […]

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It’s not hard for me to put down roots in a new place. Roots are all I want. That may sound unconventional coming from a Third Culture Kid, but Army life was unsettling, and even small tastes of stability were tantalizing to me. I’m always searching for roots. Specific places can be very healing to me, but […]

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This Is Who We Are

by Elizabeth Trotter on April 21, 2017

Who are we over here at A Life Overseas? As editor-in-chief of this blog collective, I’d like to give you my answer to that question. A Life Overseas is an online space where writers and readers show up to tell their stories. We share stories of wounds and stories of healing. We share stories of […]

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Regarding Burnout (and some ideas for avoiding it)

by Elizabeth Trotter on March 31, 2017

Last year I flirted with burnout. I was camping out along its edges, and I didn’t even know it. Only after some conversations with my husband and with a spiritual director, did I recognize what was going on and how I’d been complicit in my own spiritual sickness. These are the things I’m doing to […]

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For the times when you ask, “What good is that?”

by Elizabeth Trotter on February 22, 2017

The feeding of the five thousand is such a familiar story to me, it seems like I’ve always known it. Jesus sees a huge crowd of people coming to look for Him and asks Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” When Philip only answers that they don’t have enough money […]

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I found a new word on the Facebook profile of a missionary writer, and it’s the best new word I’ve heard in a long time. It’s called fernweh, and it’s a German word that means “a longing for faraway places.” The feeler of fernweh carries a desire — whether met or unmet — to travel to […]

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If your year has been a flop

by Elizabeth Trotter on December 28, 2016

For the past several years I’ve chosen a “word for the year.” Each word is meant to serve as a rudder for the year, a way to focus my attention and direct my inner life. Sometimes I very specifically sense God’s leading in the word; such was the case of “Listen” in 2011 and “Encourage” […]

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I’m Not Very Good at Gratitude

by Elizabeth Trotter on November 22, 2016

I like to think of myself as a content, happy person: my life is good, and I lack for nothing. At least I used to think I was content and happy. That was before I realized — to my horror — that my prayer journal was filled with lament. Not thankfulness, not appreciation, but lament, through […]

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How Buddhism Taught Me to Love My Neighbors Better

by Elizabeth Trotter on October 28, 2016

This month I didn’t like my neighbors very much. We have new neighbors, and they play their music loud, blasting it out of their apartment with the door open. Sometimes for hours at a time. This causes problems for me. I teach my children at home, and we need an environment conducive to learning. But […]

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Conflict and Our Dustlikeness

by Elizabeth Trotter on September 22, 2016

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Conflict. If you’ve been in church work for long, you know what it’s like. People abound, and conflict happens. Then there’s the big blow up or the cold exit or, even scarier, the explosive exit. I’ve been in church work for a decade and a half now, and big blowups and bad exits seem to […]

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When your husband calls you “a shell of a woman”

by Elizabeth Trotter on July 27, 2016

For months this spring I felt like a shell of a woman. I was empty and didn’t have anything to give. Oh, I was still doing all the “right” things. I was still getting up most mornings attempting to connect with God, and I was still relatively consistent with my commitment to exercise.  But I […]

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7 Thoughts for Graduating TCKs

by Elizabeth Trotter on June 24, 2016

Dear Graduating Senior, This spring I hugged you. I cried with you. I said goodbye to you. And then I looked into the faces of your parents as they said goodbye too. How can I express the depth of my love for you and your parents? I don’t know. All I know is that if […]

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