Elizabeth Trotter

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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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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When the lights go out

by Elizabeth Trotter on May 23, 2016

I want to do all the things. All the very good things there are to do in this world. So I overcommit myself. I don’t say “no.” I say “yes” instead, and spread myself too thin. Then my soul suffers. My work suffers. My sanity suffers. My family life suffers. My spiritual life suffers. I […]

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Let me tell you about Kassiah Jones

by Elizabeth Trotter on April 25, 2016

This month my husband and I took our kids to the local home school co-op’s spring performance. Some of our friends were in the play. It was called “The Race” and was an original play based loosely on the story of “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Every character in this play was modeled after an […]

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But I’ve done all these good things . . .

by Elizabeth Trotter on March 24, 2016

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The question came as Jesus was beginning His last journey to Jerusalem. It came as He was heading toward His most heart-rending task, as He was starting the long descent toward death: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” We all know the story. A young, rich, religious man calls Jesus good and […]

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As pertains to the state of my soul

by Elizabeth Trotter on January 24, 2016

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So I went to America. Where I felt homeless. Especially at Walmart, where there are entirely too many choices. And especially at Starbucks, where you can order coffee on your smart phone; you don’t even have to stand in line. And I felt at home. Especially at my mom’s house and with my very closest […]

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When Singing “Joy to the World” Feels Too Hard

by Elizabeth Trotter on December 20, 2015

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Sadness has found me this Christmas season. I bear sadness over the brokenness in the world, and I bear sadness over the brokenness in my own life. So I mourn. And I grieve. Then, as I am currently in the United States for a short visit, I look around at America’s intensely commercialized version of […]

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When a country is etched into your soul

by Elizabeth Trotter on November 22, 2015

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When I’m in Cambodia, I assume that I think like an American and that I act like one too — because in many ways I do. But then I return to America and discover I’ve forgotten some key facts about the way Americans live in America. Things like: Americans don’t throw their toilet paper in the […]

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