A Book Giveaway!

We’re doing our first book giveaway over on the trotters41 Facebook page!

**A Book Giveaway!**

Elizabeth and I would like to gift a couple of folks with a free Kindle version of our new book, Serving Well: Help for the Wannabe, Newbie, or Weary Cross-cultural Christian Worker.

Serving Well has over 100 chapters that cover everything from how to prepare for the field all the way to how to return well. It includes reflections and insights on transitioning overseas, taking care of your heart, marriage, and children well once you’re there, communicating with senders, common pitfalls, grief and loss, and what to do when things don’t go as planned.

To be entered into the drawing, either share this post to your timeline (set to public) OR tag someone in the comments below. If you tag someone, we’ll enter your name AND their name into a drawing that will happen on Saturday, August 10th. NOTE: The comments must be on this post (trotters41) for us to see them.

Have a fantastic day!
~ Jonathan & Elizabeth

Find Serving Well on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2yCJFJr

Read more reviews: https://trotters41.com/2019/07/30/serving-well-more-reviews/
Elizabeth Trotter is the editor-in-chief for the missions website A Life Overseas (alifeoverseas.com). She writes regularly at trotters41.com and velvetashes.com and is the author of Hats: Reflections on Life as a Wife, Mother, Homeschool Teacher, Missionary, and More.

Jonathan Trotter spends his days providing pastoral counseling at a local counseling center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He also serves as one of the pastors at an international church. In addition to writing regularly for A Life Overseas, he has written for the IMB (International Mission Board), Velvet Ashes, The Huffington Post, and The Gottman Institute.

Jonathan and Elizabeth have lived in Southeast Asia since 2012. Before that they worked in local churches in the United States for ten years.

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Serving Well — more reviews

As our book goes out into the world, it’s been so encouraging to read about how it’s encouraging and blessing people, from the Marshall Islands to Kentucky, from India to Central America.

Find Serving Well on Amazon. And if you’re interested in bulk orders (5 or more) for your ministry, church, or organization, contact our publisher. Note, our publisher has partner companies in the UK and Australia for local printing/shipping needs.

Read more about Serving Well here.

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Power in Praise & Corrie ten Boom | A Mother’s Journey, part 8

April 12, 1988

Went to a Bible study today. A friend spoke on Power In Praise. I needed to hear it today. I haven’t praised God for the present situation. In fact, I’ve been pretty grumbly. 1) The enforced sedentary lifestyle, 2) the difficult pregnancy, 3) my bad back, 4) my weight.

I know that even these must be put into thanks. God loves me and has brought me to this point. God has allowed these difficulties in my life. Here are the last two pages from The Hiding Place.

[What follows is a devotional that was included at the end of Corrie ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place, with my mom’s notes added in. — Jonathan]


God wills us to give thanks. Our praise and gratitude in some mysterious way opens the door for Him to bless us as He wishes. On the lines below write down the five things for which you are currently most grateful.

  1. Mark
  2. Jonathan
  3. Kathryn
  4. Home
  5. Good job

Several times a day pause to thank God for these blessing; watch your sense of the goodness and love in the world—and especially of His love—grow accordingly.

On these lines, note five present situations for which you are most definitely not grateful:

  1. My weight
  2. Difficult pregnancy
  3. Enforced sedentary lifestyle
  4. Going through a pregnancy and not having a baby

Now set yourself the discipline of giving thanks daily for these things as well. See how God is able to use your changed attitude to change facts.

The High Cost of Growing | A Mother’s Journey, part 7

April 1, 1988

I am now 26 1/2 weeks pregnant — 13 1/2 weeks to go. I have not done too well with the waiting.

Today I read The High Cost of Growing by Joyce Landorf and here are some things she says about being in “God’s waiting room.”

[NOTE: It’s unclear whether the following entries are direct quotes from Landorf or summaries.]

Christian growth takes place during the still, quiet times of waiting.

God’s waiting room is the most tiresome and unpleasant place in our Christian experience. We sing “Have thine own way Lord. Mold me and make me after they will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.”

  1. Waiting never comes easily or automatically. Our attitude toward it will determine our demise or our development.
  2. The waiting process is used by God to shove us into a position of trust and dependence on him.

Perhaps there’s no way to come to a full position of trust except through the “waiting room” experience. For example, Noah, Job, Abraham, Joseph, Moses

We seem to show signs of irritability if our lives are narrowed down to a waiting room period, or a day is intellectually limited by mundane chores. Our Father knew we would need quiet, ordinary, even boring days to put our confidence and trust in him.

We must begin to see the times of waiting for what they really are: long-term growth.

Habakkuk 1:2-4 and 2:2-4.

  • We have to wait in silence (not time to run here and there telling our tales of woes.) Be still and know that God is God, sovereign and sufficient for our ability to continue.
  • We have to blindly trust God before we see results or successful conclusions.
  • We have to understand that no matter how dark the picture, God will still be in control.

Habakkuk 3:17

God can give you contentment in your waiting room, period. Don’t be discouraged.

Philippians 1:6 is the promise to:

  1. Help us to grow.
  2. Help us to endure.
  3. Help us to not self-destruct in times of stress.

O Lord, thank you for all these different ways of growing. Help us to learn our lessons well, for when we are obedient to you, our 1) joy knows no boundaries, 2) our love sets no limits, and 3) wisdom ever broadens.


All these thoughts are very helpful to me. I am trying everyday to “wait on the Lord.” and to “be content in the state I’m in.” This is not easy for me. I am very overweight and can neither diet nor exercise.

I love to walk but it hurts my body and I fear going into early labor if I do anything too strenuous. So every time I look in the mirror it is almost with disgust.

And yet how would I feel if I weren’t pregnant? Help me to enjoy the beauty of nature as it prepares a body for a baby.

The movements of the baby are so active and are a real comfort to me. I pray for encouragement everyday. My anxiety comes and goes like the tide. It’s gone, then it’s back.

Mark is so steady in his feelings of safety and security for our family. I’m so thankful for it. I want to grow in this time of waiting… waiting for the physical pain of pregnancy to end, waiting for this special baby that God promised me. I want to be learning to BE CONTENT in this present state.


Of Tulips and Death, part 1

When Your Baby Dies, part 2

“Malformed Babies” and Dust, part 3

Waiting, part 4

Still Waiting, part 5

Romans 8:28 and C.S. Lewis, part 6


Romans 8:28 and C.S. Lewis | A Mother’s Journey, part 6

February 22, 1988

I was so angered today by a lady who said, “See, everything has worked out fine.”

With all my heart I believe that God will work out everything and I believe Romans 8:28, but how dare someone with three children and a healthy grandchild say that to me!!

She said it to me New Year’s eve and I sobbed all the way home. Christmas had been so hard but we were almost through the season when she said it. I couldn’t believe the tears and anger that welled up inside me so immediately.

C.S. Lewis, in a Grief Observed writes about a mother mourning the death of her child. The verses used to comfort, comfort only the “spirit within her.”

“But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never, in any place or time, will she have her baby on her knee, or bathe her, or tell her a story, or plan for her future or see her grandchild.”

That physical separation, those empty, aching arms are for a body that no longer exists. A body that has no life. But my arms are still wanting, aching for that sweet smell and feel and sound of a newborn.

I don’t feel like I will fully be able to let go of all my grief for Laura until I have a baby in my arms. It would literally kill me to grieve that powerfully I’m afraid.


Of Tulips and Death, part 1

When Your Baby Dies, part 2

“Malformed Babies” and Dust, part 3

Waiting, part 4

Still Waiting, part 5


Still Waiting | A Mother’s Journey, part 5

February 7, 1988

I’m still waiting. The Holy Spirit has given me two scriptures in times of dark despair. One from 2 Corinthians 1 — “The answer is yes.” And one from Psalms — “Weeping shall last for a night but joy will come in the morning.”

Both verses had to be looked up. I didn’t know where there were. They were really just given to me. I’ve been trying to learn, “do not fear.” I’m so human as I vacillate between courage and utter despair.

I’m 18 and 1/2 weeks pregnant. I can feel the baby move. I’m getting larger everyday, and we still haven’t told anyone. We will have to soon. I feel like this is one big exercise in faith. When you exercise everyday you get stronger, you get more endurance. I hope that’s the way with faith — “tribulation works patience; and patience experience; and experience hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)

These truths are becoming more real — thank heavens! I want to know God’s perfect peace and to rest in it. I want my churned up feelings to be calm and confident in God’s ability to love, care for, provide for, and nurture me. I need to know that God is working his will in me for my good — “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)


Of Tulips and Death, part 1

When Your Baby Dies, part 2

“Malformed Babies” and Dust, part 3

Waiting, part 4

Waiting | A Mother’s Journey, part 4

January 6, 1988

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

“Teach me Lord, teach me Lord how to wait.” That’s how the song ends. And I’ve sung it often. How do you learn to wait? By waiting. The same way you learn anything else. Practice.

Now I’m practicing.

At 10 weeks pregnant (Dec 10) I was bleeding and cramping… the doctor says we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. At 11 weeks — the same. At 15 weeks (next week) I’ll have another sonogram, go off my progesterone and wait to see what will happen.

Will I miscarry? And if I don’t miscarry, then I’ll wait 5 more months to see if the baby’s healthy. I’m nervous, anxious, scared.

I don’t think you can have a genetically abnormal baby, then spend two weeks at a children’s hospital and not know that sometimes things do go wrong. The odds are in our favor, but again, it’s only in God’s hands, not mine.

I’m trying to “cast my anxiety on him” — I just cant bear the weight of it.

But it’s hard to do.


Of Tulips and Death, part 1

When Your Baby Dies, part 2

“Malformed Babies” and Dust, part 3