Marmot for President!

I think it’s really important for us to remember that Trump does not and never has had the support of the American people. He lost the popular vote by millions of votes. He currently has something like a 37% approval rating. Which is unheard of for an incoming president. Even President G.W. Bush had a 62% approval rating after losing the popular vote. So it … Continue reading Marmot for President!

The Mystery of Faith

I always wondered about faith.  Evangelicals say that you have to choose to have it.  Calvinists say that you are predestined to either have it or not.  It’s a free gift that you cannot earn.  But you have to nurture and hang onto it.  Catholics and Orthodox Christians practice it with rituals.  So many contradictory ideas. What I have learned is that faith is the … Continue reading The Mystery of Faith

The New Year’s Resolution That Will Actually Make Your Life Better

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutionsI hate New Year’s resolutions.  Hate them.  The worst New Year’s days for me were always the ones when my husband would pull out a piece of paper and write “Trotter Family Resolutions” across the top.  So we could “pull them out at the end of the year and see how we did”.  Great, another completely unrealistic standard to feel bad about not meeting.  Just what I need!

The other day I read an article which advised that the key to keeping this year’s resolutions was to set up specific targets.  Like “I will exercise 3 times a week and lose 25 lbs by April 1.”  Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha!  Seriously.  That’s what it said.  Like the two are related.

Let me tell you how this really works. I’m not thin.  But I do have standards: my belly must not poke out past my boobs.  Having and nursing 5 kids has given me some wiggle room to work with, but a couple of years ago, the belly was threatening to overtake the girls upstairs so I decided it was time to get serious about hitting the gym.  I worked out 4-5 times a week for an hour.  Heavy, sweating, gasping for air aerobic sessions.  Nothing.  2 months in I think I had lost 0″ and 3 lbs.  That’s a lot of sweating for no results.  So I did the obvious; I bought a nice push-up bra.  Problem solved!  Now that’s a New Year’s resolution I can get behind: buy undergarments that will make me look thinner. Continue reading “The New Year’s Resolution That Will Actually Make Your Life Better”

Some Afternoon Encouragement

If you are feeling poor, worn out, full of grief, weak, despairing at the state of the world, hungry for change, wishing you could make things better, and you are misunderstood and rejected today, Jesus says that you’re doing it right.

He says that the people who are sitting pretty, enjoying the rewards of a comfortable life now are already enjoying their passing rewards.

But you will hold heaven in your hands. You will be comforted. You will rule over the earth. You will be satisfied with what you see there. It’s abundance will be yours to enjoy. Your mistakes will be long forgotten and irrelevant. People will look at you and say, “look! There’s one of God’s children! Can’t you see the family resemblance?”

I know – trust me I know – that at the moment, Jesus’ words may feel empty and hollow. You may hear them and think, “sure, who I am going to believe? Jesus or my lying eyes?” Continue reading “Some Afternoon Encouragement”

Your Goodness Isn’t Filthy Rags

If there’s one word which describes my experience of 2014 so far, it’s “inadequate”. I have felt utterly inadequate to the challenges of my life. Whatever good I can and have done has been wholly inadequate. In fact, this feeling has been so strong that I have frequently found myself battling a sense that anything I do or try to do is pointless. And into … Continue reading Your Goodness Isn’t Filthy Rags

Sticky post

For When You Can’t Function

Now here’s a subject I know a bit about – not being able to function. By which I mean not being able to engage in normal activities like writing or cleaning or answering emails or having conversations which require saying something other than “uh huh”, “you don’t say” and “I need to go lay down for a little bit”. So, my apologies for the long … Continue reading For When You Can’t Function

Throwing Pennies at God

You know the story of the widow’s mite?  How Jesus said this widow throwing her last two pennies into the collection box was more faithful than those putting in large amounts from their wealth?  I always read the story and assumed that the widow was giving her last two pennies out of reverence.  But lately, I’ve realized that I’ve been that woman throwing her last coins into the Salvation Army bucket.  And it wasn’t often done out of reverence.  When I was younger, I might put my penny in so I wouldn’t feel bad about walking past the bucket without putting anything in.  Sometimes I did put my last coins in as a way of saying, “I know it’s not much, but it’s what I’ve got.  I’ll just trust you to provide the increase.”  A few times though, I put my last coins in as an act of protest and complaint; “You want everything?  Fine take my last pennies.  I do my best, I trust in you and I get left with nothing but a couple of pennies.”

Research has found that poorer people give more of their money away than others.  A lot of that is because the amounts given as often so small that you weren’t going to do much with the money anyways.   It occured to me that maybe the widow wasn’t so sanguine about her life and her struggles either.  Two copper coins wasn’t worth much.   It would barely have bought food for one meal.  And then what?  Maybe that widow too had been walking this path for too long.  Maybe she was more broken than obedient and was throwing those copper pieces as a form of defiance and challenge to God?  Maybe that was exactly what Jesus saw her doing when he praised her action.  I know that if at one of those moments, God had praised those pennies I threw at him, it would have meant everything to me. Continue reading “Throwing Pennies at God”

Do You Treat God Like Old Aunt Myrtle?

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Luke 18:17

When ever I have hear this verse taught the point is pretty much the same: we should have a child like trust.  What does that even mean?  It gives me a vision of children sitting around gazing up at us with trusting goo-goo eye all day.  As if.  Obedience?  Ever known any real-live children?

Become like little children.  Perhaps Jesus meant this comment more literally than we usually take it.  I happen to know a thing or two about children and off the top of my head, here’s a quick list of typical behaviors:

  • They bring you their boo-boos to fix
  • They follow you around chattering about any little thing they can think of, just to be with you
  • They ask questions – lots and lots of questions
  • They test boundaries
  • They look to you to show them who they are
  • They sometimes have to learn things the hard way
  • They like to make you laugh
  • They seek you out when they are lonely, bored, restless
  • They like to learn more about you and your life
  • They ask more questions Continue reading “Do You Treat God Like Old Aunt Myrtle?”

Sometimes You Just Have To Be Your Own Cheerleader!

Dearest Rebecca,

Hi! I’ve heard that you’ve been having a hard time lately so I thought you could use some encouragement. I know that between being sick and hating housework and wishing you could have just one full child free day and night every couple of years, you feel like you’re drowning and can’t hold things together. Heck, I hear that you even lost your purse last week after leaving it on the top of the car. What a bummer! But, you know, shit happens. Shake it off. No use crying over spilt milk and all that. I mean look at all the things you’re juggling. You’ve got 5 kids. Everyday you make sure people are wearing clean clothes and sleeping on clean sheets and some days your own clothes are even clean. You check backpacks and harass errant students and sometimes even remember girl scout meetings before they start. Continue reading “Sometimes You Just Have To Be Your Own Cheerleader!”