God made sloths, elephants, and YOU

Today at lunch time, I was reading a new devotional book with my kids. It mentioned how creative God is and how He created all different kinds of unbelievable animals.

If you’re like me, you, too, love the incredible variety of animals in our world and find it fascinating how different they all are.

But, have you ever thought about why people don’t want to all be different? As humans, we all want to be like everybody else! We think we should all be tall and thin and have the intellect of a genius. None of us want to be a slow-moving sloth or an enormous elephant.

Friends, God has a purpose for the sloth and for the elephant. God has a purpose for every, single human being that He creates, no matter their physical appearance or mental ability. God has a purpose for YOU.

Are you feeling unnecessary, unimportant or not good enough?

GOD, the Creator of the Universe, made YOU. That’s enough for you to be necessary, important and valuable.

How can I pray for you today?

How can you encourage someone else today? Pass it on!


After returning home from spending a week caring for my dad in the hospital, I’ve been wondering, Why is it so much easier for me to love and serve my dad than my husband? I understand that this may never have been a struggle for you, but for me, it requires a conscious, daily choice to put my own selfish wishes aside to love my husband. Why is that? I may have finally found the answer … or at least one answer.

I expect nothing from my dad except for the most basic level of kindness.

I expect him to remember my birthday with a phone call and a gift (and to be honest I bet even that comes from my mom). I expect my dad to be happy to see me and to enjoy the few days a year we’re able to spend together.

Yep. That’s about it. Done. Expectations met.

Now, let’s see, what do I expect from my husband? Are you ready? This may be a little longer.

1. I expect him to notice when I need some help, picking up the slack when I’m busy with kids or errands or Bible study or even fun time with my friends.

2. I expect him to care about how I’m feeling, asking questions about how I’m doing and listening attentively.

3. I expect him to express his love for me with hand-written notes or flowers on random occasions, and to go “all out” for Mother’s Day and my birthday.

4. I expect him to know what I would want to order at my favorite restaurants … and to know what restaurants I’d want to go to for a regularly scheduled date night away that he has planned.

5. I expect him to tell me how beautiful, smart, funny, and all-around fantastic I am and that no one could ever take my place.

6. I expect him to express gratitude for all the little things I do at home, cooking meals, cleaning up, caring for our kids.

7. I expect him to have his own daily quiet time with God, and to share his Biblical insights with me, praying for me and with me, and to lead our children in their faith in God.

8. I expect him to take care of his physical body, exercising on occasion, eating somewhat well, using sunscreen, going to the doctor and taking whatever medicine he needs.

9. I expect him to be interested in our children, asking about their day and listening attentively, giving discipline, counsel or encouragement where appropriate.

10. I expect him to encourage me to spend time with my family and friends, as well as attend two women’s retreats a year and have an overnight away for some alone time.

11. I expect him to take care of all the “manly jobs” around the house: mowing the lawn, changing lightbulbs (he’s 10 inches taller than me!), as well as minor wood, electrical and plumbing work, home improvement projects and the like.

Well, that about takes care of it. ?

Honestly, I don’t think these expectations are unfair for a wife to have of her husband, but the point is this: The reason it is easy for me to just love my dad right where he is, is because I’m not constantly frustrated that he’s falling short of my expectations for him.

Ultimately, God is the only one able to meet all of my needs … and the only one able to change my husband. I have to choose to focus on my own walk with God and my own shortcomings, rather than my husband’s, and that is HARD TO DO!

Hope this encourages y’all, like it’s encouraged me!

What expectations do you have of your dad or husband that I left off my list?

The little things

Have you ever felt like a request you have is simply too little to bother God about?

Earlier this week, while I was in the hospital with my dad, he told me that he’d really like a big straw. Since he was having such a hard time talking, this request was a big deal to me, but, let’s be real, in the scheme of life who really cares about a big straw???

God does. GOD DOES.

After striking out two days in a row in the hospital cafeteria and with our floor nurses, I asked a woman in scrubs who was waiting for an elevator in the lobby. “Do you know where I could find a big straw for my dad?”

Her response blew my mind, “Sure, if you can get off on the fourth floor with me, I’ll get you one. My floor provides them for the patients.”

Five minutes later, I was the proud owner of not only a big flexible straw, but also a 1,000 ml marked plastic mug.

I returned to my dad’s room, calling out, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad,” with tears in my eyes.

God sees us. God hears us. And God cares about us. He is God over the little things like big straws.

How have you seen God provide for you in the little things? I’d love to hear your story of PRAISE!

Is there something today that you are seeking God for? I’d love to join you in prayer!

Leave a comment below.


Of Big and Little Acts of Service

As I shared in yesterday’s post, love compels service … which leads me to a new trail of thoughts.

I wonder, is my dad only interested in the big things that I can do for him? Are the doctors with a dozen years of education who correctly prescribe just the right medication more valuable than the nurse who correctly draws his blood?

Incredibly, just now, while I’m writing this and waiting to board a plane back home, with my dad still in his hospital bed, the flight attendant announced that our plane is having some mechanical issues.

I realize how critically important a good pilot is, but realistically is a good plane mechanic any less essential?

I know that answering my dad’s questions about faith and asking God to hear my cries for mercy truly are valuable acts of service, but do I believe that sitting in silence, holding his hand while he sleeps, is valuable in God’s eyes?

Surely reading Psalm 23 aloud and talking about the hope of Heaven with Jesus is of immense value, but how about cutting up my dad’s food into manageable bites?
Sometimes as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mama, it can feel like the daily chores, loading the dishwasher and washing the laundry and cooking the dinner is worthless … and yet I hope that I can do my work as unto the Lord, pointing my children’s eyes to the blessings of dishes and laundry and food … and of work.
Sometimes as a Christian speaker and writer, it can feel like reaching one hurting soul isn’t as important as speaking to the multitudes.
So today, let’s remind ourselves that God values our little acts of love and service, as well as our big ones. He sees us. He cares. And He is able to multiply our fish and loaves and mites and talents as we offer them up to Him.


“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:3-8)
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

Compelling Love

I’m thankful that many of you were blessed by my post yesterday. I hope that my thoughts today will also be an encouragement.

In the last week while my dad’s been hospitalized, I’ve rubbed lotion on his hands, sat silently next to him just holding his hand, and helped him walk to the bathroom or find the right word to say when he’s struggling. We’ve played tic-tac-toe together and done simple physical therapy tasks like reaching up high and flexing his wrists. I’ve encouraged my dad to count to ten, and sign his name, and sing the ABC’s. I’ve helped him decide what to order for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then arranged his plate with just half of a sandwich and a few strawberries and a handful of chips so he’s not overwhelmed by too much food.
And I wonder, do I think that he’ll love me more if I do them … or that he’ll love me less if I don’t? No. No. Of course I don’t.
Rather, my deep love for my earthly father *compels* me to serve him. I have a profound sense of gratitude toward my parents. My parents cared for me when I had nothing to give them. And now I’m honored to be able to serve them, in just a small measure of the way they served me. I *want* to take care of them.
Serving my dad is not a burden. It is a joy.
And this relationship makes me think of my relationship with my Heavenly Father. My Heavenly Father loved me while I was still a sinner. He came after me while I was running away from Him. Like the hymn says, He loved me e’re I knew Him.
The gratitude and love that I have for God is immeasurable. It’s like Paul wrote, the love of Christ compels me. (2 Corinthians 5:14) I *want* to serve God because I love Him so much.
If you do not feel that compelling love to serve God, let me encourage you to search your own heart. Those who have been forgiven much, love much. Take a minute and think about the depth of your own sin and how much you need a Savior. Then, consider the great price that Jesus paid to rescue you, shedding his own blood on the cross in your place – so you could have eternal life through Him.
If none of this makes sense to you, I’d love to chat. I’d love to serve Jesus side-by-side with an army of brothers and sisters. Let’s love God and love others because He loved us first.
“For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”(Ephesians 2:4-9)

The Love of a Father

I’ve been staying with my dad in the hospital for almost a week now.

Yesterday, during a moment of clarity, my dad communicated to the doctors that he’s feeling sad because he was intelligent, well-spoken and able-bodied, but now he is struggling to even say a sentence or walk to the bathroom with a walker. Later yesterday afternoon, after a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, he started crying because he had been a champion bridge player.

And then it hit me.

I love my dad just as much today as when he wrote 100-page legal briefs and solved impossible math problems.

I love my dad just as much today as when he built a custom-made island in our kitchen and rigged up a light so we could know when the garage door was open.

I don’t care if he can put on his own socks.

I don’t care if he knows what year it is or what city he’s in.

He’s my dad and I love him.

And then another truth hit me.

That’s how God loves me.

God doesn’t love me because of what I have to offer Him. He doesn’t love me because I’m intelligent, well-spoken and able-bodied.

He just loves me because He loves me.

I’m His daughter and He’s my good, good Father. Thank You, Father, for making me Your daughter, and for making Emil George Trott, Jr. my earthly dad.

“[Jesus] came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11-13)

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1)

“[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Timothy 1:9)

“[God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5)

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Of things perishable and imperishable

While studying 1 Peter, I’ve been impressed by how often Peter talks about what is temporary, momentary or perishable, in comparison to what is lasting, eternal or imperishable. As I’ve been sitting with my dad in the hospital for the last few days, I’ve been thinking again about how important it is to fix our eyes on what is eternal.

Gold perishes.

Our trials are temporary.

Our flesh is withering like grass.

But God, His Word, and our coming heavenly inheritance are lasting.


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-7

“Love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” – 1 Peter 1:22b-25

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18