Growing Together: Sometimes You Just Have to Face the Trolls


“I want to sail into my empty nest years a better person, wiser for the journey. Don’t you?”

I read these words a couple of months ago on Becky Kopitzke’s blog, Time Out: Devotions for Moms. And then I immediately began stalking her so that I could ask her to write here for Growing Together.

Of course, I’d been reading Becky’s words and devotions for quite a while now. This post from last summer is one of my favorites.

Becky captures those precious moments with her kids and distills such wise and wonderful lessons from them with such beautiful simplicity. I always feel calmer and wiser after reading her words.

Today, she is here, talking about trolls and the treasures that those trolls guard. Enjoy her wisdom here and then go get more at Time Out: Devotions for Moms.


“Mommy, can I watch Tinkerbell?” My three-year-old clutched a stuffed puppy in her hand and climbed beside me on the sofa.

“Sure, we can watch a little TV before bedtime.” I grabbed the remote and flipped to my girls’ latest favorite—Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure.

“But, Mom, can you skip the part about the trolls? I don’t like the trolls.”

The trolls? Ah, yes. There’s a scene where Tinkerbell tries to cross a bridge guarded by two nasty oafs who threaten to chew her for dinner.

Heck, I’d like to skip the trolls, too. I’ve known a few trolls in my life.

Marriage conflict.



Call them all trolls—ugly obstacles to what I think should be a smooth life journey.

In Tinkerbell terms, though, those trolls are the turning point of the movie. It happens when an argument breaks out between the two troll buddies and escalates until one troll calls the other a “garden gnome”—the cardinal insult of trolldom. Here’s the dialog that follows.

“Say the magic words, go on.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Do you mean it?”

“Oh, absolutely.”

“Do you feel it?”


“Well then, I forgive you.”



And that’s when we learn the moral of the story: forgiveness. Tink realizes she’s been mistreating her best fairy friend, and when she finally apologizes, the two tiny pals work together to save Pixie Hollow from sure disaster.

All thanks to the trolls.

So—how does this apply to our own lives? What are your trolls? What are they teaching you?

I hate arguing with my husband. But resolving our conflicts allows me to understand him at a deeper level.

Infertility was no picnic. But experiencing a season of waiting on God for a baby made me learn to trust him in ways I hadn’t before.

Colic nearly sent me to the psych ward. But it also taught me selflessness and the comfort of desperate prayer.

Yes, trolls are ugly. They threaten our peace. But when we face them head-on, we just might discover there’s a treasure on the other side.


“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him,” (James 1:12).


“Mom, is the part about the trolls coming up?” My daughter snuggled in my lap with her eyes fixed on the TV.

“Soon, yes. Do you want me to fast forward?”

“No, it’s okay.” She scrunched her nose. “I’m not afraid of them anymore.”

“You’re not?”

“No, they’re a little scary, but they’re a little nice, too.”

So true, my love. So true.



Becky Kopitzke is a freelance writer, dreamer, potty trainer, lunch packer, snowman builder and sidewalk chalk artist. She lives with her devoted husband and their two young daughters in northeast Wisconsin, where a pink indoor trampoline takes up permanent residence in the living room.

Becky believes parenting is one of God’s greatest tools for building our faith, character, and strength—and it’s not always pretty. On her blog, Time Out: Devotions for Moms, she offers weekly encouragement for fellow imperfect moms, pointing our weaknesses, blessings, and victories to God.



  1. Thanks so much for inviting me to share some encouragement here today, Tricia!
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  2. {Melinda} Tricia, I found Becky through The Mom Initiative and love her, too! So happy to see her here. I’m facing an ugly troll (or two or three) in my life right now, so this really hit home and was an encouragement to me. Thank you!
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  3. Remarkably wise words, Becky. Nice to meet you!
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  4. Indoor pink trampoline, eh? Between that and Tinkerbell, I think my daughter would invite herself over every day if we knew you.

    Very wise words. Beautiful post.
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  5. Becky, I am so there with that indoor trampoline too! And I know those trolls! And I want to face them with as much poise as you do! Perseverance under trial is not easy but it always pays off. Your words are just lovely.
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  6. I shed a tear — beautiful, Becky! You have a gift.

    I love the story of Joseph in the Old Testament, as it demonstrates that God’s providential plan can work through and surmount even serious roadblocks, obstacles, and come to think of it, trolls. 🙂

    It’s nice to find your site too, Tricia!
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  7. Those are very wise words Becky and thank you for sharing them. I’m definitely facing some trolls in my life and I hope that I can face them with the same grace.
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  8. Awesome post, and beautifully stated. The James passage was perfect.

    I love when a kid wants to conquer a troll. We as parents sometimes want to help them sidestep them, when it’s best they face and overcome them.

    A soccer rival kept putting kids from a better team on a weaker team when they faced us. I saw it in black and white – but the kids, they wanted to play them anyway. “Bring them on,” they said. “We’ll beat them, no matter who they put on the team.”

    And they did. Trolls vanquished. Coach/parent taught.
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