Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Book Review: Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer

Title:  Blue Like Play Dough: the shape of motherhood in the grip of God
Author:  Tricia Goyer
Publisher:  Multnomah
Format:  Paperback
ISBN:  978-1-60142-152-4



Tricia Goyer is a homeschooling mother of 3 children, a wife, a writer, and an active participant in her church and community.  While writing this book, she also had her grandmother living with her family.  She knows what it is to be pulled in many directions, and yet remain open to God's leading. 

Blue Like Play Dough explains how God molds us through parenting and motherhood, if we allow our hearts to be soft and pliant.  Tricia Goyer opens up her own heart and life story to us in this book, as examples of how God has worked in her life and how He can also work in ours.  From the unwed teen mom who'd already had one abortion, to the young married mom of 3 little ones, to a young homeschool mom learning how to teach 3 children, to the day her oldest son was arrested, and his graduation from homeschool high school -- Tricia shares about how God was shaping HER spirit and life.

I really enjoyed this book.  It was refreshing to read an honest book written by an imperfect woman -- who happened to be a homeschooling mom like me.  At first I was confused by the way her sections within each chapter didn't flow as I expected.  Each chapter contains several snapshots that jump around in her life.  They all apply to the theme of the chapter, and she weaves them together before closing the chapter ... but it took me awhile to adjust to this approach, which felt disconnected.  Perhaps reading in a crowded Suburban while traveling with 7 kids, my husband, and 3 cats (for part of the trip) added to that disorientation.  I suspect if I were reading it in a quiet room with my morning coffee, it would be easier to see the connections.

Sometimes motherhood can feel chaotic, stressful, wearying.  Sometimes it feels as if we're working endlessly and making little progress.  At times we can doubt the purpose of what we're doing, and wonder what "big things" we're missing out on.  I know it's so easy to focus on the messes and repetitive chores in our days and feel as if there is no point -- we're just going to have to do it all again tomorrow.  Yet, Tricia points out that God is present in our daily lives, the mundane details of housework, schoolwork, and childcare.  God speaks to us through our children, and even in the work we do ... if we're listening for His voice.  He has a plan for our lives to serve Him and bless others, if we'll follow His leading. 

I am prone to making my plans and wanting things to go my way.  I get bogged down in laundry, dirty toilets, floors that need to be vacuumed, and math that needs to be graded.  I confess that I often ignore the still small voice telling me to set aside the "to do list" and play with my little ones, talk to my teen, or call that friend.  I needed to read Blue Like Play Dough and hear Tricia telling me that when I follow God's prompting to serve others, the "to do list" will still get done.  People first is a reminder I often need. 

Blue Like Play Dough is a book that will challenge mothers to yield their hearts and plans to God, and encourage them that He is working in their life for their good and the good of those around them.  It would make an excellent baby shower gift, Mother's Day gift, or "just because" gift for a mother that you care about.


I also have a copy of Blue Like Play Dough to give away!   Watch for the chance to win this book.


Summary:
   In the everyday stretch and squeeze of motherhood, Tricia Goyer often feels smooshed by the demands of life. In Blue Like Play Dough, she shares her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom with big dreams of her own. As her story unfolds, Tricia realizes that God has more in store for her than she has ever imagined possible.

Sure, life is messy and beset by doubts. But God keeps showing up in the most unlikely places–in a bowl of carrot soup, the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon, a woe-is me teen drama, or play dough in the hands of a child.

In Tricia’s transparent account, you’ll find understanding, laughter, and strength for your own story. And in the daily push and pull, you’ll learn to recognizes the loving hands of God at work in your life… and know He has something beautiful in mind.

Author Bio:    Tricia Goyer is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Generation NeXt Parenting and the Gold Medallion finalist Life Interrupted. Goyer writes for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family, speaks to women’s groups nationwide and has been a presenter at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) national convention. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana.


If you'd like to review books for WaterBrook Multnomah on your blog, you can find more information here:  http://www.randomhouse.com/waterbrook/bloggingforbooks/

Take joy,
April

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