Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer

I find myself drawn to people with messy lives. Let me see your flaws, and you quickly become my best friend. Why? Because I can be myself, free from criticism or the false need for perfection. In her new book, Tricia gives me permission to be me.

"Blue Like Play Dough" is Tricia Goyer--messy, moldable, and completely herself. I've never read a more honest and encouraging memoir. Her new book fills me with hope amidst the mess I call my life, and the life that God calls beautifully made. She is candid about her own faults and mistakes, but allows all of her life to point to the glory of God and the power of a life lived in His strength instead of our own.

Tricia tells her story as a woman, a wife, and a mom. From her beginning, conceived out of wedlock and with no idea who her father was, her choices weren't always wise or godly. She opens up about her painful past and how it has impacted her imperfect present and what she is learning from being molded and shaped into the image of a King's child. Her battles with balance in her busy life called out to me and lifted me above my own issues to keep it all together.

She is honest about her struggles in this powerful memoir. Her desire for perfection that I so often feel in my own life, her tendency to compare herself to others and to come up lacking--another thing I do well--and her wonder at all God has allowed her to do as just a home school mom from Montana is captured so richly and beautifully in her own words.

Watching as her own three children are impacted by her struggle to walk in God's presence and to daily submit to Him is amazing. What a wonderful and rich heritage she is building for her family, and what a gorgeously flawed portrait her words paint. Mission trips, screenplays, and service to girls and women in need are just a few of the projects and efforts her children tackle because of the example they see in their mom.

She's not June Cleaver or Donna Reed--no, she's so much deeper and thoughtful and prone to be just like us. Stepping over doggy puke and fussing over deadlines, Tricia is working out her own salvation with fear, trembling, and a good sense of who she is in Christ.

I've always loved Tricia's writing. She writes with an honest and warm voice, rich with detail and humor and wisdom. As I've stated in other reviews, I prefer her non-fiction to her fiction, simply because I like her style. But nothing else I've ever read with Tricia's name on the cover has impacted me as much as "Blue Like Play Dough".

As I turned each page and watched her reflect on her past and then correlate it to her present, I found myself nodding my head and feeling astonished that someone I see as so special and important in the writing world could ever experience life as I do. Watching her turn her hurts and mistakes into triumphs in the lives of her three children gave me such hope and inspiration.

Tricia also shares about her marriage to John, as well as her special relationship to her grandparents. Again, I could relate on a deep level--I was raised by my grandparents, which affected my parenting skills. I also was blessed with a very caring and patient husband who has stuck with me through my most horrible struggles and doubts and fears. Her openness about her married life is a wonderful glimpse into how God can take two and make them into one, and a testimony to the power of serving God together in ministry.

If you've ever wondered if the promises in Joel are true "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten--never again will My people be shamed," look no further. Tricia Goyer's story is real, honest, and so moving. All things in her life are working together for good...and it is very good.

You'll be inspired, refreshed, encouraged, and will feel as if you have a companion traveling alongside you on your life journey. I'm giving "Blue Like Play Dough" the Golden Bookmark for writing excellence and voting it the "Best Autobiography/Memoir" of 2009.

Happy Reading!