Blue Like Play Dough

The shape of motherhood in the grip of God

Christian - Living
197 Pages
Reviewed on 08/07/2009
Buy on Amazon

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

When I was a child one of my favorite toys was play dough.  My creative juices would start flowing from the moment I touched the soft clay.  I could shape a respectable turtle and a fair looking dinosaur or dog.  Sometimes I’d fashion tea cups.  I would take the dough in my hands and begin to work it.  I loved the feel.

Tricia Goyer uses play dough to describe how God wants to shape us.  An old hymn says it all “Thou are the potter and I am the clay, mold me and make we after thy will.”  This is the message of Goyer’s book Blue Like Play Dough.  She shares her story of how God is molding and shaping her.  We are creations of the Master.  He has a plan for our life.  He will shape us in His image if we allow Him.

Blue Like Play Dough is beautifully written.  The style is conversational.  At times I felt as though I was sharing a cup of tea with a good friend and listening as she shared her story.

Susan Stitch

There are many books written about the difficulties of parenthood, but most try to give advice designed to make the reader try harder to fit into some predetermined mold of a 'perfect' parent. This book, instead, frees a mom to open her soul so God can create the uniquely perfect person he destined her to be.

Like most mothers, Tricia talks about her insecurities as a mom, "I worried that I disciplined my kids too much. Or maybe not enough. That I fed them the wrong foods or allowed their brains to be filled with too much mindless entertainment. I worried I wasn't the helpmate my husband deserved or the friend and church volunteer I ought to be." But with God's Word she realized that she wasn't perfect, but she was loved; that her life wouldn't start once she got it right -- she was in the midst of it today.

The more she leaned on God, the more he molded her into the woman she was meant to be. It wasn't always easy or fun, but it was more rewarding and adventuresome than she could have imagined. In one of the most honest and authentic books I've read, Tricia helps all mothers learn that God's gentle kneading, or even those times when he smashes us flat as a pancake, will result in undeniable proof of his love.

While reading this book I felt that Tricia had reached into my soul, found my insecurities, doubts, and fears, and bared them in a way that allowed me to accept God's prodding.

Cindy Loven

Tricia Goyer has brought us her story, her story of being an unwed mother, who later married, and raising her three children, her story of her fears and insecurities, and her story of how God ministered to her, through her and molded her just like play dough.
A busy homeschooling mom of three children, a writer, a volunteer at church and with a crisis pregnancy center Tricia often found herself overwhelmed, overworked and overloaded. She learned that relief from all the stress of all her many hats she wore came through her relationship with God. When she slowed down and made time for God, God made time for all the other things to be accomplished.
Laugh, cry, snort, and feel sympathy pains as she shares experiences through her lessons, and her examples and life stories. Feel the pain, as she deals with aging grandparents and the loss of her grandfather, relish in the joy of a trip to Disney World with grandma, and learn the joys of taking life one day, one step and one event at a time. A wonderfully written book, Tricia has shared her heart with us, through the pages of Blue Like Play dough, it was a fascinating read, that I could not put down until I finished it.

Martha A.

Need a real life dose of realism in a humorous way? Trisha takes the life that we live as mothers and talks about how life really is and how often we feel like we are smoothed by the normal push of mothering. Life is messy! Trisha is very transparent in this book, using real names and all...since I live in the same area as her, I realized how this is a somewhat autobiographical book of real dose of reality. She talks about the tough things, abortion, dealing with parenting as a teen, parenting teens, parenting toddlers, marriage issues, housecleaning all in a way where you feel like you sat down to a cup of coffee or tea with a friend and she shared her story with you. Check out the above paragraphs for when you buy the book. It is a great little book that I think any mother will enjoy! You will find yourself challenged and encouraged as well chuckling as you relate to her mothering exploits.

A. E. Arndt

Tricia Goyer is an amazing writer. At age 36, she writes with a voice of experience, eloquence, and insight far beyond her years. But, then again, she had to become an adult much sooner than most.

In her latest nonfiction book, Blue Like Play Dough, Goyer shares the joys and sorrows of her life: being an unwed mother at age 17, homeschooling three children, watching a family member die, and juggling her family, writing and ministry (successfully!) while living in a home with three generations and an exchange student (again, successfully!).

Through it all, Goyer shares how God has used the events in her life, even those that seem insignificant at the time, to shape her life, like play dough, into a vessel fit for His service. This was a wonderful book that I devoured in one sitting.

On a personal note, it will soon be one year since my daddy went to Heaven and I haven't really cried about losing him. Goyer's account of her grandfather's home-going, was so much like what Daddy experienced that I wept aloud as I read it.

Young mothers take note: you willl survive your children's babyhood, childhood and terrifying teens with your sanity intact IF you lean on the One who created you for this purpose. Read this book for an encouraging and uplifting look at one woman's journey through "motherhood in the grip of God."

Lauryn Abbott

In her book, "Blue Like Play Dough," author Tricia Goyer is transparent, honest, fresh and real. I loved this book and I couldn't put it down. With stories and confessions, she shows us that she is a Christian, wife, mother, author, homeschooler, and ministry leader. In short, she is just like us! Ok, so maybe not all of us are authors, but the point is, we're all busy, we're all stretched, we're all flawed, and our lives can be pretty messy. I kind of suspected that I would be in trouble when I was reduced to tears only half way down on page two! And I was relieved to experience much laughter mingled with the tears throughout the book.

If I could suggest one thing that was a disappointment to me, it is that Tricia mercilessly shattered my delusion that I was the only one who had insecurities to spare, and to give up. She is a shining example of how God will take a broken vessel and lovingly restore it into the beautiful work of art He created it to be. Her life shows us that we don't have to be picture perfect to be used by God to touch other lives, that if we allow Him, He will meet us and use us where we are, and help us to grow and mature, while He is touching others through us. "Blue Like Play Dough," shows us that we all make mistakes in life, and usually, the greater the mistake, the greater the pain, and lesson, associated with it. The good news is, our mistakes don't define us, but rather they help us to grow.

Mrs. Ann Hibbard

My first thought as I began reading this book was, "It's a bit random!" But, I was barely into the second chapter before I realized that the supposed randomness of the book was exactly what bonded it together!

Blue Like Play Dough is a look into the author's own life and a picture of how God used seemingly independent and "random" moments in her life to mold, grow, and shape her into the woman she was meant to be. Beginning with her childhood, moving through her teenage pregnancy, and progressing on into life as a wife and mother, Tricia Goyer is incredibly and beautifully honest and open about the ways God has grown and taught her through the years.

I identified as she shared her stories of homeschooling. I laughed out loud when she described the personalities of her children - she could have been talking about my three children! I understood exactly what she meant when she talked about God pulling her reluctantly into ministry opportunities. I cried as she shared heartaches and the beauty that those heartaches birthed. I yearned as she talked about taking bold steps and teaching her children to do the same. Many dreams she has lived are dreams I have never quite been brave enough to act upon.

Written by a "real" woman who can truly identify with the day to day struggles of everyday moms, Blue Like Play Dough is definitely one I'll be recommending and passing on!

Kathryn E. Miller

If you've ever felt like you might slip from God's grip, this book will make you feel secure. Tricia's honesty, vulnerability, humor and engaging stories make you feel like you can keep your grip on God and be gripped by Him. It builds faith, commitment and trust in our great God. It's truly hard to put down. She just pulls you deeper and deeper into saying, "yes, God, I trust you."


I never thought I could meet God here. In my home. In my mess. In the midst of my ordinary suburban life. To me, God was someone you met at church or connected with at weekly Bible study. I knew deep down it was possible to have mountaintop moments, but I believe they came during week long spiritual retreats, hour long morning Quiet Times, and a once-a -year women's conference.

That is the opening of Tricia Goyers new book called Blue like Play Dough.

She talks about trying to read Bibles while "Dora's" on and solitude is hard to come by.

Tricia has been there. She knows her mommyhood and understands what we mommy's go through.

I was sucked into the vortex of this book and couldn't put it down. Tricia has been there, done that and lived to tell with a wonderful outlook that should encourage us. It gives me that warm fuzzy feeling (and not b/c it's fluffy but b/c it contains great topics and depth of someone who knows what I'm going through.)

Having read several of her previous books I was delightfully surprised by her openness in this book and how I felt like I was chatting with a friend (even though I wasn't talking!). I laughed in one breath and was teared up in the next. I think when a lot of us look at "big names" and think we have so far to go, it's so nice to see they learn just like the rest of us and that makes me more interested in what they have to say.

Thanks for an excellent read Tricia!


I'm not a parent, and I've never read Tricia Goyer before, so I wasn't sure I was going to like this one. But I ended up really liking it.

The book jumps a bit, she'll make her point and then jump to a story that relates to what she's trying to say. I think it takes a very skilled writer to jump around like that, and to not loose the reader, and Tricia does it perfectly. The "jumps" are used as background and they were almost all quite humorous.

I liked her writing style, she doesn't use much description at all and somehow you can see her stories come to life. She writes in a relatable way, even if we've never been in these situations we can imagine what it would be like to be there.

In addition to being a book about parenting, it is also a book about letting God into your life and being able to make time for him and his plan for you. While just about all her stories relate to her church, her relationship with God, or her families ministry work this book was not preachy or pushy. Tricia tells about her struggles in her relationship with God, and how she deals with them.

I think this was a very well written book and I'm glad I got to read it. I really liked the humor and the way she tells a story. I already recommended this one to my little sister (who doesn't have children either) simply because it was a good book. And if you are a parent struggling with raising kids, maintaining your relationship with God, and all the other responsibilities you have I would recommend this one for you. Well, really I'd recommend this one even if none of the above apply to you. The wit and humor is enough to make this enjoyable even if her message doesn't necessarily apply to you.

Deb Haggerty

Blue Like Play Dough is a stretching, molding experiece. Tricia Goyer so honestly relates her journey as a mom and as a Christian that I could identify and grow along with her. All of us have those "crumbs" of hardened dough in our lives that we need to turn over to God. Those of us who are moms know how much we are pulled, stretched, and molded as we raise our kids. This is a must read for any mom who feels stretched beyond her limits - play with Tricia and you'll find that blue play dough is peace within and peace with God - no matter what is going on on the outside.