Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Play-Dough in the Mixing Bowl

Equal parts flour, salt, water

A few drops food coloring. That's all. It's the recipe my mom followed to make play-dough and it's been passed down to me. Maybe my daughters will ask for it when they have toddlers in the Terrific Two's whose hands need many things to do. The family recipe makes real honest play-dough soft enough to be shaped by the hands of a child.

I'm a nanny this month to a baby boy who has my heart wrapped right around his whole little being. He's been crying today and this is what I told him: "You have the right to cry. Anything you cry out will be used to validate your right."

Then I said to myself, "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used to give validation to his feelings and the freedom to express them."

He and I, we curled up into the soft fuzzy pillows and blankets in my oldest daughter's old bedroom, and 2 ounces of formula later this little one was snoring and milk was dripping from the corner of his O-shaped mouth.

"You are like a butterfly," I whispered to him. His lashes lay soft and long against his fair cheek. "Crying's not so bad." I say it ever softly, and wonder to myself if butterflies cry in their struggle to emerge from the cocoon.

"Butterfly tears," I hear the Father. He's curled up on the mattress with us.

We gaze at the tiny face, the sweaty dark hair, the drip of formula crusting in the corner of his mouth and, "He's struggling to move about freely, isn't that what he cries out?"

"He's getting stronger in the struggle," comes the reply.

I remember reading that a butterfly must struggle with all its strength as it works its way from the confining cocoon. It must. If it's helped out, told, "Hush now, little one" and not allowed to struggle, the butterfly with perish because of the rescue. The struggle moves the blood into the wings and strengthens the wings till the butterfly is strong enough to fly.

I ease myself off the mattress and tuck a sheet around his chubby hands now limp with rest. "Soon You'll be moving about, crawling and more." I kiss His head and tip-toe out.

I roll the blue dough with my favorite wooden roller. I don't know the family it came from, or if the mamma who owned it rolled out blue play-dough. I found it in an antique shop along with my favorite wooden spoon. All I know is that it's been passed down, to me. And I know the value of things passed down. Somehow such things have helped shape me.

A play-dough mobile. I make it while he sleeps. He'll like watching the free moving shapes.

I don't have a butterfly cookie cutter, but I do have hearts and bunnies, a rhinosaurus, a chick, and a star.

"Father?" I press the cutters into the dough.


"Am I soft like this dough?" I want to be. I want to be soft beneath His press-impressionable and easily shaped by Him. I want to hear His validation, and there's something validating about making play-dough.

"You are made from My finest grain to become as bread," He speaks so.

I press out a heart shape.

"You are made from the salt of my words." I know what He means by this. His words are mine to live by and to share. They are salt.

I press out a rhinosaurus shape.

"You are made from My living water." His Spirit speaks truest validation to me-His validation is mine.

"And what color am I?" A friend once told me that she sees me as a bright and shimmery green.

"Pure." It's the color of grace.

I need it, validation.

We all need it, the real honest validation. Not violation.

The truth validates. It's valid, no matter what.

"Show me, Father of truth and eternal validation, who I may validate today." I think of my husband, my children and their spouses, my niece and my sister.

I continue, "You've spoken validating words to me, just now with the play-dough. Speak then through me, that others may hear them as I have heard them."

"Speak My words. They are valid and bring validation." I hear what He's saying and remember something else He's said about the truth. It sets us free.

The truth sets us free.

"I'll speak Your truth in the freedom You've given me, Lord." I say the word, Freedom, under my breath, and then venture in the Spirit of freedom and truth, "Lord."

He listens.

"Where there's been violation, I'll forgive." Forgiveness is true validation and freedom.

Twine, scissors, a coat hanger. I begin making the mobile. The blue rhinosaurus spins on twine.

I'm happy to be as play-dough.

Honesty, validity, freedom, forgiveness. This is what my Father, the Ancient one, passes down to me. And to you.

written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig
If you like this, you'll love her books!

No comments:

Post a Comment