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Cleansing Play

Sept. 22 2023

What a joyful morning.  I had the privilege to work out with my oldest son, who will be turning 21 tomorrow.  I enjoyed a car ride up to the school to drop off our youngest and I was able to have an iced coffee to give me the jolt I needed afterward for play.


Play session was low energy but high powered this morning.  I decided to do a sand tray and wanted to focus on the internal battle I am having over buying some new clothes for fall verses being content with what I have in my closet, which by the way is plenty plus some.  I invited God to show me the places in my heart where I need to confess and be made clean.

Psalm 51: 10-12 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” (NRSV).


My sand tray started off with some protectors, including my thoughtful angel figure, a rosary, two love birds to represent the connection I feel to my husband and two animals to represent my precious and growing boys.  I also had a rainbow, plant and a fire to represent God’s beautiful nature.  In addition to this, I placed a treasure box next to the angel with gems inside and a star stating “Great job.”  This is the treasures in heaven that I desire to lay up for myself as opposed to the world’s treasures.  On the other side of the tray I placed a butterfly, a blue car, and a backpack. 


Between the two were the soldiers that battled for my heart.  There were more soldiers on heaven’s side and fewer on the world’s side with a fence between them.  I wasn’t sure what all of this meant at the moment, but when you begin sand tray, many times you don’t know right away.


I began tapping on my legs back and forth and praying to God to reveal the meaning behind my tray, to show me the truth of my heart.  God revealed that the butterfly represents my desire for man’s approval and to be seen as beautiful in the world’s eyes (hence the need for new clothes).  The car represents my desire for travel and to go wherever I want to go and the backpack represents my desire for backpacking and playing over working.  God also invited me to add a fourth figure during this time, an hour glass, to represent my time and how I want to spend this.


Through the course of continued tapping, I noticed a judge figure emerging to tell me how silly this was.  So, in he went to the tray, standing with the world’s soldiers with a scolding look on his face.  I just noticed him and continued to tap.  As I continued to tap, heaven’s soldiers moved forward and took up more space.  They were gaining ground and getting stronger.  One soldier on the world’s side went down, but the battle remained.  There was still no peace.  Where was the peace that surpasses understanding and is promised to guard my heart?  I took a deep breath and continued to tap, and then I realized that I was fighting the battle on my own.  This was the problem.


I placed Jesus on the cross at the center in front of my heavenly treasures, and the battle ceased.  Watching Jesus on that cross gave me such gratitude and a desire to surrender my heavenly treasures at his feet.  So, one by one, I took them to the cross and surrendered them to him.  And, it was not the world’s soldiers that left at that point.  It was my own.  I didn’t need them anymore.  Jesus had the victory!!!! “I’m going to see a victory.  I’m going to see a victory, because the battle belongs to you, Lord.”  My judge even laid down at the Lord’s feet.  (I wanted him to kneel, but I suppose laying down is even more humbling.  Logistics limit the figures.)


As Jesus won the victory, I began to surrender more things to his feet and to feel lighter and freer with each figure that surrendered.  I gave him my sadness, my financial concerns and my desire for writing in addition to the other things I listed.

There it was, the peace, the joy, the strength for steadfastness once again.  Lord, you never disappoint.  Thank you, heavenly father.  Thank you, Jesus, wonderful counselor, and thank you Holy Spirt for an inspiring and cleansing play session.


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