Monday, March 10, 2014

{Review} Surprised by Motherhood

I figured I'd like Lisa-Jo Baker's book. Her blog posts make me feel like a superhero, even on the hardest mothering days. Even so, "Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom" exceed my expectations.

Lisa-Jo's story is set partly in her South African homeland and her adopted U.S. home. An honest memoir of becoming a mother after losing her own, Lisa-Jo's words are poetic and real. Being a mom has changed me in ways I didn't know I needed to be changed, so I get this journey of sanctification in Christ alone and realization that being a mom isn't perfect but it's brave. And the reminders of that all over her story were good for my soul.

"Parenting is not for the faint of heart. And it's especially not for those type A personalities accustomed to having all their ducks in a row, all their check boxes checked, and their sofa cushions, cereal boxes, and entire lives neatly arranged."

Oh, most of you know, my type A personality has been rocked by motherhood. That's part of why I soaked in Lisa-Jo's story. She birthed three kids {experiences which she describes beautifully, by the way!} and has lived in three countries while I have lived in Kentucky my whole live and adopted my two kids, but I was surprised by motherhood too.

And, really, weren't we are?

Lisa-Jo tells of her surprises and how they came after loss and adventure and coming home and leaving home and settling in and letting go and embracing the right now. And in the chaos she found more of Jesus, more of God's glory.

"There is no part of our everyday, wash-and-repeat routine of kids and laundry and life and fights and worries and play dates and aching budgets and preschool orientations and work and marriage and love and new life and bedtime marathons that Jesus doesn't look deep into and say, 'That is mine.' In Him all things hold together."

"Surprised by Motherhood" was one of those books I didn't want to stop reading but I didn't want it to end. I read it in four sittings well, initially, I started it laying down on the couch recovering from a stomach bug because, you know, when momma gets sick that's some kind of surprise. And then I read it at the pediatrician's office while Ben and I were waiting for the 30 minutes after his allergy shot to pass and continued once we arrived at school to pick up Cate. Admittedly, I was glad to be early so I could read. I finished the book sitting on the couch in my kitchen after the kids were tucked in and Greg was at a meeting at church.

So, mommas, this book is worth carrying with you and soaking in when you get a few quite moments between diaper changes and carpool and loads of laundry and homework guidance and making dinner and packing lunches. My guess is it'll make you notice a little more of God's glory right in your own house.

"Surprised by Motherhood" officially releases April 1, but you can preorder it here. I received an electronic copy for free from in exchange for a review. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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  1. I've always loved Lisa-Jo's honest and real take on motherhood. And she encourages like no other. Looking forward to reading her book!

  2. KristinHillTaylor3/11/2014 9:30 PM

    She's gifted, that's for sure!