I didn’t know I was about to make a new life-friend, one to travel through days and months and times and seasons with.
It was a Skype call with a stranger who I felt like I already knew.
That very first conversation across invisible airwaves in the sky between Alabama and Virginia brought online to real life and an hour later we were still laughing and talking.
She was never “just” my boss. She’s a dear friend.
It took less than an hour and if that doesn’t tell you something about this woman’s character and genuine love, well I just don’t know what will convince you.
Somewhere between the “tell me about yourself’s” and the “so what are some dreams of yours?” I decided that I just plain like her.
Oh, I had read and loved her words for years prior but this was another level and I probably should have felt intimidated but I only felt welcome.
She has a way of doing that, of setting people at ease in their own skin.
Nearly one year later I jumped on a plane and knew that I was about to hear her beautiful South African accent in person, finally thank her for the difference she has made in my life, and hug her with real arms instead of through email.
Maybe I should have been nervous – after all, we’re in totally different life stages. But see, this is Lisa-Jo we’re talking about and none of that matters. Clearly.
And then she up and wrote a book about motherhood and I could barely contain the secret and I’m not even a mother – not by a long shot.
But I know this woman and I know her heart and I’ve read her words. I believe this book is calling forth an invitation of open arms to open up mouths and share the real of motherhood.
This book is for the mothers everywhere but it’s also for the girls who aren’t mothers. Because we each have a mother.
Mine happens to be my hero in so many ordinary extraordinary ways.
Really, my mother and this mother-friend of mine, they’re quite similar. They both encourage me to follow my dreams, they push me out of comfort zones, and they love me for who I am.
Surprised by Motherhood is for all of us. It’s an honest book, not a how-to or a this-is-what’s-required list. Lisa-Jo reminds all of us, mothers and daughters, that love will have the final word.
This if for you. This is for me. This is for us.
There are too many of our sisters who need to know that they are not forgotten, they are not lost, they are not overlooked – but instead Jesus looks deep into their wash and rinse and repeat routine and says – THAT IS MINE. That is holy and good and I name it beautiful and necessary. – Lisa-Jo Baker
She has treated me like a daughter and I am proud of her, not just for her words or this book but because I have watched her write and love and wake early to step into dreams, all while mothering well in the good and in the messy.
I won’t pretend to know the sacrifice of mothering but I can guarantee that as a daughter I have watched and learned.
The big moments speak out and speak up but it’s the quiet daily times that sting my eyes. There’s a woman in a chair with her feet curled under her in the corner of this Starbucks in Alabama, a man on his phone with a hot cup and an open laptop, and me with tears in my eyes typing these words.
I’m home but I’m twelve hours from my mom and so am I really home?
Talk of graduation has begun and with it brings questions of where I’ll end up. I’ve always said Nashville but just this morning I was asked if I could live so far from family after these four years end. I speak a confident yes but the tears in my eyes tell a different story.
Every time Lisa-Jo writes about her Zoe I cry. I know it’s coming and I read anyways because I know that if my mom wrote, those are the words she would speak over me.
To the mothers, may you know that the sacrificing does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. May you be surprised by motherhood when your daughter up and leaves for college, only to realize at twenty-one that somewhere along the way of growing up you became her hero.
And so this one is for the ones who have mothered me and this one is for all the daughters of all the mothers that need to be reminded of where they’ve come from.
You can get the first three chapters for free on Lisa-Jo’s book page and there are several links below where you can purchase Surprised by Motherhood!
I can’t recommend this book enough and I couldn’t be more thankful for the friendship with this woman that has come as a such a gift.