Jim Daly: Lisa-Jo, what's been one of the most surprising things about motherhood?
Lisa-Jo Baker: I think how it feels a lot like breaking up with yourself. All the parts of your life you used to like, (Laughing) you don't get to enjoy anymore once you have kids.
Jim: Hey, there's some encouragement.
End of Teaser
John Fuller: Yeah! Well, actually we do have some great encouragement for you on today's program with Lisa-Jo. We'll tell you more about her in a moment. This is "Focus on the Family" with Focus president and author, Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller.
Jim: John, you know, being a mom is hard work and a while back I wrote a book called The Good Dad, 'cause I can identify with dads and I can identify with particularly young men who are married with kids now, but they don't know how to be a dad. And today, with our guest, Lisa-Jo, we're gonna talk about the woman's side of this and what she needed to do to become a good mom and not knowing how to do it. And I'm lookin' forward to the, really the counterpart to what I've talked about on this broadcast so often in terms of brokenness in a man's life, not knowing how to be a good father. So, I'm looking forward to it.
John: And I think, Jim, we talked about this, it seems that there are a lot of younger moms and dads who have no either good role models or nobody to lean on as they journey along in this capacity. And I'm really glad we have Lisa-Jo Baker here. She's a mom; she is a self-professed superhero (Laughter) and that'll be interesting to find out about.
Jim: Yes, we'll find out about that.
John: A tea drinker, a blogger and she's written a book called Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom.
Jim: Lisa-Jo, welcome to "Focus on the Family."
Lisa-Jo: I'm so delighted to be here.
Jim: Okay, let's start with the superhero comment. (Laughter) How's that happening?
Lisa-Jo: You know, I think for a long time when I started to pay attention to how women introduced themselves, they'd say things like, "I'm just a mom," right.
Lisa-Jo: I got tired of hearing that, 'cause I thought there's just nothing ordinary about motherhood. We save lives on a daily basis.
Jim: (Laughing) That's right.
Lisa-Jo: We deserve a superhero cape. (Laughter) And so, I feel like I need to encourage moms that when they see themselves in the mirror, they just really need to picture that tattered cape flying out behind them, because goodness knows, they all wear one.
Jim: That's well-said and you know, I love your title, Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom. I can relate through Jean, as I read your book and I think so many women are going to identify with what you share with us today. Let's talk about that. As a single person, well, even going back further, talk about your mom and your relationship with your mom and what was both good and perhaps not so good in that relationship.
Lisa-Jo: Yes, sure. You know, I think this is a book about motherhood, but it's also very much a book about daughterhood. So, even if you're not a mom yet, my hope is the book speaks to you, because it tells a lot of my journey as my mother's daughter, tryin' to make sense of my role as a woman in the world.
And unfortunately, my mom got sick when I was 16 and she passed away when I was 18. There wasn't a lot of time to learn from her what it meant really to be a woman in the world. And I think so many moms make this journey toward motherhood without a mom. Like whether she's left or she's passed away or she's emotionally unavailable, so I don't think my story is unique in trying to make sense of who I am as a mom (Laughing) without my own mom around.
So, my mom was great, but she was also someone who got caught up in her books and her stories and she sometimes wasn't really present for the more practical parts of motherhood.
Jim: How did that feel for you as a little girl, you know, before your mom passed away, which again, is another thing that we share, losing our parents, at least our moms at a young age. But what did it feel like when she wasn't there? What did that do you as a little girl?
Lisa-Jo: Yeah, I think that there is just a confusing understanding of who we're supposed to be as women. What does that look like? So there wasn't somebody there to teach you how to learn to cook and what does it look like to help take care of a family. So I (Laughing) remember my first attempt at making mashed potatoes was so runny. (Laughter) It was sort of like soup and I was crying as I was serving it to my little brother, as you know, helping make dinner and my brother looks up to me, "It's okay, Lisa-Jo, as long as you close your eyes, it's fine. It taste just great, like—
Jim: Man, there's the—
Lisa-Jo: --as long as you—
Jim: --the optimist--
Lisa-Jo: --can't see it--
Jim: --of the family.
Lisa-Jo: --right? (Laughing)
Jim: Man, that's a great little brother. How old were you when you were expected to pitch in, in that way?
Lisa-Jo: Well, so from the time I was 16 to 18, my mom was away. She was in a hospital or hospice. So, from the age of 16, there really wasn't anybody else in the family around. So, my dad, of course is great, but he worked full-time. And so, you know, man cannot live on take-out alone, so at some point you have to figure out how to roast chicken before school in the morning.
Jim: And you were doing this all in South Africa.
Lisa-Jo: That's right.
Jim: Because your—
Lisa-Jo: That's where I'm from.
Jim: --parents were missionaries obviously and they took the kids with them.
Lisa-Jo: They took the kids everywhere. I think …
Jim: How old were you when you got there?
Lisa-Jo: So let me back up a little bit and say, my dad and my parents worked as missionaries in Zululand, which in one of the Natal Province.
Jim: That just sounds fun just—
Lisa-Jo: [You] know—
Jim: --hearing it.
Lisa-Jo: --in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, but they're actually, you know, they're originally South African, so we've lived there our whole lives. We're not missionaries. We were just--
Jim: Oh, wow.
Lisa-Jo: --born there (Laughing), but we've done missions work in South Africa and in other parts of Africa. So, I was born in Zululand, but my parents are from the Cape area and our family has lived there for generations.
Jim: Well, and to fill that out, now you're married. You live here in the United States.
Lisa-Jo: I do.
Jim: And tell us about your kids.
Lisa-Jo: Well, I have three kids. I'm married to a really cute boy from Michigan (Laughter), which is the reason I accidentally moved to America. (Laughing) And I have three kids, two boys, 9 and 7 and a daughter who's 3 ½ and has us all wrapped around her little baby finger.
Jim: Now in the book you talk about the struggles you had about motherhood and the fact that probably makin' so much potato soup, it meant it was supposed (Laughter) to be mashed potatoes, you didn't think this was gonna be the right gig for you.
Jim: A lot of women today struggle with that.
Jim: My wife did for a while, you know. It took her a while to embrace children, because she felt she wouldn't be a good enough mom. That's what was going on for her. Talk about that and what you in your blog and in your book and your interactions as you speak, what are young women saying about motherhood? Why is there so much fear?
Lisa-Jo: Yeah, it's stressful, you know. It feels like one of those tests you really can't afford to fail as a woman. It feels like one of those tests of womanhood is motherhood. And I struggled, because I grew up in a church that we loved, but that had a very strong message that, as a woman, you were obligated to marry and have children, that there weren't a lot of other options.
And at the time growing up in South Africa with the political upheaval, I felt this burning passion in my heart to go into law and I wanted to be an attorney and wanted to change the world, you know. I was 18; I wanted to change the world. And one should probably not tell an 18-year-old girl (Laughing) that there are, you know, only few limited options for her, because she's not always thinking rationally and I just felt angry and rebellious and thought, "Well, I'll show you," you know. I don't want to be a mom. I want to be a lawyer." And so, that's what I went on to become.
But God is so gracious and so patient and so tender with me and I have come to learn finally that um … we are not, in fact, defined by our business card, 'cause I used to think I need to have this business card to define me, right, this title, this job that will say I've arrived.
But on the other hand, I think sometimes as women we think we're defined by our kids, right. I need to have this family and I need to have these children and these two extremes, I'm stuck between and I need one or the other to define me.
And finally, I felt like Christ made it clear to me that really we're supposed to find our identity and our definition in Him, not in our business card or in our children. And if we're finding our identity in Him, then we're liberated, you know. We can follow Him into all the areas He calls us, whether it has motherhood on the table or whether there's a job that we're called to do.
And Christ put role models in my life to show me, He doesn't ask us always to pick, it's this or that. He says follow Me, like Christ, that's His call: follow Me, right? Follow Me with your kids. Follow Me with your dreams. Follow Me with your passions and it was so wonderful to have role models that lived that out in front of me. They were following the passionate calling He put in their lives and bringin' their kids along on the road. And it blew my mind to watch them in action.
Jim: me dial your story back to when you're a teenager with your mom, because again, I can remember so much of who we become is somewhat, if not significantly related to our parents and what we learned from them at an early age as teenagers. Talk about the influence of your mom. What was that like? It sounds like when a little girl grows up and she struggles with whether or not to become a mommy, there usually are some reasons for that.
Jim: So, I'm trying to get to that.
Lisa-Jo: (Laughing) You're tryin' to find the heart of it.
Jim: Yeah, what was happening in that relationship with you and your mom?
Lisa-Jo: Yeah, I think it was a combination of things, not just to do with my mom. First of all, my mom was very insecure in herself as a woman. I think she had an insecurity in how she appeared, what she looked like, what she did. Then when she became ill and there was kind of a vacuum of her voice in my life, I was part of a very conservative church that had a very strong message about what it thought little girls should be.
Lisa-Jo: And so, it was a difficult place to be in as a 16-year-old, to feel like there was sort of a dictated set of terms that was expected of you and that if you didn't live up to this, Jesus didn't love you the same as all the other little girls.
Jim: Give me an example of how that came to you as a little girl. Was there somebody in the church?
Lisa-Jo: So I was 16. Here's a good example. I was 16 or 17 and I was after church one day I think I had made some off-hand comment about how I don't ever want to get married. I don't want to have kids. You know, I want to be a lawyer. I don't know, the kind of statements teenagers make.
And two very well-meaning elders in our church pulled me aside and basically let me know that if those were my choices, then Jesus wouldn't approve. You know, I was unlovable if that's what I was choosing.
And another story that stuck with me for years, you know, here I was in the middle of my mom's dying, so losing the woman who sort of is supposed to be my guide into womanhood. I mean, I was angry and sad and I'd lost my mom and my dad kind of lost his mind after my mom died. And so, there wasn't someone to help me navigate all that transition into womanhood, to make sense of, that the Gospel I had grown up in and this Jesus I really believe loved me, I really did, but this message that seemed very confusing, that His love was conditioned on certain behaviors on my part, you know, and one of them being getting married and bearing children. That part of the equation I just wasn't interested in.
Jim: How did God begin to work on your heart that way? How did that story begin to change?
Lisa-Jo: He's so patient. Man, He loved me relentlessly and one of the most significant moments for me, I will never forget it, I had just started dating the man who's now my husband and we were attending a church, a small church on the north shore of Boston, college students.
And after church service one day, a huge black man was standing in front of us. I'd never met him before. He turned around and introduced himself. His name was Chuck and he said to me, "I'm so sorry if this is embarrassing for you, but I have a message for you from God."
Jim: (Laughing) Yeah.
Jim: What did you think at that moment?
Lisa-Jo: --I wanted to disappear--
Jim: Back up.
Lisa-Jo: --into the floor. Please don't; please tell me this is not happening. Could this be more awkward? And so, of course, I smiled politely as good Christian girls do and said, "Sure, you know and I'd like to hear what you want to share with me."
And he said, "Let me just ask you," he looked at Peter and said, "Are you two engaged?" And that's not awkward at all, right when you've just started dating and so, we sort of shook our heads, no, no, we're not engaged. And he said, "I'm so sorry if this is embarrassing, but are you planning to be engaged?" (Laughter)
Jim: Oh, man.
Lisa-Jo: "Are you planning to marry?" And I just remember looking at the floor, you know, blushing and Pater in a very quiet voice said, "Yes, you know, we are," 'cause we had talked about it. And Chuck said, "And I have to ask you one more thing. When you get married, are you planning to have children?" And at that point, I wanted to tell him no, I'd rather eat glass, like no, I'm not gonna have children. I don't want to have children and I looked down at the floor and just, you know, shook my head quietly.
And then he looked relieved and said, "Okay, good, good, because God wants you to know that it doesn't matter to Him if you have children or not. He wants you to know He loves you for you, just loves you for you."
Jim: And you were strugglin' in your heart—
Lisa-Jo: Oh, man.
Jim: --with this very question.
Lisa-Jo: I just started weeping. I'd never in my life had someone speak directly into my life about something they couldn't possibly have known. And then he said to me, "Did you grow up in a church where it was really important for them that you have children?" And I said, "Yes." And he said, "Jesus wants you to know, He just loves you for you. Everything else is a gift."
And it was a radical life-changing moment for me to have someone speak Jesus' truth to me like that, that He loves us for us, not because of us, but because of Him, not because of what I do, but because of what He's done and children or jobs or work or callings, those are gifts that get added to the equation, but they're not what defines us in our relationship with Him.
Jim: Lisa-Jo, let me ask you this question because A, that sounds like right out of the book of Acts (Laughter), you know, for a—
Lisa-Jo: You felt that, right.
Jim: --random human being to walk up—
Lisa-Jo: I know.
Jim: --to you and know right where your heart was aching—
Jim: --with no—
Lisa-Jo: It was amazing.
Jim: --input whatsoever. You've got to trust that the Lord was in that--
Lisa-Jo: Oh, yeah.
Jim: --obviously. What did it make you feel like after he had said this? What was your discussion with your soon-to-be, I guess fiancé. (Laughter) It's an odd way to ask a girl to marry you, but do it through some anonymous person, but obviously, you guys must have gone out to lunch that day or dinner that night and said, "Wow! What do we do with that?"
Lisa-Jo: It was liberating. I felt like I had lost, you know, like 50 pounds of dead weight I didn't realize I'd been carrying around for so long. And I feel like it opened a door in my heart to have a real relationship with Jesus in a way that I didn't feel He had conditions for me, that He just loved me.
And it's such a relief to realize that we have a God who enters into our lives and is that crazy about us, that He sent His own Son. What more can He do? But He keeps showing up and reminding us over and over again, that He loves us for who we are, period.
John: Well, if what Lisa-Jo is saying is news to you, then please stop by www.focusonthefamily.com/radio. We'll have some details there about what the spiritual life is all about what the spiritual life is all about and what that unconditional love that God offers is and how you can know that. And then of course, we'll also have details about Lisa-Jo Baker's book, Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom. Again, it's at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.
Jim: Lisa-Jo, as I'm hearing you, I can only imagine that was a relief for you obviously. It released your heart to now be bound up in this. So often in the Christian community I can also hear the voices right now through the microphones saying, "Yeah, that is a primary function of being a woman" and defending it in their mind. And I hear those folks and I understand that, because in our culture today so many couples, so many young women don't feel they are capable, willing, wanting to have children, in the church, outside of the church, it doesn't matter.
Yet, this is how a culture continues. If nobody has children, we're in big trouble. How does the church continue to, you know, grow and to impact people? But none of those things are gonna make much difference to the ears of a young girl. You know, have children so the church can flourish. What? (Laughter) That just sounds absurd.
But speak to the connection of that, what the Lord has done for you in terms of turning your heart. In fact, you have three kids now, all single digits. I can't believe you have time to be here (Laughter), but speak to that, how God used the release to actually draw you to something that is in ways, what you were made to do.
Lisa-Jo: Yeah. You know, I think for me, is really is the difference and it might seem like semantics, but it was so important to me, the difference between understanding motherhood as an obligation versus a gift. And I think, you know, Christ is the Giver of good things. And so, yes, ironically I have now become like the biggest fan of motherhood and write and blog about it and encourage moms, because I believe it is a gift and a privilege that He gives us, right, a free gift.
But if I thought that it was an obligation and that, you know, my salvation was in some way connected with becoming a mom, what would I say to my friends who can't conceive? You know, what would I say to moms who struggle with infertility. So, I've come to understand that, you know, Jesus who loves us so much and He gives us the good gift of motherhood and sometimes it comes through our own natural kids; sometimes it comes through adoption. Sometimes it comes from the, you know, the woman who always opens her house to the neighbor kids or who is just always the person who'll babysit at the drop of a hat. The gift of motherhood looks different in so many different ways, but it continues to be the gift.
And if I focus it as a gift, it's not about me anymore, right? It's not about what I do. It's about what Jesus does through me and what He gives me and the shape of my kids who, yes, hands down, three greatest kids on the face of the earth. (Laughter) I'm sorry anybody else who's listening, they just are. They drive me crazy. I have grey hair because of them and coming out here to hang out with you guys feels like a mini-vacation (Laughter) in comparison to being with the three of them.
John: You woke up and nobody was bouncing on the bed or demanding anything.
Lisa-Jo: More importantly, I slept through the night without anybody bouncing on the bed. (Laughter)
Jim: The days are long, but the years are short.
Lisa-Jo: (Laughing) Exactly.
Jim: That's the way it goes.
Jim: Talk for a minute about Peter, because I'm interested in Peter in all of this.
Jim: Obviously, was he patient? Was he encouraging? Was he not so encouraging? What was happening from his perspective?
Lisa-Jo: In one of the last chapters in the book there's actually a section where I talk about Pete's reaction to my journey. And I was surprised to find myself writing, sharing those details about him. But he's really the rock of the story, which is what his name means.
Lisa-Jo: Peter means "rock" and he is my solid Michigan man of few words, who is rock solid for me. And he describes--and I think this is one of the gifts we give each other in a marriage, in a partnership, really that is a living parable right, of how Christ loved us--he describes how when I sat on an apartment floor one night and kind of laid out there for him my childhood and losing my mom and my church I had grown up in and sort of my mixed-up baggage when it came to the idea of motherhood.
He said he had a real sense that the Spirit said to him, he could choose to love me or he could choose to walk away in that moment, but that if he chose to love me and commit to me, then he would be the one who would really be pouring into me for a while, that it would take a while to heal some of these big holes in my heart and that the Holy Spirit would use Peter to really redeem parts of my life that were broken.
And he said he was so aware at the time that he was making a conscious choice, that he would be the one to, in essence, lay himself down, right, lay his life down to love me and it took years. He and I joke now. We've been married 15 years and we've been together for 18 and we laugh looking back in the beginning, because it was a bumpy start there for him for a while.
And I remember when I was finally ready, you know, to be married to him after a couple years of us working through a lot of stuff. And I'll never forget it. We're sitting on a bench looking out over the lake on the Notre Dame University campus. It's so beautiful and I kind of romantically looked at him and said, "Yeah, I feel like I'm ready now, like I will be ready to be married to you."
And he quietly looked over at me and said, "Well, I think I will marry you one day, but you haven't been that nice to me the last two years (Laughter), so it's gonna take a while." (Laughter)
Jim: Yeah, I'd say that's pretty bumpy.
Lisa-Jo: We laugh about that now, but he did; he was the rock who didn't leave and who didn't change and who loved me through and through and through to the point where after five years of being married, I really was ready to have kids. And for my 30th birthday, that's all I wanted is the baby. So—
Jim: What a change of heart.
Lisa-Jo: --oh, man.
Jim: Hey, let me ask you, too as a mommy blogger, I mean, in that space with the other women that you're communicating with, where would you say, you know, so often we are down on our selfishness in this generation. I think most people say, oh, yeah, we're one of the most selfish generations and that's why marriage is failing. And I think to a great extent that's true, but what do you hear from those you're communicating with, particularly in the Christian community? Is there hope that we actually do understand this better than perhaps we think we do?
Lisa-Jo: Oh, absolutely. I think particularly with mothers, I think part of the problem is that they don't recognize how selfless they, in fact, are.
So, it's interesting. Moms tend to be so down on themselves, to be the harder on themselves than anybody else, right?
Lisa-Jo: I mean, they do all these amazing things for their kids and at the end of the day we sit down on the sofa and then you have this list of things you beat yourself up for that you didn't do today. And part of what I feel like my job is on my blog is to remind moms of what a mighty work that they're doing and that you know, the exhaustion that they feel and how run down they feel and how much they worry about, you know, what their kid hasn't learned or hasn't accomplished or a sports that they want them to excel at, is reflective of laying yourself down. Like this is what they're doing. The reason you feel so tired is because you are doing a mighty work.
And I've thought, I have a verse from Nehemiah that actually hangs above my sink, because my sink is always full of dirty dishes no matter what I do. I don't understand it, but they multiply.
John: You just have to turn around and it fills up, right?
Lisa-Jo: Horrifying and sometimes--
Jim: I did 'em last night. I know what you're talkin' about .
Lisa-Jo: --sometimes they are full of Lego pieces that have to get washed (Laughter). Like, I don't understand that, but anyway, the verse I have hanging above my sink is from Nehemiah 6, verse 3 and it's the verse, "I am doing a mighty work and I cannot come down." And of course, Nehemiah is saying that as he's rebuilding the wall, as he's been assigned by God.
But I believe as mothers, I am doing a mighty work and I cannot come down. And by "cannot come down," means I cannot come down and gauge, you know, the ridiculous paranoia of the mommy wars that I just don't think is real at the end of the day when you're sitting across, talking to another mom. And I cannot engage the false guilt that the enemy wants to put on me. And I cannot engage this worry that I'm not enough, because I am doing a mighty work and I cannot come down.
Jim: I like that, because I think we so often accentuate the negatives, even in the church--
Jim: --if I can be that honest.
Jim: I mean, we watch the news' we watch cable news and we're all about what's not working, rather than trying to say, okay, where are we doing a fair job? And it's not to be building up a false sense of pride or ego or anything like that, but I think we, as human beings, we need to feel like I am makin' a step forward, even if I do take a couple steps backward—
Jim: --at times. If we don't have that, I think we lose hope, which is what you're really delivering in your book is hope for the mom who's feeling hopeless--
Jim: --that it's not working.
Lisa-Jo: I just think it's essential. I think we have a, you know, culture of women in America who feel like they're not enough, that what they do is not significant and it doesn't matter, 'cause nobody sees it, you know. And it's interesting, 'cause for a long time when I thought my business card had to define me, I felt like, well, this makes me significant, right. I do this really important work. I help rescue women from trafficking and it helps my identity feel safe and secure and worthwhile.
And what's interesting to me is, I really felt like God said to me, "Lisa-Jo, from heaven's perspective, the work you do rescuing women from trafficking is just as significant as the work that a mother does at 2 a.m. with her sick kid that nobody will ever see, like that is holy righteous kingdom work."
And I feel like I can't say it enough. I will preach it forever. I will be on my soap box, you know, till the kingdom come, reminding moms that there is no such thing as "just a mom." This work is so holy that you do and you know, throughout Scripture that is the metaphor that's used over and over again, this metaphor of motherhood and what it looks like and how the disciples greet one another and how the letters they write, you know, they use this picture of mothering, like mothering the church.
And as women, we get to do that in our homes. And just because we don't have an audience watching us, doesn't mean we don't have a heavenly one that applauds what we do, because the work is just so significant. So, I am on a campaign to help moms stop introducing themselves as "just a mom." And if they want to call themselves "superheroes," that's completely fine with me.
Jim: Well, you know, you said it so well; the moms are the superheroes and it doesn't mean it's easy to put that cape on, so if we can, let's come back next time and talk about the real development of the superhero mom and what it means to be real, to deal with the things that you deal with, maybe it's anger and some other things. Can you stay with us and keep rolling?
Lisa-Jo.: I'd love to (Laughing).
Jim: Let's do it
John: Well, you have a lot of great stories and energy and I think you've encouraged a lot of women. Now if you're resonating with Lisa-Jo's story and you want to be a superhero mom, learn more about her book, Surprised by Motherhood. She'll inspire you through these writings to look for God in every moment of that imperfect mothering journey. And you'll find a copy of that and a CD or a download of this broadcast and a great article that Lisa-Jo wrote about developing deeper, more meaningful friendships at our website, www.focusonthefamily.com/radio or you can call us and we'll tell you more, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.
And you know, here at Focus on the Family, we want to come alongside and walk with you through that parenting journey--its ups and its downs. And according to research that we've conducted, during the past 12 months, 660,000 households have said, Focus on the Family helps them build stronger, healthier, God-honoring families. And we had a listener named Elissa who shared this.
Elissa: I enjoy listening to the radio broadcasts, because there's always something in there that I can take and help me be a better mom and help my kids grow up to be children that are following the Lord.
End of Clip
John: And that's why we're here and it's a team effort. Your prayers and your financial support enable us to come alongside moms like Elissa and so many others every single day. So, please make a generous donation today to help us to reach out to families around the world. And when you contribute a gift of any amount today, we'll send a copy of Surprised by Motherhood as our way of encouraging you and saying thanks for your kind gift. Donate when you call 800-232-6459 or at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio .
Our program was provided by Focus on the Family and made possible by generous listeners like you. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, I'm John Fuller, inviting you back tomorrow. You'll hear more from Lisa-Jo about being a superhero mom, as we once again, provide trusted encouragement to help your family thrive.
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Lisa-Jo BakerView Bio
Lisa-Jo Baker is a blogger, a public speaker and the author of Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom. She is also the social media manager for the DaySpring Christian card company and the community manager for DaySpring's (in)courage.me website which offers encouragement to millions of women around the world. Lisa-Jo and her husband have three children and live near Washington, D.C. Learn more about Lisa-Jo by visiting her blog/website: www.lisajobaker.com.