I have a new soul-sister-soul-mama friend I’ve never met. Sounds odd, I suppose. She has put into words what I’ve felt in so many ways on so many days as both a motherless mother and a new mama. Her book “Surprised by Motherhood” is speaking to me. From the inside out. In a oh-so-good kind of way that has me wanting the pages to go on and on. And that says a lot for me.
As much as I like to read, I find very little time and motivation to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I have a stack of books a mile high. Toppling over bedside my reading-praying-God-chair in the living room…spilling over next to my bed and onto my bed and onto my head some nights, books that were started and never finished. Not so with this book. I devoured it. And it left me hungry for more. That’s some good eats right there.
Lisa-Jo Baker is more than likable, she’s relatable in a way that feels as if she’s reading and writing your own story, not just hers. As a daughter. As a mother. Even if your life story is completely different than hers, it is also completely the same.
The words on these pages have breathed life into my desperate soul as a mother learning to be a mother after leaving the corporate world. I knew how to be a working mom, but learning to be an ever-present mom has been challenging. Lisa-Jo’s way of describing her own experiences as a mother through several life-transitions have been comforting for this mama in transition. And we can all say amen to another sister sharing our struggles. Eh? That’s what Lisa-Jo would say. I believe it must be a saying from her native, South Africa, and I like it. I believe our northern friends do that in Canada, too…eh? I digress.
There are too many hi-lited words and paragraphs and even pages to mention. I really just wanted to hi-lite the entire book, but though that may be a bit redundant. And over zealous. But if it made any of the words sink in enough that I would go back and let them give me life again when I was ready to turn in my resignation letter as full-time mom, then it may be worth it. There’s your warning…buy this book along with a pack of hi-liters. They will both be your new best friends, along with Lisa-Jo.
I’ve always tried to keep it real here in my piece of blog land. I love the transparency I find on the other side of this computer screen and may clam up if you talk to me about my blog in real life. Maybe because it’s the realest real me and it’s a lot easier to unleash the real me here than there in front of you, face-to-face. Either way, there were a couple of chapters in this book that dug into my core. Like as a knife digs into that jar of peanut butter and comes out sweeter than when it entered. It’s still sharp, but sweet and spreadable.
I came away realizing I have my own anger issues to deal with. As Lisa-Jo said, ”Sometimes you don’t realize you have a temper until you have kids.” Ahem, yeah, that may be an understatement for me some days. And this, “There is no rage like the exhausted rage of motherhood.” Ouch. But misery is certainly better with company, so it was like a breath of fresh air to know I am not alone on those exhausted days when I lose my temper. And I lose it more than once. And then Lisa-Jo tells about becoming determined to mother deliberately and she began to write a new story about her son in her heart and in his life and God graced her and him with a peace and relationship she couldn’t have imagined in those early days. The words from that chapter of her book and life gave me a renewed hope as I fight for these children God gave me and am learning to mother intentionally. It’s a battle for their souls and mine. A war against impatience and endless bottom wiping. A fight against a hunger for your alone time and their hunger for you. And it’s a fight worth fighting and letting God help you win together.
If it’s not obvious, I’m a fan of both Lisa-Jo and these pages that I’m so glad she was brave enough to write. She says we are all brave as mothers. She is correct, isn’t she? This woman that grew up in South Africa and swore off motherhood after her mother died is now speaking to mother’s hearts all over the world about the glory and guts involved in being a mother. It’s not all good, but it’s not all bad, either. Eh? Yeah, I’ve been surprised by motherhood in a lot of ways, too. And the best is yet to come, I’m sure.
You can get your own copy of this pretty little book right here or in your favorite bookstore this week. I promise it will be worth giving up a cup or two of coffee this week if that’s what it takes to get it in your hands. The aroma will be stronger and last longer than that cup of coffee and will awaken your soul in the most beautiful way. Enjoy your reading! Come back and let me know what you think and make sure to leave a review of your own on Amazon. It’s time to take make our voice known. The brave ones.