Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom (Anglais) Broché – 1 avril 2014
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As I curled up with my tea to read her heart, I knew I was sharing this precious time with a kindred spirit, another mom who knows the value of a cup of tea to the soul. Lisa-Jo shares her journey from losing her own mother at the age of 18, to declaring she will never have children, to being surprised by her fierce love for her babies as they began to arrive five years into her marriage. I cried with her. I laughed with her. I nodded my head as so many of her stories reflected my own.
Like the time her first son was born and her family was celebrating her birthday, finishing all the food while she nursed the baby until there was nothing left for her.
Or describing the courage it takes to trim a newborn's fingernails.
Or giving up trying to sneak veggies in to a meal and simply serving mac and cheese because that's all she had the energy for.
Or the realization that there is no point in owning anything lovely when you have two boys, bent on destruction.
And while my life plan since I was 10 was to start having kids when I was 23 and to have them every 2.5 years after than until we were done, still motherhood looks nothing like I imagined it. And I think that's the point.
Lisa-Jo's heart is for moms to know they are not alone in this journey that looks so unlike our childhood dreams. On the days that the toddler screams because you cut his toast wrong. On the days your nine year old boy shouts things at you that break your heart. On the days its an effort to get out of bed, never mind showering and getting dressed.
Sitting with Lisa-Jo, sipping hot tea, and listening to her stories, to her heart, makes you believe you can do this.
And you know what? You can. Because God is with you every single step of the way.
In Surprised by Motherhood, Lisa-Jo tells her story of growing up in South Africa and losing her mom at the age of 18. She knew that she never wanted to be a mom herself, but God had different plans! He worked in her heart and healed her. He gave her children who have taught her, challenged her, and helped to change her. Lisa-Jo learned that motherhood is hard, but glorious.
This isn't a "how-to" book with secrets and formulas for helping babies sleep, potty training little ones, instructing toddlers, or raising teenagers. This is the story of the making of a mother. It is Lisa-Jo's story, and her heart is in these pages. This story is for all of the exhausted and tired moms who think they can't do it. It is for the moms who are searching for happiness and humor in the mundane. This book is for all women who enjoy a good story of motherhood and mess and joy.
I personally enjoyed reading Lisa-Jo's story very much. Even if you are a regular reader on her blog, there is so much in this book that will be new. It is worth the read!
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. provided me with a complimentary review copy of Surprised by Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
I wished I had the hope and life-giving words shared in Lisa Jo Baker's new book, Surprised by Motherhood.
I read the whole thing in 2 nights staying up way past my bedtime like all good mothers do because, quiet.
But this isn't just a book for new moms. It's a book for all the moms.
It's not your regular mommy/parenting book. It's an exploration of the weight of motherhood, the glory inherent in raising tiny people, the struggles of growing up into a calling that often feels confusing and heartbreaking and wonderful all at the same time. It's the tale of a motherless daughter and the way God fills gaps in holes we never even knew we had.
I think you know what I'm going to say. I'm in LOVE with Lisa Jo's book. Because she tells the just a mom's there's no such thing. And you just might believe her when it's all said and done.
Surprised by Motherhood is a beautifully written and poignantly reflective mixture of memoirs from Lisa-Jo's childhood, early marriage, and journey into motherhood. She is transparent and real about the struggles she has had, and she writes authentic vignettes that illustrate the ways God has shown Himself faithful to her in the many different seasons of her life. This book is less about her becoming the perfect mom, and more about her gradually seeing and understanding God's heart through motherhood.
"I discovered at the heart of my misery was a misunderstanding about faith. I had confused faith in God with faith in what God could do for me. He led me out of my heartache and into a season of redemption and beauty. All without changing His answer. Instead, He changed me."
I think that this book will resonate differently for everyone, especially depending upon your expectations. If you're looking for a "how to" guide or yet another parenting book that will give you specific strategies, that's not what this book is about. This is, plain and simply, Lisa-Jo's story. It's her testimony. There were parts that brought me to tears and really touched my heart. I loved hearing about her time serving as an advocate for victims of human trafficking in Ukraine. I loved hearing about her father's heart for adoption and seeing the gospel revealed in the way her family has ministered to orphans in South Africa. I loved the story of how God reached down and spoke directly to the deepest fears and hurts in her heart and assured her that He would love her even if she never became a mother.
But there were also parts that didn't do much for me and I struggled to find the motivation to keep reading. I had little interest in reading about the births of all three of her children in such detail and I would have liked to see a cohesive theme tied throughout the book. However, my three stars are not meant as a negative rating. That's just what this was for me: a three-star read. However, just because it wasn't for me doesn't mean it won't be for someone else. It's very hard to say where you will fall on the spectrum. If you enjoy testimonies and/or if you are already a fan of Lisa-Jo's blog, then there is a very good chance this book will strike a chord for you. But I would not necessarily give this as a gift to another mother since it doesn't have a lot of practical application.