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Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom [Kindle Edition]

Lisa-Jo Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: £10.49
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Book Description

A lawyer with a well-stamped passport and a passion for human rights, Lisa-Jo Baker never wanted to be a mom. And then she had kids. Having lost her own mother to cancer as a teenager, Lisa-Jo felt lost on her journey to womanhood and wholly unprepared to raise children.

Surprised by Motherhood is Lisa-Jo’s story of becoming and being a mom, and in the process, discovering that all the “what to expect” and “how to” books in the world can never truly prepare you for the sheer exhilaration, joy, and terrifying love that accompanies motherhood.

Set partly in South Africa and partly in the US (with a slight detour to Ukraine along the way), Surprised by Motherhood is a poignant memoir of one woman’s dawning realization that being a mom isn’t about being perfect—it’s about being present.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4173 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (1 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E1O7EVE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #391,907 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it! 10 Jan. 2015
By Mrs A
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have long been a fan of Lisa-Jo's blog and the wonderfully simple ways she encourages mothers so I was keen to read her book. It has moved me, blessed me and brought me to tears. Thank you Lisa-Jo, I look forward to reading your next book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  194 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a mom who knows motherhood is hard. But worth it. 1 April 2014
By Andrea - Published on
I received an advance digital copy from Tyndale House Publishers of Lisa-Jo Baker's upcoming book, Surprised By Motherhood. I did a little happy dance when I received the email because a) I love Lisa-Jo's blog and her heart, and b) I didn't think I could wait one moment longer to read her book!

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.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Encouragement for Moms Everywhere 1 April 2014
By Rachel Lundy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Lisa-Jo Baker is a writer, encourager of women, and cheerleader for moms. When I heard that she was writing a memoir of her life and the way motherhood changed her, I knew it would be a delight and encouragement to read. As expected, the book did not disappoint. Lisa-Jo weaves words and writes with a beauty and honesty that will immediately draw you in.

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.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motherhood is the breath of God on your heart, stirring it to forever feel more, care more, love harder than you ever thought. 1 April 2014
By Alia Joy - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a new mom, I believed I was failing at motherhood. I wished I had someone to remind me to dance in wild grace and laugh hard and hug too long. And that it's ok to cry a bit when they got up from bed AGAIN. It's ok. You're doing a good job.

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.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read about being a mom EVER! 2 April 2014
By Aidan OMeara Kwiatkowski - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read sooooooo many books like this, but none actually LIKE THIS. This book is THE book. Let me put it this way...I've never written a review for a book, ever. Never ever. I just don't do that kind of thing. But I actually felt that I just had to write something for this one. She just gets it. I could not put this book down. Lisa Jo Baker just nailed it home. Just buy this book, and then curl up with a cup of tea and melt into her writing. You'll be happy you did.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful testimony, not necessarily a parenting book 13 Jun. 2014
By kirSib - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Several years ago when I was eyeball deep in the exhausting and challenging season of mothering four young children/babies, I discovered Lisa Jo's blog The Gypsy Mama. I connected with her words in such a visceral way. She had me crying over my computer as she voiced everything I was feeling, yet she also offered so much hope and encouragement. So when her book was offered to me for review, I jumped at the chance.

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.
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