Lisa-Jo Baker
About the Author

Lisa-Jo Baker is a bestselling author, lapsed lawyer, and current acquisitions editor for HarperCollins. Originally from South Africa, Lisa-Jo lives outside Washington, D.C., where she fell in love with her husband in the summer of ’96. Their story spans decades, languages, countries, books, three very opinionated teens, and one dog.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Lisa-Jo,
    YOU, my dear, are an absolute riot and I have fallen in love with your words and your wit! Glory be, our Father must be stinkin’ proud of you. Thank you for that blissful reminder that even if we think no one else is listening, our mighty God always, always is! Every single one of us counts.
    One of my favorite bloggers (and I have a whole posse of ’em) is Holley Gerth. That girl knows how to make God’s Word come alive and dance into a weary soul. I just love her blog!
    And I’m going to sneak in that I LOVE the Nester and Ann Voskamp, too. Both are so talented at what they do. Mmmm, hmmm, hmmm.

  2. The first time I read this I was thinking that I had to choose from other blogs, but I realize now that I was remiss in saying that my most absolute favorite bloggers are those co-authors of mine: Rebecca, Jen, and Cheryl. Many differences in personalities and writing styles, but they each share the same heart to follow His will. Love those girls!
    OK, all done now. Sorry to be so ramble-y! 🙂

  3. I loved this! it’s so true that we write the things that matter most to us personally and truly do wonder of the impact. Here at (in)courage I find my thoughts so often mirrored and am challenged quite often too. I also love Ann Voskamp’s blog and my friend Lauren’s…so grateful for their transparency.

  4. I have just discovered you, Lisa-Jo, but I can tell that we are going to be good friends. I cannot write to save my life and I envy those who can, those who can put into words exactly what I’m feeling, those who must have been looking in my window last night.
    I also adore Sarah Markley. I discovered her by accident while looking for some information on sin for a talk I was preparing to give my Wyld Life middle-schoolers. I have been following her ever since. Her stories give me hope every day, her posts convict me to try harder every day to follow God.
    I look forward to continuing our relationships and growing closer to each other and the Father who breathed life into us.

  5. I love the idea of leaving encouraging words to women in the blogging world! My nominee is Mary at Giving Up On Perfect. I found her site when I Googled a Bible Study that I wanted more information about and read all of her previous posts. I was amazed to find a woman who loves God and office supplies as much as I do!

  6. Hello Lisa-Jo,
    I followed you over here from Boy Crazy’s website.
    It sounds like you have done a wonderful thing by connecting all of these women. I am late, as usual, but as I told you on Twitter, here to stay.
    Glad to find another refreshing writer, who also has boys.
    Best, Jillian

  7. i loved this! i am a new blogger and have already felt moments of discouragement and failure. thank you for this! i believe God has given me a desire to write and encourage others! thank you thank you thank you!
    one of my favorite blogs is The Mom Creative by jessica turner. she’s so real and down to earth!
    thanks again!

  8. I didn’t get in on the ponyup, but it has been on my heart. Lurker by nature, it’s time to come out of the shadows. Thanks for the (in)couragement!

  9. Well, I missed the pony-up challenge, but shoot, I’m in now! 🙂 Anyway, I’m a bit biased, but one of my favorite blogs to read is that of my friend Dawn at First, she’s the one who opened my eyes to this whole bloggie world of camaraderie and friendship and a place to share and find encouragement and truth and real women. Second, she does all that on her blog. Even if I didn’t know her I would love reading what she writes. If you don’t know her, check her out!

  10. So many bloggers have unique ways of encouraging, through words, photos, personalities, situational perspective, prompts, community. It’s a constant source of “who knew” , and amen, and “just wow”.
    Ann Voskamp is my first stop every day. Or start, as she breathes life into my soul.

  11. I love to read Lysa TerKeurst. I found her from the Proverbs 31 Ministries website, which led me to get involved in an online Bible study with another P31 leader, Wendy Pope. (Another great way to start the year, reading the Bible chronologically in one year!)

  12. I didn’t know about the pony-up challenge until today, but I wish I had. I read so many blogs, yet rarely comment. I need to change that! There’s so many truly talented blog writers out there who inspire and encourage me. I guess that if I had to pick only one it would be Kimba at A Soft Place to Land, but that’s leaving behind Lysa TerKeust, Renee Swope, the Nester, etc., etc., etc. So many great ones!

  13. Without a doubt, my life has been changed by Sarah Markley. After a teary reading of her story and sharing it with my also-teary husband, I haven’t missed a day reading what the Lord has given her to say. Today her blog is about writing 300 words that would affect another person in some way. I dedicate my 300 words to her, today. I love that she shares her family, her personality, her trials, and her views on life with everyone who is willing to listen. She writes nothing but the truth, and in its prickly entirety. I’m convinced that if I were to fly to California, I could send a message on Facebook and be drinking coffee at Starbucks with her within the hour. I would join her on a jog with the new addition, Flower, and even though we’ve never shared so much as a text message, I know she’d welcome me, listen to my story, and have encouragement to give. I look for the new blog every weekday morning as my second form of

  14. Lisa-Jo, I think the writers in blog-world owe you a big thank-you! For both the reminder to share how we are moved by the words of others and for the comments that I see everywhere I go!
    YOU are one of my favorite writers! And seriously – all of the ladies here at (In) Courage – whether on this site or at your own. You all start my day off on the right foot!

  15. I think this site is my favorite. It’s hard to choose one fave when there are so many great reads out there. But here, I am always challenged, encouraged, uplifted.
    I love the pony-up challenge. I usually try to leave comments, but lately, I’ve been more of a lurker than a commenter. But I sure know how it makes me feel when someone leaves me a comment!

  16. Love this, Lisa Jo…so fun to share doses of encouragement, but I just cant pick a favorite….way too many wonderful blogs who meet different needs at different times, speaking to us with all different hearts and modes of encouragements. 🙂

  17. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!
    One of my favorite bloggers is Laura, of 10 Million Miles ( Her posts are always encouraging and super inspiring – from homeschooling, to dealing with her husband’s “battle,” from being a wife and mother, from being a woman. On top of it all, she is a FANTASTIC writer.
    I really appreciate you Laura!

  18. I love to read Teri Lynne Underwood at Pleasing to You. She and I share a similar heart on so many issues and I love how her love for God and His Word shines through. It’s hard for me to narrow it down to just one blogger…there are SO many beautiful, soul-inspiring ones out there to chose from. I love how Teri Lynne and I can encourage each other with words even though we’ve never met. She’s truly a woman after God’s heart and that inspires me.

  19. I so appreciate what you are doing. I confess, I am one of those read and run sort of gals, because time is tight. But I also know the blessing of being encouraged by comments and encouraging others — “[She] who refreshes others will [herself] be refreshed!” Proverbs 11:25b.
    I have to say, the blogger of late that inspires me the most is Sarah Mae, of I am often challenged by her “deep thought” moments and especially encouraged by the resources and links she shares about motherhood and homemaking. It is just what I need in this stage of life.
    Thanks again!

  20. I am encouraged and inspired by so many wonderful women writing out there it’s hard to choose one.
    I must give a shout out to Kristen who is at the centre of what goes on at Exemplify Online. Her heart is that we would live lives for the glory of God and she does a brilliant job of equipping and releasing others to do just that!

  21. Impossible to pick one favorite–but the person I’ve been reading the longest is OhAmanda ( I don’t even know how I found her blog but I am so glad I did. She’s become a great friend and mentor, and her writing is witty, funny, sometimes deep, and practical!

  22. Riding with all the ponys yesterday was so much fun! Nothing like rounding up runaway (comment) love. Knowing fellowette riders were doing the same made it that much sweeter. Thanks Lisa-Jo!
    Tammy@If Meadows Speak….

  23. I couldn’t possibly pick just one, but some of my all time favorite reads are Emily from Chatting at the Sky, Amber from The Run a Muck, Shannon from Rocks in my Dryer and Danielle of 6yearmed. Also, I’m loving some of my newer finds like YOU, Lisa-Jo! 🙂

  24. I enjoyed your post about ponying up! Nothing like women bonding over the same obstacles, triumphs, etc…I love it! I love many blogs, but if I had to pick one I would say Bring the Rain…Angie’s story is very inspiring!
    Have a good day! And Happy New Year!

  25. Thanks to everyone who opens their heart and pours it into a written word, no matter where it is! You bless and it’s a pleasure to ride with you!

  26. OH!!!! Lisa-Jo your words could have been written from my keyboard. I am a new blogger and each time I submit a post I wonder if anyone will take the time to read it. Those thoughts often fade thanks to the encouraging comments that are left.
    Thanks for ralling us all together to lift each other up. One of my many favorites is Elaine @ Not only does her post touch my heart but she is always faithfully to encourge me on my own blog. She just has such a sweet spirit that comes through even in cyberspace .

  27. My favorite is Amber from The Run Amuck.
    I discovered her blog via Blog Nosh magazine, and I’m so glad I did. Her writing leaves me touched and thoughtful. Her prose is poetry, and her poetry is breathtaking.
    It was also through her site that I discovered many of my other favorites: Emily at Chatting at the Sky, Jo at Milestones, Corinne at Trains, Tutus and Twizzlers, just to name a few.
    Great challenge. Thanks for this.

  28. I know EXACTLY what you mean. It can be so daunting to put yourself out
    there and never hear back from anyone. But, someone is always, always
    listening. So whisper your heart into the keyboard and be sure the
    Father treasures up each of your words and starts planning a response.

  29. I have several favorites… Meredith and John Blase both have wonderful blogs. One Holy Experience. These folk provide updates on family news and also stimulate me to change my thinking and actions. New to reading your blog but tis rapidly becominng a favorite as well.

  30. You pegged us cowgirls, that’s for sure. Sometimes it’s a lonely ride.
    My favorite blog is A Holy Experience, Ann, just like so many other people. She was one of the first I came upon that made me realize blogging actually had a beneficial purpose. I also am blessed by Joy at Stay-at-Home-Missionary.
    I receive a lot of practical advice from Owlhaven, run by Mary of ten children. She keeps it real.
    There are many that touch me, but I can’t think offhand! (I can’t think on hand, either.) I would love to tack up the names of the lesser known blogs I follow, but they all escape me. Of course, I do so appreciate (In)courage and am gradually subscribing to the writers’ personal blogs.
    Sometimes it is great to have the blog “friendships,” but, to be honest, sometimes it is lonely sitting out here alone counting other people as “friends” when they do not even know I exist beyond my comments. Thanks for the pony-up. I missed the event (homeschooling a houseful and running a business), but I know how powerful encouragement is.
    God’s blessings. I am enjoying getting to know you In(courage) girls.

  31. I am always so blessed by the many blogs I read and I now see how saying just a short simple “Thank you”, “you inspired me” or “amen” mean so much to the blogger and is so easy for me.
    Thanks for having us all “pony up”!
    God Bless!

  32. Every time I read Kelly’s blog at Kelly’s Korner ( I’m inspired – by her warmth, her honesty, her heart.
    I really enjoyed doing some ponying up yesterday!

  33. What a beautiful thing you are doing, Lisa-Jo. I love the way so many writers, speakers & bloggers lift up their own unique voices for the glory of God, and in doing so build up the Body of Christ. Thank you for (IN)couraging that!

  34. I totally missed the whole ‘pony-up’ thing. (although I did see it a couple of times on twitter and wonder what it was!) But anyway I’m here now and enjoying getting some good tips on other blogs to check out. 🙂 As for picking a favorite of my own that is so hard to do! I think in the past week or so though I’ve read some of Sarah Markley’s posts that have really spoken to my heart. I love how she so openly shares herself….the good and the bad….and then encourages you at the same time!
    And I can so relate to that ‘is anyone else out there’ feeling cause I have it alot myself, but let me just say if you’re all wondering that too then here’s one other gal who is out here reading and being blessed by so many of you who are sharing your hearts. So don’t quit!

  35. i love that you did this. and how quickly it went viral.
    i always try to be intentional to leave comments on posts that speak to me in some way. even when i get waaaaay behind on my blog reading, i refuse to just “mark all as read” in my google reader. i take time to go through each post and try to (thoughtfully) comment on as many as possible.
    because i know i’d want (hope) that others would do the same on my posts. and i know how encouraging it is to actually get feedback on what i’ve written.
    one of my favorite bloggers is Lindsey Nobles – Her current post on authentic relationships is a great challenge as we start a new year.

  36. Thank you to all of you who rotate through the (in)courage postings. They bring me some added moments of peace and reflection through my on-going struggles. I am reminded that the Lord never trusts us with more than we can handle, THROUGH HIM, and you all are a big part of me keeping that in perspective. Thank you.

  37. I loved seeing the pony up hashtag around twitter yesterday! Everyone can use a little girl power in their lives, or blogs 🙂 The blog community is so special, and so real, it amazes me day in and day out.
    I have so many favorite bloggers, today I’m loving on Elizabeth at Boy Crazy. She’s the first one that pops to my mind, though there are so many other kindred spirits around the web. It’s amazing, I’ve found friends that speak so deeply to my soul… most of which I have never met (though I’ve been lucky to meet a few!)

  38. I often wonder if anyone reads what I write. Just the same, if God gives me something to write, I write it down, praying that it will someday reach the person who needs it most.
    I read several blogs on a daily basis. One that I love the most, because of her honesty and great testimony, is Sarah Markley’s blog (

  39. wow lisa jo – what a cool thing this is. i’m continually amazed.
    i read lots of blogs and i love lots of bloggers but my favorite blogger has to be, hands down, Lisa Leonard. She’s the one who inspired me to start my own blog over 2 1/2 years ago. And she’s been a good friend for what seems like forever. i love her.

  40. I can’t believe I missed this!! *sad* Am I allowed to mention two? Both of these ladies have literally pushed me to change my life and are constant encouragement for me to take a leap and be brave enough to put my words out there. I consider them complete sisters of heart and spirit and count myself blessed to read their words.
    Thank you Anne (A Holy Experience) and Angie (Bring the Rain).
    So many times both of you have moved me to tears or laughter and tenderly opened my heart and placed His Word inside to marinate and grow. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  41. My favorite is Sarah Markley. Hands down I love everything she writes because she is so honest and she has allowed the world to see what God has done in her life.

  42. Ooooooh, I love this! Hugs to everyone out there. I am selecting my online friend Lindsey who blogs at:
    She wrote yesterday that she is taking a break from writing, praying about what God would have her do. I pray that God shows her just how gifted she is, how she touches the lives of so many people, and just exactly what He would have her do with this.

  43. I missed this “pony-up” challenge, but I will definitely take the time to comment more often to encourage these wonderful women to keep sharing their hearts with us. I haven’t discovered a lot of the blogs mentioned (yet!), but Angie from Bring the Rain has really inspired me and touched my heart. She is a true women of God who has allowed her tragedy to be a vessel through which she has drawn many, many people closer to God. I can’t wait to check out these other blogs and get to know many more Godly women who are walking the walk!

  44. I found (in)courage through Holy Experience…oh so good for the soul reading…and I have been (en)couraged! Thank you, ladies!

  45. I love it! I don’t know where I’d be without many of my favorite blogs to read!
    They are a huge part of my sanity!
    I’m thankful for the beautiful women who share from there hearts!
    My life is blessed because of them. You rock too!

  46. I love reading Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience!
    Second place runner up would be Angie at Bring the Rain.
    So many of you write so wonderfully, thanks so much for encouraging me!!!

  47. I have so many favorites…how do I pick just one? I will just assume you all know about some of my favorites who write for incourage–like Emily from Chatting at the Sky and Nester and Holley Gerth–love them all! But I am going to give a shout out to Melinda at She writes about life as a mom and wife and homemaker with transparency, humor and insight. She is a recovering perfectionist who I totally relate to!

  48. Thanks Lisa-Jo I’v just “met” you via Incourage, but You’re rapidly becoming one of my favorites,
    A long time favorite of mine is Ann Voskamp. Wow! what an oasis of refreshment in Christ her blog is! I love to start my day soaking in encouragement from her and learning to put on thankfulness glasses to look at my life through.

  49. had no idea that was going on yesterday!! where was I? what a fabulous idea. it is so encouraging to know that others are reading and that God just might be using you.

  50. What a great idea. I wasn’ t a part of it but the comments (especially that honesty costs) makes me wish I had been.
    Brianna @ is such an encouragement on managing a home.
    Steady Mom shares real life stories and lessons learned, helping me in my own motherhood journey.
    And Beth @ Not a Bow in Sight makes me laugh and reminds me that others have “those days” just like me.
    Those (and incourage!) are my favorite blogs right now.

  51. This:
    “The honesty that sharing costs you … ”
    So true, Lisa- Jo. There is a cost — stripping it back and being bare. Writing is a terrifying call to come die.
    To be like the Word and lay yourself naked on an altar. There is no glory in it. It is the call to sacrifice. There is a cost and somedays I writhe.
    But there is only life in the giving away, in the laying it all down. And all of us out here on the bare blue screens, we do it for an audience of One; simply to be faithful to how He uniquely calls, even, especially, when it hurts. Christ calls for His daughters to wear no masks, but be Christ-beautiful in their real skin.
    And so many countless beautiful women, being faithful in the altar in quiet places, women who’s lives have changed mine:
    Emily at
    and Elise at and Tonia at
    and Linda at
    and *so many, many, many more*. Women who travel one post at a time togther, for *years*, who *do life* together.
    My whispered gratitude to *all* the women who write in quiet places, who lay down their lives , a sacrifice on the screen, to change lives.
    You have changed mine.
    Keep writing women, wherever you are, however you are! It matters. Eternally.
    I treasure each of you.
    Humbled by the stunning grace of community

  52. As a blogger who has both felt the loneliness on my side of the screen and a reader who has been touched by the gift others have given, I want to give a hearty AMEN!! 🙂
    There are so many amazing bloggers out there, which is already evident in all of these comments. Some I particularly love:
    Sarah Mae (
    Teri Lynne (
    and my friend Julie: (
    May God be lifted up in our lives!

  53. Monica at
    and Laura at
    and Heather at
    and Amy at
    And oh, see? I can’t stop!
    Is this how Jesus feels? … Loving us all the same — *all* His daughters His favorites?
    All, so cherished.
    Thank you, all bloggers, for being a light on a hill!
    In your words, we warm in the Hope of Christ…
    All’s grace,

  54. I hardly know where to begin. I spend more time than I should every day leaving comments because there are so many women I love for such varied reasons, and I can’t bear for them to think I am not interested in what they share.
    If pressed though, I must pick Ann Voskamp.

  55. Ann Voskamp is my favorite blogger. Before the holidays, I cleared out my Google Reader of everyone but family members who blog, one real life friend and Ann. I didn’t want the distraction of all the others. Ann’s words pull me back to the Center of my life like no other writer.

  56. Wow, so hard to pick just one! I’m a huge fan of Becca at because I love hearing about her ministry in Atlanta, my home town. We’re involved in similar lines of work and it’s inspiring to me how she makes it happen with her family. I’m definitely holding on to certain posts as advice for the future, when I have a family of my own. Thanks Becca!

  57. I enjoy the postings I read on In Courage. Lysa TerKeurst has really been hitting me between the eyes. Yesterday in her posting she talked about letting her children choose an item from the doller section at Target and then later watching them play with it at home knowing full well they will probably break it. That is right where I live. My husband gets irritated that I would buy something so small and flimsy. He wants things that are built to last. But I know that they enjoyed it all the way up to the moment it broke, even longer some times. Would I pay a doller to hear them laugh. You betcha!

  58. I didn’t know about the #ponyup challenge until today. I wish I had because I feel the exact same way. Do my thoughts in this cyber world matter?! I will definitely start posting comments more on any of the sites I visit.
    What got me started in this blogging world was “To Bring Him Glory…” Cari has such a sweet heart! If anyone is interested it’s What an amazing family!

  59. I love this whole website. Can’t log in daily but am always encouraged. My favorite to read is Ginny Martin. So real !!

  60. I loved this post. Affirmation from other bloggers and being able to spread some love are my favorite things about blogging. It helps give me purpose and is just a joy.
    I have two favorite bloggers…Jeanne Oliver from a Bushel and a Peck and Lissa from Humble Pie. Their blogs are inspirational, creative and just a joy to read. I’ve had the chance to meet them this year and it’s changed my life. These cyber-strangers have become real life friends and I am forever different because of that.

  61. I have a whole blog roll full of writers who inspire me, moms who amaze me and women who encourage me. But today I want to say thank you the Gypsy Mama, Lisa-Jo (} herself who has totally changed the way I view commenting and has blessed me tremendously in the past few days! I love your blog, I love your passion for your family and the Lord, I love your heart!

  62. Cowgirls –
    It has been a privilege of epic proportions to spend the day with you all. What a ride. What a collection of beautiful stories all shared and re-shared; all read and appreciated; all lovingly commented on. You have made this a Thursday to be remembered for a long time to come.
    Ride on; comment hard!

  63. It’s VERY difficult to choose a favourite, so I’m choosing TWO!…..
    Ann Voskamp at “A Holy Experience”
    Angie Smith at “Bring The Rain”
    I’m so thankful for ALL the blog posts I read. So many of them give me the (in)couragement I need; and I feel like when one of us has a problem, we ALL share in it together, to help one another through it, with the Lord’s help, of course!
    Keep these fabulous posts coming, ladies!
    ~Michelle Found
    Picton, Ontario, Canada

  64. I really really enjoyed reading this. This is the first time I’ve read about the ‘pony up’ challenge (what a funny word pony is when you read it!), and it just spoke to me. Because I DO feel that way sometimes wondering whether anyone else reads the secrets and funny stories (at least to me) that I’m typing. Thanks for sharing Lisa-Jo!
    One of my favorite bloggers is Annie Downs. I JUST started reading her the other day (literally…it was Wednesday), but I just couldn’t stop reading. I think because she and I seem very similar (we’re both single not-mom bloggers) and we’re both funny, or at least try to be.
    That being said, I just want to throw out there that Angie Smith is also one of my favorites and the blogger that actually led me to (in)courage. So, thanks Angie! 🙂

  65. …truly amazed and in awe of how my life has been influenced and my heart inspired by the blog community. from you I learn so much.. thank you…

  66. This is a great idea! I love reading Angie Smith Bring the Rain. I also have lost a daughter 8 years ago so everything she writes, resonates with me. I found her site through k-love, which led me to this site so I am so thankful. I love how Angie shares her heart and her love for the Lord.

  67. I am so thankful for this reminder to comment. I think we women have such a deep need for conversation and when the Internet allows our blogs to truly become that, it feeds us all. I love the challenges I receive at other blogs and the encouragement I get from other women on my own. Thanks, Lisa Jo! Another mom whose blog I enjoy is Jamie at Her picture of motherhood is both real and inspiring.

  68. This is truly incredible and inspiring!! I love a good round up. What beautiful creatures you all are. Kicking up the dust with you.
    I absolutely laugh at the true to life antics this blogger writes about every day. I’m always amazed at how her days go and how funny she writes. Her name is Mindy.

  69. hi lisa-jo,
    it looks like you started a revolution 🙂
    i eagerly read your blog everyday (and when there’s no new post, i browse old ones for hidden gems)…so i will try and comment more often.
    love your cuz

  70. Dear Lisa Jo, you’re a godsend!It is so out of this world real that God sends you the comfort you need through an angel, and for me that angel was you. You impressed upon my heart the truth of learning to trust God’s decisions in life through your blog IS THERE LIFE AFTER A NO?I haven’t been on other blog sites like yours , but I thank God for this wonderful start.I love the fact that he answers in subtle ways and truly allows us to reflect on what matters most to Him concerning our lives. Thanks a gazillion!