Lisa-Jo Baker
About the Author

Lisa-Jo is the best-selling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood. Her newest book, The Middle Matters: Why That (Extra)Ordinary Life Looks Really Good on You invites us to get a good look at our middles and gives us permission to embrace them.

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

Reader Interactions


  1. Lisa-Jo,
    I SO needed to read this, this morning. I could not sleep – thinking about my 21 year old unsaved son. The son who I called my Velcro child because he always clung to me. The son who has the same stubborn streak that I do. The son, who when I look in the mirror, I see myself. The son over whom I pray morning, noon and night. Thank you for reminding me that he is Chosen just as I was Chosen by Jesus knowing full well “all that I am and more importantly all that I am not.” I just texted him, “I love you, I love you, I love you!” He’ll probably look at the text and think oh my crazy mother, or maybe it will give him a glimpse of how much he is loved by his Heavenly Father? I don’t know…but it just seemed like the right thing to do…thank you again for a much needed post!

  2. Thank you Lisa-Jo, I’ve been there with my own son too. It’s so hard to navigate the waters of a stubborn strong and intelligent 8 yr old boy, to know exactly what to do. We are not always calm as mamas pushed to the edge BUT I am going to look for Jesus reflection in all things or try to see what He wants me to see. Thank you for being real x

  3. Hang in there! I have a son, who is now one of my best friends, that pushed my buttons and caused me to doubt myself as a person and as a mom. I thank God frequently for His grace to redeem the mistakes and fill in the missing pieces. I am a 65-year-old grandmother who is blessed by your blog. It is wonderful that you young moms can encourage each other this way.

  4. Thank you for this encouraging message this morning. I have three sons and between this weekend and even as late as yesterday there have been some “battles” but I’m grateful for God, His Word and encouraging words that give us moms hope and strength to learn and keep going.

  5. I SO get this, Lisa-Jo. Because this is ME. And these same types of thoughts have been swirling in my heart and soul recently and came spilling out in the wee hours of the morning for a post tomorrow. Funny how we mamas all struggle with the same things, eh? 😉 Thank you for the reminder to always and only focus on what Jesus sees. That’s the key, isn’t it? To reflect the image-bearer whose image we were created in. Love you, mb

  6. This is wonderful. Thank you. It brought to mind Erma Bombeck’s piece on how God chooses mothers of special needs children. He tells the angel that she will see prejudice and other people’s limitations…and be doing His work. She will also witness miracles and know it. He chooses her specifically for her strength, her limits and even her selfishness.

    Love it.

  7. As I read this, it was as if I was reading about myself. This is me, where I am right now. I have just been picked up off the floor and my weak feet are dancing. Thank you!!!

  8. Oh, me too, LJ. My oldest turned six today, and I spent the morning correcting him for taking toys and hitting, and we were both just so fed up. I see my temper in him, and it scares me. But God is teaching me to pray for us both when I don’t know what else to do. Thank you for this reminder to see what Jesus sees, in both of us.

  9. Goodness knows that there are many days lately that all I do is shout out “Jesus Help” you know what everyone needs and I trust you. I am finding myself getting calmer, after shouting that prayer. I also am finding if I start off whispering, then my decibel level stays quieter and the kids have to strain to hear and so do I. I don’t always know when to back off and when to hold my ground…….Sigh

    Thank you for this post.



  10. This is what I did when my kids were young.

    I did not get involved at all in their tantrums. They either had to go to their rooms to have them …. our of sight …. or if they fought …. they had to do it out of my sight.

    It made for a happier life for mummy and her boys.

    With my grandkids, no fighting when I’m around. Can’t handle it.

    Call me a chicken but it worked.

    My sons and I have a wonderful mother and son relationship ….. they love me to bits and I love them.

    But if I got involved in all of their overheated arguments I’d be dead by now cos they were horrendous. No kidding.

    Fighting one moment and then I find them looking out the window hugging each other, I love you. I love you too.

    I just never got involved.

    Does the term out of sight and out of mind ….. it worked well for me and all my relationships.

    Mother, father, sons, grandchildren, friends.

    Not that I don’t care. It’s emotions that are sudden but gone in a whisp.

    But it leaves us all broken up inside. Like you are.

    If it’s important it will come up again and again and again. Then after ten to twenty …. let’s sit down like normal people and let’s discuss it. Rationally.

    I surely hope this helps. It helps me. All my life. I try my best to evade arguments. Confrontations. It does no one any good at all. Least of all my good self.

  11. Oh Lisa-Jo, how my heart and my soul needed these words this morning. After an evening filled with anger and tears and too loud voices I needed this. My almost 11 year old, strong-willed son and 5th grade homework seem like they will be the undoing of both of us.

    And because God always wants to get His point across, what finally calmed the storm last night was when I was able to tell my son that we were the same….that I understood and now your words, reminding me again of the truth. I am going to keep your words close and pray that I remember to try and see what Jesus sees rather than my own shortcomings when I look at him. <3

  12. Wow, you just described my morning to a Tee. My youngest is my best friend….except when he’s not. He has his own set of issues, and I have mine. And sometimes, they collide in an explosion of words and emotion. Your reminder to see him through Jesus’ eyes? You put into words the thoughts Jesus has been weaving into my heart this morning.

    To see myself as Jesus sees me? I’m still working on this. Thank you for words that rubbed balm onto a weary mama’s heart.

  13. I feel very fortunate to have been a stay-at-home parent. Rarely did we HAVE to be any where at a given time. At melt down moments I was able to push the ‘pause button’ on life and stop everything while we hugged. This would give my little ones time to adjust to frustrating situations, while learning to accept them and carry on. I have friends and families with much busier lives who could not afford this luxury that I am grateful to have had.

  14. What a joy to be “chosen” by God. I could meditate on such a big thought all day. Chosen, hand-picked, personally loved… for the purpose of reflecting Him. He delivers us from evil and clothes us piece by piece into His glorious righteousness. As our kids watch us move through life, humbly putting off sin, graciously putting on righteousness, they too grow up learning how to look like Jesus.

  15. “This boy has dissected me. All these parts of myself I’ve never recognized, let alone acknowledged.”

    Truer words never spoken. I can so relate to this post. I have 3 boys (and 1 daughter…I’m not talking about her, but when I type that I have 3 boys, I can hear her in my mind saying, “HELLO? What about ME?”) and at one time or another in this whole parenting my boys thing, I’ve felt the same way: dissected. From one boy more than the others. And I never really knew how to put it into words until now.

    Because one day, we’re their best friend and confidant, and the next day…we want to strangle each other.

    Thank you for the reminder to see him as Jesus sees him…as a warrior for the Kingdom. He’s a Christian, but at 18 years of age, he still needs direction, guidance and discipline for sure. But mostly, he needs to know that he is CHOSEN.

  16. When our daughters were young and quickly growing up – I was so thankful for the wisdom of Dr. James Dobson. His books, his radio broadcasts were such a big help to me. Parenting challenges are new around every corner and just when you think you have learned how to handle one stage, off to the next stage! But I loved those years and the wonderful women my daughters are now.

  17. Lisa,
    oh God’s timing is so perfect. I receive the proverbs 31 devotionals, so you have encouraged me without knowing it before. Today, however, I was so frustrated with my 5 year old daughter who for the second day in a row refused to get dressed and I teach at her school, so being late was not an option.
    Oh the battles, I actually looked in the mirror in defeat today and questioned if God really gave her the right momma. If He could see how poorly I was handling it today and wouldn’t she be better off with a more gracious, loving, patient mommy?
    After this desperate admission of inability to control or do anything of my own strength, that sweet little head came into the bathroom and apologized.
    Still, your admission of anger and reflection, I no longer feel alone.
    Though I love Jesus with all my heart and have my whole life, my second born has been the refining fire of God in my life for the last three years.
    Thank you thank you thank you for validating this fight that we can still be His chosen ones and still feel like a miserable failure.
    I am still trying to understand grace, perhaps I never will.

  18. I can’t thank you enough for these words…I was blessed with a wonderful son after three girls and he being only two years old has rocked my world. Just today I asked God if He thought I could do this because clearly I cannot…my boy child is full of all boy aggression, the need to be in dirt, the need to scream and hit and overwhelm this momma on a daily basis. I am so thankful for his sweet little self yet worry I am not doing this right….the girls seem easy, he is God’s gift to refine me and I just need to stop during the day to see Jesus in the midst of it all. Thanks!

    PS I read your book and loved it!

  19. Lisa-Jo

    Love your writing and honesty! I don’t have children, but older parents and I don’t like what I see in the mirror either. I have my dad’s temper and attitudes. Thankfully we are CHOSEN by God to be His workman! He Chose we did not choose Him–AMEN!

    Blessings 🙂