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

Reader Interactions


  1. I grew up as a missionary kid in the Philippines, and even though poverty was at our doorstep (literally, next door), it still wasn’t something I was comfortable with as a teen and adult. I’ve learned I guess where God needs me to push through the awkwardness and where he is also using my own personality to say, *this isn’t for you* maybe you can empower someone else to do it. But it does all start with the willingness to be there and the willingness to be uncomfortable.

    • Yes, love that Devi – the difference between knowing where we’re called to serve and where it’s someone else’s assignment. And keeping our hearts willing all the way.

  2. Crystal,
    Thank you for your honest insights. I want to get on a plane to go and walk in the shoes of those I serve in Pakistan. As an American in a culture where some despise Americans may not be the safest idea. I do dream of the day when I can hug the innocent children I support over there through Redeemer Christian School. I imagine it is VERY awkward entering a world that is so foreign to ours, but that’s what Christ calls us to do. The only way we can touch is if we GO.

  3. One time I prayed, “I’ll do anything, God, just don’t send me to Africa.” I’m sure he was laughing at me in His loving way, no doubt planning how He could send me to Africa. ; ) I love the honesty of the message in this post. When we reach out to other people, there’s a good chance it’s going to get awkward. We might feel weird or wonder if we even should have tried. But it’s good. Awkward isn’t to be avoided at all cost — letting fear stop us from loving each other is what we really need to try to avoid.

    • I just had to comment…. I prayed the exact same thing. “Lord, I’ll follow you anywhere, but please don’t send me to Africa.” Imagine my surprise when my husband accepted a job 5 years ago…..yes….in AFRICA! I also love the quote in the blog – Embrace the awkward and you’ll get to experience the awesome”. Thankfully God brings us through the awkward and we experience the awesome as we learn to lean on Him – even in Africa! 🙂

  4. Crystal, I loved reading your lessons learned and joys experienced. I’m a girl who also doesn’t like stepping outside my comfort zone. 🙂 But I grow when I do.

    I loved this line: “Embrace the awkward and you’ll get to experience the awesome.”

    I’ve definitely been in awkward situations, but I love that it’s sometimes through those times that God leads us through doorways to see His awesome works.

  5. Thank you for the open honesty in this article and getting into our uncomfortableness. There have been many as of late, but I am recalling one a while back when the Lord called on me to join our local Rescue Mission and wash the feet of the homeless and the drug users who live on the streets. I had done this many times before in the safety of my church but….. To my surprise I was called on to wash the feet of a man in his 30s (I am 78). I had no idea what to say so I kept reminding this man that God loves him. The more I spoke of God’s love for him, the more he cried and cried. When he could not stop, they called on the male chaplain of the Mission who calmed him down to a degree. Thus started my volunteer services at the Mission going out with the Rescue Mission van and 3-4 others (one a chaplain in charge) on the streets to hand out food and drink. It has been 2 years now, but I can now sincerely speak to these folks of God’s love for them and see some amazing responses. The biggest change has been in my heart. Thank you Jesus!

  6. Lisa-Jo,
    Love reading your posts! It can be scary, awkward and hard to step out of your comfort zone and go somewhere you’ve never been. Take heart God will always go with you! Years ago I was involved in Emmaus Walks (weekends based on walk to Emmaus). They also did Kairos Walks (same thing done in prisons). I went and helped out in the kitchen. Cooking for the team and the prisoners on the walk. Scary part was going into the prison (maximum security) main room and seeing those prisoners face to face. The best part–getting the applause for the good food, seeing tears on eyes of some who got their first birthday cake ever!! Nothing can replace those memories!!
    I would tell everyone do what you can when you can where you can as often as you can–& step out of your comfort zone! It will be wildly exciting & a God-lead adventure!

  7. Thank you for sharing this story. Thank you for the reminder sometimes we have to just push through the awkward to get to the awesome. Bless you both.