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

Reader Interactions


  1. yep. even when all that comes out is a whisper. or a choked-out sputter of faith that it is true that eternity is long and my mom will be there and we will have great times together there. that relationships will last and all the bad will be undone. my mom died last may. thanks for this post!

  2. Thank you for this post. My biological mom passed when I was 7 years old. She died of Lupus. While my dad has since remarried and I have a lovely new mother who adopted me as her own, there is still not a Mothers Day that goes by where I do not reflect on my mothers legacy.

  3. Lisa-Jo,
    Tears reading your letter to your mom…what a beautiful tribute to her…I know she hears from Heaven! How proud she would be of you!!

    Because of distance, I am unable to be with my beautiful mother who turns 80 today. How fitting that this remarkable woman would turn 80 on Mother’s Day. My heart yearns to celebrate with her even though we will celebrate in another month. As I get older, I am 53, I love, miss and appreciate my mom and her sacrifices even more. I don’t know how much longer I will have her with me on this earth, but I am trying to live life very intentionally when we get together – treasuring each moment God gives us.
    Thank you for a real post…for a day that is happy and hard to bear at the same time…

  4. Oh gosh, you brought a flood of tears to my eyes. So beautifully written. My mom is still alive, 84, and today I will spoil her to over-flowing with blessings and love. She’s failing in health though, and I am thankful for the time I have with her.
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to your mother Lisa Jo.

    I too will be thinking of all the cherished memories I have of my mother today. And feeling blessed that I will be able to share this day with my boys. Although not with my daughter.

    all in all I feel as you quoted… “It is well with my soul.”

    Blessings to all this day,


  6. Oh Lisa-Jo…so moved again by your words full of passion and heartache and the joy and truth of each and every one of them. I love getting to be invited on your journey through your words and I’m so SO thankful for you and how you are plowing the way to brave and how it’s making a way for all of us to follow. . .whatever that may be. Sending so much love to you and for you today, friend. xoxo

  7. “…Because you can be sad and you can be well at the same time…”.
    Yes, indeed.
    This hymn holds a special place in my heart. You would add another category to the list at the bottom to include me, as moms whose laps are missing one. <3
    Thank you for sharing this from your heart.

  8. Maybe our mothers are rejoicing together in heaven as they join in that sweet cloud of witness of our lives. Beautifully written dear. Happy Mother’s Day! <3

  9. Dear Lisa-Jo,
    I cannot thank you enough for your words and thoughts. Tears come forth as I remember my mother, dead now these past 33 years. She never got to enjoy her two granddaughters.
    The others have expressed how I feel and I do not think I could do any better, so again, thank you and God bless you and yours, always. Wish I had the money to purchase your new book, “Surprised by Motherhood”, I am sure that I would enjoy it and then I could share it with my daughter of two beautiful adopted children. Thank you for your words and memories as I spend this day alone.

  10. Dear Lisa-Jo,
    I just finished reading Surprised by Motherhood yesterday as I enjoyed a pedicure all by myself (ahh!) while my husband watched our beautiful, spunky daughters (age 2 and 4)! Thank you for the gift of sharing your story with us and inspiring us to see God’s grace in the mundane, the miracles, and the frustrations of motherhood. I loved re-reading your letter to your mother along with the pictures of your children. Thank you, Lisa-Jo, for being a cheerleader for us who are in the trenches of mothering!

  11. Lisa Jo, this is so beautiful. I also lost my mother 9 years ago. She was 44. I often think about if my life is cut short like hers then I only have 13 years left. My dad died at 41. So I completely understand the scariness of life with the unsurity.

    Ironically, I wrote a post last week titled “It is Well with My Soul”

    I guess that song really resounds with so many. Thank you for the beautiful post. It’s hard to miss my mom who was a beautiful and tragic soul all at the same time, especially on Mother’s Day.

    I bet your mother would be so proud and impressed with how amazing you turned out!


  12. What a beautiful tribute…it moved me in so many ways.

    We all have different ‘mom’ stories on this day. Some, like you, had great ones that left too soon. Some have great moms with them today….moms who are all kinds of love & support. I have a different situation.

    She is alive, but doesn’t seem to like me very much. And that pain is all the more exquisite because it’s not that she can’t love: she gives of herself quite well to my brothers – but not so much to my sister & I. Don’t know why. It’s her issue I have come to realize. And I know she does the things she does out of some damaged place in her heart, so I do my best to forgive again & again. But it hurts.

    And I am also one of those women who find that today stings because I never had the joy of children of my own…so today is a day that is fraught with all kinds of feelings. Happy for all those who have wonderful stories, confused by my own.

    But I definitely holding onto hope ‘because you can be sad and well at the same time’.

    ‘ …and I still believe every hard, awful word to be true. That we can sing though the heavens crash open and the world comes pouring down around us. We can raise our eyes and our voices to the hills, where our help comes from, and sing. Even when all that comes out is a whisper.

    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    “It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

    By the way, I loved this thought: “I bought knee-high boots last year — the first pair since the ones I owned when I was eighteen. I think you’d like them. They’re a burnt umber kind of suede, and they make me feel brave”.

    *I can relate to the boot thing. Though it’s near summer, I may go buy a pair if I still can find some, just to remind me to continue being brave in this life of mine that doesn’t make much sense right now.

    Thank you for your words…I can’t relate to them exactly, but the beauty of word-art is that, if done well (and this was), you can find something to make your own.

  13. Lisa-Jo,

    From the moment I read this post I knew you had written it. Tears were streaming down my face as I miss my mother more this year than ever. (she died in 2009 from sundowner’s and dementia–was bedridden for 2 years prior. Basically I lost her in 2007 when I was 42.)

    This mother’s day weekend has been kind of hard for me as I’m now watching my almost 89 yr. old father’s dementia worsening. I guess it all seems surreal that I may be parentless soon.

    Blessings 🙂

  14. Thank you Lisa-Jo for such an heartfelt post. I too sat in a pew and sang at my Mothers funeral….I was just 17 and I thought I would never heal again. I now have four beautiful children and one son-in-law. I often see my kids and think of how much joy and pleasure she would have found in them. She was 42 and far too young to die…I’m 47 now….yes, she was far too young to die. Thank you for making me think of and remember my Mum but more than that, for helping me to know that there are others out there who feel just like I do. Xx

  15. Ooh dear. I lost my mom when I was 15 and so this brings tears to my eyes. My lively and lovely grandsons are here and you arent here to show me how to be a grandmother. I know God forgives me for not even being the best mother and yet my three adult children honored me today. So thankyou God and you Lisa-Jo. Alice Covet

  16. Thank you.. thank you for this. So beautiful. You’re mother would be.. no, she IS so proud of you.
    And I can relate to her.. I speak those languages.. love books. I wasn’t given children of my own in this life, my husband died when he was 45, I was 42. We were blessed with everyone else’s children, our lives overflowed with friends who shared their children with us. I want to thank you for acknowledging we “Mothers” we have no children of our own.. yet we are mothers to many in our own right. Blessings and peace to you Jo.

  17. Thank you very much for everything you wrote. I will send this to someone (because someone sent it to me!) who would so much need to hear your words and the many comments. GOD BLESS.

  18. Lisa-Jo,

    What a beautiful post and tribute to your Mom. I love how you introduced her to your darling kiddos and see the connection in genes. My Mom died when I was 32 and I didn’t have my first son until I was 39, and the second at 41. I often think similar words to what you wrote, and I will copy your idea and actually pen a letter to her. It’s never easy to not have our Mom know our kids, but like you I am raising boys who will one day meet her in heaven!

    Thank you for such a beautiful and heartfelt post. I look forward to reading your new book!

  19. Tears here too… This was my first Mother’s Day without my mum, what an emotional ride that was… Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. X

  20. This post.

    Made me catch my breath. Made me remember. The way you write about your Mom…is like everything I feel and want to say about mine. I miss her so much. I AM sad and I AM well…I totally get that statement. Thank you so much for sharing today.

  21. I absolutely loved your story! It will be 29 years since I lost Mama. She never got to meet her grandson. But what I do know is that her words of wisdom and humble spirit lives on through my son Rory. I still miss her dearly. I know in my heart that Mama & Papa are watching over us.

  22. Lisa-Jo, this touched my heart profoundly today. Thank you for your vulnerability, your color, and your wisdom. I pray your Mother’s Day was blessed…<3

  23. That was an absolutely beautiful post. What a wonderful tribute to your Mom and what awesome memories you have. I lost my Mom in 2003 and I still miss her and think of her everyday. She adored my sons though they were so young when she passed. I had a wonderful Mother-in-Law also who passed in 2007.