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.

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  1. “These bodies that are in the service of the King who sculpted them out of sinew and His own Spirit.” Amen! Just what all of us ladies need to hear – thank you Lisa-Jo. May GOD bless you as you continue to minister to and to encourage us x

      • I don’t have any biological children. Life didn’t deal me that hand of cards. However, I have taken care of many children and others along the way. So, I can totally relate to the toll it takes on the body. It’s been stretched and strained. So, thanks for your story. It did give me a new outlook on my image.

        • Yes and amen, Angie – all the million and one ways we mother whether we gave birth to the kids or not – we are stretched out and changed all the same. Love this.

  2. Lisa Jo-
    Thank you for these words…this sweet reminder. In a world of “selfies” it is okay to just be ourselves. God created us in all shapes and sizes. We need to accept that…judge less…love more. Our bodies are sanctuaries to be glorified by the presence of others…especially children…I’ll let the kids bounce on my “fluff” today with some tickle tackle time! Thanks for reminding me that if my hips are fuller…it is a good thing…these hips are extensions of God’s kingdom growing! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love,
    Jenn

  3. Lisa-Jo,
    I recently purchased rather expensive scar cream to help conceal scars from recent foot surgery. Why are we always trying to conceal or cover up something? These are the feet that have walked the floors at night consoling fussy babies back to sleep. These are the feet that played hide and seek with my son in the pines behind our house. These are the feet that traipsed the neighborhood with my daughter selling girl scout cookies. These are the feet that pushed the gas pedal and stood around for many a dance team practice or ice hockey game. These are the feet that have served in many ways for His Kingdom. I should be proud of those scars!

    Thanks to your post and Robin’s about “laughing lines” I am taking a little different look at this 53 year old body. You are so encouraging and I commend you for reminding us of God’s perspective on our bodies that were so carefully knit together!
    Blessings to you,
    Bev

  4. This is so very true I love it I am 32 years old and built bigger but at least I can let my feminine side out in the privacy if my own bathroom . I have learned to love my body the way God create it to be and will take great joy in one day if God ever chooses to bless me with a husband will show it off lol :)it’s not about looks anyways but about the internal spirit of a person when you love who you are loving how you looks comes with it ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Can you keep preaching? Because no matter how many times I read from you that we are precious, that we are amazing, that the work we are doing is more valuable than we feel that it is, that our bodies don’t have to look the way the world says they should or we have failed- I still need to hear it. I hear it today and either by the end of today or the start of tomorrow, I will need to hear it again. The world does not applaud this behind the scenes job- the one where there is no clocking out or paid time off.

    So- Thank you. Thank you for speaking words of truth. I needed to hear them today. And I’ll need to hear them tomorrow.

  6. Love this!!! And I love these reminders that those soft squishy parts of me that I sometimes loathe while looking in the mirror housed humans – a feat that is not for the faint of heart. Also… my breath caught with that first picture of your son over the pool… I can only imaging what yours must’ve done witnessing that!!! {hugs}

    • Man that was such a lucky phone camera capture – and thankfully he landed in a dive and not a belly flop ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Worship in your wrinkled body, in your swimwear! Love the freedom that you preach so beautfully here. Thank you for ministering to my mind, soul, and body today.

  8. Isn’t it Mater in Cars 2 who comments he wants to not fix his scars because he “comes by each of them with his best friend”? Each ding and mark are evidence of life, evidence of a story, a moment. I loved this post, Lisa!! What an excellent reminder to embrace life, savor it instead of wish it were something else. Thank You!!

  9. Oh, how God used you to minister to me today. Thank you, thank you, thank you. With a big social event this weekend, the first since giving birth to my second baby, I have been feeling less than. Less than perfect, less than pretty, and less than worthy. Your writing reminded me what a beautiful blessing my wider hips are, my tired eyes are, and my mommy tummy is…They all mean I am blessed by God to have two beautiful babies.

  10. Thank you for seeing freedom where I see only a curse. I cried while I read your post today. If you saw a pic of me you wouldn’t think I am fat, but I do. After three kids (all c-sections) and health issues the past year I have cried many tears that I am never going to be able to exercise my brains out and eat next to nothing to be at the weight of my former self. Thank you so much for your words today that allowed me to see myself as more than not as skinny as I was. Thank you!

    • I think the Father must see us all as full – so full of life and the beauty of mothering and the wonder of birthing babies. How He must love all our creases and lines, dips and curves – all laughing with the wonder of co-creating life with Him. Let’s only weigh that – that wonder of being a partner with the God of the Universe in bringing life into the world!

  11. Thanks for this amazing reminder of who we are, Lisa-Jo! At 51, I’m still struggling with the changes my body is experiencing these past few years, but every day I try to readjust my thinking. Thanks for always reminding of us of who we are and to whom we belong. We are most cherished!

    • So most cherished! And I’m not immune to this struggle either – I’m just trying to put it in the context of how God sees me – all of us – and writing it is preaching to myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. A 56 year old body will never be what our mind wishes. But I loved how you celebrated what we do–picking up socks and broken hearts. I always like how you put your words together that sings their way into my heart. ~Pamela

    • Hey there Pamela –

      maybe not what a mind wishes, but what a soul hopes for? Yes that, that is where all the beauty lies, if we have the eyes to see. Thank heaven our Father God does! Thank you for the lovely encouragement.

  13. – this is so wonderful and such a good perspective- thank you for this breath of life and truth spoken to my morning!!!

  14. As I am getting ready to rush out the door to take my teen daughter to the pool, I am so glad I read this post today. Timely words to remind me of truth I should know by now at 54 years of age! ;D
    “By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dented bodyโ€ฆ Scars and stretch marks and muffin tops are all part of your kingdom work.” Absolutely love that!!
    God bless you for sharing, encouraging and being so honest. I so enjoy your posts!

  15. I just had our 4th baby 3 months ago and all I can think about is the 15 lbs hanging on around my stomach and putting on a bathing suit (or costume as we say in S Africa–and I will try to think of it as my super mom costume :)). Thank you for a post like this. Wonderful!

    • We say “cozie” here too and my poor kids can never understand why their friends here look at them in confusion ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s to cozies and mommies celebrating summer in the pool! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Sweet encouragement to remain in the joy and moment of today…in a society that urges us to keep grasping for the yester-years. Daily bread reminds us to celebrate His provision today–which includes sweet moments in swimsuits, too!!

  17. Oh, Lisa-Jo. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

    I remember going to a water park with my kids and running into a friend. There I stood in my plus-size-who-cares swimsuit, dripping wet and having a ball, while she, with her size-six body, was fully dressed, confessing that she couldn’t possibly wear a bathing suit, because they made her look fat. Bless her heart. So, she sat on the sidelines while her kids had fun without her.

    Sisters, DO NOT GO THERE. Put on that suit and DIVE IN!

  18. Hi Lisa-Jo,

    I love your perspective. I will be 53 this summer, and was just feeling dumpy and lumpy. I was in very good shape six years ago with diet and exercise. Life just kept happening with gall bladder surgery, and appendicitis, and kidney infections that were just shy of a blood infection. All needing recovery. Then our two little boys came into our lives and more padding came with their constant care.

    I need to change my thoughts. This is the body my little boys climb onto for a soft lap, or held against a soft place for their cuddles or comforts. I like the term “cozies” I will pick up that phrase because it says so much more than swimsuit, but encompasses my body as well. I’m sure God does look down and smile with pleasure for our bodies too in the way it has been stretched to care for others.

  19. When did this start anyway? The first woman who looked down and thought, “I should look different.” Physical appearance has such a tug on the daughters of God. Set us free, Lord. C-section scars and all. Thanks, Lisa-Jo!

  20. Oh man. Needed this. Been swimsuit shopping after baby #2 and though the weight is gone, everything is a bit droopy where it should be, according to every swimsuit maker, taut and flat. Oh how I needed this reminder to jump right in with my two beautiful little girls, and make memories instead of focusing on everyone else’s Instagram shots.

  21. Confession. I did not take my son to a birthday party for his friend last week because it was at a pool. Which would mean I would have to be in the pool. With strangers and my three-year old pulling my top down. Not that there is anything to show, but still. I am kind of glad I didnโ€™t read this before last weekโ€ฆI may have actually felt led to go to the party. And then I may have some horror story to tell. I do love this from the author you quoted, though, “Scars and stretch marks and muffin tops are all part of your kingdom work.โ€ That is the best thing Iโ€™ve heard in ages. Muffin tops are part of kingdom work! Hooah! (That said in a loud, manly Marine-type voice.) Love you and your words. You empower and encourage in glorious ways, always. <3, Meredith

  22. I love today’s post. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m 56 years old, a momma, and a Meemaw. I still have a hard time accepting my body the way it is. One diet after another, always thinking I’ll be better when I lose a few pounds. Seriously… How many of us (really) want the shape of our bodies to be our legacy? probably none of us. I want to be remembered for being kind, helpful, and loving. No one cares how much I weigh, but they do care about the way I treat them!
    Lisa

  23. Love your writing…loved your book. You hit the nail on the head with this post.

    “…created for…much more than a swimsuit…”

    LOVE.

  24. Lisa-Jo, these words.
    I’m all choked up.
    I think I would like you.
    I think, if we met, I would like you a lot.
    I have been struggling with the body image deep down quite a bit lately.
    So, thank you.
    Thank you for being in my face and writing words to remind me of who I REALLY am and what my purpose REALLY is.
    I will pick my chin up and enjoy my weekend with intention. Me and this head-to-toe of imperfections.
    Thank you!
    ~kathy

  25. Spending as many Saturdays as we can at the nearby beach we see a lot. Far along pregnant bellies in bikini’s and some softer, rounder women comfortable with their extra bits. I admire their confidence even as I try to cover my own motherly hips. We’re making progress, though, I believe we are! Thanks Lisa-Jo. Such a wonderful word to share and encourage.

  26. Lisa Jo, thank you for this post! I’m not a mom but I am always so self conscious of my body. I can’t help but think of those words in Scripture “fearfully and wonderfully made!”

  27. It really is amazing how God co-creates with us in our bodies and brings forth beautiful life! My body definitely needs some work because I want to feel better and be more energetic as a Mom and Wife and for all of the other roles I play; however- my belly that will never be super toned and my stretch marks that will always reside in those spots, are nothing to be ashamed of. Your post reminded me of this wonderful truth. I am always in such awe when I look at my boys- ages 2 and 6 and remember that they were actually GROWN inside of me. It still gives me goosebumps and chills. Our bodies are amazing because of our amazing God who created them! Thank you for the reminder!

  28. Oh how I needed this! Though I am very fortunate to have a husband that tells me almost daily how beautiful I am, I as most do say oh thanx & move on or say nothing at all. I see our 6 kids when I see me. I see what illness did. But darn it all I am who I am suppose to be. I am the Woman that lights up my Husbands face at a glance. I am doctor, lawyer, Indian Cheif or any other hat that’s needed & that’s ok. I’m built to be that!

  29. I think I will share this with my new doctor who said my 62 year old body is obese. She is young and hasn’t experienced life that dents and dings our bodies. Thank you for reminding me that I need to give myself grace.

  30. Thank you! I was just a bit, okay a lot, jealous of a frien who has already gotten back to her pre-pregnancy weight after having her baby on June 10. My baby is 15 months old. I have to remember she is much younger than I. I am 40 and have had thyroid issues since I was 14 months old. So, I have to give myself a break. Thank you for posting this!

  31. This is perfect timing for me as I am getting ready to go to the pool with my hubbie and almost one year old today ๐Ÿ™‚ I have felt a little bummed because my body is just not what it used to be. I forget that the stretch marks I now have are beautiful, because they are a sign of life. Thank you for this timely reminder for my heart!

  32. I am owning my body and wearing my suit, anyway. Over 50, over the ovaries, over the number on the scale or the number on the tape measure. The cottage cheese thighs are here to stay, no matter how much I exercise.

    My sisters and I laugh because we now have a collection of bathing suit Sarong – to cover up everything has gone so wrong!

    We are not 18, 28, 38, or even 48 any more. And, can I tell you? The fun you have in life and the smile you wear is the best cover for any well-loved body, to give it back that youthful look!

    Well said, Lisa-Jo!

  33. I guess single, unmarried women don’t exist or don’t have any worth in your world? I’ve never seen muffin top in my Bible. I don’t think muffin top equals holiness. What an insensitive post.

    • Lisa-Jo,

      Thank you for telling it like it is. God made us in His image and we should be proud of our bodies. I have never tried to hide anything. If people don’t like the way I look then I say Phooey! This body, while never having kids, has been through 49 years of living.

      Blessings ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rachel,

      Forget my first reply. Big mistake!

      There are posts on this blog for and about single people. This one is not necessarily about being married and having children. It is more about loving your body. She trying to tell women to love the body that they have and don’t try to hide it.

      Too often in today’s society people, especially women, look at magazine covers and actresses and think they should be like them–nice skinny, etc. Most of us older people are not like that. We are who God created us to be.

      Blessings ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Oh Rachel, this post is only a few of many thousands of words Lisa-Jo has written. Have you read her life’s story? Please pick up a copy of Surprised By Motherhood and get to know her story and her very sensitive heart.

    Not everyone is in the same place or the same life path, and not meant to be. You are where God wants you to be, and where he wants me to be. Believe me, I could have some words with Him about being almost 58, my very fit and thin body now only a memory since menopause took over at 53. And then there’s my empty nest and seemingly perpetual unemployment (read: no money, no fun).

    I wish for all of us to allow and honor each other’s paths, rather than allowing any foothold for the enemy to make us believe we are less than or more important than another. It takes a heart felt desire to submit to God’s timing for our heart’s desires.

    Thanks Lisa-Jo for an encouraging piece. I also loved Robin’s “Laughing Lines!”

    • Suggesting that Rachel read a book about motherhood when she’s implied she is not a mother is in poor taste.

      Perhaps Rachel is reacting to the fact that so many of the blog posts on this site are addressed to married mothers with little regard to those who are single and childless. Something that the administrators of this site refuse to acknowledge or address.

      • Jennifer, the suggestion to read the book was not so she could read about motherhood; rather, to read Lisa-Jo’s life story. Motherhood is a part of it, but it goes back to her childhood, into the present. It’s a good way to get to know her heart–child, teenager, single adult, married, and mother.

        I understand feeling marginalized by a group centered on a single demographic. Women at my age and stage of life all feel the same way. We feel old and weird inside the church, marginalized in favor of the golden millenial generation, instead of a group who has much to share from our experience.

        I hope that lends some clarification to my earlier post. No offense intended, whatsoever.

  35. Lisa-Jo, I always love your posts, your thoughts and your writing. But this one struck me to the core. Thank you for allowing the Spirit to guide these beautifully written words. I needed (and continue to need) to hear them…this topic is such a struggle for me. You are the bomb-dot-com!

  36. Oh, Lisa-Jo… You bring tears to my eyes with the mercy, grace, and acceptance pouring from your fingertips and into my heart. Thank you for doing such amazing work in His name. Saying out loud what we (I) feel deep inside, and helping us to accept and love ourselves for who and what we are despite what society thinks we should be. Thank you just doesn’t seem to express the gratitude I feel for your ministry, but… Thank you.

  37. Lisa-Jo,

    Thank you for telling it like it is. God made us in His image and we should be proud of our bodies. I have never tried to hide anything. If people don’t like the way I look then I say Phooey! This body, while never having kids, has been through 49 years of living.

    Blessings ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. LOVE it! Just finished your book while at the beach in my swimsuit. First vacation in a long time where I just enjoyed my family and the strong able body my creator made. Thank you for the fresh and freeing perspective.

  39. Let’s be honest we can say all that stuff about how it doesn’t matter how we look or what size we are till the cows come home but we all know it does matter. Especially if you are a woman. I have been both fat and not fat so I am well aware of the ways that the fat are treated differently. Both men and women act this way and you will not find a husband if you are fat. Then all the good and well meaning christians will say it only matters what God thinks…. sounds good in theory but not so much in real life. Hard to live that out when it is not how the real world works. I wish it were so….

  40. Thank you for sharing this morning with me. It gave me a reality check. I’m a retired teacher who loved seeing my middle schoolers grow up to be awesome adults. God continues to use me in helping seniors now. God continues to give me strength daily to keep moving. I don’t have a good looking body any more but it had come in handy for what I do daily. Bless you as you continue to spread his word.

  41. I love what you wrote about our scars, stretch marks, and muffin tops. Thanks for your encouragement. Good for an 86 year old mother of three. My “mommy tummy” never went down, but it makes a pretty good shelf for holding great grand-babies. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m thankful for who I am and for “whose” I am.

  42. Wonderfully encouraging. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. If people don’t like what they see when they look at us…they can look somewhere else…hahaha!!!!!!!!