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. Lisa-Jo,
    What a great example your son was setting – we can learn so much from our young ones. Having moved around the country quite a bit, I know that “new-girl-in-town-knows-nobody” feeling….it stinks. But, God. In all those new beginnings was a fresh chance to trust God. I would cling to this verse of scripture from Exodus 23:20:
    “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. ”
    I had to trust God had prepared a place for me where I was going. He provides the doorway and then I need to step through it. I needed to extend my hand in friendship first many of times. I had to deal with rejection, but when I did finally find a kindred spirit it was so worth the effort. Like you said, being willing to take off the mask and be real invites others to do the same. I think true friendship can only be found when you take off your masks together. Wonderful post and give your son a big hug for the perseverance he showed and the lesson he taught us. He’s a blessing! Loving your book!
    Blessings to you,
    Bev xx

    • Love this verse Bev, thanks for sharing it!
      And Lisa-Jo, thank you for this lovely reminder that it’s okay to show up “as is”. I’m still a new girl here, and I definitely lose courage every time I’m faced with rejection (or worse, silence), or every time I open a door that means closing another one. Looking forward to reading your book!

      • Addie,
        Lifting you up in prayer for perseverance to keep extending that hand of friendship as the new girl in town and peace that God will never leave you nor forsake you and in the promise that He has already prepared a place for you where you now find yourself. Keep stepping through those new doors – just as you are! He is trustworthy…
        Blessings,
        Bev xx

      • Addie,

        Praying God will send good lasting friends your way. Keep persevering and trusting God. Soon He will answer your prayers. He wants us in community! I’m believing that with time and patience God will come through for you!

        (((((Hugs)))))

  2. My second born is quite the social bug. In the past, I’ve selfishly kept her play dates to friends within the church so that I had an excuse to bond more with their mothers whom I already had an established relationship. But Henley’s arms reach wide and she embraces borders that I try and tell myself mine won’t reach. She comes home with chicken-scratched phone numbers on the back of lunchroom napkins so that I can contact the mothers of these new friends from her public school. Friends whose mothers I don’t know.

    In the beginning, I used every excuse in the book – and oh, did I have quite the book! But, after a time, I began to see how incredibly persistent she was to build on these new friendships. She’s void of shy bones that might keep her more reserved like her older sister. Like her mother…

    Today, I pick up the phone and call and I’m finding that on the other end of the line are women just like me. Women who are apprehensive in stretching out toward those boundaries but eager as ever once someone makes the first move.

    How silly of me to think that couldn’t be me. 😉

    • This line is EVERYTHING: “She comes home with chicken-scratched phone numbers on the back of lunchroom napkins ” oh I love that so much. Yea, there’s nothing like our kids to force us out of our friendship comfort zone is there 🙂

  3. Lisa-Jo, I so appreciate your transparency. I need the constant reminder that it’s ok to have those un-photoshopped pieces. That even though I often feel out-of-control about them, maybe God wants to use them to create better friendships. So thankful He has a master plan. Thankful for your post.

  4. “Letting people into the places where I am the most real.”
    So risky and yet so transformational. Thank you for persevering in hope with your son, and for taking the lesson to heart in your own grown up world.

  5. When I moved across the country 22 years ago after an embarrassing divorce, I had to meet everyone new . I was amazed at how easy it became because I was accepted as me wth no preconceived notions of my past. A great experience that has continued all the years.it becomes easier with practice!

  6. Lisa-Jo, your post helps me feel normal. I’ve moved many times throughout my entire life and have grown from it I’m sure. But, it’s often not fun to be in a “foreign” land. Reading your post reminds me new beginnings are challenging for everyone. I love your challenge to us to “go first” and to let people see the un-photoshopped parts of our lives. I love the way your son persisted by thinking the best of his new playmate. Such a lesson for us.

  7. It can be so hard to let others in. The boundaries we unconsciously set, to protect our hearts, have been in place a long time. As I m reading this book, I’m praying for God to tear down the strongholds. God did not give us a spirit of fear. In him we can become more than conquerors.

  8. I love your commitment to relationships, Lisa-Jo. It’s inspiring and always timely. The best part is that God is speaking through you to keep encouraging His people to gather, to gather, and to not give up. Thank you. (By the way, I think you would love Tim Lane’s “Relationships: A Mess Worth Making”.)

  9. Lisa-Jo,

    Love your writing and openness. God bless your son for his perseverance. We adults put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best. Can’t show the icky parts of life-they won’t like us we fear. Kids have a way of just being themselves and making friends. Growing up I was the shy kid who didn’t have many friends. Years later I’m a bit more outgoing and have some really good friends. It has taken some work on my part. I let the messy me show up and just be me. Surprisingly people like that. When they know they can be themselves around you it’s freeing. God is always with you so we are NEVER UNFRIENDED!

    Blessings 🙂

  10. I’m a little behind in my e-mails. Really like this one. I don’t like getting out of my comfort zone and right now going through a renovation with replacing all the flooring in the house. Don’t want people to see the mess as we pack up. But I shouldn’t worry about that. I’m not good at being vulnerable because I have been hurt deeply. Need to let go and let God. I need to start inviting people over even if the house is a little messy. New flooring stacked all over the place right now too. Thank you for writing this.