06 Oct 2014

When Liking Our Kids Is Harder Than Loving Them: Book Club Week 5: Chps 10 & 11

“And to do this, the heavenly Father had to unwrap His arms from around His only Son.  Unmake the closeness.  Break more than the ties of flesh and blood.  And heaven itself cracked open when He let go of His Son and reached for me.”~ Surprised by Motherhood.


Welcome to week 5 of the Surprised by Motherhood Book Club. Here’s how it works each week:

Every Monday: Discussion video posted on the blog – feel free to leave your questions in the comments.

Every Wednesday: A discussion around some of your questions on the blog.

Every Friday: A Free, Useful, help-you-hold-onto-your-sanity Printable posted on the blog for all book club readers.

OK, grab yourself a cup of something warm and a few quiet minutes of mom-time alone and read along with me.


Chp 10: How to Fall in Like

Chp 11: When You’re Scared Motherhood Means Missing Out on Your Life

{If you haven’t already – you can pick up a copy over here.}


book club week 6

Chapters 10 & 11: digging into my most tender chapter in the book – Chapter 10 – that deals with temper and learning to fall in like with my fiery middle son was good to do with two women who can relate. 

Kristen Strong has three kids and years of experience wrangling the passionate temperaments that can sometimes leave me feeling like all the wind has been knocked out of me. She’s a word sister and parenting mentor and military wife – so her wisdom has been gold to me in these hard parenting times.

Alia Joy also is a mom to three, lives in the Pacific Northwest and writes such beautiful truth about the tensions we moms all live in between wanting to follow our passions and balancing that with the needs of our families.

I’m so grateful for the truths they’ve spoken into my life – join us as we get real honest about the real hard moments of motherhood that can leave a mama gasping for breath in frustration.

Click here if you can’t see the video.


Take a few moments today to think through the questions below and feel free to share your answers in the comments. Or use them as you talk through the book in your MOPS group or with your book club.

Chp 10: How to Fall in Like

  • Describe your relationship with your mother-in-law.  What took getting used to, and what has been a blessing?
  • How has being a parent helped you to worship God more deeply?
  • How has your role as a mother given you a deeper understanding of the Father’s love for you?
  • In what ways are you able to see and understand your children better by looking at yourself, like Lisa-Jo’s experience of ’seeing her son with a mirror’?
    What has helped you to control your own temper as a mom?

Chp 11: When You’re Scared Motherhood Means Missing Out on Your Life

  • What impacted you most about the unfolding and dramatic turn of Lisa-Jo’s story as recounted in this chapter?
  • In what ways does your story overlap with or differ from hers?
  • Deep down, do you believe that motherhood is as high a calling as any other calling for a woman?

Scripture passages for this week:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” ~ Psalm 103:8

A few favorite quotes:

“And God started to show me how to see my own son.  Not with a magnifying glass, but with a mirror.” ~ P. 134



“Sometimes you don’t realize you have a temper until you have kids.” ~ p. 134

“There’s no rage like the exhausted rage of motherhood.” ~ p. 134

OK, YOUR TURN – share your answers and observations in the comments – let’s crowd source encouragement for this journey deep into the heart of motherhood together.

Just click here to leave a comment.



{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    One of my secret weapons is acknowledging the parts of me that exist in my kids. Umm, iron will anyone?

    I also find that my pride in weathering these scenarios always takes us all, as a family, so much farther than fighting it.

    Thank you for always illuminating that life is more than just calm waters and sunshine.

    • 2

      Yes – that’s been a learning curve for me too. I can stop being shocked by my son’s temper – because hello – generations of temper before him. And start working on shaping it to a different end – all that passion can surely impact the world in good instead of disaster :)

  2. 3

    My son has always been an arguer – I remember one day being soooo frustrated with him and I said, “you would argue with Jesus if He was here!” My son looked me in the eye and said, “you can’t tell me what I would do with God!” He was right. All I could do was pray that God would use that fervor, that passion to win others for Him. My son is now almost 21 and he passionately serves God on his college campus with CRU. Two summers ago he spent ten weeks in Virginia Beach with CRU-working full-time and sharing Jesus. This past summer he spent six weeks in the country of Croatia sharing the Gospel with CRU. God does honor the simple, humble prayers of a mom! (CRU is a division of Campus Crusade for Christ)

    • 4

      Kitty!!! Oh that’s a FANTASTIC story and right now you’re giving all us moms with strong-willed kids such deep comfort. A thousand grateful thanks – what a wonder your boy grew up into!

  3. 5

    oh, there is so much to say on that part of the book!:)
    I have an 8 years old girl and I find it hard sometimes to “like” the way she acts or the things she says and sometimes I over react over a little thing she has done.(I feel I am way more patient with her little brother.) It takes a little stepping back and breathing to realize it is because she has done something I would have done and don’t like about myself! So I try to go back to her and explain how to deal with that part of “our” character that we share and that I wish i had learnt to control before! SO yes, mothering is seeing yourself in small version and it is not always easy!!

    As for my relationship with God; being a mother drew me so close to Him. It is really in the hardest moments of my motherhood that I felt his gentle embrace.And also that this mothering thing was really part of His plan to reshape me into someone better: more patient, less selfish… I made this frame that now hangs in my kitchen and that is actually taken from a verse: “Love is patient”:) I am telling you, this frame saves my life a hundred times a day!!! It helps me to hold my temper!! I also try to enjoy them rather than wanting to change them. Even though, when I am tired it is not easy:)
    I truly believe motherhood is a calling and I regret to have to spend so much time away from my kids to work.

    thank you again Lisa-Jo for your smile and perspective. Your book deeply helped me when I felt desenchanted about my mothering and my abilily to appreciate being a mother.

  4. 6

    I’m reading your book for the second time and the timing of the chapters and the videos are so great. I need to work on my anger issues. My son is 16 months and is just starting to show his personality and my husband has said watching him when he gets angry is like watching a miniature me. Oh vey! Thank you for this book. I love being able to say me too!

  5. 7

    There are SOOO many things that resonated with me in these two chapters– far too many to recount here. I love, love, LOVE the way you tell us the story of Micah and your relationship with him and how you had to become a student of him and his behavior– that has stayed with me all day (just finished the chapters today!)! Chapter 10 has completely recolored the way I will view my parenting…I feel like it has made me realize I need to be more patient, and more of a student of each of my girls as individuals.

    And Chapter 11…oh mercy…this one hit home. The “small group of moms at the table who likely felt just as tired and confused at the juggle between kids and callings…Women who don’t know how to balance their work, their mission and their identities with the desire to have children…Women who live in a quietly desperate suburban claustrophobia.”

    There is so much I’d love to say about this…about how this completely resonates with my life right now…but that would make for a very long comment which would probably include TMI! That said, the chapter may be my new favorite and one I will reread many times as I continue to pray and discern what God has for me and try to figure out how to balance it with mothering life…

    I have read a LOT of mom books, but this may have been one of the most eloquently stated, beautifully crafted, and most accurate accounts of what it feels like to be missing out on something even though you fully love being a momma to your kids– it is one of the most complicated tensions I have ever experienced. Well done. Well said. Thank you.


  1. […] zones and busy lives. My friend Lisa Jo had invited Kristen Strong and I to participate in her  book club for Surprised by Motherhood and I love her, her words ,and her heart for mamas so I readily […]

  2. […] and I’ve no doubt it will be a lifetime favorite. Right now, Lisa-Jo is hosting a most refreshing book club featuring Surprised by Motherhood.  This week, she invited Alia Joy and myself to discuss a […]

Hide me
Free eBook for Blog Subscribers!
Just enter your email & you'll receive a welcome email with a link to download the eBook. Easy Peasy!
Show me