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About The Middle Matters

The best-selling author of Never Unfriended opens up about midlife and what it feels like to have outgrown those teenage jeans, but finally grown into the shape of our souls.

Do you ever wonder how you woke up one day with all the responsibilities of a grown-up who secretly enjoys going to Costco, can no longer recognize the tween celebrities on the magazines at checkout, but is still surprised when a Starbucks Barista calls you "ma'am"--because your inside self is frozen in time from about twenty years ago?
So does Lisa-Jo Baker. Welcome to the middle!

In these intimate reflections on midlife, Lisa-Jo Baker invites women to get a good look at their middles and gives permission to embrace them--beyond what the media, the mirror, the magazines, or our teenagers say. Through gutsy, beautiful storytelling, she admits out loud what most women are thinking about marriage, parenting, failure, and how badly we all want to buy those matching Magnolia Market mugs. Her delicious stories come from not being afraid of who she is (Your Age is Not a Dirty Word). Because she has finally grown comfortable in her own skin (The Scale is Not the Boss of You). She's not asking you to seize the day, just to make sure you actually see it; for all its wildly ordinary glory (Sobbing in my Minivan Over Honor Roll). Because Lisa-Jo knows that the middle might be the best part of the love story of life, muffin top included.

Praise

“I want to give Lisa-Jo’s book a standing ovation because it’s exactly what’s needed for this particular time, when our ‘ordinary’ lives seem so unextraordinary compared to what we see or hear on our phones. I’m beginning to embrace my middle, physically and metaphorically, and I’m finding the most extraordinary thing: The freedom and the joy I thought was missing in my life? It was there all along.”
—Aarti Sequeira, chef, TV personality, journalist and author

“What a thought-provoking collection of reflections and wisdom! Through personal stories about love, loss, and life in the middle, Lisa-Jo invites us to take a long look inside our own mind’s secret nooks and crannies, which aren’t nearly as dark, scary, or ordinary as we might think. Chapter after chapter, I absorbed the powerful reminder that ‘there’s a rich inheritance waiting for us to claim if only we could get over ourselves and get fully on board with the delight of championing what God is doing’ in our lives—even in our forties!”
—Layla Palmer, The Lettered Cottage blog

“Through all seasons, we need a compassionate and kind guide. In the best-case scenarios, we get a guide like Lisa-Jo—a friend who is funny and gracious and gives us the heads-up that we’re headed the right way. In a world that is telling every woman to speed up and get to the good part or slow down because you’re about to miss it, I’m so grateful a message like The Middle Matters is bringing the grace and truth and good news that we need. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and prepare to take a deep breath. This is where it gets good!”
—Jess Connolly, author of Wild and Free, Dance Stand Run, and You Are the Girl for the Job

“With captivating wit, hard-won wisdom, and breathtaking honesty, Lisa-Jo has written a love letter to the delicious middle. Filled with riveting personal stories along with innovative takes on all the things we struggle with most, this is the kind of book you will want to read once a year, simply to get a refresh on all the truths and practical ideas contained inside.”
—Mandy Arioto, president and CEO of MOPS International and author of Have More Fun

“For any adult who still sometimes feels like the shy, insecure kid from junior high, Lisa-Jo Baker is the breath of fresh air you’ve been waiting for. She gives us permission to fully embrace our lives— imperfections and all—and reminds us that it’s okay to feel like you totally do not have life all figured out.”
—Jennifer Fulwiler, SiriusXM radio host and author of One Beautiful Dream

“With Lisa-Jo’s guts as our unfettered guide, may we finally learn the sumptuous truth of our years: that a grilled cheese sandwich without the middle is just toast.”
—Erin Loechner, founder of OtherGoose.com and author of Chasing Slow

“This incredible book is like a magic mirror. It showed me just how marvelous my ordinary life already is. Lisa-Jo’s hilarious and honest stories won’t push and prod you toward some better version of yourself. Instead, in fun and funny prose that fairly dances off the page, The Middle Matters opens our eyes to the wonder of the lives and loves that are ours to receive in these middle years.”
—Christie Purifoy, author of Placemaker and cohost of the Out of the Ordinary podcast

“As someone who wakes up shocked most days that I’m middle age but with young kids—I related to every word that Lisa-Jo put into this book. I laughed, I wiped tears, and I nodded along with every personal story she told. This is a story of every woman at some point and time, and it left me so encouraged. I read it in my messy car in the car line, while I begrudgingly pulled out my new bifocals. This is a book I want to pass along to all my girlfriends so we can discuss it together. Lisa-Jo is so relatable and likable, and it all comes across in her writing. I’m grateful for her words.”
—Kelly Stamps, blogger and mom of three

“The middle of anything can feel messy and mundane. In this witty and heartwarming book, Lisa-Jo Baker makes a case for why the middle matters. And just like an Oreo wouldn’t be the same without the cream in the middle, those seemingly mundane and messy middle years can actually be where some of the best stuff of life happens!”
—Crystal Paine, founder of MoneySavingMom.com, host of The Crystal Paine Show, and New York Times best-selling author

“Lisa-Jo Baker tackles middle age with her trademark wit and down-to-earth charm, making every reader feel like they’re sitting on the other side of the table for a coffee chat with the author. Ultimately, this book challenges readers to not only accept but also embrace midlife with all of its messiness, in a way that makes it clear we are not alone. What a gift to read transparent truth from someone who isn’t afraid to write what we’re all thinking!
—Courtney Walsh, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Things Left Unsaid

“Lisa tells chuckle-worthy, relatable stories that unlock new places of gratitude and contentment. She reveals that the seemingly ordinary points of life are what hold the meaning and beauty of our interwoven stories. I heartily recommend this disarming and engaging read.”
—Jessica Honegger, founder and co-CEO Noonday Collection and author of Imperfect Courage

“No one writes about motherhood, marriage, and life as Lisa-Jo Baker does. Whether you are entering the middle, are in it, or are beyond it, you’ll find not only yourself in this book but wisdom and encouragement. The Middle Matters is a vulnerable, compelling read that I want to gift to every friend I know.”
—Jessica Turner, best-selling author of The Fringe Hours and Stretched Too Thin

“It’s so appropriate that I’m sitting in my car right now talking about a book about the middle. Because the car is where we spend so many days, desperate for wisdom in so many ways along the journey. Thank you, Lisa-Jo, for reminding women everywhere how important it is to find meaning in the midst of the confusing middle. Thank you for being a kind, wise, and loving guide along the path.”
—Joy Prouty, artist and educator

“Life is a circus. As the ringleader, I often find myself forgetting to enjoy any of it. In The Middle Matters, Lisa-Jo gives us all a motivational mission and a plan for making it happen. Here’s to finding glory in the middle!”
—Claire Diaz-Ortiz, author and speaker

About Lisa-Jo Baker

LISA-JO BAKER, a former attorney and longtime Community Manager at (in)courage, is the bestselling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood. Her writings have resonated with thousands and been featured on Huffington Post Parents, Bible Gateway, Fox News, Christianity Today, IF Table, and more. She is the co-host of the Out of the Ordinary Podcast and a sought-after national speaker who considers connecting with women in real life the best part of her job. Lisa-Jo and her husband of over twenty years live just outside Washington, DC, with their three very loud children.

Product Details

272 pages | Published by WaterBrook

On Sale Date: Jul 23, 2019

Trim Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/4

Carton Quantity: 12

Sneak Peek

Read the first two chapters of The Middle Matters. The best-selling author of Never Unfriended opens up about midlife and what it feels like to have outgrown those teenage jeans, but finally grown into the shape of our souls. Do you ever wonder how you woke up one day with all the responsibilities of a grown-up who secretly enjoys going to Costco, can no longer recognize the tween celebrities on the magazines at checkout, but is still surprised when a Starbucks Barista calls you "ma'am"—because your inside self is frozen in time from about twenty years ago? So does Lisa-Jo Baker. In this collection of bite-sized essays, Lisa-Jo Baker invites women to get a good look at their middles and gives permission to embrace them—beyond what the media, the mirror, the magazines, or our teenagers say. Through gutsy, beautiful storytelling, she admits out loud what most women are thinking about marriage, parenting, failure, and how badly we all want to buy those matching Magnolia Market mugs. Her delicious stories come from not being afraid of who she is (Your Age is Not a Dirty Word). Because she has finally grown comfortable in her own skin (The Scale is Not the Boss of You). She's not asking you to seize the day, just to make sure you actually see it; for all its wildly ordinary glory (Sobbing in my Minivan Over Honor Roll). Because Lisa-Jo knows that the middle might be the best part of the love story of life, muffin top included.