“Because grilled cheese without the middle is just toast.”
– Lisa-Jo Baker, The Middle Matters
Having been a fan of Lisa-Jo Baker since Surprised By Motherhood, I was thrilled to receive her recent book to review. Lisa-Jo has an amazing way of storytelling that takes your life, intertwines it with hers and once you put one of her books down, you feel forever connected. The Middle Matters: Why That (Extra)Ordinary Life Looks Good On You definitely delivers true to Lisa-Jo form. It is honest, loving, filter-free and raw; when I read that last line of the final page, I closed the book and again, felt connected forever.
This book consists of truth-telling letters/essays to the middle parts of Lisa-Jo’s life; from the middle of her muffin top, to the middle of her failures. She shares stories of motherhood and marriage that will leave you in tears; laughing tears, sad tears, happy tears and realizing you are not alone tears. Lisa-Jo takes the hard parts of life and makes them bearable, especially when you know someone out there has experienced the same. I love the idea of building villages by sharing our stories, this book was made to build villages; villages made up of all of us here in our middles.
I remember as a teenager Chicken Soup for the Soul books were all the rage, they were the books I read at my beginning – I love food so this will be a food metaphor – Chicken Soup for the Soul was like my appetizer in life and The Middle Matters is the main course, right in the middle of appetizers and desserts. It is a hearty helping of comfort food that is necessary in this middle life of ours. A warm serving of exactly what we need to remember, the scale is not the boss of us and we are the boss of our own emotions. It brings delicious satisfaction to read Lisa-Jo’s words and know that she has been there too sister, and together we can all get through it. This middle part is not always easy, often quite busy but is so worth remembering. She reminds us not to rush through the middle just to get to the end, we must finish our main course before the dessert. Slowing down to try and see the days as they pass is totally worth it. Worth every moment. Lisa-Jo dedicates the book to her late mother whom she says taught her: the harder the moment, the greater the story. I love this. Let’s savor those hard moments so we can share great stories with our fellow and future middle mamas.
This book is one I wish I could buy for every woman I know, whether in the beginning of the middle, the middle of the middle or the end – we all need a book like this. The Middle Matters is everywhere you can buy books, get out there and grab one for yourself and a few girlfriends!
Stay tuned to my Instagram for an (extra)ordinary giveaway next week!!
x. earnest mom.
The Middle Matters is published by Waterbrook and Multnomah and is on bookstore shelves now. I received a free advance reader copy for my honest opinion.