Finding My Own Path

Finding My Own Path

Yesterday was my mother’s 80th birthday.

I have always enjoyed a close relationship with my mother. I am fortunate to still have her in my life.

When I was a child, my mother was the most influential person in my life. She taught me all the practical things that moms teach. She introduced me to the things she enjoyed—like cooking and theater— and encouraged me to try new things—like softball and piano lessons.

She was also my primary mentor in the spiritual realm. She was the one that helped me overcome my fears, explained my theological questions, and modeled servanthood.

I admired her.

I learned much from her.

I wanted to follow in her footsteps.

But sometime in my twenties I realized that I was not my mother.

Although we share many similarities, we have different temperaments, different strengths, and—I was starting to discover—different callings.

I was not meant to serve others by doing the same things my mother did, and when I tried to be just like her, it stressed me out.

One of my Mom’s gifts is hospitality, but in her case it went well beyond inviting people over for dinner. She has always had a knack for “adopting” people that needed some attention, mothering, or just plain home-cooked meals. There always seemed to be a person or two that she was currently pouring her life into, and those people would become common sights in our household.

This is not my gifting.

I enjoy hosting Bible studies and throwing an occasional party [thanks, Mom, for passing on those skills]  but my temperament and intellectual bent make me a much better Sunday School teacher than nurturer-of-hurting-or-lonely-people.

And this is OK.

It just took me a while to figure that out, to stop feeling guilty that I wasn’t living up to my mother’s example.

Are you striving to be like some mentor you deeply respect? Do you feel like you’ll never measure up? Perhaps you are trying to follow someone else’s path instead of your own.

Perhaps it’s time to change direction and find your own path.

Happy exploring!


grandmother with grandsons

Mom enjoying her grandsons

About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the school, church or library, she writes about life, both now and two-thousand years ago.


  1. Good reminder, Lisa. God made us unique. Isn’t that neat?

  2. I love that your mom is a positive influence and yet you’ve also seen your unique talents and abilities. Beautiful post, Lisa.

  3. It is wonderful to have mentors, but at some point we each have to be our own person, even if we’re not sure what that looks like. The good news is that our mentors will cheer us on our way.

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