About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the church or library, she blogs about intentional living and writes historical mysteries.

Relinquishing Control of My Agenda

Relinquishing Control of My Agenda

I recently acquired a young kitten. Her name is Scalliwag (Callie for short). She is cute and snuggly and amusing. She also wreaks havoc with my daily agenda. Like a small child, a ten-week-old kitten requires a lot of supervision to keep it entertained and out of mischief. Since I am the only one home […]

Serving God by Sorting Books?

Serving God by Sorting Books?

As I approached the empty nest season of life I was praying that God would show me how he wanted me to use the free time I would have. I could have signed up to help with the local food pantry or another service organization. Instead I waited to see who God would send to […]

Are You a Strong Woman?

Are You a Strong Woman?

The other day I listened to a podcast featuring several best-selling thriller writers discussing their strong female characters. They talked about female characters who were cops, private detectives, and adventurers—characters who demonstrated they were tough, strong women. What caught my attention was that several times these authors commented that women who filled more traditional female roles […]

Are You Surprised by Opposition?

Are You Surprised by Opposition?

In a recent sermon the pastor made the statement: A Christian should expect to be at odds with their culture. It wasn’t a novel concept, but the bluntness of the statement got me thinking… I sometimes find myself being surprised that the world around me is at such odds with my worldview. I entertain the […]

A Sweet Truth

A Sweet Truth

My husband keeps bees and last week the family gathered to help process the honey crop. We got about 170 pounds of honey from three hives—a bountiful harvest. For fun, my husband shared some bee statistics with us. Apparently honey bees fly over fifty-thousand miles to produce one pound of honey, and a single bee […]

Letting Go Is Hard

Letting Go Is Hard

A few weeks ago my twenty-something son headed off with friends on a backpacking trip in Yosemite. The logical part of my brain was delighted that he had this opportunity to explore such a beautiful spot. The maternal part of my brain immediately began to consider all the potential dangers: grizzly attack, hypothermia, lightning strike, […]

The Power of Small Steps

The Power of Small Steps

Our world is so big and so broken that some days I can’t see how my paltry efforts make a difference. Some days my dreams seem so out of reach that I don’t see how I will ever get there. All too often I feel overwhelmed because there are too many options, too many needs, […]

Has a Piece of Your Soul Been Squelched?

Has a Piece of Your Soul Been Squelched?

Once upon a time, I was happily conversing with an imaginary friend when the neighbor boy snuck up and overheard me. Since he was two years older and so very much wiser, he pointed out (gleefully) how foolish and childish it was to talk to people who were not actually there. Despite my tender years, […]

Does Your Life Feel Like Plan B?

Does Your Life Feel Like Plan B?

Do you sometimes look back at past mistakes or crushed dreams and wonder if you are stuck living in Plan B? The Plan A version of your life wouldn’t include certain messy episodes, painful scars, or the consequences of that really, really bad decision, right? So the life you’re living now must be Plan B, […]

Frustrations, Long Lines, and Attitude

Frustrations, Long Lines, and Attitude

I recently had to get my driver’s license renewed. The local DMV office is usually crowded, even during off-peak hours, so I resigned myself to a wait of a half-hour (or maybe more) to get through the process. Soon after my arrival it became obvious that the photo process was not operating at optimum efficiency. […]

Your Voice Is Important

Your Voice Is Important

When you’re an average, ordinary person like me, it’s easy to feel discouraged. Other people seem to do great things, like write best-selling novels or start a ministry that raises thousands and thousands of dollars for a worthy cause. In contrast, my efforts at making a difference in the world seem minuscule. Like maybe no […]

A Christmas Gift for Everyone

A Christmas Gift for Everyone

Make blessing your superpower. Whatever you do today, do it with the intent to bless those who will be touched by your work. Make all you do your gift to others.

The Identity Thief

The Identity Thief

Who you are is not defined by what you do. Or what you fail to do. So many of us struggle with the lie that our value is based on our performance. We fear to make mistakes because we think that means we are a failure. Because we fear to make mistakes, we stay within […]

Are You Carrying Too Much Stuff?

Are You Carrying Too Much Stuff?

We all have stuff. Too much of it probably. I know I do. Like anyone who’s lived in the same house for many years, I have collected lots of stuff. Stuff in the attic. Stuff in the basement. The garage. Closets. Junk drawers. Not to mention all the stuff I use on a daily basis. […]

Doing My Little Bit of Good

Doing My Little Bit of Good

Our world is filled with tensions, hatred, abuse, violence. Even if we don’t see it in our own backyards, we can sense it all around us. It rears its ugly head everywhere, even when I click on a #motivation hashtag hoping for words of encouragement and instead find political rants. We know the antidote to […]

Where Do We Draw the Line?

Where Do We Draw the Line?

I recently selected a *book for our book club that several people chose not to read because it contained occasional foul language. None of us endorse crude language, but while some decided swearing in books was unacceptable, others chose not to allow a few unpleasant words to hinder them from exploring the author’s thoughts on […]

Yes, But…

Yes, But…

Sometimes the path ahead looks too steep or uncertain to continue. We all face fears, doubts, worries, regrets. We may be facing obstacles that seem too big, trying to overcome mistakes that seem too costly, or dealing with people who seem impossible to please. Whatever the situation, these two little words can help: Yes, but… […]

When We Feel Overwhelmed

When We Feel Overwhelmed

Sometimes we find ourselves facing challenges that seem impossibly large. When I entered the empty nest phase of life, I asked God to show me where he wanted me to give my time now that I was no longer volunteering at school. One of the opportunities that soon came knocking was a plea for help […]