Welcome to Above & Beyond Midlife!


My name is Elizabeth Duncan Stretar, but I go by “Betsy” to most everyone I know.

I’m a fly-writer of sorts, and Above and Beyond Midlife is the place where I live my crazy, empty-nest, mid-life life, out loud.

I’m a wife, mother of eight, and grammie to lots of littles and bigs. I’m a trained seamstress who dreamed about becoming a Fashion Designer in my early years.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

It seems that God had other plans for me. I became the mom of eight – which I fondly refer to as my “eight crazies” (Todd, Grace, Carrie, Jake, Frankie, Brad, Hannah, & Sam).

While raising the crazy eight, I ran my own home dec/design business helping others to make their home environment pretty and more organzied.

And then, while I was minding my own business doing that and working part-time for the non-profit my husband worked for at the time, God called me into full-time ministry.

I had the priveledge of starting a ministry for teen moms in Cleveland, Ohio and then serving as Young Life’s First National Director to oversee the foundational growth of YoungLives, which now serves teen moms world-wide.

After leaving the non-profit world in 2006, I completed my MA degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and then worked as a college admissions advisor.

In 2008, My husband and I also started a non-profit called LeaderWithin (leaderwithin.org). We wanted to find a way to use our life and minsitry experience to support ministry leaders and young people. We enjoy leading LeaderWithin workshops for churches, youth organizations, and students to help others discover more of who they, where they are, and what they can become.

During this period of time I felt called to develop my love for writing and connecting with others through words. And then in 2012 this happened:

At the lovely age of 52, I became a main line flight attendant.

Who does that …right?

Crazy – I know!

In 2016 I became a published author. My book, Acorn Gert and Brother Bert was written from a deep passion I have to help other discover, uncover and grow into becoming all God created them to be.

While I may have worn many hats in my life, my greatest joy comes from knowing that I’m a loved child of God.

Without God’s kind intervention, I know for certain that I would never have experienced the Above and Beyond kind of life that I am living.

It’s all his amazing grace!

(You can read more of My Story here)

We are more than what we do.

Midlife is a season of life when a lot of transition seems to come into play.

Kids leave home, our physical bodies start to freak out and do crazy things, careers often shift, life roles change, etc.  As we begin to shed these various roles and titles, face the fact that times are a-changin’ and time is a-wastin’, and enter into this new season called midlife (empty nest for those with kids) that God begins the transforming work of re-shaping our identity, worth, and calling so that we enter this season of life with a renewed sense of purpsoe and calling.

Eph 1:11-12

This “Above and Beyond Midlife” kind-of-life is ours for the taking.

I invite you to join me in the journey of discovering more of who God made YOU to be. You are first and foremost a child of Creator God.  The rest…is about the unique person he created you to become and discovering your place in the world to live that out.

There’s much to discover! Are you ready to soar with me?  Then please do so by subscribing to my email list. I’m excited to get to know you and grow with you.

Elizabeth Duncan Stretar (Betsy)