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There’s something reassuring about the way one season welcomes the next. As dependable as gravity, autumn follows summer, winter follows autumn, spring comes again, then summer. I’m glad I live in a place with four separate and distinct seasons. The way I see it, that gives me four fresh starts a year instead of just the big one. No need for grand yearly resolutions, instead, we can do a  sort of quarterly “reboot”  to go along with the gradual, predictable changes in our months and years. Life is much more like that, really, a continual process of control-alt-delete.

Our little family spent many years living close to the land and it was a wonderful opportunity to see the rhythm of the earth; it happened every day right before our eyes. Planting, growing and waiting, harvesting, then resting. Beautiful metaphors for life. It should not surprise us that the Bible is so full of images of soil and water and sun. During those early years our little girls were full of wonder and questions about everything they experienced and the one they asked the most often was “why?”. During those childhood years it seemed as though their questions would never end. As they got older,  they asked fewer questions and once they started school, fewer still because they had to focus more on knowing the right answers.

The turning of this season finds me in a thoughtful, questioning time of life and once again, I am searching for answers. Thankfully, as if on cue, the right people, books, articles and scripture are finding their way to me. When we open our minds and become earnest truth seekers, it’s uncanny how often that happens. It comforts me to know I am not alone in my perplexed state of mind. I see countless others pondering the same things as I do. It may have something to do with how incredibly complex life has become and about how many people are living  in a state of overwhelm.

We seem to be revisiting an age of asking questions. Challenging the norm, busting a few moves, shaking things up a bit. But it’s nothing new. Throughout history we  questioned our parents, teachers, priests and pastors, rules, laws, and the status quo. Maybe the most perplexing question of all is, “How did I end up like this”? Still, we need to ask even more questions and they are the hard ones. Like; “What is my purpose in life?” ” What is really most important to me?” “How can I  live in a way that best reflects my most cherished, worthy beliefs?”

I believe our first question might be, “Is this important enough for me to give it  time for reflection?” We know the answer. It’s hard to find a few minutes to quiet our minds but  fall, with its glorious weather and beautiful colors is a perfect time. Find a place to sit, get still, and think about how you’d like to wrap up this year of your life. It’s worth it.

I used a photo in a post here about a year ago; my brother’s striking image of a majestic tree. He made me a large print I could frame as a reminder to look for that pause in my life more often. Today I found this picture with him sitting in front of very same tree! He sat down on the  bench and took some time to reflect. It made me smile to know the spot felt sacred enough for him to seek it out later and spend some time there with his own thoughts and questions. A time for renewal.

 time to reflect by Stan

I just started a new book entitled A More Beautiful Question.  I bought it because I was  intrigued by what I read about the contents. In it, the author suggests that we always find better answers and have more clarity when we ask more beautiful, insightful questions. Since we all get a single, precious one-way ticket for our journey through life, I think it will be time well spent. I’m looking forward to immersing myself in that process of renewal, beginning today, on a picture perfect September day. 

Romans 12:2 tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”.

Betty Streff

Betty Streff began her career as a customer service representative for a large corporation in Omaha. Four years later she found herself to be a farm wife in a small rural community with limited opportunities for women. After a humbling self assessment, she listed her assets as talents for sketching, sewing, and the natural ability to strike up conversations with complete strangers. Using these and her optimistic nature, she began stitching up some bibs and pillows for a craft show, who wouldn't? Over the next 25 years she became a serial entrepreneur obsessed with studying faith, spirituality, leadership, motivation, and management as she developed her businesses. Betty has spent the last few years working in corporate America in the hospitality and manufacturing world and she continues to immerse herself in the study of what makes people tick. The explosive growth in the relatively recent science of positive psychology fascinates her. Betty devours everything she can find on the subject and is especially intrigued with people who thrive no matter the circumstances and in discovering ways that happiness and optimism can be learned. She is currently exploring ways of sharing and cultivating the exciting possibilities with both individuals and businesses. She and her husband Steve have been married 45 years and are blessed with 2 incredible daughters, 2 fantastic sons-in-law and 6 amazing grandchildren.

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