At the time of publication, all recipes were free of the allergens listed as being free of in the title (i.e. soy-free, milk-free, etc.), and all other information shared was accurate to the best of my knowledge.
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Thank you so much!

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I make sure all of my recipes use foods that are free of the allergens they say they are free of. You will need to do the same. For help with this, please see the appropriate "Alternative Names" page for the allergen(s) you need the recipe free of.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Recent Reflections - June 2018: Turning 40...

This is the sixth Recent Reflections post of 2018.  Recent Reflections goes live the third Friday or Saturday of each month.  Each Recent Reflections post covers something that I'm reflecting on.  If you'd like to share a post with a similar theme, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your post, and I'll hop on over and leave a comment (and maybe some other readers will, too).

This month, I will be reflecting on turning 40.

My sister and I in front of our 1978 sign.

A few weeks ago, my twin sister and I turned 40.  It's one of those milestone birthdays that tends to get celebrated with black balloons and tombstones.  I was quite insistent that there be no black or "over the hill" type decor (because I don't feel that age is a negative, and I think it should be seen as wisdom and memories gained and not something to dread), and my family obliged.  That didn't mean, though, that there weren't referrals to all the things that came out in 1978 that were "old" - Atari, Garfield, Superman, LEGO mini figures.  Talking about all those things makes you say, "Wow!  I had no idea so much has happened in so little time!"

I am old enough to remember when there was no internet.  I remember when there were no cell phones.  I remember not having a microwave or personal computer.  I remember when social media began.  I remember a simpler life that my parents and grandparents told me was not even as simple as theirs had been.  I remember thinking and asking, "How did you get by without ____?", and their answers always baffled me, and now I get the same questions and bewildered looks from my children and others who are too young to remember life before technology boomed to what it is today.  My elders always talked about how they missed the time before TV or some other invention, and I'd often wonder why.  I don't wonder anymore.

I now understand the total appeal of life without certain technologies.  There are days I wish Facebook didn't exist or that there wasn't such easy access to all the bad things the world has to offer like pornography, online gambling, etc.  I miss the days where you could sit in a room and talk without having to fight social media on a cellphone for attention, when you didn't have to fight the urge to pull out a cellphone to answer a text every few minutes, or when there was no such thing as Instagram and selfie-mania.  I truly miss the days where you could go without every aspect of your life being documented online in some form.  I  miss true privacy.

However, this is the day and age we live in.  To act like I can ignore it and avoid it and it will cease to be is unwise and untrue.  My best bet is to use the technology we've been blessed with in the most positive ways that I can, and make sure that my children know how to use those things for good and how to avoid the evil that lurks there in the shadows.

In my 40 years, I've seen so many things, and I now look at my parents and grandma with new appreciation.  I now truly feel the loss of innocence in our culture in a way I never understood before, and I grieve its loss.  I grieve the fact that my children will never know some of the simpler joys that I did - like a truly lazy Saturday without technology invading at every angle of our lives even if we do "unplug" because it is absolutely everywhere now.  I also grieve that they will have to fight that much harder to keep their innocence and the worldly junk out of their lives.  Their lives are going to be and are so much more complicated than mine ever was growing up.

On the flip side, I am thrilled that they can enjoy so many amazing things.  They have access to so much knowledge, are safer because they can carry a cell phone and call for help if they need it, GPS is available to help if they get lost, and so many more things!  What an amazing day we live in, and I am grateful for the perks, though I have to do my best to teach responsibility before God and man when using them.

I wonder what the next 40 years will bring.  I wonder how much the world will change.  I find myself both curious and leery.  It is my prayer that the benefits of all the changes to come will outweigh the negatives.

I will embrace my new status of being the big 4-0.  I will enjoy that I've made it this far and look forward to the future.  I will embrace the fact that I am seeing things differently now, and use that wisdom to help guide my children and those I influence in a positive way.  I will love that God has given me so much, and pray that He uses me that much more in the years to come!

My sister and I showing off our twin gifts!

I truly hope this post has been a blessing to your heart!  What has God done in your life lately to bless you?  What are you reflecting on?

Have a wonderful weekend!

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