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.
Though I strive to update outdated information quickly and work diligently to make sure you have the most accurate information possible at all times, it is your duty to double check labels EVERY TIME to ensure that the ingredients you use are SAFE FOR YOU.
Your doctor or allergist should also be your first go-to for information on how to handle your medical needs. That being said, if you DO notice an error, please send me an email letting me know (tell me what page or recipe the error is on, what the error is, etc.), and I will correct the error ASAP.
Thank you so much!

Please Be Advised:
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, August 17, 2018

Recent Reflections - August 2018: The End of Summer

This is the eighth 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 the end of summer.

Beach sunset photo I took back in July of this year.
When I think about the end of anything, I feel both sadness and excitement.  I feel sadness because there is an ending, but excitement for the beginning of the something new that is waiting to start. 

I am sad that summer is coming to an end.  I will miss the carefree days, the increased hours of daylight, the searching for Petoskey stones at the beach, the warmth, the farm-fresh berries, the lack of a rigid school schedule - all the things that make summer feel a bit more relaxing and easy.  I will miss the spur-of-the-moment-ness of the season, but I am also looking forward to autumn.

I am excited about autumn.  I love the crisp air, the beautiful autumn leaves, the apple picking, the cooler days and nights, the comfy sweaters, the warm apple cider, the closeness that comes from teaching my children during the school year, the organization that a school schedule brings to our lives, the snuggling that comes from cooler weather, the beauty of a frosty morning - all the things that make autumn feel so warm and cozy.  I am excited to see autumn come in all her glory.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:8a (KJV), "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof:", and I find that is so true, especially in terms of goals.  When something is coming to an end, your senses are a bit heightened, and your memories become more vivid.  You can recall all the important things and moments, and there is greater focus on those things.  You suddenly forget all the bad, and recall only the good (if you choose to), and those are the things that stay with you for the rest of your life.  When you're coming to the end of a goal you have set for yourself, it means that something is completed, and it always feels like an accomplishment when you realize you got through something hard or achieved a goal you never thought possible.  Also, the end of one thing is only the beginning of the next step -  that may be scary or even sad, but it is always a better place to be if you let it be.  You can always look back and realize how far you've come.

This summer, our oldest son has done driver's ed, and has done well (he got 100% on his written test, so I tell him he's at least a perfect driver on paper ;) ).  After he gets through his last drives with the instructor, our training begins with him.  When that is done, hopefully, he'll be an accomplished driver and we'll have one more person available to drive if need be.  This will definitely be a better place than where we were at the beginning.

This summer, our middle kid preached for Teen Sunday for the first time.  Years ago, he would have never, ever gotten up to speak in front of a crowd (he could barely give a speech to me, let alone anyone else).  It's been a progression from giving announcements to leading singing to giving a testimony to preaching, but he's done it!  This end is just a beginning of more confidence and freedom to speak publicly and share what God is doing in his heart and life, and I couldn't be more thrilled!

This summer, our youngest turned 8, lost another tooth, is learning how to ride a scooter, and becoming more and more independent.  She's so excited about 3rd grade, and working a bit harder on her reading skills (an area of struggle for her).  It is my goal to have her become a more independent reader by the end of this next school year, and she's already making so much progress from where she was.  She may be nearing the ending of her childhood years, but I have no doubt her adolescent years will be exciting and adventurous for her, and she will face them head-on with all the optimism she has!

As you can see, a lot has happened this summer, and a lot more will continue to happen this fall and beyond.  I'm sad for the ending, but cannot wait for the beginning of the rest of this adventure we call life! 

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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