And... It's a Wrap. Goodbye 2020.

As we head into the new year, I'd like to go on record saying that it would be okay if I never hear the words "unprecedented" or "asynchronous" again.

That declaration aside, it's safe to say that even if your struggles in 2020 didn't register as tragic or severe as other people's trials, this year has been hard on us all. Struggle and suffering never should be a contest of degree; it all hurts. Personally, I hit some lows that stung terribly, but I'm still standing, tired, yet stronger for the scars.

I'm reminded of the account of Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego who, when cast into the fiery furnace, saw a fourth figure in the blaze alongside them. When they exited the fire, they weren't singed. They didn't even smell like smoke. There are parallels we can draw. As circumstances burned around us this year, God has been present with us in the midst of the blaze. Even more, even if it doesn't feel likely now, we eventually will move ahead without traces of singe and smoke clinging to us.

As we pivot into 2021, I don't believe that life magically will get easier. But thank God that his mercies are still new every morning and that his nature is peace. He is enough, even when we're weak, confused, listless, bored, angry, hurting, or quarantined. If we're in a fire, He's alongside us. Perhaps the greatest gift of 2020 was teaching me this firsthand.

Here's to 2021, dear friends! May it be more normal than 2020. And most importantly, may it be well with your souls.

Oh, breaking news: I recently got a free yellow door for a DIY project because, people, a girl's gotta have a project on hand during these unprecedented times. (Sorry. Had to go there.) The door is awesome and entirely impractical, given that I have no place in my house for a spare door, but it's full of potential and the possibilities of "what could be" cheer me greatly. This is a hallmark of any good DIY project, but also a valuable life reminder. There are possibilities and potential ahead, friends.

Happy New Year!


Easy and Delicious Pretzel, M&M, and Hershey Kiss Melts

If you're an "I like something salty, and then I like something sweet, and then I like something salty, and then I like something sweet" snacker, then this is a treat for you! As a bonus, it's wildly simply and you can make a pattern with your M&M colors, giving yourself the illusion of order in your life. Win win!

1) Heat oven to 200. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) Place square (snaps) pretzels in rows.

3) Put a Hershey Kiss on the center of each pretzel.

4) Bake at 200 degrees for 5 minutes. Kisses will be soft and shiny-looking, not melted.

5) Set an M&M on each warm Hershey's Kiss, gently pressing the M&M until the Kiss flattens.

6) Let cool and enjoy. Or eat them warm and enjoy. Or hide them from your family, eat them while sitting in your closet, and enjoy. (There's really no wrong way to do this step.)

Carry on!

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