As we all know, 2020 has not been the best year – and that is an extreme understatement. For Josh and I it was super important to start 2020 getting married. We have to say that was our best decision of the year.
Though we had to postpone our honeymoon for an unknown future date, we have been able to start off our first year of marriage learning how to depend on each other and grow as a couple.
Both of us have explored many hobbies during this year: Meriah has enjoyed sewing, crocheting, baking, painting, rearranging furniture and painting rooms, making wreaths, and decorating for the holidays; with a new hobby of playing video games. Josh has explored many hobbies as well. Some hobbies he explored included home brewing hard cider, mead, and kombucha. Oh, and he made homemade cheese a couple times! That was tasty! The main hobbies being blacksmithing and woodworking, writing, cooking, C# coding, and much more.
We got chickens. Yes, chickens. On a rather spur-of-the-moment trip to Rural King we adopted six baby chickens and Josh built a chicken coop. We later adopted three more. Though they did not stay with us permanently. Shout out to Daniale and DJ for helping us simplify our flock. We also had bunnies for a while, intending to be meat rabbits, but then we also had a short period of time exploring being vegetarians and ethical carnivores. In the end, we are enjoying some beef from my South Dakota family – and trying to make wiser choices with our eating habits by purchasing locally or directly from farmers as much as possible.
For those keeping track we now have five chickens who all lay eggs and are excited to bless others with those eggs. We have five cats. We also have two dogs. We joke that we are somewhere in between a zoo and a farm. We do have dreams of owning a homestead hobby farm one day.. We will see what the future holds.
In the spring and early summer Meriah was predominantly in a digital church format that pushed her creativity and technology capabilities to the limit. Pastoring a church is difficult when you are separated from each other – nor is it easy to make wise choices about keeping people safe when it’s hard to find consistent information. However, our church has been fortunate and so far we have not had devastating cases of COVID-19. One benefit of being part of a rural church is that our exposure is decreased, but it still has made a challenge for worshipping and feeling God move.
For the last couple months, Josh has been working through TEK Systems at SMC in Noblesville. He does tech things that are way over my head but is very much so appreciated for his good hard work by the company. Meriah only ever hears positive things about Josh from his work. He is also continuing to learn more skills in the tech world that could enable him to diversify his job opportunities.
More recently Josh has helped with music at the church and Meriah is extremely grateful. The last two Sundays we have sang together and he played guitar. It has been a beautiful experience. Meriah struggles to express what a blessing it is having him by her side; professionally, personally and in every way.
As we take time to reflect on 2020, the initial thoughts are: “boo this year has been a dumpster fire!” It’s easy to think of the negative things that have happened this year, including: toilet paper shortages, wildfires, killer wasps, and socially distanced worship settings to name a few. All of those things are awful – but when we look back on it, we genuinely see the people who haven’t given up on us. We see people who have continued to enrich our lives in creative ways as we have gone through this weird, hard, growing type of year. We leave it thinking we are blessed and grateful for our family, friends, and the place we live.
Yes, Christmas letters are frequently only about the positive. We don’t expose our dirty laundry. There were definitely hard moments. We both have made mistakes and are working to grow as humans. We both are learning how to communicate and love both each other, our community, and our God better. 2020 hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, but we want to take gratitude into 2021.
Merry Christmas and Happy New year from the Tigner King family. We hope it won’t be too long before we hug you again.
Love from the Tigner Kings ❤️