The Bollen Alley

life with our little family of three… and almost four!

we’re off and away…

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Well, we’ve officially been Texas residents for over a month! I can’t believe it. Total whirlwind. While the last several weeks in Arkansas were precious to us, I knew that finally getting here would be a relief of sorts. When you pray and plan and dream and worry and pray some more (and some more and some more), finally seeing all of it come to fruition has been wonderful.

When we left last month, we knew two things: where we were going to school and where were going to live. We didn’t know much more… jobs, insurance, pediatrician, neurologist, church… people. We also hadn’t sold our house in Little Rock. So many questions. But let me tell you a story…

Within the first week, the Lord provided dependable renters to move into our Little Rock home. They’re Christian leadership students with a ministry called Downline, and the deal is guaranteed to cover our mortgage for the next year. Also within the first week, the Lord provided Daniel his first job. Not a glamorous one, but it’s income, it’s on campus, and he’ll be allowed to study during any downtime.

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I say the first, because He provided a second job a week later. Daniel is officially a Starbucks barista! If you know Dan at all, you know his love for people and his love for coffee. So besides pastoring, this is basically his dream job. (Unless someone paid him to hunt and watch the Razorbacks, of course.) He loves it, and did you know that Starbucks provides health benefits (among many other perks) to even part time employees after 90 days? In the meantime, we’ve been accepted into Medicaid. Tindell’s epilepsy meds – covered! On top of that, the doctor at the Seminary’s campus clinic has a background in pediatrics. We see him for no more than a $25 copay. Thank you, Lord!

Beyond Daniel’s jobs, we’ve also had family and friends very generously bless us financially during this time. We are so humbled by this… who are we that so many would give of their own hard-earned resources?? To those people – thank you for allowing the Lord to work through you in our lives. Thank you for your sacrifice and love. We are in awe!

We began visiting churches right away. Considering there are at least 2.4 gajillion in Fort Worth, we knew we needed to get started! Lucky for us, just 2 weeks into the search, some new friends invited us to their church home (shout out, Ashton and Julie!) and we knew pretty quickly it was the place for us. The people were welcoming and sincere, the teaching was Biblical and challenging, and the worship was engaging and Christ-centered – all things we learned to appreciate while at The Summit (I mean, they even had wood pallets on the stage… wink, wink, Summit fam!).

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Second to sending our families back to Arkansas, visiting churches was the most emotional transition for me. I think God knew how much we needed – I needed – to find a place to dive into quickly. We just know so deeply in our hearts how important it is to be a part of a healthy community of believers, as a family unit and as individuals. For relationship, discipleship, accountability, service and support, learning and growth. I was hungry for it. Side note: To anyone reading this who may be struggling with the burden of this life and this world – if you aren’t involved in a church family (and I mean involved… not just showing up for service Sunday morning), find one. It will be like a healing balm to your soul. It is for me.

IMG_7649On the topic of community, our apartment is part of a 6-unit building, filled with families with young children. It’s Seminary housing, so everyone is in school. This whole thing has been like going off to college again, but with kids in tow! We’ve had a blast getting to know all of our neighbors. I think it’s a rare blessing to be surrounded by so many like-minded people on such a similar journey at this point in life. We’re doing our best to take advantage of the incredible opportunity!

At this point, we still need to find a neurologist for Tindell Bear, and we’re still solidifying our enrollment in Medicaid, then will transition into traditional insurance in a couple of months (so. much. paperwork.). We’re also praying and exploring some income opportunities for me that will still allow me to stay home with the girls, as childcare isn’t a healthy option for us right now. However, in summary, we’re doing well. We’ve gotten off to a great start. The peace that comes with knowing you are exactly where God wants you to be is precious, and amazingly reassuring during the difficult moments. The transition can be scary, but living in the place you’re called is so worth it. He has proven so faithful, as always.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us. Thank you for bearing with us during all the craziness that was this summer. Arkansas, we miss you. Texas, we look forward to knowing you!

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