Quincy News

Mission trip laid groundwork for rebooting their lives

Ron Tallcott and Jenn Drott get some help from their daughter, Evie, 9, as they put things away in the kitchen of their new home Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. The couple recently went on a mission trip to India, and after returning home to Quincy decided to live a more modest lifestyle so they downsized their home. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 12, 2017 12:01 am Updated: Mar. 13, 2017 8:41 am

QUINCY -- Ron Tallcott's eyes met those of his wife, Jenn Drott.

Though the Quincy husband and wife answered the question separately, their responses mirrored one another.

"We took a step of faith," they said, almost simultaneously.

Actually, a "leap of faith" would probably be more accurate phrasing.

Ron and Jenn had no idea when they went on a mission trip, as part of a group from the Crossing, that their lives would change in such dramatic fashion.

Shortly after returning from a trip to India last fall, Ron and Jenn felt an inner stirring.

"We knew we needed to make changes in our lives," Jenn said.

By early January, after weeks of soul searching, the couple said those changes began.

"We decided to take the plunge," Ron said.

In materialistic terms, the family -- which includes daughters Lorelai, 11, and Evie, 9 -- has downsized.

Jenn may have explained it even better.

"We minimalized," she said.

A decision was made to sell their expansive house and property and move into a smaller location, "trade down" to an older family vehicle, and in Jenn's case, take a pay cut in jobs to be home more. Ron, who is executive director of operations at the Crossing, had switched jobs a few years earlier.

"We determined what our values and priorities needed to be," Jenn said.

That included additional outreach work and more involvement in faith-related projects.

"And more family time," Jenn said. "We're starting to find our way back to the joy that was missing."

The decision they made does not mean the ongoing journey is always a pleasure cruise. There has been a lot of adapting.

After living on a seven-acre property with a 3,600-square-foot home, the move to a 1,500-square-foot residence has been challenging. So has been coping with a smaller family income, which has forced some decisions about "wants" and "needs" when the family budget is involved.

But there has never been any second-guessing about their decision. They felt one of the first signs they made the right decision involved their former house.

"It was on the market for just four days before it sold," Ron said. "It's been a whirlwind."

Both Jenn and Ron said their eyes were opened in India. They lived in a 12-by-12 room and interacted with those who had few earthly treasures, but possessed a peace of mind and happiness that impressed them both.

While in India, Jenn and Ron said they learned to get by with very few essentials, including no internet.

"It was wonderful. It was nice to be disconnected," Jenn said.

That disconnection included some obvious irony. It actually served as a harbinger of what was to come.

Their eyes, along with their hearts, had been opened.

"Ron had never wanted to go on a mission trip, and I always had," Jenn said.

Ron agreed with Jenn's summation, but not without a smile.

"I had been to a resort in Jamaica, but nothing like a mission trip," he said.

The new life they are carving out continues, and there is no looking back.

"God has changed us," Ron said.

Jenn says the experience has been "very, very freeing."

"It's a new start, a refreshing start," she said.


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