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Our Journey

Hello friends and family. Vernon and I wanted to share with you what retirement looks like in the life of the Newmans.

First of all, for those of you who didn't know, we retired to the great state of Tennessee, in a small rural town called Monterey, population 2,850.

We purchased 28.9 acres of mountain land with the Morse family, very close friends of ours, 3.5 years ago. Fresh air, clean living, quiet, and peaceful, with beautiful vistas; A place where you can hear the voice of God talking to you. We call it God’s country.

Let me share with you how this came to be.

Almost 4 years ago Vernon and I were invited to a “country living” seminar by the Morse family. While listening to the speaker, Vernon and I looked at each other, and we realized that this is what God had been speaking to our hearts for many years. The seminar lasted for two days, teaching us how to live country living God’s way. That Monday morning I sat at my computer, and I talked to God. I asked Him “Where do you want us to go Lord? Please show me”. I typed in “country living” as I searched the internet, and up popped “Tennessee”. “Not Tennessee, Lord” I said. We had lived in Chattanooga years earlier when our children were young, so I typed in another state to see what would happen. And, guess what? TN came up again. So, I typed in another state and again, TN came up.

We finally realized, TN must be where God wants us to be. “But, where in TN?”

We began our search not knowing where God wanted us exactly, but knowing He would guide us to the place He had prepared for us to establish our homestead.

We met with a realtor and started looking at property. After 5 trips to Tennessee, it was property number 7, the very last property on the list, When we walked onto the property we knew this is where God wanted us we prayed and thank Him. 7 is the perfect number.


Now with property taken care of the planning began. When would be the right time for Vernon to retire, and put the house on the market? For two months we had a Sunday garage sale. We turned our garage into a little store. Each Sunday new things were put out. We sold anything and everything we no longer needed or wanted. When the garage sale was done we had an organization called Hope and Inspire come every two weeks to pick up more things. Now with the extra stuff gone we could now start making plans for the property. Where would we build on the property? What type of house should we build?

Many trips were made to the property meeting our new neighbors, and catching up with old friends in Chattanooga, walking through

the 28 acres, finding all 7 springs that are on the property, and picking out just the right spot to build our home.

We had decided that Vernon would retire within 2 years of us buying the property or before if God so moved us. The first year came went very quickly. We were entering the 2nd year so we started remodeling our house to get it ready to put on the market. During that first year and into the second, we did a lot of studying on country living. We read the little book Ellen G. white wrote on country living, we talked to people, and spent the day with a couple who has been doing off grid country living for years in West Virginia. You see, we are going to live off grid, so you just don’t do it; you have to know what you are doing. Vernon and I were sure about one thing, we wanted to do what God wanted. We did not want to just live in the country we wanted to do God’s work.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story...

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