Monthly Archives: May 2018

Retirement In The Bible Belt

Dear Readers,

We visited Missouri looking for a possible retirement area and immediately fell in love with “The Show Me State.”  The bible belt, the people, the weather, the cost of living, the wildlife, some family living there; it all made sense…

RETIREMENT IN THE BIBLE BELT,   Journal Entry,  June 13, 2006

“The wheels are in motion!” my brother told me.  “If God is involved, it will all fall together beautifully!”

It’s finally happening!  After checking out over 25 homes for sale, we found a house we both like, at a price we can afford!  Now, after visiting with my daughter’s family, all we have to do is put down a deposit, go back home, and wrap things up.

Leaving our car and camper at her house, we rented a vehicle to get back to New England, sell our home, and move our belongings to Missouri.  In my heart this morning, I feel like God has kept it simple for us.  I can’t believe this all happened so quickly!  Our mid west home is a five room ranch on 2.3 acres, all electric, with hardwood floors, recessed ceilings, oak cabinets in the kitchen, and a gorgeous view overlooking a 25 acre alfalfa field full of deer and wild life!  C.J. loves to hunt!


Heading home, suddenly I feel numb and displaced.  We have been traveling so much that I can’t tell where home is anymore, although I love hitting the open road with my hubby.  Neither of us can accept yet that we are free to follow our dreams!  Thinking back just a short time ago, we used to pray daily for God to get us retired and away from the harried pace of the bus company.  Now, here we are in the next stage, preparing to sell the big house and retire to the bible belt.  Financially it is the right thing for us to do.

In New England, where the cost of living is higher than the mid west, our doubts about leaving have disappeared.  Most importantly while on route, I thought I heard the Lord tell me, “This move is economical!”


Home only two weeks and everything is going wrong!  We had to drop our price $25,000 on the house, and still no activity!  Also, we have been told we need a new Title 5, (septic system) and our house is only six years old!  The cost will be $8,000 to $10,000!  Calvin is fed up with all the rhetoric and decided he is definitely ready to leave.  We only have six weeks left until our Missouri house closes.  To back out now would mean forfeiting our deposit of $3,500!  I pray, “Please God, keep control of this move!”


Panic is beginning to set in as the economy on the east coast collapses quicker than expected. ” A 35% drop in price is the only way to sell quickly!” today’s news reported.  Add realtor fees and a new septic and there goes all our equity!  In prayer I hear two things over and over, “Don’t get greedy, and Trust in Me!”  I continue praying, “Please Lord, push us forward if this is right, and stop us if this is wrong!  Also, take away my anxiety, in Jesus’ name, amen!”

When I push away the fear, I get really excited!  I realize this move could be for economic, financial, and spiritual reasons!  It’s too soon to know all of God’s plan, but I’m starting to get motivated for our future!  So I will, “Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight!”  (Proverbs 3:5+6)

Love in Christ,   Claire  xoxo

P.S.  Well, we ended up selling our house at a decent profit, just in time to purchase our little ranch in Missouri.  After living here in Halfway for almost 12 years, other than tornado season, we absolutely love being here in the Bible belt!  Yes, we miss our relatives that live east and west of here, but many of them visit when they can, and we do the same.  God has a special plan for each of us!  We constantly need to listen for His direction in our lives.

P.P.S.  If you really want to make God laugh, tell Him “Your” plans for the future!


A Day Away From Losing Him

Dear Readers,

This is a reblog from a couple years ago.  My hubby and I went to Colorado for a three week vacation and eloped while we were there.  What happened when we returned was shocking…

A DAY AWAY FROM LOSING HIM,   Journal Entry,  July, 2002

We decided to take a vacation in Colorado this year and didn’t tell anyone that we were going to elope while we were there, visiting my son and his family.  I wanted to revisit with CJ, all the places I loved for the ten years Colorado Springs was my home.  It was emotional to say the least, especially getting married again.  It actually scared me to death.  But, I got through it and we all surprised everyone when we sent home postcards signed, “Mr.and Mrs. McDaniel!”

We visited all the wonderful places I used to love about Colorado, and I didn’t want it to end, but home we went after three glorious weeks.  After we were home a couple of days, Cal unexpectedly got violently ill.  By evening he was in severe pain, feverish, 105 temperature, and delirious.  With his artificial heart valve, I knew this was more than a flu, and rushed him up to UMass Medical Hospital.  After an examination, the doctor decided to start treatment for meningitis.

He asked me several questions like, “Have you been traveling lately,  and did you eat any beef while you were away in Colorado?”

I answered, “Yes, my hubby had a steak dinner just before we left the state!”

“Mrs, McDaniel, did you eat any beef?” he continued to press me.

“No, doctor, I can’t eat red meat, it makes me sick!  I had a grilled chicken salad,” I told him, as I began to get very frightened.  That must have helped him zero in on the problem, as there was recently a massive beef recall for E.coli in the western states back then in 2002.

The hospital proceeded to run a series of tests and the cultures proved it was not meningitis, but E.coli bacteria had gotten into his blood as well as all of his internal organs, brain, heart, kidneys, prostate, everywhere!  The next day the doctor delicately approached me and said, “If you had waited another day or two, Calvin would not have survived!”

At first it didn’t register in my brain how serious this was.  I was numb!  I refused to accept the severity of his illness.  I thought, “No way would God take him from me this soon after we married!”  Calvin’s daughter kept trying to convince me and still I struggled with accepting the severity of his illness.

My sister Teresa, who has a healing gift, came to visit Cal and prayed over him.  As she spoke he had a spiritual awakening!  God told him something, I’m not sure what, but as he healed he became a changed man.  Five days later and 13 pounds lighter, he came home from UMass Medical, physically very weak, but spiritually very strong.

Several  days later, like a slap in the face, it finally hit me that I almost lost him!  Lying on his chest, as he lay in bed still recovering, I broke down and cried.  While patting my head and comforting me, he spoke of his new spiritual awareness, “Different things are important to me now Hon!  You, family, and friends, have to come first!”

He was and still is a changed man.  This near death experience was eyeopening for him!  I hope and pray it stays with him.  I’ll keep asking the Lord to bring Cal exactly where He wants him to be.  I’ll keep thanking Him for saving my husband.

Love in Christ,  Claire xoxo

Proverbs 19:21,  “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  (NIV)