Last night, I stayed at a complete stranger’s home.
A family from the church that brought me in to speak agreed to host me instead of placing me in a hotel.
I didn’t even know the name of the family. I just knew I’d sleep in a bedroom, and that I needed to “be OK with large dogs.”
As you can see from the photo, I was OK with large dogs.
My host family–including this bloodhound, Garth–made me feel exceptionally comfortable and welcome. So I took note of my new host family’s true gift of hospitality.
I noticed all the little things: My host had lunch prepared for my arrival (light salads with beverages), and then she showed me to my room that not only featured a gift bag of treats (a journal, fancy nuts, and all kinds of toiletries I might need), but the room also came with an essential oil diffuser. She invited me to pick my scent (I chose lavender) for my room. The room itself came with two heavy blankets to add to the bedding in case I grew cold in the night.
In the bathroom, an enormous basket of autumn themed goodies awaited me: face masks, more toiletries, pumpkin soap, pumpkin fragrance, and pumpkin lotion. She included more toiletries I might have forgotten including a curling iron, cotton balls, and hairspray.
She thought of everything.
The hostess also provided an opportunity to take a brisk afternoon walk–much needed after a day of travel.
Once in my room to prepare myself for the evening talk, I heard a knock on my door. The daughter held in her hands water bottles and a bag of mixed nuts, seeds, and dried fruits to refresh me.
When would the attention to my comfort end?
She asked about breakfast; since I told her I loved oatmeal for breakfast, she prepared everything I’d need, right down to the almond milk, cinnamon, and frozen blueberries she picked herself and froze for the winter. She also put out green tea.
Besides all of the attention to tangible, physical needs, the host provided wonderful fellowship. She posed great questions, asked if she could pray for me, and spoke so many encouraging words to me. She shared her own journey with the Lord and invited me into her life.
It was a lovely weekend with strangers who became wonderful friends.
I took note and added to my knowledge of exceptional hospitality. I think about providing a few extravagant items of comfort, the opportunity to exercise, and fellowship. To invite someone into your home means you bless by food, physical comfort, and spiritual nourishment.
And, as you can tell below, I enjoyed the event so much after experiencing such comfort and relaxation.
Hospitality means you open your home and your heart, and last night, my host did both.