I have always loved entertaining in my home and have done a good bit of it over the years–Bible Studies, parties, family dinners and overnight guests. Over the past few years I have been on the receiving end of hospitality far more often than on the cooking and changing sheets end. God has had me on a bit of a different path for a while now that has placed me as the receiver of hospitality more often than the provider. As God has allowed me to travel the nation speaking at woman’s conferences, churches and ministry training events I have depended upon people for transportation, medication, restoration and celebration.
God’s people have blown my mind with their reflection of His love and hospitality that comes from a heart of serving and blessing.
The host/hostesses of these amazing events worked so hard and provided far more blessings than I could ever list here but taking a single memory from each one this is just a sample of some foot washing that came my way this year. I can only pray that I left a few clean feet behind 🙂
Asheville North Carolina (Thank you for Clothes and Confirmation!)
Tucson, Arizona ( Thank you for Ginger Ale/Saltines–not so much for the seafood 🙂 (JK)!)
San Antonio, Tx (Thank you for Fabulous Fun, Feathers and a Fabulous place to dance!)
New Breunfels, Tx (Thank you for friendship and swings!)
Estes Park, Colorado (Thank you for Water-living and liquid!)
Springfiled, Il (Thank you for a Family FIRST!)
Grand Rapids, Mi (Thank you for a reminder of WHY we do what we do and love who we do it with!)
Charlotte, NC (Thank you for Sisterhood-Can’t wait to see what comes next!)
Denver, Co (Thank you for greeting me with sunflowers)
Colorado Springs, Co (Thank you for Sky High Encounters and a field of flowers to pick!)
Dallas, Tx (Thank you for courage and encouragement!)
Birmingham, Al (Thank you for gIRL, Guacamole, BLING and being a keeper of precious things!)
Eastman, Ga (Thank you for being exactly who you are!) (more on this one below….)
Cleveland, Oh (Thank you for Saturday afternoon & Church Hospitality beyond belief!)
As you can see, it has been a very full year. Lots of fun, lots of hard work. BECAUSE of the Hospitality of God’s people it was all woven together with blessings.
The love of God takes my breath away.
As for my favorite little town of Eastman, Ga. Our ministry team was blessed with a weekend at a little B&B called the Dodge Hill Inn.
After arriving home I realized I had left some valuable jewelry behind. Having eaten breakfast each morning with beautiful Miss Ann, I had no worries. Sure enough, a few days later, I received my jewelry along with the following note.
I hope just reading this blesses you like it blessed me:
My dear Miss Pat Layton,I do so hope that your package has arrived, that nothing was broken, and that you were not inconvenienced. The hardest thing about travel, to me, is leaving things behind, and having to worry about them. I am gifted in this regard.You were here such a short time, but I do so wish I could have been at the seminar; everyone says that it was a very special experience, and that you are particularly inspiring as a speaker. Nevertheless, although I was not present at the church, it was good to take care of you all, and it gave me a great pleasure.Today, I am rereading Genesis for my School of the Laity, and I find it a beautiful, glorious, and poignant book in the Bible. I see the generations come and go, and find the beauty of the women–in every way–most touching. Rebekkah is my favorite, and her response to the call is the best: “I will go.” Also, I have been thinking of my mother’s family, and all my aunts and uncles who are gone. Somehow, my thoughts of them, and my reading today, converged in unexpected ways, and I felt grateful for the privilege of reading about Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekkah, and Jacob and Rachel. (I have a granddaughter named Rebecca and one named Rachel.) A sort of life-lesson emerged for me, as I was reading. Thus, not surprisingly, I find my “duties” a blessing. I know you have many on your prayer list, but keep us on it if you can. Give my love to all your team.Ann Dobbs
Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.