Perhaps I’ve had a daydream (or three) of someone coming by to make beds and vacuum floors—but this wasn’t exactly how I pictured it going down.
Quite the country mile (on a muddy gravel road) from what we’d planned, but nonetheless…
Suite 229 would be our address for a while.
Housekeeping angels aside, those months of hotel life were anything but charmed—except for one undeniable, aqua-tinted perk.
With home reduced to cramped hotel quarters, the pool quickly became our escape from the small of a room and its imposing walls.
Day upon cloudless day, we’d whisk through the halls and down the stairs, sunscreen and towels in tow—our RSVP to the sun’s hospitality.
And so it was that sun-kissed afternoon in July.
Well, unless you count the little detail of us being wholly unaware of the divine appointment God had penciled in for us.
He’s organized like that.
Flip-flops off and towels strewn, the boys splashed in chlorine-laced water as I settled into umbrella-graced shade.
My sons, still innocent enough to know no stranger, collected playmates almost as quickly as they collected dirt. And this golden summer day proved no exception as they became fast friends with a boy whose name I wish I could remember.
Just another day in the life of a hotel-hitched family.
Oh, but it wasn’t.
If we could only fathom the difference we make by simply showing up for appointments we never knew we had.
As the sun fell and bellies cried, I called my sons in for showers and supper. They scurried their shivering, towel-draped selves “home” while I lingered behind to gather our things.
And there, in the dusk of that humble space in time, God offered a glimpse of His Day-Timer, His iCalendar, His divine appointment book.
A warm voice interrupted my incessant mental chatter:
“Thank you,” she said.
“Your boys are great kids.”
“You should be proud.”
I listened as this grateful mother spoke of a son who was different. Who was never included. Who was used to being the lonely watcher, not the giddy splasher.
“This was a Godsend…the highlight of his year,” she said.
“Your boys, I don’t think they even noticed his differences.”
“Thank you more than you know.”
And here we thought we’d gone poolside to escape the nagging walls of a hotel room.
And here we assumed we were living the nomad life because we’d been unable to find a house in our new city.
And here we forgot we were Living Temples, Kingdom Builders, Divine Appointment Keepers.
Oh, the glory we’d see if we could pull back the curtain linking earth and sky, here and eternity—the many connections He’s laced together beyond our notice. Tweet This
So often, in our most trying times, He’s busy weaving purpose into our pain—using our small for His great.
He plants our feet in timely places, redeeming the difficult days in our stories for the greater good of Kingdom Come.
That evening, I walked back up those stairs to Suite 229 with fresh eyes for the unseen glories bound up in the heavy of life.
New sight for old truths, as cramped hotel life became a worthy offering to the Keeper of eternal timetables.
I met God in the grateful eyes of a mom that day.
In the laughs of a filled-up boy.
In the sacred cadence of surrender’s song: Here am I, Lord, send me.
What about you, friend? Have you seen God show up and turn your broken places into timely places?
This article appeared first at SusanBMead.com.
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Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Love this story of divine appointments. How many times do we think it’s all about us, when really we are there to meet someone else’s need? Lovely reminder!!
So true, Bev. Makes me think of one of my favorite verses, “He must increase, I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Hope you’re doing well and had a wonderful birthday. xoxo
Love this! So beautiful! He is always working, we just need to be watching! Blessings, friend!
“We just need to be watching.” Yes! For sure. Oh to be mindful of that in the busy of life! Thanks for being here and being such an encouragement, friend. xoxo
Betsy de Cruz says
What a beautiful and inspiring story, Brenda. Just so lovely to read how God used your kids. And to think they had no idea.
Don’t you just love how God works through us, even as we’re unaware? We often pray for eyes to see, but I wonder how much there is that’s unseen. What an honor to serve Him & what a blessing that we don’t have to have pristine lives in order to be useful to His kingdom. Thanks for being here and sharing, friend. xoxo
I love this story Brenda! God certainly has a way of weaving His plans into our days, and creating something beautiful out of an otherwise average day. Oh that we would have eyes to see! Kindness and acceptance goes a long way, doesn’t it? This was truly inspiring!
Such a long way! I know it means so much to me in my own life, and I love that He gives us daily opportunities to reach out and pay it forward to others. (Even in times when we don’t understand its impact!) Thanks for sharing, Rachel. So glad you’re here, friend. xoxo
Thank you, Brenda! We have been living with my mom for several months since our home was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma. Even though I’m grateful, some days I feel a bit stuck. There are other days, thankfully, where I am able to appreciate that God has us here for a reason. Your post is a beautiful reminder not to miss the divine appointments God is crafting into our days. Blessings to you!
Oh my goodness, Carlie. ((Hug)) Prayers for you as you’re in a transitional phase right now. I pray you’re able to finish the house soon, and get back to some sense of normalcy. Thank you so much for sharing. May He lighten your spirit today and give you a glimpse behind that curtain to see a little bit of His purpose in it all. (((Hug)) xoxo
Lauren Sparks says
Beautiful! I am a mom of one of those “different” kids. This touched my heart. laurensparks.net
(((Hug))) Thank you for sharing, Lauren. So glad you’re here. xoxo
Lisa notes says
Oh, this story makes me cry! I love how God knows so much more about what appointments we’re keeping than we do. “And here we forgot we were Living Temples, Kingdom Builders, Divine Appointment Keepers.”
I love that about God too, Lisa. The great organizer of our days and our lives, He is. Thanks for sharing, friend. xoxo
Lisa Appelo says
What a great reminder Brenda! I love this story and how God pulled the curtain back just a wee bit that day so you could catch a glimpse — and share it with us. Blessings today, friend.
Those rare occasions when He allows us to be privy to part of the bigger picture are so precious, aren’t they, Lisa? Thanks for being here and sharing your sweet encouragement, friend. xoxo
What a beautiful example of God’s divine appointments unknown to us. I also see the testimony of how you have taught your children by precept and example that we are all important.. So it seems your walls felt a little farther out in that hotel room that day. Because the King of Kings had met your there. What a mighty God we serve.
“Because the King of kings had met you there.” — This makes my eyes grow teary, Calvonia. Thank you for that beautiful reminder. Thanks for being here today and sharing. ((Hug))
Oh sweet Brenda, what a sweet reminder for us all to really #BePresent even in those moments we don’t want. Life isn’t always easy but trusting in God’s plan over everything is what He asks of us. Thanks, I (and others I’m sure) needed this today.
I’m ever in need of those reminders myself, friend. So glad those moments are redeemed by the One who orders our days, our lives and our divine appointments. —- Thanks for stopping by and saying hi, friend. So good to see you. xoxo
Amy Jung says
This makes me want to pray for the Lord to open my eyes to the needs and what He’s doing around me more! Thanks!
Me too, Amy! Me too. Oh for eyes to see, Lord. Thanks for being here and sharing. xoxo
Such a great story, Brenda! I love those moments when we catch a glimpse of what God is doing and see that he is using us to impact others!
I do too, Lesley. Such humbling moments, aren’t they? Thanks for being here and sharing your thoughts. 🙂 xoxo
Rachel Q says
Can’t even imagine living in a hotel for a month. Kudos to you. I think I might have gone crazy!!! What a great reminder that throughout our day we never know what kind of impact we can have on others. Thanks for sharing! (Stopping by from #DestinationInspiration)
Quite a few months, it was. eek. 🙂 It had its pros and cons, though. So glad God builds His Kingdom even in cramped hotel quarters. 🙂 So glad you stopped by. Thank you for sharing, Rachel. Great to connect. 🙂 ((hug))
Lisa/Syncopated Mama says
I hope you’ve had a nice week! Thanks so much for hosting!
Maree Dee says
What a beautiful post that touched my heart. I could relate to the feelings of both momma’s.
Me too, friend. Thanks for being such an encouragement to the families of those who are suffering. ♥
What a beautifully written, moving story of God’s gentle, perfect provision – from everyone’s perspective – and of giving you eyes wide open to see your (and your kids’) wonderful, divine appointment. I felt so blessed by it I read it out loud to my husband. Thank you for sharing!
Dear Sue, your generosity of encouragement warms my heart. Bless you, sister. Lovely to connect. Thanks for coming by and reading. ♥
Oh yes, Brenda. Yes, there is a purpose in our pain. But, only in God’s economy. A beautiful illustration from real-life. Thank you!