When you see someone in their element, doing something they are truly gifted to do, it’s a special thing.
Last week, I had the chance to witness someone displaying their abundant gift of hospitality first hand in a beautiful new-old house nestled in the hills of Hamilton, Virginia.
And that someone was Chris of Zion Springs Bed & Breakfast (and wedding venue). Here’s a picture of Chris (in the middle) with me and my mom.
They inherited a beautiful lot of land and built a home perfectly suited to their large family and included a “wing” to house Chris’s dad. Sadly Chris’s dad passed away before the home was complete, so Chris and her husband prayed about how they could use that extra space. She shared that they tried a few different things, like opening the rooms to local college students, and finally decided to take the plunge and turn it into a bed & breakfast.
And, more recently, they built a gorgeous barn to use as a venue for weddings and parties.
Of course, the home, grounds, and that barn are all beautiful. What was more enjoyable were all of the touches that made the place feel informal and like home. The boys immediately began shooting hoops with Chris’s youngest son. Within minutes, they were running through the private part of their house, taking a spin down the twirly tube slide in the basement, throwing the ball for the yellow lab to fetch, and playing soccer in the field by the creek.
It was the kind of home where you felt comfortable enough to sit and play the banjo. Barefoot. (Which some people chose to do!)
Or run around and take pictures of all of the “moments” that invited you to sit and just be…
…or meander and discover.
And it was a lesson that hospitality is so much more than quiche and coffee cake served on vintage Courier & Ives plates.
It’s more than offering a comfy bed and serving a tray of ice waters in mason jars to a group who just worked a long, hot day at an antique market.
And the fact that Chris understood that was evident in every conversation that seemed to filter directly to the heart. It was clear that running a bed and breakfast wasn’t simply about charging customers to enjoy their material gifts. Chris’s priority with using those material gifts in harmony with the gifts she possesses within her in order to minister to anyone who crosses her path.
And we were definitely ministered to as Chris and her family hosted my family and my crew through the entire Lucketts event. And she did it without asking for anything in return.
It was a beautiful thing to experience. It was not only such a comfort at the end of a busy, tiring day, but it was a challenge and an encouragement to me personally. I have been so “busy” since I had my kids and started my business and Jeff started school and on and on… But we’re all busy. And I know that I don’t want the sum of my adult life to be that I was busy and I worked really hard.
So, on the other side of moving boxes and uncertain plans, I hope to make hospitality and opening our home a greater priority.