Yesterday I wrote about hurting. Today, I am writing about smiling inside my heart. It is Easter Monday today, and all over the world, Christians are celebrating the fact that Christ is risen indeed – all those long years ago!
Why am I smiling? Well, God has answered a heartfelt prayer of mine since I received the email yesterday telling me about the nasty review. As I see it, only the Lord can prosper our business. I can do everything possible to help ourselves, but only He can make things work out. Well, after receiving the notice of the review last night, I began to wonder how this would affect our bookings, particularly as online bookings come via the same booking engine that the review came through.
‘Oh ye of little faith,’ I say to myself. We received a nice booking today and it was for the same room too. I think God is smiling up there at the irony of it all. He really does have a sense of humour! But why else am I smiling? The simple answer is people – nice people.
Today saw the check out of guests from most of our rooms so that they will be home in time to get back to work tomorrow. Everyone without exception told us on leaving just how much they enjoyed their stay at Blenheim Lodge. All, without fail, said that they would write reviews to tell of their lovely stay at our guest house. In fact, one of the people who checked out yesterday instead of today has already done so. It was a great review.
I am just so grateful to be surrounded by kindness at this time of vulnerability. It has been a hard slog today with so many people leaving and all the rooms to clean and make up. I did not sit down for something to eat – my first bite today – until 3 pm. I had been working off just one mug of coffee the whole morning and early afternoon, but I am still smiling. It is the reason why both Hubby and I keep on running the B&B. There are such a lot of nice people to meet!
The hard work of cleaning so much all within a short space of 5 hours has re-agitated my sore shoulder. For some reason, the whole area at the top of my right arm gets terribly painful, so much so that it can be agony to move my arm or hand in any way. It is something I have suffered from for years now, and I think it is the result of overuse of my arm and shoulder.
However, I am still smiling inside. I would rather have a sore arm than not to have met the many wonderful people we have had to stay at our guest house. Later this month, we will be welcoming back a couple who were here thrice before to celebrate special occasions: their honeymoon, a birthday, and an anniversary. This time they are bringing 6 friends with them to celebrate a 50th birthday. Hubby and I are looking forward to seeing them again.
Meanwhile we have had an email from another couple who will be returning to us for their 6th time this year. (They always stay in the same room that the reviewer griped about, although our lovely couple thoroughly enjoy the room!) This couple is great fun and we always enjoy a laugh together. They come to celebrate the gentleman’s birthday although he looks no older year on year. When I get to his age, I hope I will have aged just as nicely.
So, all in all I have had a tiring day, but a nice day nonetheless – all because of the kindness of people through my Lord. It has made me recall the following verses in Ephesians 4:31-5:2:
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/be-kind-to-one-another)
Running a guest house and working in the public eye is not always easy. It behooves us always to be kind to those whom we meet. Being kind can mean many things: to invite guests for a cuppa and biscuits when they arrive; to help with travel arrangements particularly when they are coming from overseas; to listen when they have a concern or something to say and to respond appropriately. One Japanese couple mentioned in their review how kind we were when speaking with them because we took the trouble to use simple words and spoke slowly so that they could understand us.
‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com
Telephone: 00 44 (0)15394 43440