Barfing Hospitality

I've been MIA, but it's been for a cool reason: last week, my friend Amy, her husband Cristian, and their boys Eli - 4 and Alec - 9 months, flew in to visit us from ROMANIA! Amy's from Texas, but she is a missionary working with street youth in Romania. She met her husband there, and that's where they're staying to raise their family.

We had a really good time with them! Honestly, we TRULY did...even in light of the following...

So, before they showed up, I prayed for God to grace me with a spirit of happy hospitality. I may be the quintessential Southern Belle, but I just have never had enough of that bend-over-backwards-to-accommodate sense to live up to the fabled Southern Hospitality ideal. I really wanted them to have a good time (you know those plane tickets weren't cheap!) and esp. traveling with 2 littles ones, I really wanted it to be as easy going and pleasant as possible. Little did I know what was about to be thrown my way...

When we went out on a super fun shopping spree Thursday morning, (they bought tons of stuff they can't get in Romania to ship back!) Bonnie Blue (our beagle) nosed through their bags...and found two big packs of chocolate candy. Yeah.

She ate them all, and then proceeded to barf nonstop all over everything for the next 12+ hours. Nightmare doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. The only good news what that - thanks to this awesome Chocolate Chart, which shows in detail what the exact amounts of different kinds of chocolate will do to your dog - we did avoid an extra bill from the vet. But B was in bad shape, barfing and shaking for hours and hours. Irritated? Absolutely. Resentful that she got into their stuff? You bet. Angry to be covered in dog barf & have her be in a potentially life-threatening situation? Believe it!

But the most shocking part? For whatever reason, (yes, it was God answering my prayer with grace,) I didn't let it ruin their visit, and I didn't wallow under the dark cloud I usually would have. It was...amazing.

The next morning, I told everyone to *make sure* everything food-wise was put up before we went out & about. When we got home? Yep. More barf. She ate an entire bag of marshmallows forgotten behind the couch that would no longer be Romania-bound. I wanted to cry. "Seriously, God???" This test was getting extreme. ...But, again, even though I was not amused by even MORE laundry, God's grace was there. As I was scrubbing on my hands & knees, I actively thought, "Well, at least this is clear/white and actually smells good. At least I don't want to wretch cleaning it up." Such positivity could only be divinely inspired, esp. the way I usually love to pout & stew in irritation.

I do 2 loads of laundry a week. I did 8 this weekend and still have 2 more. And those I am *not* enjoying, but the point is, they didn't ruin the visit!

Praise God that Bonnie Blue has recovered and is back to the good girl we know, and that, despite the barf-o-rama, we still had a good time with our friends! I am stepping up and saying boldly in faith that the reason I was given such a strenuous test of hospitality is b/c hopefully God is preparing us to move to Charleston, where people will be banging down our door to visit, and now after this, my new heights of hospitality have been amped up to appropriate beach-living levels. :-D


  1. I had a Yorkshire terrier named Scooter when I was in college. One Christmas I dropped a bowl full of chocolate covered peanut butter balls and Scooter went nuts scooping up as many as he could- he acted like he was going to eat me alive when I tried to take them from him so he ended up eating several. He got pretty sick and almost died. What a memory you and your friends will have to laugh at for years to come!

  2. i'm so glad to hear that you 1. had a good visit with 2. that B is ok and 3. that God was able to work through you in a not-so-fun situation! i love having company here in my home. i love visiting and sharing my world with them. it can be stressful though... that part, i don't love! if you guys ever want to drive down a few hours south and visit southeastern OHIO, here is the official welcome! we'd love to have you! we have 2 guest rooms, too!

  3. I loved the observation that marshmallow barf smells better than chocolate barf. I'm glad the visit turned out ok, even if it wasn't what you had expected. God works in mysterious ways. Safe travels as you head to Michigan later this week.

  4. Kellie - I hope I keep laughing through stuff like this. I totally thought about you as I prayed for my happy spirit of hospitality!

    Amy - I would LOVE to! That would have been the ONLY good part about still being in MI: we actually used to drive through Gallapolis every time we went home!!! Now it's out of the way, but surely SOME DAY!!! And we'd love to have you here, too, now that I'm officially hospitable. :-P

    Phyllis - THANK YOU for the travel prayers!!! (And yes, the vanilla scent really was, dare I say, pleasant? :-P)


Post a Comment