We played a few games on Friday night that Susan put together to see how much we’d gotten to know each other over the past six years that we’ve been as close as sisters. We learned so much about one another that we never knew! In fact, it was a whole weekend of learning with trips to the Air Force Museum, the zoo, a butterfly garden, a glass-blowing demonstration, and more. Of all that we learned, the thing that keeps coming to mind is that I learned what it means to be a good host.
Let me explain…
First, my friend Marian was an excellent host. It was her hometown in Ohio where we got together, and Marian planned a wonderful weekend with just enough outings paired with just the right amount of a downtime. She gave us all goodie bags and carted us back and forth to the airport. She gave everyone opportunities to choose their own adventures while also making sure we had optimal time together. We ate together, played games together, did tours together, and prayed together. It was perfect.
Our hotel, The Hilton Garden Inn in Beavercreek, Ohio, had the best staff I’ve ever encountered at a hotel. We spent the majority of our time there taking over one of the two large conference tables in the lobby or the breakfast area or the lounge chairs. Everyone was so accommodating, especially Rachel, the night desk clerk. If any of us ever returns to Beavercreek, Ohio, we know where we’ll be staying.
Both Marian and the hotel staff were the perfect hosts. However, I learned what can happen if you don’t have the perfect host.
On Saturday, we split into two groups. Half of us went to the Columbus Zoo, and half of us went to the Franklin Park Conservatory. My daughter, Morgan, drove from Pittsburgh to join us, so I let her decide where she and I would go. We went to the conservatory because Morgan is obsessed with butterflies, and Marian told us that their collection of flowers, plants, and butterflies was amazing. We were not disappointed!
After visiting the butterfly gardens, we stopped to ask one of the museum volunteers about two butterflies we thought were… getting along quite nicely.
The woman told us that, yes, they were doing what we thought they were doing; however, their efforts were in vain. They would not be able to lay eggs. Because all these butterflies are invasive to the US, they are not allowed to reproduce. How is that possible? Every butterfly needs a particular host plant on which to lay its eggs. Conservatories such as this one take extra care to make sure that they do not have those host plants anywhere on their grounds. Without the correct host, they cannot procreate. Without the correct host, life cannot go on as God intends.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot over the past couple days. Without the correct host, our lives are not able to proceed the right way or in the right direction. We cannot properly feed or nourish or reproduce. We become sterile.
Without Marian, our trip would never have happened. We needed her to invite us, guide us, and help us find our way. We needed the hotel hosts to provide for our comfort and help us with our basic needs. Without them, our trip would have been in vain.
Like the butterflies, we are all in need, all searching for our host. We need the right host in our lives to make our lives complete, to prevent us living in vain, fluttering about, trying to produce life’s fruit, but unable to sustain life.
During the upcoming Easter season, the Church will welcome thousands of new members around the world. All these Catechumen are entering the Church because they have discovered the true host and the True Host. They have spent months in preparation for the moment when they will hold the Host in their hands and place It on their tongues. They will enter into a new life, invited by our most wonderful Host, in which He will guide them and help them find their way.
Whether we know it or not, we are all looking, all in need, all hoping to find the right host. Without it, without Him, we cannot live life to the fullest, we cannot have our most basic needs met, we cannot reproduce as we are meant to. We won’t truly be able to spread joy, to know and share true happiness, to produce fruitful lives that will grow and flourish, to breathe new life into all we meet.
As we approach Holy Week, let us pray that we are seeking the right Host. Let us move mind and body toward that place of rest and peace that the Host prepares for us. Let us seek the One who will guide and nourish us. And let us be hosts to one another, sharing what we have, offering what they need, guiding them on their journeys, and leading them to our Heavenly home where “He welcomes you at any hour of the day or night. His Love never knows rest. He is always most gentle towards you. When you visit Him, He forgets your sins and speaks only of His joy, His tenderness, and His Love” (Saint Peter Julian Eymard).
May you never find yourself in a place that doesn’t provide what you need to sustain life, but if you do, know that there is a Host full of grace and mercy and love who is just waiting for you to begin your journey.
Come see Amy on one of these dates:
April 9, 2022 – First Landing Wine and Arts Festival, St. Clement’s Island Museum, Clements, MD
April 23, 2022 – A Day of Wine and Roses Book Festival, Brook Hollow Winery, Columbia, NJ
June 4, 2022 – Christ Church 350th Anniversary Fair, Broomes Island, MD
June 12, 2022 – Saints Peter and Paul Communion Brunch, Saints Peter and Paul Church, Easton, MD
June 18, 2022 – SunDial Books, Chincoteague, VA – The Launch of My New Chincoteague Trilogy!
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. The Good Wine, the sequel to Whispering Vines was released in June of 2021. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s chapter book is The Greatest Gift, and her most recent suspense novel is Summer’s Squall.
Amy’s second book in the Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Promise, was awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book in Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019. Amy’s book, Desert Fire, Mountain Rain begins her new Buffalo Springs series. Book two, Under the Summer Moon, was released in December of 2021.
Amy’s new book, Seeking Tranquility, will be released June 15, 2022. Pre-order your copy now!
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020), The Good Wine (2021), Under the Summer Moon (2021).