The Guestbook

Sharon Jaynes Power of Words 41 Comments

Happy summer! Can you believe it’s the end of July already! I thought I’d share a lesson God taught me and my family while we were on vacation. Grab some lemonade (or sweet tea) and let’s enjoy God speaking to us first one way and then the other during the last few weeks of summer!

Just before leaving our rented condominium after a week of sun, sand, and surf, at Hilton Head Island, SC, we found a treasure tucked under some old magazines on the coffee table. It was a 6 x 8-inch white guest book, signed by previous vacationers who had also shared a relaxing week away from home.

Feeling somewhat like a “peeping Tom” craning to peer into someone’s window, we cracked open the book and stole a glimpse into the personalities of our fellow travelers.  With each entry, we visualized what the guests looked like, decided if we would like to invite them over for dinner, and surmised whether they had an enjoyable vacation together.

Have a look for yourself and decide with whom you would like to share a cup of coffee or would like to have as your neighbor:

  • “Thank you very much for the use of your condo. We thoroughly enjoyed our first, but not last visit to S.C.”
  • “Had a great time. Enjoyed your villa very much! However, you need to have the springs in the couch repaired. Very uncomfortable to sit on. Thank you.”
  • “We have decided that this is where we’d love to live. It’s a golfer’s dream. Your courses are beautiful. The girls loved the beach, parasailing, bike rides, horseback riding, shopping! I love my tan. We will be back to visit! If you are ever in Arkansas, come to Stuttgart. We are 50 miles east of Little Rock. Stuttgart hosts the World Championship Duck Calling Contest every year during Thanksgiving weekend. We are known as the “Rice and Duck Capital of the World.” Riceland Rice comes from our little town and the ducks feed off of the rice fields during the winter after harvest. It is some of the best duck hunting anywhere. Thank you for the use of your condo.  We’ve had a great week here.”
  • “We really enjoyed your villa, but we won’t be staying here again. We just booked another villa at Colonnade for next year a couple of doors down for almost $300 less.”
  • “Hello. My name is Amanda and I got here yesterday. So far we are having a good time. I’m eleven-years-old and I came here with my mother,  grandmother, and my Aunt Loretta. She got here at the same time we did, but she is leaving tomorrow. We came all the way from Lake Wylie, S. C. I love it here and might be back next year.
  • “It has been a fabulous time. This villa is bigger than our home! My niece is sure she saw a whale at the Old Oyster Factory, but we are sure she saw a buoy. Greg and Dad played golf together and we all played mini-golf. We went bike riding and “gator chasing.” The ocean is breathtaking. I’ve never seen it before, so I’m still in awe!
  • “When we first came, the keys wouldn’t fit, you forgot to give us a pass, and we almost ran over a biker. Get better service! Two grandmas were with us! Sixth time here – never happened before.”

The Bible tells us that we are simply visitors here on earth (1 Chronicles 29:15).  The words we speak are also our entries in the Guestbook of Life.

What entries am I writing with my attitudes, actions, and words for all the world to see?  Will others think that I was a crabby old lady who wanted better service? Will they think I savored each day here with my wonderful family? Will they think that I would have preferred another life just a few doors down? Or will they think that I so enjoyed my time here that I wanted to share it with anyone and everyone who was passing through?

Do you want to know what we wrote in the Guestbook before we left?

“Thank you for the use of your beach home. July fourth is a time to celebrate our great country with its many freedoms. Our hope for all who follow us here is that you will know the freedom which comes from knowing the Truth that sets us all free (John 8:32).”  Steve, Sharon and Steven Jaynes

What are you leaving in the guestbook of life for all to read? What would you like to be leaving in the guestbook of life for all to read?

Now, live this day as if you were a walking, talking letter from God to everyone you come in contact with!

Dear Heavenly Father, Your Word tells me that I am a letter being read by everyone. I pray that I won’t be junk mail today. I pray that I won’t be like a bill making people feel like they owe me. I pray that I will be a love letter, a thank you note, and an invitation to celebrate life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Here’s your chance to start today. Leave a comment about one thing you enjoyed about yesterday or today. 

We are walking, talking letters to the world, telling them and showing them about what Jesus is like. Yikes! The Bible calls us Ambassadors. If you need to improve the quality of your letter, you might want to read The Power of a Woman’s Words to learn about the people we impact, the power we possess, and the potential to change. 

Forward to a Friend

Comments 41

  1. Bittersweet, I met with colleagues to plan the going-away luncheon for a colleague whose position was eliminated. The departing lady has certainly signed our guestbook!

  2. I am visiting with my 83 year old mother and am so thankful for that opportunity. She is in great health and beat me at 2 games of cards yesterday. We live 1500 miles apart but maintain a wonderful relationship. Thank you God!

  3. Thank you, Father, for allowing me to visit your beautiful garden called Earth. I’ve enjoyed watching the sunrise light up my world each morning and the sunset prepare it for rest. I love hearing the birds sing and watching the squirrels scamper about. Your flowers are absolutely gorgeous and I anticipate the new blooms every day I’m here. Thank you for the visitors you send my way. Help me to tell them all how wonderful you are. I’ll be here for as long as you think is good , but I look forward to the new place you are preparing for me with barely-controlled excitement.

  4. I had hip replacement surgery last week.
    I am enjoying walking without pain in my hip.
    I have been surrounded by love, prayers of my church, family & friends
    and the Lord’s presence through it all.

  5. Such a great reminder Sharon! My husband and I took the day yesterday to drive to a state park in Arkansas (our goal is to visit all of our state’s parks) and enjoy the beauty God created that surrounds us! A beautiful day at Mammoth Springs State Park and so much history in this beautiful state! We so enjoyed the Master Artist’s display of color and design! A wonderful time!

  6. Hello, yesterday we had our first seasonal rain. It was beautiful. The wind was a little scary, but the silence before the thunder made us look for the one who gives this beauty. The rain brought much relief to the dried lawns, the flowers sand with beauty and the smell of fresh rain brought a feeling of being washed new.
    Thank you for this opportunity to share Gods beauty.

  7. So enjoying the hummingbirds at our feeder this summer! The Lord must have had a blast coming up with all the different amazing species of bird, insect, mammal. Including Homo sapiens, all different, unique; each one special and so precious. He knows your name! And loves you so much, the knowledge of that is breathtaking!

  8. Today is my Moms, 88 birthday. As I think of her and love her with all my heart, I see how people still gravitate to her. She lives in a Senior Community and all her neighbor’s love her and love to come and sit and talk with her. I want to be just like my Mom as she is a walking, breathing, living example for us all.

  9. Thank you for this reminder. Yesterday I was able to get outside and go for a bike ride and a walk. It was beautiful. It’s been dangerously hot here, so it was nice to get outside again.

  10. I love to read and write in the guestbooks where we stay! We were blessed to have two vacations this summer with family and friends. Now it’s back to work. We had registration last night at the school I work so I helped with that. We have a new principal, who happens to be my best friend. She is doing a great job! I was able to witness that last night. I’m so proud of her. Y’all have an awesome day!

  11. Yesterday was a great day! I got some “spring” cleaning out of the way (about time). I was able to spend some time with my 18 month old Grand nephew! God is GOOD!!!

  12. Included the many joys of yesterday are the cooler temperatures and the crepe myrtle blooms!
    Thank you for reminding us that there is so much to appreciate and share especially God’s immense love and amazing grace!

  13. Oh Sharon! Thank you for the wonderful reminder of first, who we are to be in Christ Jesus, and second, they we CAN find blessings in each day, regardless of our circumstances.
    Yesterday I was blessed and reminded that the Lord is always in the details of my life, and surprises me when I least expect it. He’s a good, good Father. Blessings to you and yours!

  14. Yesterday I enjoyed a full day of working at home, my husband getting home a bit earlier than usual, and a simple, hearty meal with him. I enjoyed sunshine and watering my flowers. Today I’m taking the afternoon off to enjoy lunch and the beach with a friend. Life is good because GOD is good! 💗

  15. Thank you for this writing. I really thought about my words and what I My “guestbook” looks like throughout the day. I am also thinking about what I currently say about life and the constant struggles I have been having for a long time now. I never want to come off as fake, so when trials come like a flood it’s hard to pretend I am all good. But I am remembering God’s word and just last week two different friends reminded me that I am being watched more than I realize. They complimented me on how I keep the faith through trials. I didn’t think I was doing a good job, but I believe God gives me strength through prayer and his word to represent him well even through my life hurts right now.

  16. I had a wonderful weekend with my friend and my family. Yesterday was hectic and back to work, so I think I forgot to think of the good things! I had a great steak for dinner.

  17. Yesterday was a crying Day for me.My one Son Brian had good news to tell me.I WAS HAVING A BAD DAY.He was upset with me.He told me,that he and his girlfriend ELLIE are engaged now.i am very happy.They will get married in 2020.I am happy for them.They have been dating for 6 years now.Brian was married before.His wife Beth would not sign the divorce papers.She finally signed the divorce papers.She hurt Brian very much.She cheated on him. I JUST LOST MY HUSBAND 2 MONTHS GO.I am doing the best I can.This is my 2nd marriage.He was mentally,and physically disabled.He did not want children.We had 4 SONS.wE ALL SUFFERED.i threwed him out 4 times.We stayed friends.We both have low-self esteem.He and I were both physically,mentally,emotionally,and sexual abuse from his Stepfather,and I,MY FATHER.my mother did all of the otherabuse.THE 2ND HUSBAND WAS MY UNCLE THROUGH MARRIAGE.HE WAS MENTALLYAND EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE,AND SEXUALLY ABUSIVE.i loved them both still.i left my 2nd husband 4 times.WE WERE MARRIED ALMOST 18 YEARS.He was a great provider.the last 5 years,he had dementia,and full blowned Alheimers at the end.He also had lung cancer,kept it from me.I FORGAVE BOTH OF THEM.my SONS DD DIED 5 YEARS AGO.i am labeled as POST DRAMATIC STRESS DISORDER,AND MAJOR DEPRESSION MYSLF.I am trying to put all of the pieces back together again.GOD IS GOOD,ALL OF THE TIME.I AM A SURVIVOR.

  18. I feel blessed because someone who said she’d do something for me actually followed through…and I just may be highly blessed because of her actions. I am amazed at the goodness of the human race; despite the trying and difficult times. I am feeling thankful and grateful.

  19. Yesterday I felt blessed that I have office friends I love to work with.
    I thank Jesus for my family and friends.

  20. Yesterday was a wonderful day. Our 2 daughters and 5 grandkids came over to join Grandpa and Nana to swim in our pool all afternoon! God has blessed us in so many ways! ❤️

  21. One word,Believe…..I believe that I have favor with man and with Father God. I trust Him,wholeheartedly and I pray all who read this comment will Seek Him. He loves me so….

  22. Yesterday was a day to enjoy a break from work (part-time jobs) for my husband and me. Just spending some extra time together here at home is enjoyable for us both. Monday is one of our days to keep our granddaughter for several hours and she is truly a joy! As we get older ( and are semi-retired)….we love the simpler things in life. “Little Miss” (age 5) asked Grampa to go out in the yard with her and pick a bouquet of wild-flowers for me while I was fixing dinner. After dinner, we worked on a puzzle together, with our daughter also joining in when she arrived! We are so blessed to have a wonderful, loving and caring family and now that we live nearby our daughter’s family, we can spend more time with them….making more happy memories! God is good❣️

  23. Loved this post about the Guestbook. I will often leave reviews on sites like Trip Advisor and sometimes, I’m not all that positive, but other times I’m excited to share a wonderful experience. This post today convicted me that if I don’t have anything nice to say, I probably shouldn’t say anything at all.

    Sharon asked us to share one thing we enjoyed yesterday or today. Yesterday, I was finally able to get outside and work in my many little flower beds. After I was finished, I sat down on my front porch and just surveyed all the blessings God has given me–the abundant fruit trees dripping with fruit, the flowers and plants that give my otherwise “rustic” yard, beauty. I thanked God for the clear blue sky and the gentle breeze cooling me down after my labors. I have much to be thankful for!

  24. Yesterday, my husband and I got to take our almost 3-year-old to the air and space museum. He LOVES planes. We got to watch his face as he saw hundreds of different aircraft. He was enamored. It was a reminder to me to just slow down and enjoy the view sometimes.

  25. I’m trying to capture and recognize all my glimpses of glory that the Lord shares with me daily… yesterday was a biggy!! Driving home on the freeway from my moms home, about half an hour drive, my husband realizes he doesn’t have his phone!!! Thinks he may have left it at my moms. Then a thought came to him! Oh no! I hope I didn’t leave it on the back of the truck cover!! When we stopped (30 minutes later) he got out of the truck… and found his phone on the top of the cover of the bed of the truck!!! THAT WAS A BIG GLIMPSE OF GLORY, for sure!!!…. love your books Sharon!!!!

  26. Today I saw my massage therapist. Calli is wonderful! I love not only her treatment of my body but our talks and her speaking to my soul. She is a true soul sister.

  27. I loved your post today! Tomorrow as I go about my day I want to reflect God’s love in every interaction!
    Hold me accountable….

  28. Enjoying my stay-cation this week and spending time with my grandkids has been the highlight of my week. They are 5 and 3 and full of life and joy!! Also enjoyed dinner with my parents; and awesome this morning to unusually cool weather for Florida in July! Enjoying sitting on my porch with coffee and praising my Jesus!

  29. Talked with my son today who was repairing his car. Replacing a hose was giving him a bit of trouble since it was a bit too short. I told him I would pray and I did. Several minutes later he texted me: I thought of a different pair of pliers and used some silicone so I got it on. . .. So thankful God cares about even the little things we pray about. “You do not have because you do not ask.”

    Sharon, is the Praying Wives app still working or did you shut it down? When I go there, “Gone Fishing” is all I get. Thank you.

  30. A beautiful day. First, it didn’t rain! We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately. Second, the sun was shining. It felt wonderful on my face. Third, it wasn’t so hot that you felt like you were burning up. What a blessing! Thank you, God for this beautiful day.

  31. I loved reading today’s message. The comments left behind by the guests in your condo were inspiring and thought provoking. I live that you said our lives should be like a letter for others.
    Our first grandchild was born about 5 weeks ago. As a new grandparent the experience is showing me the legacy that i need to leave for my family has to be one of unconditional love. I want my sons and grandson to remember me as someone who they could always depend on for whatever.

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  32. I am grateful that I had the stamina to complete everything on to-do list yesterday, even though I didn’t feel well when I woke up. I thanked God for allowing to see another day, to order my steps so sin will rule over me, and help me plan out my entire day. When I put God first at the beginning of my day, all goes well. I put a smile on son’s face by telling he’s a wonderful gift from God, and expressed to a friend from Australia, that she is a beautiful person inside and out, and it brought a smile to her face as well. I’m in remission of cancer, and taking my life for granted is not option! I am grateful and blessed to have life & living it to the fullest!

  33. Yesterday was great! A coworker with whom i had a silly friction had a change in attitude toward me to a positive one, so I’m very happy for this new opportunity that God is giving us to point people to Him. She is also a daughter of God and I was very uncomfortable with knowing that i had differences with a sister.

  34. Yesterday, I visited two of my mom’s life long friends at their retirement community. We are all still grieving the loss of my mom from this life last February… these gals and Mom met in 7th grade, so they have known and loved her even longer than I have. We laughed and cried together, remembering the joy she brought to all our lives. I brought them chocolate chip sandwich cookies and we all needed damp paper towels after indulging… they giggled like little girls and it was sheer delight to be with them, although still bittersweet without my mom’s laughter chiming in as well.
    Even more than the cookies, the laughter and tears, I’m so grateful to be able to share Psalm 116:7-9 with them and others who are missing my mom. The Lord has blessed her and all of us in so many ways.
    Return, O my soul, to your rest;
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
    For you have delivered my soul from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling;
    I will walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.
    Our Lord truly is the God of all comfort. Thank you, Sharon, for all your encouragement!

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