Posted by: bellissimanh | January 5, 2008

Peace With-Inn

There are moments when you realize just how truly blessed you are. One of them occurred for me the Sunday before Christmas. A friend handed me a card after the worship service. Nothing particularly unusual about that… many of us distribute our Christmas Cards at church to save on postage. Yet something in her eyes and the tone of her voice as she handed it to me let me know that this card was different. And indeed it was.

I opened the card to find it signed by seven women. As I glanced over the names, I tried to figure out what they had in common. Were they women who attended my Bible Study? Some were, others were not. Some have been in my life for many years, others I have only recently come to know well.

As I tried to put it all together, a slip of paper fell out of the card. It was yellowed parchment paper, and printed on it was the following:

Merry Christmas Ticket

What: A night away with Joel

When: Friday, January 4, 2008, between 4&6 pm until Saturday, January 5, at 11 am

Where: Peace With-Inn Bed and Breakfast, on Route 113

Why: Because we love you.

“Because we love you.”  Aside from their love for the Lord, this is what they have in common. Even now, as I glance over my “ticket,” my eyes are filled again with tears and my heart is filled with amazement at these women who came together and gave so generously to me, and my wonderful husband. I am overwhelmed at their love for me and I am truly aware, in this moment, of how very blessed I am. 

Jonalie, Trish, Fran, Jodi, Candy, Diane, and Barb… you have no idea how profoundly affected I have been by this thoughtful and extravagant gift. I am totally in awe of your love for me, and have not ceased giving the Lord thanks for each one of you this weekend! You have ministered to my soul in ways I can’t express. You have provided quiet time for Joel and I to reflect on how good the Lord has been to us and to our family… to focus on what He is doing in our lives. You have given me something I was wanting, and had no idea how desperately I was needing. You have touched my heart. You have been Jesus to me. I love you.

While I will not give you ALL the details of our little get-away ;-), I did want to share some of the experience with you. As I drank in the beauty of the sun streaming through the snow covered tree limbs this morning, I found myself wishing that I had thought to bring my camera. Even if I had, I probably still wouldn’t have been able to capture the splendor and loveliness of it all… and certainly not the feeling of escaping to it, even if only for a brief time. We may have been only thirty miles from home, but it felt worlds away. I have no idea how we have lived in the Valley all these years and not known about this jewel, nestled into the White Mountains. Even Rachael Ray knew about it, naming it one of her top four places to stay in New England!

We checked into the Inn just before 6pm. We were met by Ingrid, who was very cordial and gave us a tour of the Inn. It was beautiful! The original homestead was built in 1750, with renovations and expansions coming since… but it has lost none of its original charm. It has been lovingly cared for all these years and it shows…

After checking in, we deposited our bag in our room and headed out for dinner. We decided to try The Oxford House.

We found the atmosphere a bit stuffy, but the service was great, and the food fantastic!  I had the Chestnut Bisque, while Joel opted for the Prince Edward Island Mussel Bisque. Both were wonderful, but his was better… 🙂  We shared an order of crabcakes that were out of this world… and then both had filet mignon that was served on a bed of wilted greens, with truffle whipped potatoes and crispy onion haystacks. It was fantastic! Sadly, we had no room for dessert. 🙂

We returned to the Inn and spent the evening relaxing in our jacuzzi. I had thought to bring some candles, so it was very peaceful and romantic. We loved every second!

The king-sized sleigh bed was very high off the floor, and I don’t know what thread count those sheets were, but they were heavenly! I meant to ask, and then forgot. They felt almost like flannel, but weren’t. I might just have to call to find out… I loved them!

As we descended the stairs this morning, we were met with the aroma of freshly baked blueberry muffins… and they tasted every bit as good as they smelled!  We sat down at our table to find the muffins (fresh out of the oven), grapefruit halves (the sections already sliced), cranberry juice, and the Inn’s own blend of coffee. It was robust and had just a hint of cinnamon (which Joel picked up on immediately).  The main course for breakfast was scrambled eggs benedict. I’ve never dared to try eggs benedict before, but gathered my courage and did so this morning. They were wonderful! I think Joel’s going to have to add a new staple to the big Saturday breakfasts he cooks!

After chatting with our hostess, Ingrid, for a bit, we gathered our things and headed home. I was so sad to leave! We will definitely return to Peace With-Inn… it was everything it promised to be and more… and the time alone with Joel is something that we don’t get nearly enough of. It was so nice to just enjoy one another’s company without the phone ringing off the hook, the kids interrupting, or work needing to be done. We definitely need to do this more often. I am so grateful to my sweet friends who thought to do this for us… particularly Jonalie, who set the idea in motion to begin with. Yes… I am truly blessed. In the words of Jerry Bouey…

True Christian friends are a blessing that are sent out by the Lord.
They come straight from Heaven (I’m sure that’s where they’re stored!)
They can touch your life with joy and make all the difference in the world.
They offer comfort and compassion when the storms of life are hurled. 

True Christian friends are a blessing that are sent from God above.
They fill your life with wonder and crown it all with love.
They are there with the answers when you haven’t got a clue,
And offer guidance and steadfastness when you don’t know what to do. 

True Christian friends are like poems, composed by the Son of God.
He made each one different, some may seem slightly odd,
But Christ is molding every one of them in His own special way.
Thank our Heavenly Father for each one He sends your way. 


I’ve spent a lot of time the past few weeks (as I’m sure all of you have) reflecting on the most perfect gift of Jesus, our salvation who not only was wrapped in swaddling clothes, but also wrapped Himself in human flesh that He might come to redeem us. Today, I am also pondering and treasuring another gift that has been tucked away in my heart… the gift of friendship the Lord has given me through each one of you. You are completely heaven-sent, and I am so thankful that our gracious Father has seen fit to place you in my life. He uses you mightily in my life, and I will forever be in awe of the way He has ministered to me through you. May He bless you abundantly as you have blessed me.

 “..every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17


  1. Wow! What an incredible getaway, as well as a testament to your beautiful spirit. You touch the lives of many people, and I’m glad that your friends found a way to express that to you.


  2. That looks simply amazing! I’m so glad you were able to get away. And how appropriate the name of the Inn for a Christian who visits!

    I agree with Xandra, the fact that your friends did that for you is a true testament to your character!

    Relish the memories!

  3. Oh my, you have been blessed, indeed!

    This inn in speaking to me and I would love to go there sometime!!!

    What a gift to have received — so special!!

    Blessings, friend!


  4. Your very welcome! You both have been through alot lately.
    I’m so glad you had such a good time!

    God Bless,
    Love you,

  5. You give so much to so many so you are very deserving of a little pampering. Thx for being a friend and thx for sharing your experience. God bless and bless and bless.

  6. It was God – it was Him who laid it on my heart. I am so thankful to Him for allowing me to be a part of your blessing! (and thank you to Candy, Diane, Jodi, Fran, Trish, and Barb for helping and being a part of that blessing, too!) I’m glad to hear it was a wonderful time! We love you. Jonalie

  7. Just came across your blog. What a beautiful gift. How nice to be blessed. The pictures look gorgeous!!

  8. wow, beautiful! I love the way you blog, just blesses me to read every time I click on your name. love, Sarah

  9. AWWW!!!
    last summer, a family gave Drew and I a little check with the express instructions to spend it on a getaway.
    oh, we did! B&B on the coast of maine…..
    the weekend was SOOOOOOOO relaxing and romantic!
    What a blessing!

  10. What a beautiful and thoughtful gift! You are truly blessed to have such wonderful sisters in Christ.

  11. Amazing! What a blessing God’s people can be to one another. HOw thoughtful!

  12. How amazing! I think it is wonderful to get time away with your husband. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful gift with us. It looked so peaceful.

    You are blessed with wonderful friends!


  14. That sounds heavenly!! Wow! What a precious group of ladies!

    I’m going to go research this little piece of heaven on the internet and dream about escaping there!!!


  15. Your Get Away sounds like a dream come true! What a beautiful gift, it is a testimony to the impact you have made on the lives of the women you do ministry and life with. Good for you! 😉

  16. […] many different seasons in my life and placed me in many different circumstances. Some have been wonderful; some have been tough. There have been times when I have walked away from mountaintop experiences, […]

  17. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to write this article. I found it to be very interesting as I can relate to this very well. I look forward to you writing again.

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