Motel mix-up provides good spiritual lesson

One of the joys of being a motivational speaker, besides the speaking, is getting to travel all over and meet great people. There is another interesting part, — the staying in hotels part.

Lois Olmstead


There have been all kinds of adventures. One time the retreat committee made a reservation for me at Comfort Suites motel close to the Portland airport. The shuttle could get me from the airport to the motel. Then the ladies would pick me up for the trip to the retreat location. This would work well for me. I needed to work on my new book.

My plane landed at 10:30 p.m. My first stop was at the cart machine thing. I put three dollars in the slot and got a cart for my suitcase of clothes, two full of books, my notebook and laptop and headed to the baggage area – with confidence. I am getting this traveling across the nation down to a fine science.

My special notebook/purse is perfect for keeping notes, boarding passes and money. I wear pants with a sweater and jacket so I will be prepared for any temperature on the planes. I know which shoes to wear that will allow me to sprint from concourse to concourse. He-Who-Took-Long-Steps got me the perfect carry-on for stuff I need with me, even snacks too.

When I get to the baggage area, I push my cart with confidence to the bank of hotel telephones. The hotel name is in the “travel notes” section of my notebook purse. I call for shuttle pickup. My suitcases with Justin Rodeo tags come down the conveyor belt. I tug the bags onto my cart and walk, with world traveler confidence, out the door to find the motel shuttle sign. No problem.

In 10 minutes, I spotted the Country Inn and Suites van and waved to the driver. A flight attendant and I got in. The driver “oof-ed” as he loaded my heavy bags into the van. 

“If I wasn’t saving $50 freight charges, I would send the books ahead,” I told him. 

We chatted all the way to the motel. He unloaded my bags onto the motel luggage cart. Because of the “ooofs” I gave him a $5 tip.

Then I followed the flight attendant to the desk to register. As she was signing in, I stood there feeling so fortunate. Getting to do what I love to do and feeling like God is using this ministry just gives me goose bumps of joy! A thought of “God, we are really getting good at this traveling stuff” went through my mind. Then it was my turn to register. I gave her my name. She couldn’t find it. I confidently flipped to the “travel notes” and said, “I have the confirmation number right here.”

She scanned their reservation files. I looked at my note from the retreat chairman. The number was right there. Right there under the name “Comfort Suites.” My neck did a boomerang turn to the sign on the desk. “Country Inn & Suites” it said.

“I am at the wrong motel!” I said.

She was great. “It happens all the time. I will call their shuttle for you,” she said. 

While the Comfort Suites driver was “oof-ing” my bags into the back of his van for the trip to the right motel, I got another $5 bill. I also had a little not-so-confident talk with the Lord. 

“I might have all the perfect travel stuff. It is just me You got to keep working on!” I said.

Maybe you can relate. We do get full of ourselves at times. I am glad the Bible says in Lamentations 3:22, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness, O God.” 

Amen to that!


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at or visit