More Than Just a Place Setting!

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It was last week when Samantha and I went boothin’! We love, LOVE to go to local markets and antique stores just to see what we may find in booths that either would be a special touch in a client’s home, or would make the perfect gift for a friend.

Ok, to be honest…or would be a little happy for our own home! I mean, who doesn’t like to find a old roll top bread box, right? This one was gifted to us by friends!

But last week, the two of us were on a mission. Because of the Cornerstone Cafe, we wanted to find more dishes, dessert plates, cups and saucers, and bowls. You see, when ladies come to the Cafe’ they find a seat anywhere in the house or own the property where they would like to sit and then they are served homemade food on either china or everyday dishes, but no paper! Well, Samantha and I had this as our goal for the day…to find more dishes! So, as we were in this one particular market, the lady that owns the store asked us,

“What are you looking for?”

“We need china or some kind of really pretty dishes.”

“What’s the occasion? Is it a wedding or just for your home?”

“We’ve started having in our home what we call the Cornerstone Cafe’ every 1st Thursday of the month. Women come to have a home cooked meal and don’t serve themselves but are served. But the real purpose of the Cafe’ is for women to bring their friends or people they meet in the community that either need to hear the gospel message of Christ, or they need some encouragement or prayer or a just good ‘o hug and to be made to feel welcome into God’s grace. To really understand how loved they are! To feed the body and the soul. Like the verse says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” 

The entire time I am giving her this whole explanation, she is staring at me with this look in her eyes like she was just being all caught up in what I was saying. I was smiling the entire time I was telling her all this and she just kept smiling back.

Then, she said this …

“Let me go look in the back…I’ll be right back.”

Samantha and I keep looking..finding all sorts of things while she was gone.

And then I look down the aisle of the store and all I could see was a stack of rubbermaid boxes and a pair of legs underneath them  hurrying right up to me!

She placed all 3 boxes down on the floor and opened up the lids to some beautiful vintage set of dishes!! I already knew before we left that morning that we had 55 at the house, but I needed 25 more. So, when Samantha and I left the house we knew we’d either have to find 2 sets of 12, plus one, or we’d have to hodge-podge several sets together. We were up for the hunt!

But then …

I opened the first box the store owner placed on the floor and it was all dinner plates…so we began to unwrap them, one after the other. When I got to #12, I kept going…and going…and going. Until I realized, I had just unwrapped all the dinner plates and there was exactly 25 there! Are you kidding me! Then, I started unwrapping the bowls…25!…the dessert plates….25! Saucers…..25!

I couldn’t believe it! Not a single dish chipped or broken. She went back to the storage area again to find the cups and Samantha said,

“Mom, I know this is nice, really pretty, but you need to ask her how much? This is going to be expensive and we didn’t want to spend much at all. You need to ask her, mom, because she may keep pulling out even more and we may not can get any of this.”

She was right so as soon as the lady came back out, I was JUST getting ready to ask her how much all this was going to be, when she said,

“Look, I think what you’re doing is really a good thing. So, just take ’em. I want to donate all of this to your Cafe’!”

“Huh? Wait, What? Are you, … really? Seriously? You kidding me?”

For someone who usually has a rather lengthy vocabulary, I had nuthin’ … nuthin’ … only questions flowed out of my mouth because I couldn’t believe it! This was one of those times when it seems as though God is gently tapping you on the shoulder and then says,


He knew I didn’t see that coming! She gave away every piece of what you see in the featured image, but in 25 place settings!

Samantha and I loaded it up and as soon as we got in the car, Samantha said to me,

Mom, if that doesn’t tell you that God wants this Cafe’, I don’t know what would. That’s His way of saying, ‘I’m in this.”

As I put my car in reverse, I looked over at my happy daughter smiling at me and all I could say was,

“You’re so right. What’s in those boxes is God’s provision for His Cafe.’ It’s His way of blessing it and that makes those dishes way, waay, waaaaaay ……

more than just a place setting!

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lisa rippy

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