I had the privilege of reading Jen Schmidt’s (Balancing Beauty and Bedlam) new book Just Open the Door before it was available for sale. And what a privilege it was. Opening the doors of our home and building community have long been passions of mine, so I relished the opportunity to read this book about biblical hospitality. When hearing the words biblical hospitality, it doesn’t necessarily evoke warm and fuzzy feelings for me, but this book did. The stories, the insight; it reads as if you are sitting down with Jen herself, sipping tea and chatting about life.
Since moving and settling into our new life in North Carolina, my door hasn’t opened nearly as much as it used to, and while that’s ok, this book was a good reminder that I’m at my best when the door is swinging open regularly. And I love that as you read, it’s clear that an open-door policy isn’t just about the physical door of your home, but that mentality moves with you everywhere you go, whether that be the soccer field or the grocery store. And at a time when we still don’t have our people and our place here, that is crucial. But I hope to live that way even after we’ve settled here, because imagine if we embraced all opportunities to connect and engage those around us, never saying enough.
Looking back at our life in Iowa, it’s clear that by “just opening the door”, we found a richness of community and relationships that is unmatched. From all the baby showers and wedding showers and dinners with friends and dinners with acquaintances that became friends, to the day we placed a flamingo in our front yard and nervously waited for neighbors we’d never met to show up; our door was swinging wide all the time. And even as I look back at my childhood, the door was always open, always. So, at a time when we are still waiting for that richness and abundance in North Carolina, we will move forward and open the door as we have in the past, because we want to live with an open heart.
This book is truly for everyone, and I recommend it to all my friends; but if you are wanting to learn about simple, practical and heartfelt hospitality, then this is definitely the book for you. The kind of hospitality that works with what you have and where you are, not a Martha Stewart Pinterest perfect kind of hospitality, but the kind of hospitality that leaves others filled up. “When we use our lives exactly as they are, desiring only to create a sacred space for our guests, mixing it with the countercultural truth of loving Jesus and loving others, we turn entertaining upside down, and it becomes radical hospitality.” JS And as you read on and hear stories of people’s lives affected by the Schmidt’s open door living, it becomes abundantly clear that this kind of living truly can change a generation.
Today is the last day to preorder with perks, so head on over to www.dayspring.com and order yours now. Preorder perks include the first 7 CHAPTERS digitally, a beautiful PRINTABLE to download and $10 OFF any Dayspring order.