Just Open the Door
By Jen Schmidt
Published By: B & H
250 Pages

BACK COVER: Change a generation with something as simple as an invitation.
For many of us, inviting people into our lives and homes feels more like inviting judgment on our entertaining skills and stress on our already maxed-out schedules. But what if you knew that opening your front door had the power to radically change the world? To make an impact and leave a legacy with everyday invitations?
Jen Schmidt has set out to reframe how we think about hospitality and to equip us to walk a road of welcome in our daily lives. Jen knows that every time we choose open-door living—whether in our homes or by taking hospitality on the road just like Jesus—those we invite in get to experience the lived-out Gospel, our kids grow up in a life-lab of generosity, and we trade insecurity for connection.

Just Open the Door is a personal yes-you-can guide to offering the life-changing gift of invitation. Whether you’re a seasoned host looking for renewed inspiration or a nervous newbie not sure where to begin, these personal stories, practical ideas, and poignant insights will give you the confidence you need to see your home as the most likely location for changing the world around you, one open door at a time.

REVIEW: I was intrigued by this companion book to a bible study by the same name. I liked that the author shares from the heart and doesn’t make things complicated. I felt as if we were sitting down for coffee swapping family stories about how God moved in our lives. I didn’t feel intimidated or bad as Jen talks about her learning journey in hospitality from scripture and points to Bible reference that show how Jesus and others loved their neighbor. She talks about how she watched her parents; “an ordinary couple living the natural outflow of their faith, putting a smiling face on their heart of welcome”. She says “But the aroma, it created drew others in and changed the dynamic. It changed people’s lives”

I was blown away when this author explained the difference between hospitality and entertaining. I hadn’t a clue. She talks more about this topic but basically she says, “…Biblical hospitality offers our best to God first, understanding that our best to others will then fall into place. It transforms our selfish motives and elevates our guests…All the attention focuses outward: “You’re here! I’ve been waiting for you. No one is more important than you today & I’m thrilled you could come.”...“Extending hospitality is about freely giving of ourselves while granting others the freedom to be themselves. Shifting our focus from us to them removes all unnecessary expectations.” I loved that.

The author points out that the Old testament God tells us to welcome and love strangers. “In the New Testament early believers took the command seriously and used their homes as a place for extending grace to others.”

There is so much inside this 250-page book. Some of the topics talked about are: Everyday Moments, Who are my Neighbors, Come as You are, The Elephant in the room, Spontaneous vs on purpose, Hospitality as worship and so much more. I highly recommend this book and study to everyone.

ABOUT AUTHOR: For the last decade, Jen Schmidt has been encouraging, challenging, and cheering on women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of
their everyday lives on her popular lifestyle blog, Balancing Beauty
and Bedlam.

With a myriad of topics from easy dinner ideas and personal finance to
leaving a Godly legacy, Jen equips others to live life to its fullest, reminding
them it's the little things that really are the big things in life.

A popular speaker, worship leader and founder/host of the annual
Becoming Conference, Jen shares with humor and authenticity as she
invites others to join her on this bumpy, beautiful life journey.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, a few too
many animals and an available sofa for anyone who needs it.

For free resources, speaking inquiries and ideas for all things heart and home, connect with Jen at FB @beautyandbedlam

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher & Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
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