Hospitality can sound like a big and scary word. Images of appetizers, a table set with matching cloth napkins, a fancy meal plan, and a freshly cleaned (like every square inch) house. Jen Schmidt breaks apart our preconceived notions on what hospitality is, and deals with each of our personal roadblocks to welcoming people in. In her book, Just Open the Door, Jen deals with topics such as available space, financial limitations, getting to know neighbors, hospitality on the sports field, the impact of one person trickling down to others, creating a culture of hospitality for your children, and spontaneous vs. planned hospitality (the benefits of both).
I loved this book! I had first heard about it from author and blogger, Crystal Paine, who had read the book, implemented the lifestyle/heart changes, and was so glad she did. In her post, she shares that there is no one specific way to open your ‘door’. It may involve inviting a single person for coffee, a group over for dinner, new people and old friends, play-dates for kids, and hosting birthday parties.
As you can tell from my picture, there were many pages I earmarked as ones I wanted to come back to later. Hospitality basically means welcoming people in as they are, and meeting them where they are at. For me, sometimes that even means meeting them at their house. As any mom of littles can attest to, sometimes it’s just easier to have the play-date at your house so you don’t have to pack everyone up to go visit someone.
Ideas mentioned in the book included:
- having an extra blanket and snacks at sports practice
- picnic at a park
- neighborhood outdoor movie night
- spontaneous ice cream sundae bar (bring a topping to share)
- keeping extra pizzas in the freezer for impromptu guests
- inviting a new person over for coffee
- having a couch available for your kids’ friends to join your family for the weekend
- using candles and favorite foods to welcome your own family in for supper (making them feel like special guests)
- “Come as you are” nights where your friends come in their gym clothes or pj’s for snacks.
- Walking alongside people in grief (meals, notes sent months later when everyone else has moved on except those who actually experienced the loss)
I received this book as part of the blogger review program with B&H Publishing Group/Lifeway . I was very thankful for the opportunity to review this book as it met all my expectations and will go on my recommended read list!