I raced around my house like it was the final lap of the Indy 500.
“Kids, I want the counters spotless. Grab that laundry from the sofa. Stuff all clothes in your closet.” My outside voice bellowed up the stairs. “You better get off your phones right now. Seriously, I need your help this instant or…”
Sweat dripped down my shirt and while some would kindly remark I glowed or glistened, I knew the difference. I was a hot mess. The clock counted down… fifty-nine minutes, fifty-eight, fifty-seven….
Company was coming. Panic mode permeated and my poor kids got the brunt of my upheaval. (Because heaven forbid, we actually let it appear like children lived in our home. Insert sarcasm.)
In that moment, I needed a heart check. I’d allowed culture’s idealized concept of social entertaining to hijack the heart of true hospitality. I dressed up my desire to pursue community and made it something that was never intended. After talking with hundreds of women about hospitality, I know I’m not alone.
Making the choice to go first and extend an invitation can be a deeply personal and vulnerable act.
Yet when we over-stress, over-plan, and over-think inviting others into our lives and homes, the thought of opening our door to anyone becomes overwhelming to our souls. We become slaves to the expectations of others and we freeze at the mere thought of extending that invite. So rather than fear rejection or judgement, we wait and hope someone else will reach out to us.
If we’re honest, it’s scary to put ourselves out there and welcome someone into the places where we’re most vulnerable — our home, our hearts, our story.
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? What if you believed that the greatest launching pad for intentional Kingdom work has already been placed right before you, and you don’t have to change anything before you start? You can begin with whatever the Lord has given you — with your unique personality, your calling, your nervous apprehension, and your heart to finally take this baby step.
Biblical hospitality has the power to do this: to change lives, to shift the culture, to impact a generation. But most importantly, hospitality offers us a simple, yet radical, life giving vehicle to welcome others and point them to the fullness of life in Christ.
I know that He has called, equipped, and appointed you to do amazing things right where you are if you choose to just open the door.
I’m so passionate about reframing this picture of hospitality and discovering how God uses simple steps of faithfulness to ignite life change that I’ve spent the last year writing a whole book (and Bible study) on the topic.
Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation is your personal yes-you-can guide to offering the life-changing gift of invitation.
This book isn’t just for those who are good at meal plans or pretty tablescapes; it’s for every woman who has ever desired more community in her life, whose heart aches for connection, and who isn’t sure where to start. It’s for introverts and extroverts, for those who love parties as well as those who dread them.
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 me. It’s never perfect, but then neither am I.
I know I’m issuing a bold declaration with strong phrases like “change lives” and “impact generations,” but I don’t offer it lightly. This is not an “over promise and under deliver” kind of marketing ploy. This is a living, breathing, God-ordained path to walk out the abundance of the Gospel in our everyday lives through simple acts of hospitality.
I genuinely believe that lives will be changed with something as simple as an invitation.
I want you able to look back in one year, five years—twenty-five years!—and glimpse the legacy of hospitality you’ve offered. The doors you’ve opened, the chairs you’ve pulled up to assure everyone has a seat, the tables extended so that anyone, from anywhere, knows they’re welcome at your table. I’m already getting excited because I know what awaits.
Just open the door.
Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation
is now available wherever books are sold!