About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

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  1. Jen,
    Welcome to the “50 and Fabulous” club!! (Though I have just one more year before hitting the next decade marker lol). “60 and Sassy” or “60 and Sophisticated” ??? I had to chuckle about your being reprimanded for talking too much. I still remember the check mark in the “unsatisfactory” column for “Works quietly” lol. Some things don’t change. Your/Peter’s words convict me this morning. If I am to speak, it is with God’s words with which I should speak. If I serve, it needs to be in God’s strength so that my efforts glorify Him. Weighty words to ponder and use to adjust my actions. Thank you for the invitation to throw open the doors of my heart and home to others.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • I remember that my grade school teachers were always writing on my record cards that I talked too much. My husband and I were in high school together and married a year after we graduated in June 1962. So, we are both 75 facing a lot of major health issues. Your article spoke to me in many ways. Thank you for your words! Love Ruth Ann.

  2. This post is beautiful on so many levels. Thank you for sharing, Jennifer & Incourage! 🙂

    Thanks for the reminding us of one of the most practical ways of showing God’s love to others – i.e. including, inviting, opening our homes, doors and hearts to others. Some people truly have the gift of hospitality, but even when it doesn’t come naturally to all of us, we can learn. May God give us wisdom and courage. May God make it easy for us!:) May we always remember that we all need each other!

    I also have to mention how much I love the following:
    “Look for a lonely girl and become her friend.”

    Hmm. My prayer is that our hearts will always be open to welcome anyone who is in need of a friend. Amen.

    Dear God, please help us not to be so absorbed in our “important work” that we forget the most important work of all – loving others generously.

    Thanks again for sharing, Jennifer. Oh and I love your ideas for planning a family meeting!:)

    Love & Blessings,
    Bomi.

  3. I was already thinking this morning about talking to my daughters about looking for the lonely girl, as we head back to classes today. You confirmed it!

  4. I want to open up my heart and home to others but I feel like it will impose on the limited intimate time I have with my family.
    My mother would invite people into our home as a kid and I always felt like we were second class citizens compared to our guests.
    How do I show my children how to bond with our community and not risk losing the precious time we have together????

    • Hi sweet Gina –

      First, I am so sorry that you felt that way from your mother. That’s definitely not how we ever want our children to feel as we love on people.

      I’ve found welcoming others into our home right along side my children is one of the best ways I can serve them and others at the same time. They love to help host too, so maybe you can find ways to do it as a family. Modeling hospitality for them will create more precious times than you can imagine when you get their input too.

  5. Imagine if everyone in the world offered hospitality and lived to seek and follow God’s purpose~

  6. 2019 is a hard year for me. But God really worked in my life in so many ways personally. Instead of being defensive, saying something back in return of accuse and being hurtful for sensitive, I realized God had changed my heart. I respond in compassion and think of the grace God has shown me in so many ways and so many times. I am not as sensitive as before, I am not easily taking things personally as before, I am happy for those who are better than me, I responded to people with Grace more. And I know one thing for sure, that it is not because I am good so I can change my heart. It is God alone that is working hard in my life. He is purifying me, refining me so He will be glorified. Heavenly Father, You are an awesome God. Only You can turn a piece of invaluable clay to something that manifest Your Glory. In Jesus Name, Amen!

    • Oh Linda – thank you for sharing a piece of your heart as you think back on 2019. To think of our fresh, new decade serving a promise keeping God is a might and powerful reminder.

  7. Jennifer I love your writting if I had only one week to live. I tell people this is the way in which I want my Furneral. I have it wrote out the way I want it. It different to normal Furnerals. Even my Husband said that. I want a song played at my Furneral. As all my family Cousins Aunts Uncles Sisters Their Husbands and Kids not saved. Even my Dad not saved. Only me and my Husband. I pray for there Salvation. It will be different type of Furneral. They will get a shock if still alive and come to it. One song I want played at it. It is by Dave Billborough the song is : I belive there is a God in Heaven who died for my sins. Then the person doing the service to say when the song over. I have this wrote down. As you don’t know day when Jesus will call you home. Age means nothing. I want the person doing my Furneral my Salvation Army Officer. To say you know that song that you have heard. That Dawn wanted played the words of it Dawn believe them with all her heart. That is why today Dawn is in Glory with Jesus. If you want to see Dawn again. If not saved. You can make Dawn very happy by asking Jesus into your heart today to be your Saviour. Dawn does not want anyone her to be sad she gone. Especially if you are saved because you might miss her this side of earth. But you have not lost all. You will see her agin one day in Glory with Jesus when Your time up on earth. I don’t want anything from my Dad just to see him one and saved for Jesus before he leaves earth along with my Family. As my Dad now 78. 79 next month. Plus for everyone in this world to be kind loving and caring to either like Jesus was if I had week to live. No HATE. So people that not saved and my Family that not saved by the time I pass away. Will get a shock about my Furneral. As I want it to also be a happy one. No matter what age I am
    Another song I want at is. Are you washed in the blood of Jesus. Excellent reading. Love it. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little. Ps hope what I wrote does not make anyone too sad. Xx

    • Bless you,Dawn, for seeking salvation for your loved ones to the very end. Your post does not make me sad; I applaud you for your diligence and consideration for your family to make these decisions now. It shows your caring and compassionate ways. I’ve talked to my family about my arrangements too as I do not want a “funeral home” funeral but a gathering of friends and family in a happier place. I may rethink some last words after reading your post.

      God Bless you!

  8. This need and plea for showing hospitality is especially needed for families struggling with disability or adults living on their own or in group homes with disabilities. Most churches and Christians leave the “caring” and support to paid state employees which is not the same as genuine friendships and time spent together with someone who really wants to be in relationship

  9. What hit me from this was serve others with the gifts God has given you. I am reading a book about gifts and how we sometimes hide them when we see others with more gifts. Yet we all have something to serve others with. Good gifts from God.
    I know if I had only one week to live, I would want to surround myself with family and friends and just hang out and talk and laugh and cry a little, and then repeat.
    My mom gave me the same advice. Find someone who looks scared and lonely and make it a point to cheer them up and make sure they have fun at the event. It always gets my eyes off myself and helps me enjoy the event.

  10. Jennifer.

    Congrats on hitting 50 this year. I’ll be hitting 55. We aren’t a throw open the doors kind of people. I do include people often. Just this week I cooked broccoli cheddar soup & bread for my MIL. She has health issues & lost her hubby right before Thanksgiving. We need to live as though Christ were coming back any time. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. Since we don’t know when He will come back-we need to keep pressing on loving, serving & caring for others. Shower kindness whenever you can. You will hear the words “Well done thou good & faithful servant”.

    Blessings 🙂